"I'm sure when I ponder my life experiences, during the twilight of my years, I will regard my six weeks in Thailand as six of the most sensational weeks of my life... I traveled to Thailand hoping for an enriching experience. What I found exceeded my wildest expectations."
Chris Cox, International Health Program, Thailand

What happens in case of an emergency?
In case of an emergency you can be reached through the US headquarters office or the In-Country Coordinator. Internet is accessible in the countries of our program sites. Regular contact with your friends and family can also take place through the cell phone system in both countries. In addition, both countries have adequate medical care to address most illnesses that you might face while you are abroad. In the case of a more severe emergency, travel to high-quality hospitals will be arranged for you. Emergency evacuation insurance is required for all GSC participants and is essential in the very unlikely case of a dire emergency. This covers the cost of transportation should it be medically necessary to move you to a medical facility while in-country or back to your home country.  Back

Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?
Yes, many volunteer participants have had special dietary needs. Host families can accommodate vegetarians, as well as other participants with dietary needs. If you have dietary restrictions, please notify GSC when applying and an appropriate host family will be assigned to you.  Back

After the service learning short-term trip, can I extend my service for several weeks?
If you decide to extend your program after you have arrived in the country you will be charged a per day fee for time added onto a trip. If you desire to extend please discuss this with the in-country staff. If they feel they can accommodate your extension they will then relay this information to the US headquarters office. The US headquarters office will work out your extended stay invoice and you will be required to submit the additional funds to headquarters by cashier’s check or money order before your extended stay begins. It is not guaranteed that GSC will be able to accommodate your extension so it is best to decide before leaving your country how long you would like to stay.  Back 
While on the service learning long-term trip, will I have time to travel?
Your weekends will be free so that you will have time to tour the beautiful surroundings, explore area market days and visit nearby points of interest. While on your short-term trip, you will also go on the GSC-arranged day excursion for all Tanzania participants and for Cambodia participants who are on their program for 3 weeks or longer. If you wish to do extensive traveling longer than weekend trips, please do so before or after your program. Back

Can GSC help me find low cost airfare?
The staff in the GSC headquarters can provide you with information about securing reasonably priced airfare. GSC encourages you to look around yourself including internet searches.  Back 

Can I fundraise for my trip and can GSC help me with that? Is the trip tax deductible?
Yes, you can certainly fund raise! GSC is a registered U.S. non-profit and you can use this fact when fundraising – it has proven helpful for many past participants. We are actually a project of the larger environmental organization Earth Island Institute, which serves as GSC’s fiscal sponsor and provides our non-profit status. All program contributions (including airfare) may be tax deductible in the U.S. for U.S. citizens to the full extent of the IRS regulations. This means family members, friends and other supporters can make contributions to GSC, which can be directly applied to your program fees, and may be entirely tax-deductible. Contributions toward both the participant fee and international airfare may be claimed as tax deductions for US taxpayers; other countries vary in tax laws.  Please consult your tax advisor for full details. 

Let us know if you would like to receive a fundraising packet and we will email you further information. This packet outlines a full fundraising program. Fundraising can often be a daunting task but with effort and dedication, you can be a successful fundraiser. We can also put you in touch with past participants that have been successful at raising most, if not all, of their program costs!  Back 

What type of pre-trip orientation is provided?
Upon signing up for a project, participants are given instructions about how to complete their enrollment. After applicants have completed their enrollment they will receive an orientation manual with information on the country and program, along with a reading list, packing list and other health and travel tips. After arrival to the program site, an in-country orientation training is conducted by the GSC staff. This includes technical training in the service-learning programs. Back 

Will I be able to join the program with a friend or family member?
Yes. We encourage participants to come with a friend or spouse. In fact, if a participant refers a friend or family member, he or she will receive a discount of 10% of the second participant's fees. Discount applies for each additional referral, so the more friends you bring, the greater savings you realize! (Participants referred must start projects on the same date for the discount to apply, but may work on different projects.) Please contact us for large group discounts (8 or more people). Please note that group discounts do not apply for GSC-SUNY College Credit Programs.  Back 

Does GSC have any religious or government affiliation?
GSC does not have any religious or government affiliations.  Back