Your Application Process

So how does it all work?

With over 20 years experience in volunteer placements, RGV has constantly refined it's process to make it as smooth as possible for both first-time and returning volunteers.

With RGV opening a new UK office alongside Smaller Earth in Liverpool, you'll have the leaders in cultural exchange ensuring that you're ready and prepared for your trip of a lifetime.

They know every detail of the process and will guide you through easily. You'll have a dedicated account manager to help you from interest, all the way through to departure.

Once your booking is confirmed and you're accepted onto the programme, you'll be in direct contact with our team in Liverpool, who will guide you easily, step by step, through each part of the process. If you're unsure at any stage, you can simply ring up and have a chat with a team that have been there and done it.

1. Find your perfect RGV project
2. Choose your duration, dates and register
3. Complete your online profile
4. Await confirmation of dates/place from RGV UK
5. Prepare & upload documents
6. Sort flights visas & vaccinations
7. Pay remaining programme balance
8. Get ready and get excited!
1. What project suits me best?

Our programmes are specifically tailored to accommodate for many different passions. Whether you're interested in social, environmental, wildlife or sports volunteering, RGV has expertise in each of these fields and can help place you in your dream project.

Our website has all of our programmes, but if you're a little unsure what would suit you best, give our friendly UK team a call or an email, and they'll happily talk you through each so you can decide best. They can talk you through each programme, what's included, but to also delve deeper on why you want to volunteer in these areas. Everyone is different, and it's super important that you volunteer for a project that feels good to you.

Check out our projects here
2. How long should I go for? What is the deposit?

Once you've decided which project resonates with you, you're ready to book through the 'programme' page. This will take you through to a selections page, where you can select your departure date (which is dependent on programme start dates) and also the duration you'd like to go for.

On each programme page, it will state how long you can go for, with most ranging between 4-48 weeks. On the selection page, you can select a duration of up to 4 months, but if you would like to stay longer, please speak to our team and they will happily have a chat about this and to get this added on for you. You must give yourself 8 weeks preparatory time before your departure (if you're looking at departing this than 8 weeks from today's date, please speak to our team to see if there's any way we can help shorten this time).

If you decide when you're on the programme that you absolutely love it, it is super easy to add extra weeks on. Just speak to one of the in-country team, or contact us directly, and we can get these extra weeks added on to your profile, of which you can easily pay for online.

The deposit for each of programmes is completely the same, which is £200. This commitment shows your serious about wanting to make an impact, and begins the process of RGV confirming your place/availability with the local projects and in country teams.

3. What is my 'online profile'?

Your online RGV profile is your go-to area for everything RGV. Whether you have to submit documents to us, or are interested to see more information, you're profile can do it all.

You will have to complete the initial information when you register, which gives us all the info we need about you. This can include address, date of birth, dietary requirements, accommodation choices and much more.

4. How long does it take until my place is confirmed?

Understandably, the projects can only take a certain number of volunteers on at one time, and it was very dependent on capacity. There are also some dates throughout the year where the project may be shut, so we send programme requests through to our in-country teams, who will come back to us ASAP with a confirmation.

This can take up to two weeks, so be patient and in the meantime, our UK team can help you get prepared on other subjects, such as visas, vaccinations, flights and more.

If, for whatever reason, your dates aren't available, we will let you know and offer alternative dates as close to your original choice as possible.

5. What do I need to prepare?

Although we take the major legwork out of sorting your volunteer placement, there are still things that you will need to ensure are completed. Luckily, we've got our team in the UK who can talk you through every step.

Once you get confirmation of your place on the project, it's all systems go! The following is a list of things you need to supply or sort, and our team can help you with each:

Copy of Passport

A standard requirement for all organisations to ensure your identity.


A CV allows us a bit of an insight into your background and to see how you could best contribute to each project.

Letter of Motivation

Volunteering is about helping others. Although it will be an incredible, once in a lifetime trip, it is very different from a holiday or tour, so it is super important to us that all our volunteers are contributing for the right reasons and have the right expectations about what they'll get out of it.

Criminal Background Check

As we work to various guidelines set out by different governing bodies, we ensure that all our volunteers have a recent (within 3 months of departure) criminal background check. The safety of the projects, it's community, the staff and other volunteers are of the upmost importance to us, and as such we require this background check.

Travel Insurance

Most countries require you to have travel insurance as a visa requirement, so this is something which is essential, as well as an important tool to keep you secure whilst you're away.


Although you will have to sort your own flights, we can suggest the best routes, when to arrive and the cheapest possible options for where you want to go.

6. Do I need a visa/vaccinations? When/where do I get them?

In short; yes. Our friendly UK team will happily talk you through the processes for both, so you can prepare well in advance of departure.


Each country has different visa requirements, and although our team can point you in the right direction, you need to sort this yourself as it is a legal document between you and the countries immigration. Please speak to our team before securing a visa, to ensure you have the right one, but it will be helpful to look into this in advance.



Most countries across Africa and Asia will require some form of vaccinations to cover you for certain things. Again, our UK team can make you aware of things for the specific country you're going for, but you must speak to a local travel doctor or your GP for medical advice. These can ensure you get the right course of vaccinations that you require.

7. When do I have to pay the remaining balance by?

There is an option on booking where you can pay everything up front. If you decide to pay the £200 deposit initially, you have to pay the remaining programme fee off no later than 4 weeks prior to departure.

8. I've now done all of the above, what now?

You're ready to go! After sorting all of the above, you've done everything required during the application process for your trip of a lifetime to begin. Make sure you have a read through the Travel ABC we would have sent you, as it's a comprehensive document including everything you need to know. From local currency and culture, through to what the food is like and ways to behave appropriately, it will be your go-to guide for everything about your trip.

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Find YOUR programme

Through our UK website, you'll be able to find your perfect project in the right country. Although our team will happily talk you through your options and what's available, your choice should be personal to you, and such a calling to volunteer needs to be a strong one. Click the button below to go through to our 'Projects' page and check out what works for you.

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