CROSS-CULTURAL SOLUTIONS OR VSO?
<h3>What are some of the main differences between CCS and VSO?</h3> <h4>Length of Stay and Start Dates</h4> <p>As a volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions, when and where you go is entirely up to you. Whether you are new to volunteering or a highly skilled professional, you can choose from over 200 start dates year-round and programs from one to 12 weeks. <a href="/learn-about-ccs-difference#full-experience" target="" title="">The CCS experience </a>ensures that you get the most out of your volunteering in a relatively short period of time.</p> <p>Best known for their long-term volunteer programs, VSO also offers short-term assignments lasting from two weeks to six months. Short-term opportunities are designed for highly experienced professionals who can provide expert advice at senior levels. If you are accepted, VSO start dates are based on the position you are assigned.</p> <h4>Requirements</h4> <p>At CCS, there are no specific requirements or qualifications. You volunteer placement is based on your skills and interests. We welcome a wide range of volunteers, from individuals to <a href="/discover-what-you-can-do/teens-intern-groups" target="" title="">groups</a> – including <a href="/volunteering-abroad/who/students.aspx">students</a> looking for an internship experience, <a href="/volunteering-abroad/who/families.aspx">families</a> volunteering together, <a href="/discover-what-you-can-do/teens-intern-groups" target="" title="">gap year </a>students or professionals, retirees looking for new travel options, and more. Our volunteers come from all different places in their life – even 16 and 17 year old <a href="/discover-what-you-can-do/teens-intern-groups" target="" title="">teens</a> traveling independently.</p> <p>VSO recruits volunteers with sought-after skills and experience, and then matches them to a placement where their expertise is most effective. VSO volunteers must be qualified, experienced professionals. Just like in a professional setting, you have to apply for a VSO volunteer assignment and await an acceptance. VSO also offers youth volunteering as well as short-term assignments for those with extensive relevant technical or professional experience in at least one specific field.</p> <h4>Accommodations</h4> <p>At CCS, all volunteers live together in at the CCS <a href="/volunteering-abroad/the-ccs-experience/home-base.aspx">Home-Base</a>. Here, volunteers have constant access to CCS <a href="/about/our-team" title="" target="">in-country staff</a>, who are always locally born and based. Our in-country staff coordinates your volunteer placement and <a href="/discover-what-you-can-do/beyond-volunteering" title="" target="">Cultural & Learning Activities</a>, prepares healthy and safe meals and snacks, and provides you with safe transportation to and from all volunteer placement sites.</p> <p>VSO accommodations are arranged by the VSO program office in conjunction with the overseas partner where the prospective volunteer will be placed. Typically at the heart of the community, accommodations are safe and basic and include a private bedroom, hard furnishings, storage space, and cooking facilities. The VSO Program Office can be contacted to discuss accommodation issues.</p> <h4>Application Process</h4> <p>CCS does not have a formal application process, though we encourage enrolling in advance to ensure availability on your preferred start date. To become a CCS international volunteer, simply <a href="/enroll" target="" title="">enroll online </a>or <a href="/get-touch-or-request-brochure" target="" title="">contact us</a>.</p> <p>VSO utilizes extensive assessment, matching, and training procedures when pairing a volunteer with a long-term placement. Once you make a formal application to VSO for a specific volunteer assignment, the process of being accepted and securing a long-term placement generally takes between four months and one year. Short-term volunteers selected may be accepted in as little as a month but must be available at short notice.</p> <h3>What are some of the main similarities between CCS and VSO?</h3> <h4>Experience</h4> <p>Both CCS and VSO are independent, not-for-profit organizations that have many years of experience operating highly successful international volunteer programs. Both organizations offer you the opportunity to work side-by-side with local people, volunteering with sustainable community initiatives — all while developing your own personal skills and making a real difference in the community.</p> <h4>Safety and Security</h4> <p>Both CCS and VSO take the issue of security very seriously. Please contact each organization for detailed information on how we proactively work to ensure the safety and well-being of every volunteer.</p> <h4>Which organization is right for you?</h4> <p>You may find that you’re interested in both organizations. For more information on VSO, visit <a href="http://www.vsocan.org/">www.vsocan.org</a>. If you’re interested in VSO but don’t meet their requirements or simply feel like CCS is the experience you’re looking for — we are on-hand to answer all of your questions. To become a volunteer or get more details, <a href="/get-touch-or-request-brochure" target="" title="">contact us </a>or <a href="/get-touch-or-request-brochure" title="" target="">request more information</a>.</p>