THE CCS EXPERIENCE

How do I enroll? What happens next?

To enroll in a CCS program, choose your destination, start date, and length of stay - from 1 to 12 weeks. Then, just click Enroll on our website and with a $350 deposit toward your program fee, you can be on your way!

Once you've committed to making a meaningful difference abroad, your Program Specialist will reach out to you to welcome you on your experience. You'll have access to myCCS - our exclusive volunteer portal - to start learning all about effective volunteer work, meeting the in-country team, and learning all that your new home-away-from-home has to offer. Your Program Specialist will be on hand, 7 days a week, to answer any questions you might have and to continue providing information and updates as you prepare for the experience of a lifetime. We're excited to start working with you!

What if I have more questions?

Our team of Program Specialists, who are all past CCS volunteers themselves, are on hand to answer any questions you might have, and to guide you as you select and prepare for your CCS program. Reach out to us, 7 days a week, by calling 1-914-632-0022, chatting with us, or sending an email to info@ccs.ngo. We love to talk about how our CCS experiences changed everything, and can't wait to hear from you!

What is the Home-Base like?

The CCS Home-Base is your home-away-from-home, a place to relax and reflect right in the local community where you'll engage with your second family of fellow volunteers and our expert CCS in-country staff. The Home-Base is comfortable, with common areas to share experiences, comfortable shared bedrooms, and plenty of space as you're re-charging for your next incredible day of volunteer adventures. We know that your comfort is key to giving all you can as an international volunteer, and the CCS Home-Base is just one of the many unique ways that the CCS experience changes everything. Check out what a CCS Home-Base experience is like at Your Home-Base.

Do I need a passport or visa to volunteer?

All volunteers must have a passport that is valid for six months after they plan on returning to their country of origin. In some CCS countries, a visa is also required to enter the country, which is dependent on your country of citizenship. A visa is permission from the government to enter and exit the country you are visiting, and will be stamped in your passport. Your Program Specialist will provide you with more information on obtaining a visa, if one is required, to your CCS destination.

What is a cultural activity? Why do you have them?

Cultural activities are organized by CCS and included in every volunteer experience. They are designed to give you a unique insight into your new community, so whether you're participating in an engaging conversation with a local expert, visiting a cultural landmark, learning a new language, or practicing traditional dance, each cultural activity will offer you a new level of understanding and genuine opportunities for cultural exchange. Read this blog post to find out more about why cultural activities are part of the CCS experience.

Can you tell me about the CCS in-country staff?

We'd love to! The CCS in-country staff is there to support and guide you through your full experience, 24/7. Our teams are made up entirely of local nationals, who truly understand the needs of their own communities and who can provide personal and expert guidance and information during your journey. Each team is led by a fantastic Country Director who's an expert in the field of international development and volunteering. You'll meet community leaders like Bela Singh in India, who's founded schools and counseling centers and is passionate about girls & women's empowerment. Or, meet Jose Hernandez in Costa Rica - his extensive experience in international development includes work with the United Nations and the Foreign Service Foundation. You'll also be surrounded by an amazing and supportive team of dedicated professionals, including CCS cooks and drivers, who are each deeply passionate about sharing their experiences and making sure that you are warmly welcomed into a new culture and community. Learn more about our team, or check out the team you'll meet in-country on our destination pages.

Where can I read stories from past volunteers?

If you're looking for firsthand accounts of exactly what it's like to be a CCS volunteer, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in the CCS blog. Are you a first-time traveler? Do you know what it would be like to plan your gap year with CCS? Wondering what our volunteers think of CCS safety? Whatever you need, you can get the inside scoop on the CCS blog!

How is Cross-Cultural Solutions different from the Peace Corps?

A CCS program is a great way to experience all that volunteering abroad has to offer for a shorter period of time than the Peace Corps, which requires a two-year commitment. Learn more about the similarities and differences in CCS vs. the Peace Corps

What kind of food will be served at Home-Base?

Volunteers consistently rave about the food at the CCS Home-Base, with each meal lovingly prepared by a CCS cook. You'll enjoy three meals each day with a variety of healthy and delicious local cuisine. And, the CCS cooks love to share your favorite recipes, so feel free to hop in the kitchen for an impromptu cooking lesson! CCS cooks are also trained in safe food preparation and cooking for a variety of dietary preferences, restrictions, and allergies.

How many years has CCS been running international volunteer programs?

We've been running international volunteer programs since 1995. Today, our alumni community is over 35,000 strong!

Learn more about our story and how we measure our impact.

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