"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

Good question. After all, if you are already willing to volunteer your time, why should you have to ‘volunteer’ your money as well? While the concept of paying to volunteer may sound counter-intuitive, when you choose a Global Service Corps program you are not paying only to volunteer – you are paying for an entire volunteer service-learning, cultural immersion experience.

All GSC program fees may be 100% tax deductible in the United States to the full extent of the law and are sometimes deductible in other countries as well. As a non-profit organization, Global Service Corps is funded in large part by volunteer fees. Your fee is actually a contribution that covers a wide variety of costs that are necessary to successfully run each GSC volunteer program: from the preparation, training, food, housing and transportation of volunteer program participants to the support and development of the program. Taken together, your volunteer fees fund the foundation for a fully supported community development, service-learning experience.

Much of the work to support volunteer participants is actually done prior to your departure. Your participant fees offset the cost of participant recruitment and preparation, pre-trip planning, in-country project coordination and program development. The individual program you select will be well prepared before you arrive. Your program contribution also provides for the assistance of U.S.-based staff, in-country coordinators, and other staff members in Tanzania, Thailand, and Cambodia who prepare and take care of you and your host community during, and after your volunteer experience.

Your GSC Program will also provide unique in-country services seldom found in other volunteer programs. One of these unique services is the one-week or more orientation and training you receive in-country. As a professional development organization, GSC insures that all volunteer program participants are properly oriented and trained to carry out the community service work of GSC. Another unique aspect of the GSC program is the local counterpart program. All volunteers will be working with local counterparts during their projects, including Tanzanian health care professionals and prospective college students, or teachers and novice monks in Thailand. The generous local families who open their homes to our participants seldom have the resources to support volunteers financially. By paying a fee to these homestay hosts, GSC insures that the needs of your host family are taken into consideration in conjunction with your own needs. These services are all covered by your participant fees.

In addition, your GSC volunteer participant fees help ensure that the project you worked on will be sustained long after you leave. GSC maintains and supports both full- and part-time in-country staff to continue its community service work throughout the year. Many past volunteers have chosen to stay in touch with GSC and these projects to keep informed of and offer support to this ongoing work.

Participating in a GSC program is more than just an exchange of money for room and board. It is an enriching cross-cultural service-learning experience for both participants and hosts. It promotes international understanding and fosters a mutual sense of compassion and consideration. By volunteering, we give and receive, and together we learn!