When can we start?
AVC accepts applications any time and volunteers can servce year-round. However, before you can start your service, you must participate in AVC's madatory in-country orientation session. Orientation sessions take place every Monday, so plan your arrival schedule such that you can attend the next Monday orientation without having too much down time beforehand. Especially important if you're here for just a short time -- you want to be able to hit the ground running!
Where do volunteers work?
Volunteers work in Yerevan and throughout Armenia. The most active locations are generally Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor and Shushi.
Must volunteers always serve in their primary field of expertise or can they try something different?
Although many of our volunteers serve in their primary field of expertise, many others request to volunteer in an area that is more in line with their extra-curricular interests or hobbies. For instance, most recently we had a scientist with a passion for history and writing who asked to volunteer in a museum. He in fact helped two museums with their English-language marketing materials.
Do/can volunteers have more than one placement?
Frequently AVC volunteers will serve at more than one placement. Occasionally their main placement may only need part-time support, in which case AVC will find a complementary placement. Sometimes our volunteers request having more than one placement so that they can broaden their experience here.
What types of volunteering and internship opportunities are there?
With over 700 active placement partners, the options are huge and span the sector range from A to Z. See a few examples of possible opportunities.
How many hours a week do we volunteer?
VolunteerCorps service requires 30 hours work per week, Monday to Friday, for a minimum of one month. ProfessionalCorps requirements are a minimum of 20-25 hours per week for at least two (2) full weeks.
Are there any language requirements?
None per se. However language can be a determining factor in terms of placements. In some specific cases, translators will be provided. Our staff speaks multiples languages, including English, Armenian, Russian, French, and Spanish so you shouldn't have any trouble communicating with us! Most local Armenians speak both Armenian and Russian and the younger generation is in a hurry to learn English as well as other languages including German, French, and Spanish.
Where do AVC volunteers live?
For the most part, AVC volunteers choose to live with a host-family. In fact, AVC highly encourages host-family living, at least for the first couple of months in-country as this helps with cultural adaptation and integration and provides an insight into local Armenian everyday family life through immersion in the culture and language; not to mention the lifelong ties you create. Should you prefer to rent an apartment, you must make those arrangements for yourself. We can suggest agencies to aid you in your search. In the regions outside of Yerevan, you will usually stay with a host-family.
How much does it cost to stay with a host-family and what's included?
The cost is approximately US $175 (83,200 AMD) per month and includes your own room and breakfast daily (in winter, the monthly cost is 93,200 AMD). You can add on dinners and laundry service for an additional fee.
What's included in the program fee?
In addition to your customized volunteer placement or internship, AVC provides airport pick-up, orientation, Armenian language classes, full-time support and guidance, use of the AVC office with computer stations, high-speed internet and wifi, informational, educational and social gatherings, and optional weekly excursions (for a small fee).
What other activities does AVC organize?
AVC and its sister organization Birthright Armenia periodically organize community service projects in and around Yerevan, about every six weeks or so. Projects range from planting trees and trash cleanup, to painting and building, or spending an afternoon at a children's center or hospital. Community service projects involve all our in-country volunteers as well as some of our local partners.
(***You can check the current exchange rate on the Central Bank of Armenia website: http://rate.am/en/armenian-dram-exchange-rates/central-bank-armenia)
What will it cost me to volunteer in Armenia through AVC?
- There is no participation fee to join AVC. Working professionals are invited to make a donation to our community service project fund; the suggested donation amount is 20,000 AMD
- All accepted applicants are required to pay 5,700 AMD per month (approximately US $12) for health insurance upon arrival in Armenia, before service can begin.
What do the optional weekly excursions cost?
The weekly excursions organized by our in-country supporting partner Birthright Armenia cost 4,000 AMD (less than US $9) for a full day excursion and lunch.
What other costs should I consider?
All your personal expenses are your responsibility. In addition to the costs already listed, you should consider the following for budgeting purposes:
-120-day visa, purchased at airport on arrival: 15,000 dram (approximately $32 USD) NOTE: citizens of countries with bilateral agreements may not need to obtain a visa; learn more here www.mfa.am/en/visa. Currently citizens of the European Union and the United States do not need a visa to enter Armenia for stays of up to 180 days.
-Laundry: approximately 500 dram/kilo; or 10,000 dram per month if you choose to have your laundry done with you host family (less than $25 USD)
-Eating in: Optional meal plan at your home-stay - 30,000 dram per month (approximately $65 USD)
-Eating out: 500–4,000 dram/per meal (approximately $1.25-$9 USD)
-Cell phone cards: 4,000 dram/month, depending on how often you use it (approximately $9 USD)
-Transportation: Public transportation: 100 dram/trip ($0.25) $20-$35 USD/month; Taxis: 600 dram/trip ($1.30) within the city center $50-$70 USD/month
What exactly do you mean by 'voluntourism'?
The word 'voluntourism' was coined many years ago by combining the terms 'volunteering' and 'tourism'; hence voluntourism is quite simply travel that emphasizes both elements -- volunteer service and tourism.
There are no voluntourism trips planned for 2017.
Still have questions? Drop us a note. We'd love to hear from you!