This may be your first time traveling internationally and/or without your family and if that's the case, this guide will make sure you complete everything on time and are ready for an amazing trip! 

If you are a travel pro, these tips will serve as a reminder (and in some cases, might be different than things you needed in the past) so please consult these dates closely to make sure you don't fall behind.


Download your Planning Timeline

1. Parent/Guardian Consent Form (3 months out)

a.    We will need to have your signed parental consent/waiver (if 18 or older you can fill it out yourself, but we still need your Parent/Guardian Contact Information). This can be emailed to

b.   Download your Consent Form

2. Passport Copy (3 MONTHS OUT)

a.    Passports must be valid for 6 months onwards from travel dates. If not, you’ll need to ensure you can apply for and receive this before you travel and book flights.

b.    We will need to have a scanned copy of your passport details page. Send this to

3. Flights Purchased (2-6 months out)

a.    Need to be purchased a minimum of 2 months out (can be done earlier). This is to make sure you are receiving the best price on your flights.

b.   We have a partnership with STA Travel that will allow you to get the best possible deal. Once you have your placement confirmed and we have had a meeting with you, we will connect you to them.

4. Travel Insurance Purchased (2 MONTHS OUT)

a.    We recommend purchasing this the same time as your purchase your flights. This is in case you have an emergency or something comes up and you need to postpone your trip

5. Tuition Fully Paid (6-8 weeks out)

a.    Today is the deadline for completing your fundraising, so that we can pay for all of your in-country accommodation and transport.

b.    Due 1.5 months before trip departure date

6. Character References (1 MONTH OUT)

a.    Think about who can act as your two character references and ask them to write you a letter as far in advance as possible, to avoid needing to coordinate these in a rush!

b.    This should be from a non-friend and family member and should state how the person knows you and why they think you are a good candidate for this trip. Either you or your reference can email the letters to us.

c.     Your two separate letters of character reference are due . These can be emailed to

7. Visa Prep (1 MONTH OUT)

a.    Here is the website/form to fill our for your visa:

b.    Before you apply you will need the following

  • Passport Copy
  • Recent Passport Sized Photo
  • Travel Document (your flight itinerary)
  • Yellow Fever Certificate 

8. Vaccinations (1 MONTH OUT)

a.    Call your doctor’s office and see when they would recommend going in for a travel vaccinations appointment. Some vaccinations can take 6 – 8 weeks to become effective, so you need to receive them well ahead of your travels.

b.    Check the Center for Disease Control’s website to see what is required and recommended for your trip. (

9. Extra Details Form (1 month out)

a.    Submit your Extra Details Form with your Health/Dietary Info (including any meal preferences for flights), your mobile number, Emergency Contact Details, Insurance, and a scan of the photo page in your passport.

b.    Your Trip Leader will send you a reminder email with another link to the form over email (

10. Trip Leader Skype Calls (2-4 weeks out)

a.    Done about one month before trip start date. You will be sent a scheduling link from your Trip Leader through email. It is recommended that a parent also attend this meeting.

11. Last Weekend Before Travel  

a.    This is your last weekend before you travel! This is a good time to check you have everything you need as you pack. Prior to departure, we will send you all the contact details for our team while we’re away – this is for family/friends who would like to have these details on hand, should they need to contact you while away.