Youth International - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When do Youth International trips run?
A: All three Youth International programs (Asia, South America, and Africa) are offered twice each year: once in the fall semester, which runs from September to December, and once in the spring semester, which runs from February to May. Each semester lasts 3 months.
Q: How many people are usually on each team?
A: A team consists of up to 14 participants, plus two team leaders.
Q: Who is eligible to join Youth International?
A: Anyone, from any country, who will be between 18 to 25 years of age when traveling with Youth International, may apply to join the program. (Some flexibility with this age restriction does apply.) The only factor that would automatically exclude anyone from joining a Youth International trip would be an inability to fully participate in all program activities, or an inability to obtain tourist visas for the necessary countries.
If you are interested in joining one of our upcoming teams abroad we ask you to fill out an application form and provide personal references. Applications can be filled out and e-mailed to us directly from our website, or we can mail or email one to you. Applications are followed up with a telephone interview. Teams are filled on a "first come" basis for those who are selected. Applications are accepted at any time for upcoming semesters, so early ones do have an advantage.
For more information on how to join a Youth International team, click here: How to Join
Q: How can I get an application form?
A: Click here: Application
Q: What is the program fee for a Youth International semester, and what does it include?
A: The cost per student for all Youth International programs during the 2013/2014 season is: US $9,950 for the Asia program; US$ 10,500 for the South America program.
This fee covers all program expenses, including all flights and overland travel while abroad, all food and lodging, all scheduled program activities, (including the cost of all outdoor adventure activities and site seeing etc...), team leaders and in-country staff, all costs for orientation in the USA, educational materials, and other miscellaneous expenses related to the program.
The only costs that the program fee does not cover are personal items and individual free time activities. Personal items include health insurance, visas, transportation to orientation in the USA at the beginning of the program, and round-trip flight from the USA to the initial overseas destination.
Q: Where are Youth International trips going in the Fall 2013 semester?
A: For the Fall 2013 semester, Youth International will send one team to Asia, and one team to South America. (Programs in Africa remain suspended for the moment due to security concerns in East Africa.)
The Asia team will travel to Thailand, India, and Nepal. The South America team will travel to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.
Dates for the Fall 2013 South America program are: September 14 to December 6. Dates for the Fall 2013 Asia program are: September 14 to December 13.
Detailed tentative itineraries for upcoming programs can be accessed by clicking on this link: Itineraries
Q: What types of experiences are involved in a Youth International trip?
A: All Youth International programs involve the following experiential elements: International travel, inter-cultural exchange, adventure, volunteer community service, and homestays. For more information on these experiences, click on this link: Experiences
Q: What is accommodation and food like on a Youth International trip?
A: For answers about accommodation, food, and many other things related to life on the road with Youth International, click on this link: About Youth International
Q: Who are the program leaders?
A: For information on Youth International program leaders, click on this link: Leadership
Q: How do participants communicate with parents and friends while they are traveling?
A: Youth International participants have access to phone and Internet/E-mail about 80% of the time during a trip.
Also, someone in the Youth International office is in regular contact with our groups every couple of days while they are abroad. And, in the case of an emergency we are always able to contact a team quickly. Email updates are also sent to family and friends of each team on a regular basis.
Q: How do we get the visas necessary to travel to these countries?
A: Youth International provides participants with information on how to obtain tourist visas well before the start of each program.
Q: How old are Youth International participants?
A: Youth International team members range in age from 18 to 25. (In rare cases we do have participants outside of this age range.) The average age is 21, but most teams have participants from across the full 18 to 25 range.
Q: What types of people join Youth International teams?
A: This is a very common question, and is perhaps the most difficult to answer as there is really no "typical" Youth International participant. Each is unique! Our participants bring with them a wonderful diversity of backgrounds and interests. Team members share a like-mindedness, and often bond through their common interests and enthusiasm for the activities and ideals which drew them to the Youth International program.
All, in some way or another, are eager to step outside of their current path, and to challenge themselves to get out and learn more about the world and about who they are in relation to the world.
Many are taking a "gap year", or a semester off in the middle of college, or a year off between graduating high school and beginning college. Several have recently graduated college, and want to experience some of the world before starting a career or going on to graduate school. A few are taking time out from a career.
The majority of our participants come from the United States; they come from all corners of the country. We also have many participants from across Canada. Youth International also has some members that have joined us from a number of other countries around the world.
Q: Is Youth International a religious program?
A: Youth International does not affiliate with, or adhere to, any specific religious or philosophical doctrine, and has no political affiliations or agenda.
Q: How long has Youth International been around?
A: Youth International has been sending groups on learning adventures abroad since January of 1997.
Q: How do I know what to pack and how to prepare for a trip with Youth International?
A: Everyone who has been selected to travel with Youth International is given a package of travel preparation information outlining everything they need to know about what to pack and how to prepare for their Youth International adventure.
Q: Are Youth International trips safe?
A: Youth International candidates, and their parents, should know that the health and safety of our participants is our number one priority at all times.
Each group travels together, under the guidance of two team leaders who are with the group for the entire trip. In most locations we also have one or more in country staff members that are there to look after the group.
When split up to live with host families, team members are still together in the same village, town or city. Normally, it is a very short distance between homes.
Since Youth International began in January 1997 we have never had a serious accident or illness. However, we always have an emergency plan in place for each spot on the group's itinerary. This includes an evacuation plan, and a plan for how to get a student as quickly as possible to the best and nearest medical facility. We will not take a student with us unless they have adequate medical and travel emergency insurance.
In the very rare event that a destination, or an entire country, were to become unsafe for travel, we would, of course, alter the trip itinerary accordingly. The safety of travel to all of our destinations is continually monitored through the US State Department, the US and Canadian Embassy in each country, and our local contacts.
*For answers to many other questions about the Youth International program, and life on the road with Youth International, click on this link: About Youth International
*For information on the combination of experiences on a Youth International trip, click on this link: Experiences
*For detailed tentative itineraries of upcoming programs, click on this link: Itineraries
*For information on how to join an upcoming trip, click on this link: How to Join
*To get an application form, click on this link: Application
*To contact us with questions, give us a call at 1-720-270-3323, or send us an e-mail, via this link: Contact Us