- Travel & Evacuation Insurance: Project C.U.R.E will enroll you in travel and evacuation insurance for the duration of your trip. If you wish to receive a copy of the insurance policy prior to departure, it must be requested via email.
- STEP Enrollment: Project C.U.R.E. will enroll you in the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the State Department prior to departure to ensure the local embassy is aware of your presence.
- Visa: You may be required to submit additional documents or complete additional forms depending on the visa requirements of your destination country. You may be required to send in your passport to Project C.U.R.E. so it can be submitted to the embassy for visa processing. The costs of any visa procedures that take place after the team’s arrival in the host country (i.e. visa cards purchased at passport control) are also included. If you are required to pay for your visa upon arrival at the airport, you will either be given money for this before hand at the pre-trip meeting, or you will be reimbursed once you are with the team in-country.
- License Transfer Procedure (for medical professionals): If you are a medical professional, you may be required to submit additional documents or complete additional forms depending on the license transfer requirements of your destination. Project C.U.R.E. and the in-country host can assist with the license transfer process by submitting completed documents to the appropriate in-country organization. You must submit license transfer forms and associated documents by the requested dates.
- Pre-Departure Meeting: Approximately 3 weeks before the departure date, there will be a team pre-departure meeting to go over trip details once more and answer any last minute questions you may have. The meeting will be in person at Project C.U.R.E International Headquarters in Centennial, Colorado. Those living in other states will be able to video or phone conference in.
- Departure Travel Packet & Associated Shipping Costs: A travel packet with detailed information about the trip prepared by Project C.U.R.E. will be sent to you about 4 weeks prior to departure.
- C.U.R.E. Kits & Kits for Kids
- In-Country Transportation: All in-country transportation including internal airfare, boats/ferries, buses/cars/taxis, fuel costs and tips are included in your program cost.
- Accommodations: All accommodations throughout the trip are included with in your program cost. You will be expected to share a room with someone of the same sex. However, if you would like a private room or a room upgrade, you will be responsible for the associated costs.
- Meals: All meals once you are in the host country are included in your program cost. If you would like food in addition to what Project C.U.R.E. is providing, you will be responsible for the associated costs.
- Clean Water: Clean drinking water is included in the program cost. You are required to bring a reusable water bottle for this purpose, as water is often provided in large one-gallon jugs.
- Translators: The cost of translators is included in program costs when appropriate. Every effort is made to provide an appropriate number of translators; however, in the case that there are not enough translators for each participant, preference will be given to medical professionals.
- Touristic Excursions & Activities: At least one touristic excursion or activity is included in the program costs. These activities offer you the opportunity to gain a more profound understanding of the culture of the people you are serving, as well as a well-deserved rest after many days of hard work. Information about the activity for each trip will be provided in the travel packet prior to your departure.
- Tour Guides & Driver: The cost of tour guides and drivers is included in program costs. Tips are also included in trip costs. If you would like to give any additional tips, please speak with Project C.U.R.E. to determine if this is appropriate.
- International airfare**
- Any fees associated with international airfare, including changing itineraries, baggage, upgrades, flight delays, etc.
- Meals while traveling internationally
- The cost of any vaccinations or prophylactic medication necessary for travel
- Touristic excursions/activities not included in trip itinerary
- Wine, beer and cocktails (i.e. any alcohol)
- Room upgrades
- Internet and Phone Access
This is the flight that the Trip Leader will be on. International airfare can be arranged by Key Travel for a $30 booking fee, in addition to the cost of the flight. Please email Key Travel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Within 7 days of acceptance to program, $500 deposit is due to Project C.U.R.E.
- 90 days prior to departure, 50% of the remaining program cost is due to Project C.U.R.E.
- 60 days prior to departure, all outstanding program costs must be paid in full.
** Program costs may be paid via credit card online or by check.
The $500 deposit shall be considered a tax-deductible donation to Project C.U.R.E. and the Participant will be provided a tax donation receipt. The other costs involved in humanitarian work vary from state to state and the Participant should consult their tax advisor on this subject.
2. Pre-Trip Concerns
You may check one bag and have one carry-on bag. Take only what you can carry, Pack light! Pack essentials in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. Respect all TSA Rules and Regulations. Once in country, your daily bag should contain a bottle of drinking water, personal snacks, pen or pencil and notepad, sunscreen, lip balm, antibacterial hand sanitizer, insect repellent, tissues/toilet paper, hat, umbrella, light jacket and other appropriate clothing or equipment for inclement weather.
You are expected to arrive at the in-country airport no later than the date and time indicated by Project C.U.R.E. on the suggested flight itinerary. The team will meet in the baggage claim area, unless otherwise indicated.
Project C.U.R.E. cannot offer specific recommendations on the required vaccinations or medications and instead requests that you visit the Center for Disease Control webpage for your destination, as well as make an appointment at a travel medicine clinic prior to your departure. Project C.U.R.E. will notify you if a yellow vaccination card is required for travel.
Project CURE’s travel medicine clinic of choice is Passport Health. Passport Health has over 230 clinic locations all over the United States, so there is likely a location convenient to you!
State that you are a Project C.U.R.E. volunteer/staff member on the phone, so that you will receive Project C.U.R.E. discounted pricing ($50 for a full hour consultation)
Try to schedule your appointment 4-6 weeks prior to your departure so that you have time to receive full doses of vaccines that are given in a series
Please bring a credit card with you to the appointment, as this is the only form of payment accepted.
If you have a yellow vaccination card, please bring it with you to the appointment.
Your travel medicine appointment will include:
- Discussion of destination-specific health risks and strategies to mitigate them
- Vaccine Record and Medical History Review to determine the exact vaccines you need
- Vaccine consultation and education
- All travel and routine vaccines, based on your health history and destination
- Complete malaria prophylaxis
- Travel supplies
- Personalized, bound “Itinerary” with destination-specific information for your trip
Note that you may also go to Passport Health for a “shots only” appointment if you are a frequent traveler and do not want the full destination-specific health counseling.
Please just make note of this when booking your appointment.
In addition to your personal luggage, you may be expected to carry a C.U.R.E. Kit containing medical supplies that will be used in the clinic, as well as home health supplies that can be distributed in the community. You may be expected to re-pack the kits into a large duffel bag if this has not already been done. Whenever possible, we will provide this bag, however, in some cases you may need to use your own bag. The cost of checking the C.U.R.E. Kit to your destination is included in the program costs.
C.U.R.E. Kits will be ready for pick-up at the pre-trip meeting, about 3 weeks prior to your departure.If you live in the Denver-metro area, you are expected to help pack and pick up the C.U.R.E. Kits from the Project C.U.R.E. warehouse in Centennial. If you live outside of the Denver area, we may ship your C.U.R.E. Kit to you.
In the developing world, credit cards are not universally accepted. Be prepared to show a picture ID if you use your credit card. Prior to departure please clarify with your Team Leader if and when you may be able to use a credit card. If you plan to use a credit card, Visa is the most commonly accepted, followed by MasterCard. American Express is the least likely to be accepted. Be sure to carry copies, front and back, of any credit cards you will be carrying with you, as well as cancellation information in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Contact all of your credit card companies to alert them of your planned international travel. Remember that credit cards often charge international transaction fees; these fees vary by company, so please obtain a schedule of your company’s rates prior to departure. Project C.U.R.E. is not responsible for international credit card fees.
Plan to use cash for most purchases. Be sure you have sufficient local currency for shopping or extra items not included in the “Program Costs.” U.S. currency is accepted in many countries. Please check with your Team Leader prior to departure to determine if U.S. Currency is accepted at your destination. If you plan to carry cash be careful of when and how you remove it, as there is always the possibility of theft. If you would like to bring local currency with you, you can either order the currency from your bank, or use an exchange service such as TravelEx. Please note that exchange services in airports typically charge the highest exchange rates. If you plan to get local currency in-country, the best method is through an ATM. Due to the busy schedule of each trip, it is not likely that you will have time to exchange U.S. currency while you are in-country. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted and not recommended as a method of payment.
Each participant in the Clinic will be enrolled in Global Benefits Group (GBG) for the duration of his or her trip. GBG is a highly regarded international healthcare, medical assistance and security services company and the leading provider of emergency assistance services to travelers and expatriates. Coverage includes: Medical Assistance (i.e. doctor referral, prescriptions filled, overseas hospital care), Personal Assistance (i.e. assist with replacement documents such as passports, credit cards, cash advance in local currency), Overseas Legal Assistance (i.e. connect you with an English speaking lawyer), Evacuation or Repatriation Services, and Emergency Telephone Translation Services. Click here to view the policy coverage.
3. In-Country Concerns
Internet access varies by country and is never guaranteed in any location; you will be provided with additional information prior to departure. Project C.U.R.E. is not responsible for any fees associated with internet usage during the trip.
The Team Leader will carry a cell phone for use in case of emergencies. If you would like to use your personal phone during the trip, please contact your service provider to set up international calling and/or texting. It is a good idea to turn off data on your phone during the trip, as international data usage tends to be very expensive. Project C.U.R.E. is not responsible for any fees associated with international calls or texts.
The practice of bringing candy or small gifts for patients is prohibited. If you would like to bring gifts for your host or other in-country contacts, please speak with Project C.U.R.E. for approval and/or suggestions prior to your departure.
Contaminated food and drink are a major source of illness while traveling. Project C.U.R.E. makes every effort to provide participants with food that has been prepared carefully and safely. It may be wise to avoid raw fruits and vegetables depending on your destination. If you have any questions while in-country about a food or beverage, please ask your Team Leader prior to consumption. It is a good idea to drink only canned or bottled beverages and use a straw if you did not see the bottle or can opened.In general, boiled beverages such a coffee and tea are safe. The best ways to avoid becoming ill are to wash your hands with soap and water or antibacterial gel regularly, drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, and get enough rest.
Please check with Project C.U.R.E. to determine if your dietary restrictions can be accommodated in the country you wish to travel to. Every effort is made to accommodate dietary restrictions or allergies, but due to limited resources in certain countries this may not be possible. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks to supplement main meals.
Project C.U.R.E. expects accommodations to be clean and safe. Accommodations may vary from a private residence, to a hotel, to the most primitive shelter. Cold showers are fairly common; some facilities may only have a bathhouse with a dipper and bucket. Most accommodations provide towels, however, you are advised to carry your own towel, washcloth and soap. All rooms will be double occupancy and you will have a roommate, unless otherwise specified.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website where the current travel warnings and travel alerts, as well as the worldwide caution, can be found. Up to date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves, see the Department of State’s pamphlet “A Safe Trip Abroad,” on the website.
4. General Participant Expectations
- Remember that you are a guest in a foreign country, and your American rights do not necessarily apply. Be aware of different laws and customs.
- Be flexible. Recognize that despite careful planning, the situation on the ground can change quickly; adapt to changes as they occur.
- Be professional. You are representing Project C.U.R.E. as well as the U.S. Do not speak or act in ways that reflect poorly on these entities.
Always communicate concerns or questions to the Team Leader.
- Never promise or pledge specific treatment or obligate Project C.U.R.E. in any way.
- Never speak negatively of the host country. Avoid commenting on local, national or international political issues.
- As a team, be sure to work together to ensure daily clinic activities run smoothly and provide support and encouragement to one another and staff at the host facility.
- While working with severely underserved populations in-country, it is possible to become focused on an individual situation. Always remember that there are hundreds of locations that can benefit from the medical assistance and political influence of Project C.U.R.E. Clinics participants cannot involve themselves in activities other than the provision of medical assistance during C.U.R.E. Clinics Trips. Providing assistance in any way other than through medical assistance can weaken the true position of Project C.U.R.E. and hinder the success of Project C.U.R.E. as well as the C.U.R.E. Clinics program.
- Regardless of your background, you are a foreigner and most individuals you come in contact with will assume you are wealthy. People may ask you for favors or money, as they may view you as the solution to their health ailments and their poverty. When working in the clinic, patients will likely assume you have clout with the medical providers. Be careful not to promise any assistance you cannot provide during your stay, and never give cash to patients or their families.
- The Team will conduct daily briefing sessions. These sessions will set team goals and expectations, review assignments, address concerns, and offer the opportunity to share experiences and reactions. Each participant is expected to attend the daily session.
Participants should be prepared to speak on behalf of Project C.U.R.E. to media, news and ministry audiences. This does not occur on most Clinics Trips, but it is important to be comfortable with Project C.U.R.E.’s mission and scope. If an interview does occur, be alert and remember nothing is off the record.
- It is more likely that participants will be asked to give public greetings or formal dinner responses. It is wise to have a couple ideas ready for such a situation. Ideas include a warm greeting on behalf of Project C.U.R.E., or a brief story about how you became an international volunteer.
- Participants may not make commitments regarding Needs Assessments, or container shipments. Any commitments regarding container shipping, schedules, or the equipment and supplies included in a shipment must be referred to the Vice President of Operations. Team Members may offer encouragement toward the success of a project but may not obligate Project C.U.R.E. in any way.
5. General Cultural Considerations
It can be difficult to leave the comforts of home and immerse yourself in a foreign environment. It is normal for volunteers in developing countries to experience culture shock. Unexpected surprises and circumstances contribute to culture shock, and for this reason, preparation is essential. Volunteers can minimize their frustration by knowing what to expect before they arrive at their destination. The information provided below is meant to help with just that.
Be prepared to experience some of the following:
Common symptoms of culture shock are frustration, paranoia, criticism of local people and customs, oversensitivity and overreaction to minor difficulties, changes in eating and sleeping habits, loss of sense of humor.
Adjustment: Gradually, as you orient yourself, you regain confidence. As this happens, your perspective becomes more balanced; you are less critical and more willing to integrate yourself into the culture of the country you are visiting.
It can be shocking to experience poverty for the first time. Positive ways to cope with these feelings are to recognize that you are working to help the community and to discuss your feelings with your Team Leader and other group members.
Tips for coping include:
- Travel with a spirit of humility and a desire to meet and learn from local people.
- Take care of yourself—eat well, exercise and get sufficient sleep.
- Do not take anything too seriously.
- Do not let others irritate you—you have come a long way to learn, to enjoy the experience.
- Cultivate the habit of listening and observing rather than seeing and hearing.
- Spend time reflecting on meaningful aspects of your trip: What are you learning?
- Be aware of other people’s feelings and try to avoid behaving in a way that others may perceive as offensive.
- Spend time each day reflecting on your experiences.
In the US, making others wait is usually considered disrespectful and rude. However, most other countries do not have the same attitude towards time and punctuality. While you are abroad, it is your responsibility to be ready for the day at the time appointed by the in-country host, and be aware of how your actions may be delaying or hurrying the group. Although you are expected to be punctual, you are also expected to be prepared to wait patiently for others, especially individuals from your host country. This is a function of a culture with a more relaxed attitude toward timeliness and schedules; do not be insulted.
Many of the patients you encounter live in rural villages and will not speak or understand English. The local staff may speak English and translators will be provided as necessary. It can be frustrating to not speak directly with patients, but remember that smiles and hand gestures go a long way in communicating and connecting with people.
Appropriate dress varies from culture to culture. Volunteers must dress appropriately to show respect to the host facility, prevent misunderstandings and avoid offending the local community. Understand the local social etiquette. Learn the standards of politeness and common courtesy (greetings, giving and accepting gifts, table manners, eating customs, gestures, sacred spaces, etc.).
Recognize that when you first arrive at the clinic site, you will be a stranger to the local staff and community. You must work to earn the trust and confidence of those around you, and prove your competence and trustworthiness. It is important to demonstrate your dedication and commitment to hard work and empathy towards the community.
- Be ready to experience boredom, isolation, disorientation and annoyance and jet lag. Click here for tips on how to cope with jet lag.
- Keep in touch with other team participants.
- Develop friendships with people that understand experiences of travelling to developing countries.
- Keep up to date with current event in your host country. Anything you do to maintain your connection with the world at large will solidify the significance of your trip.
- Remember that you can maximize your impact by inspiring and sharing your experience with others.
6. Travel Tips
- Pack conservative clothing. Leave flashy garments and jewelry safely at home.
- Good walking shoes are a must on any clinic! You will be doing a lot of walking, so make sure that you have some comfortable shoes for your feet.
- Make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations and any other medications necessary for travel to a specific country. Check with your program coordinator if you are unsure if the country you will be travelling to requires any particular vaccinations.
- Check the weather for your destination. The seasons vary across the world, and rain is just as common as sunshine. Be sure to pack sunscreen and insect repellent!
- Make 2 copies of all your cards/documents/passport prior to departure. Have one set on hand should anything go missing. Know how to cancel your credit cards. Leave one set of copies at home with someone in case of an emergency.
- Do not forget your smile and cheery disposition! Be sure to be ready for an adventure, and open to whatever you may encounter. Each clinic is a new experience, and you will be delivering health and hope to locations where it is most needed!
- Arrive at least 2 hours prior to international flights. Have a hard-copy of your flight itinerary and booking numbers.
- Pack prescription medications, with ORIGINAL labels, in your carry-on bag.
- Carry your “Declaration of Donation” letter with you at all times.
- You may be expected to carry and check a C.U.R.E. Kit containing medications and supplies to be used on the trip.
- Always carry your passport with you.
- Be cautious of how much money you carry and when and where you remove it to mitigate the chances of theft or loss.
- When arriving on-site, grab a hotel business card to keep with you. This can facilitate any transportation needs to the hotel, especially in non-English speaking countries.
- Be sure to pay attention the Trip Leader’s briefings on daily schedule of activities
- Pay attention to the food and beverages while in country. A general rule is that if the food is well cooked and hot, it should be safe to eat. Water that has been boiled or purified with iodine is safe for consumption.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or anti-bacterial gel often. This can prevent illness and keep you healthy while you participate actively in the clinic.
- Rest up! The days of work in the clinic can be long and difficult and it is important to get plenty of rest when you travel in order to adjust well to the new environment and perform at your best.
- Dress conservatively. Wear scrubs when in the clinic.
- Drink plenty of water. Bottled water will be provided by Project C.U.R.E daily.