FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Before you Arrive: Application, Visa, Vaccinations and more
How far in advance should I apply?
We need people immediately and you can apply at any time. If you are a changemaker and need time to think about it and to plan, we will not turn you away! 100 is only the beginning.
Do I need any vaccinations for my placement?
As SOLS 24/7 is not a certified medical institution, it cannot provide official vaccination advice. However, we do strongly advise that you consult your doctor and international health organisations and obtain all the highly recommended vaccinations for South East Asia.
Is travel insurance included and/or mandatory?
Travel insurance is not included, nor is it mandatory. We do, however, strongly advise that you take out a personal travel insurance policy – one that includes medical and emergency coverage.
Will SOLS 24/7 be covering the costs of the visa(s)?
Yes, SOLS 24/7 will be covering the long-term visa costs for your Project 100 placements.
Do I need a visa for the country where my placement will be?
Yes, SOLS 24/7 will complete your long-term visa application process after your arrival into Malaysia. You can enter Malaysia by obtaining a visa-on-arrival. It will be stamped directly into your passport at immigration; it is free. This is a temporary visa (1-3 months depending on home country). SOLS 24/7 will apply and pay for your long-term visa.
Do I have to book just one way ticket? If I do not have to book the return ticket could it be any problems upon arrival?
Usually our volunteers do not have any problems at immigration upon arrival. However, sometimes the immigration office do random checks and ask for a return ticket or a ticket to another country before the expiration date of the holiday visa. So, to avoid this situation, as soon as we know your flight details, we will buy bus or flight ticket on your behalf and send it to you.
Do I need to have specific skills or qualifications to teach?
SOLS 24/7 does not require you to have any teaching experience or qualifications. You will learn how to teach SOLS 24/7 education programmes. What is more important to us is that you have a big heart, lots of energy, can assume a leadership role and handle many varying responsibilities.
Location and Accommodation
Where exactly are the other community centres?
Changemakers will be placed in SOLS 24/7 community centres or with partner NGOs located in one of five locations: Malaysia – Peninsular or Borneo (Sabah), Cambodia, Laos and Timor-Leste.
Do you provide for health insurance or any basic health coverage?
SOLS 24/7 cannot provide health insurance any health coverage. We recommend that changemakers take out a travel insurance policy that covers medical costs.
Can I choose in which country I want to work?
When you apply to be a part of Project 100, you will have the opportunity to specify a country preference. However, SOLS 24/7 needs to retain the ability to place changemakers where they are most needed and best suited.
Will there be internet available where I will be teaching?
Many of our centres provide an internet connection. However, many of the centres are in rural areas do not have internet connection. If you have a smartphone, you may be able to purchase call credit that allows you to go online via the mobile (cell) phone network.
What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation varies by location. Many of SOLS 24/7 centres are rurally based to reach the communities most in need. Locations are often beautiful, though very humble.
All accommodation is very communal. Food is eaten together, bathrooms and living spaces are shared. Centres are built on strong foundations of warmth and intimacy; families are always welcome!
Is the accommodation safe? If I have valuable objects, where can I put them?
There is of course always a slight risk wherever you live, but centres are not located in turbulent or unsafe areas. Take the same normal precautions with your things as you would anywhere – don’t leave valuables out in the open and lock your bedroom door.
For extra precaution SOLS 24/7 will provide each changemaker with a large lockable container that can hold valuables and equipment.
Could I find my own accommodation if I wanted?
If you wish to find your own accommodation you can, but SOLS 24/7 cannot provide a budget for this. Your role as a changemaker will involve hours and duties that do not fall in typical 9-5 bracket. Living at the school is the best way to fully engage with these responsibilities. Do take note, that living off school premises will also make it harder to form close personal relationships with the students, teachers and other volunteers.
Must I be married to share a room with my partner?
No, but we do please ask that you are in a committed relationship. Even if you are in a relationship or married, there may be times when you will be placed in same-sex dorms while a private room is arranged.
Do you accommodate special nutritional or allergic dietary needs?
Let us know about any allergies or special dietary requirements and we will do our utmost to accommodate them.
What to Bring and What to Wear
What key items should I bring with me for my placement?
– Should be light weight, modest and professional
– Bring some clothes for rougher work (i.e. painting or gardening)
– Some long sleeved and long legged items are advisable to help prevent evening mosquito bites.
– One pair sandals
– One pair flip-flops
– One sturdier pair of shoes – hiking boots/trainers
• Bedding (i.e. base sheet & pillow case)
• Small first aid kit
• Sun cream
A wide variety of items (both western & otherwise) are available in Kuala Lumpur. Here, changemakers will have the opportunity to purchase additional materials such as hygiene products, stationary etc.
What is the appropriate dress code for teaching?
Please remember when packing that you will be a guest in a conservative country and many placements will be in rural areas. Clothes should be modest, but do not necessarily need to be long sleeved or to the ankles. Teaching clothes need to be neat and professional. Short sleeves are fine for weekends as are modest tanktops. Skirts should be to the knee or close and blouses should not be too low.
Should I bring my laptop with me?
SOLS 24/7 highly recommends that you bring your own laptop with you to help you teach, stay connected with people back home, and provide a method of personal storage and entertainment.
What to Bring and What to Wear
What will I be doing?
You will be trained to teach English, Life Skills and possibly IT and Management (depending on need and location). Teaching is only half of your role. You will also be responsible for managing the community centre and developing leadership in the community.
The key word to remember is service and as a changemaker you need to act as a guide, a motivator and friend. All of this may manifest in various ways: from painting a building, to designing a mural in a public space, to planting a garden, or hosting a story hour for local toddlers. The idea is for you to get creative and begin a foundation on which the community can grow!
Is it possible to get a permanent position after one year?
Yes, it is of course possible. The decision will be determined on a case by case basis according to feedback from immediate supervisors and SOLS 24/7 directors.
Can I change community centres throughout the year if I wanted?
SOLS 24/7 would prefer that you remain in one centre for the duration of your stay; in order to build the strongest foundations and relationships possible. However, we are always open to requests and we will never ask you to remain in a location where you are unhappy.
Will I be working with other volunteers in the community centres?
It will vary by country and centre but most often, yes.
Will I get any vacation time during the year to travel?
Yes, all changemakers will receive 10 days of holiday to use for travelling or otherwise. Changemakers will also be off on all the school holidays. Because of a variety of ethnic and national holidays, these are numerous. School holidays amount to around two months total, broken into week long, and single day occasions. SOLS 24/7 is also very happy to accommodate requests for extra time off. We are flexible!
How is a typical working day? Do I have free weekends?
A typical day begins at 9am and ends at 6pm. Weekends and evenings will, for the most part, be at your disposal to spend as you like but it will depends on which community centre you will live in.
After three months how much will the living allowance be?
Living allowance/stipend is US $100-300 per month. After a 3 month probationary period, changemakers will receive an automatic living allowance of US $100 per month. There is a possibility that this will increase, over time and according to performance, to US $300 per month. Changemakers will receive all food, accommodation, visa and internal transport for free, for the entirety of their stay!