Where you want to go?
Interested Projects?
Total Length of stay?

   5 Projects in Xi'an
English Teaching in Schools
Assisting at Orphange Homes
Kindergarten Assistant
Working with disabled children
Panda Conservation project in China

 China Volunteer
Volunteer in
Shanghai China
Volunteer in
Sichuan China
Volunteer in
Su Zhou China
Volunteer in
Xi'an China

 Related Resources
Flight & Travel Insurance
Food and Accommodation
Visa Requirements
Health and Safety
Vaccination requirements
Materials to Bring
What you can do in Time
Contact US
General Questions, Before you Travel

Q: What’s the best time to apply for a Chinese volunteer program?
A: The best time to apply for the Chinese program is during the 2nd and 4th Monday each month. Also, please submit an application at least 2 months before the target volunteer period so that your application is given enough time to be processed, however, you may try to expedite your request by directly contacting the GVS offices. You can, however, apply for these programs year-round, as China offers programs anytime of the year.

Q: How long will it take for GVS to process my application?
A: Generally, it will take GVS around 1-3 weeks to process a volunteer application, depending on the host country in question, the program desired and the number of volunteers applying for the program.

Q: What are the documents required from me during the application period?
A: Please refer to the website to find out which documents you are required to send to make the application run smoother. Depending on the host country and/or volunteer program desired, you could be required to submit special documents.

Q: Are there necessary qualifications for volunteers in the China program?
A: GVS requires all Chinese based volunteers to be in good health, 18 years and above (if younger, please obtain written permission from a parent or a guardian). No specific qualifications are required, only you have to be creative and willing to explore new places, and of course, have a passion and dedication for service to others.

Passport/visa requirements:

It is recommended that all volunteers acquire their necessary visa before leaving for Cambodia, to avoid further problems and airport when already abroad.
However, All Foreign Visitors are now able to obtain the Cambodia visa upon arrival at the airport.  A passport with at least a six-month validity period is required.  Any traveler to Cambodia can stay on a tourist visa (20 US $) or a business visa (25 US $) for one month. The visas can be obtained at the Cambodian Embassy in your country or at the Pochentong International Airport in Phnom Penh upon arrival. The tourist visa can be extended for one month (40 US $) and the business visa can be extended for a maximum one year (for 3 months 80 US $, for 6 months 160 US $ and for 12 months 290 US $). 

The visa can be obtained at the Chinese embassy in London by email.

See: http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/ or at the Pochentong International Airport in Phnom Penh upon arrival for more details.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has launched their e-Visa program, which enables you to apply for a Cambodia tourist visa online. Instead of applying through Cambodian Embassy, all you need to do is to complete the online application form and pay with your credit card. After receiving your Visa through email, print it out and bring it along when you travel to Cambodia. 

Program Informations

Q: What in-country support do I have, when in China?
A: GVS will have an in-country office with both country coordinator and staff that you can contact anytime regarding questions, problems or inquiries.

Q: Can I get a daily schedule of programs in China?
A: Please refer to the website to get a general idea of both programs and daily itineraries in the Chinese programs. Please take note, that the listed programs and itineraries are merely samples, and are subject to change depending on conditions such as weather, social and political climate, country health status, etc.

Q: Where are the Chinese programs situated?
A: The Chinese programs will take place in Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an etc; the country’s centers for government, finance, culture and religion. You may be placed in small villages near or around Xian and Beijing, but you will never be beyond 2 hours travel from the main city.

Q: What is the official language of China?
A: The official language of China is called Mandarin (Standard Chinese). Chinese is a very simple and beautiful language.

Q: How long does the China volunteer program last?
A: The GVS program will last anywhere from 2-12 weeks, however, you have the option of extending your stay. Just contact the GVS office at least 5 days before your program duration is finished so that further arrangements can be made.

Travel Informations

Q: Will GVS arrange my flight to China?
A: No, your flight going to China is your responsibility. It will be up to you to make necessary arrangements regarding your transportation to China.

Q: Is there a particular airport that I must contact and book my flight with?
A: Yes, the Beijing capital International Airport is China’s major international airport, and they handle all international flights. Once there, the GVS representative will meet up with you, and take you to your host family.  Detailed information is available in the pre-departure book that will be given to all volunteers before they start their program. 

Q: When should I arrive in China?
A: The GVS China programs usually start on every 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month so it is advisable to come on a Sunday in order to get a bit of rest and orientation before your program begins. However, you can come earlier to get yourself more familiar with the surroundings; for this, you will be required to find a temporary place to stay.

Q: How will I recognize the GVS country coordinator?
A: The GVS country coordinator will be waiting for you at the “Arrival” gate. Please look for a person who is bearing both the Global Volunteer Solution’s company logo and your name on a sign card. In case your contact person is not there yet, please contact the GVS office and we will immediately follow up on your contact person whereabouts. Coordinators’ contact details are available in the pre-departure handbook.  

Q: What should I do if my flight to China is delayed?
A: Immediately contact GVS so that we can make adjustments to your program.  GVS will be responsible for creating the necessary changes in your program.

Q: What happens if my in-country contact fails to show up?                          
A: In the event that the country coordinator does not meet you at the airport, please take a taxi and go immediately to one of the hotels listed on your pre-departure booklet in order to ensure safety and communication with GVS. Please take a receipt from the taxi so that GVS may reimburse any fees that you have spent.

Q: Is there anything I need to prepare before leaving for China?
A: Please make sure that you have travel documents and some extra money on hand, in case of emergencies or unseen expenditures. More importantly, you should have all necessary contact information such as phone numbers or address of country coordinators, host family, hotel etc, on hand. You can find all the information details in the pre-departure-handbook

Q: How do I travel back to the airport after my volunteer program?
A: Your program fee does not cover a return trip to the airport. It is your own responsibility to hire a taxi or a bus; however, the local country coordinator would be more than happy to assist you in making transportation arrangements.

Board and Lodging Information

Q: Where, how and with Whom Will I be staying with in China?
A:  GVS will be placing all volunteers with host families, or hostel or orphanage. Your board and lodging will be dependent on the type of project you have chosen. However, each host family or orphanage is thoroughly inspected to ensure volunteer safety and comfort during the volunteer duration. You will eat, sleep and stay with the family during your resting hours. You will be provided same accommodation facilities prepared by family, your bathroom and laundry facilities will be the same as the host family you are staying with. You should not expect luxurious accommodations, as you will be living in-house with the host family or orphanage, because we want that, you create a truly deep relationship with these people.

Q: What room will I be staying in?
A:  Your room arrangements will be dependent on your project and the number of the volunteers that are placed in the same or near by projects. If there are a small number of volunteers in the same program with you, you will stay in a single room with the host family. Otherwise you will need to share the same room with more than two volunteers, but the situation will still be dependent on the room size and bed number availability; however you will be given privacy and your own sleeping space.

Q: Can I stay with my girlfriend/boyfriend or female/male friend at the same room?
A: GVS safety polices will not allow you to have someone of the opposite sex stay in your room with you, unless you are married couple. Please discuss with site coordinator, project director and host family to get their permission. Because of the cultural matters, most of developing counties do not allow to stay with girlfriend/boyfriend or male and female in the same room.

Q. Can I bring my local villager friend in my room?
A: No, you are not allowed to bring any friends unless you get the permission from both host family and coordinator. There have been reports of thefts and damaged belongings, when volunteers bring locals into their rooms, and GVS wishes to avoid the same incidents with their volunteers. 

Q: Can I bring electrical appliances?
A: Yes, but please make sure to bring your own required adaptors.

Q: What about my meals?
A: Three times a day, you will be provided with local meals prepared by your host family. If you have a special diet or you want other food, you are more than welcome to go out and eat at international restaurants. GVS does not reimburse the volunteers for outdoor dining expenses.  You will pay for outdoor meal expenses.

Q. What are the dos and don’ts during the project duration and the stay with the host family?
A: All details regarding proper behavior and decorum will be given in the pre-departure booklet of the host country given to you by GVS.  Please make sure to read it thoroughly before your departure.

Q: What happens, if I am unhappy with my project or hosting facilities?
A: Changes of placement and hosting facilities can be made only for very special reasons, but not before, the participant will be asked to try to adjust in the first placement. We kindly ask all participants to stay in their assigned placement for a minimum of one month before changing to a new placement. We consider that it is the time required to adapt and contribute to a long-term project.

Please note that, we work very hard to try to place you in the project you are interested in, but we cannot fulfill everyone’s wishes. We always try to provide the best possibilities for our volunteers, but there is no guarantee that you get the project you have applied for as a first choice. Therefore we request all participants to make a minimum of 3 choices on their application form.

Q: May I decide how long I want to stay once I get there?
A: No. You must make a final decision once you fill in the application form. Both project coordinator and host family must know in advance the date of your departure. You may stay in the country longer, of course, but you must leave the project site and host family home on the date agreed before.

Q: What do I do in my free time when I am not working in the project?
A: Weekends are free, and you can plan accordingly any travel or leisure time activities. Holidays or days off during your voluntary service are not allowed.

Q: What about drinking water?
A: Please do not drink running tap water. Bottled mineral water is safer, easily available and very cheap. You can obtain them from local supermarkets or convenience stores.

Health and Safety Questions

Q: Is it safe in China?
A: GVS has taken all health and safety precautions to ensure the most safety for all its volunteers. All project sites and host families are completely researched and studied about to minimize all risks. However, it will ultimately rely on your judgment and common sense to ensure the safety of your person and belongings.
Details on safety procedures are given in the pre-departure handbook.

Q: What are the principle health risks in China?
A: There are several health risks that you have to keep in mind when you are in China. Most medical services in China are not up to Western standards, and the rest are few and far between and very expensive. Please make sure that you have adequate health insurance, when you opt for the Chinese program.

AIDS: There is some health risks in China. Please protect yourself and your loved ones from unfamiliar situations involving drugs, blood or needles.

Hepatitis A and B: You can get this from improperly cooked or handled food, however, GVS will ensure the safety of your food as much as possible. You are also discouraged from buying and consuming foods from local markets or street stalls/vendors.

Malaria and Dengue:
Both diseases are very common, so please bring mosquito repellents.

Rabies: You should remain aware of and away from non-domestic or freely roaming dogs in China.

Typhoid: Volunteers should consider a vaccination if they are aiming for long stays and if you are an adventurous eater.
Numerous other health concerns exist, but not in abnormally high or epidemic proportions.

Q: Do I need to get health insurance?
A: GVS will be responsible for getting you comprehensive medical insurance. All you have to do is pay the insurance fees required.

Q: Who do I contact in case of a health-related emergency?
A: You will have the option of contacting the following people during a medical emergency: Global Volunteer Solution's In-Country Coordinator; Head of your Host family; or your country's embassy in China.

Q: What are the sanitary conditions in China?
A: Being a developing country, please remember to be prepared and never expect a clean or western-style toilet 100% of the time. Carry some tissue, should you need to use the public toilet. In the case of hotel lobby toilets, they are usually clean and can be found nearly everywhere, however, they may not carry tissue paper.

Money Information

Q: Are ATMs easily available? If yes, which debit and credit cards are accepted?
A: You can use major credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master and Visa. These are usually accepted at the local large hotels or tourist stores. In Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an, there are numerous ATMs available for your convenience. You can also opt to withdraw cash from most international banks from ATM machines, but $2-4 USD surcharges apply for each transaction. Most banks also accept foreign currency exchange, and the amount will depend on the daily exchange rate.

Q: What is the local currency and how do I know the exchange rate?
A: The Chinese Renminbi (meaning in Chinese: "people's currency") or Yuan is the official currency of the country.  The exchange rate is generally around 9.5 Yuan to one US dollar.

Q: How much money should I bring with me?
A: Since GVS will manage accommodations for volunteers from the first to the last day of each program, so it is not necessary to carry large sums of money. Please just carry enough pocket money (around $50 will get you through the day well enough) in case of sudden expenditures.

Q: Is it safe to carry cash with me?
A: Carrying cash is not safe – therefore, don't carry a large surplus of cash with you. Like mentioned above, please do not make yourself a target for unsafe situations.

Q: How do I make contact with the GVS in-country coordinator?
A: When your application is received, we will begin working on your placement. Once those details are finalized, you will receive a packet that includes information like how to contact the In-Country Coordinator.

Q: How can my family members contact me?
A: Once you settle down at the host family, you may use whatever method of communication is available to contact your family.

Local Culture Information

Q: Is there a special dress code that I should follow while staying in China?
A: China is quite a conservative country. Volunteers are expected to respect the local custom, their traditional rules and maintain a proper dress code. Women should not wear shorts, mini-skirts, strap shirts or any item of clothing that is very revealing or scandalous. Suitable dresses are T-shirts, cotton shirts, long skirts or pants. It's also necessary to cover the shoulder and your knees. The most practical clothing items for men are T-shirts and long pants.

Q: What should I know about China religious conduct?
A: China is very tolerant and respective towards other religions and beliefs. You will be allowed to practice according to your own beliefs; volunteers will not face any problems.

Q: How do I respect the Chinese people?
A: Volunteers need to adhere to a moral code and social conduct at all times. Please do not act in any scandalous or offensive manner. Always be polite and friendly at all times. Before entering a house or a temple you have to take off your shoes, and remember that to point your finger or to point with the naked sole of your foot to somebody is extremely impolite.
Smoking is not prohibited in most outdoor places but as a volunteer you are considered as a role model for students and children. Therefore, you should show good and well-mannered behavior. For those who smoke, they may do it in a way that does not disturb anybody. It is assumed that smoking is prohibited in the house of your host family and in your office. It is the same with drinking alcohol. Do not do it in public areas or in the community with students or children, please go to a pub or a bar.

Materials to Bring

.  Camera 
.  Sleeping bag 
.  Mosquito repellents and net 
.  Insect repellents 
.  Sunscreen 
.  Some books of China 
.  Map of China 
.  Toiletries 
.  First-aid kits 
.  Flash light 
.  Electricity adapter/converter 
.  Sunglasses 
.  Walking shoes (for work and travel) 
.  Towel

Free Time

Free time in China has very much different taste; as you will enjoy the beautiful scenic sites as well as help the local poor people by teaching and training them.  GVS wants its volunteers to enjoy their free time, so you can explore China by visiting the different historical and ancient places of Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an etc. You will also visit villages, cultural places; this will give you more knowledge about the simple lifestyle of China. Volunteers in their free time can also go for the shopping, meet with friends and have fun in their free time. Volunteers can also take orphans for different trips, programs and other events but at their own expense. Our program fee does not includes or cover your extra curricular activities. We can only give suggestions and advices about the traveling route and other booking information. How ever, China has huge numbers of beautiful and attractive tourist locations that you can easily discover in your free time.