Frequently Asked Questions by Educators
The following Frequently Asked Questions may help answer some of yours, but we’d be happy to talk with you to answer any questions you may have. We are here to help!
Are there any benefits for educators who travel?
Yes! We’re we offer educators the following for all educational experiences:
- Paid travel expenses, including flight, lodging, meals, and international cell service.
- Complete planning and preparation support.
- A chance to visit and connect with inspiring local communities in countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ghana, Vietnam, and India.
- The opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people who both want and need your help.
- Growth and a broadening of your global awareness. You will come back with new friendships and lasting relationships.
- The chance to be part of a team of professionals working to ensure safety, impact, and fun for all.
- Working with students outside the classroom, off-campus, and in rich environments is a refreshing way to guide young people.
What is involved? What is the time commitment?
We strive to make our trips as turnkey as possible for educators. You can expect to dedicate 7-10 hours of preparation for your trip, plus travel time. Preparation includes the following:
Attend 1-2 Online Webinars (Approx. 1-2 hours)
Participate in one or two online webinars with other educators leading trips. Each webinar lasts one hour and takes place in the evening. During this time, DV staff will provide you with all the information you will need to lead the trip confidently.
Meet with DV Staff (Approx. 2 hours)
In addition, you will have one or two individual phone or in-person meetings with Dream Volunteers staff. We’re available to meet more often if you need additional support.
Lead Pre-Departure Meetings (Approx. 2-3 hours)
We will give you all the agendas and information you need to lead three pre-departure meetings, two for your students and one for your parents. Each session lasts approx. 45 minutes.
Travel Time (Approx. 1-3 Weeks)
The additional time commitment will be the trip itself, which lasts anywhere from one to three weeks.
How am I supported by Dream Volunteers?
Dream Volunteers wants you to feel supported, confident, and well-informed throughout our entire time together. If you’re debating the cost of travel, please know we’ll pay for your travel expenses and provide you with an on-location cellular phone service.
Before the trip, we’ll provide pre-trip webinars, personal phone calls, and sometimes, in-person meetings. Our support also includes complete agendas for your pre-trip meetings, as well as guidance for running them. During the trip, our local leaders will guide your group, be primarily responsible for the logistics, and manage the trip’s itinerary. You will have a knowledgeable, experienced, bilingual local program director to support you every step of the way. We also have our emergency protocols in place, which our on-site staff leads in case of illness, injury, or emergency.
Your chief role is to mentor your students and communicate back home with Dream Volunteers.
Dream Volunteers staff are available by phone anytime you need them during the trip and 9:00 – 5:00 Pacific Monday through Friday on days before the trip.
Is there a curriculum?
Yes, our team focuses on the growth and education of your students and the local youth your students will collaborate with during the trip. That’s why we have invested significant time and effort in developing a well-thought-out learning plan.
Dream Volunteers has a full pre-trip curriculum, as well as materials for during the trip. We provide you and the students with a field journal that contains topical content, instruction, reflection questions, and prompts. You’ll also receive meeting agendas, teaching content from us, and training on leading these sessions. Additionally, we’ll show you how to facilitate the reflection sessions and discussions on the trip.
What do I need to do before the trip?
You’ll participate in one or two online webinars with other educators leading trips. Dream Volunteers staff lead the webinars and will provide you with all the preparation and information you’ll need for the trip. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour and takes place in the evening. In addition, you will have one or two individual phone or in-person meetings with Dream Volunteers staff. Beyond that, you will deliver (with agendas and materials from Dream Volunteers) three pre-departure sessions to your students and one to the parents. Each meeting lasts approximately 45 minutes.
What are my duties on the trip?
Your role on this trip is to guide and inspire your students and support team communication. You’ll work with the local program director to teach the students through the experience and adapt the curriculum appropriately throughout the trip. In addition, we ask that you communicate regularly with DV headquarters staff to receive additional support and guidance. We also ask that you provide updates back to participant families, as well. You will have time to interact with your students one-on-one or in small groups, and with the support of our on-site director and team, you will have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself and enjoy the trip as a participant.
How does DV handle liability?
These are Dream Volunteers trips. We support you and your school in coordinating them for your students, and we assume the liability. Dream Volunteers has a $2,000,000 per occurrence general liability insurance policy.
What happens in an emergency?
We have tested emergency protocols in place and trained staff to support you throughout the trip and in the event of an emergency. You are not the main person in charge should there be an emergency. That said, you may be the first on the scene. We will walk you through our Risk Preparedness and Emergency Protocol Manual prior to the trip.
Can I speak with educators who have done this in the past?
Absolutely. There are several teachers and administrators who have taken their students on trips with us in the recent past who have made themselves available to share their experience with you and answer any questions you may have. Please fill out this inquiry form. One of these educators will respond to your questions and/or arrange a short phone call if that is what you prefer.