Participation and payment conditions
What to consider before applying
Before you apply, please check:
- How much does it cost to get to the camp site? Can I afford the costs?
- Do I need a visa to travel to the country of my choice? Do I have enough time to arrange it?
- Do I need to have any vaccinations for the country of my choice? Do I have enough time to do them before my departure?
Your application is binding. We therefore advise you to first read the participation conditions carefully. We consider the order of the camps that you listed (Choice #1-3) a priority list. List only workcamps you actually want to participate in.
Your application will be sent to the corresponding SCI-branch or SCI-partner organisation, which will inform us if there is a free place in your preferred workcamps. Usually this process does not take more than one week. If there is no vacancy in your workcamp of preference, we will offer you alternative workcamps.
Once you receive our confirmation letter, you have to confirm your participation in the workcamp by e-mail to the Swiss SCI-office and to your host country’s organisation as soon as possible.
Once you have been placed successfully, i.e. as soon as you are accepted in a camp that you have applied for, please pay the participation fee to SCI Switzerland. The fee will cover a part of our work expenses as well as your participation in the preparation seminar and the SCI autumn party.
- For workcamps in Switzerland: CHF 190.-
- For workcamps in other countries: CHF 240.-
- For workcamps Noth-South ( Africa, Asia and Latin America): CHF 290.-
In some countries an additional fee is demanded on-site at the beginning of the camp. In these cases, the extra fee is explicitly mentioned in the camp description.
Once you have applied for a workcamp with SCI, you will automatically obtain the SCI membership for the following year and you will receive our Newsletter magazine four times a year as well as an invitation to our annual assembly meeting.
- For non-salaried persons or those with low wage (students, people on job-seeker allowance etc.), there is a discount of CHF 30.-.
- Participation in more than one camp: If you take part in more than one camp in the same year, the fees for the second and any other workcamp in the same calendar year are CHF 100.- per camp (no additional discount for non-salaried persons or those with low wage).
In case you decide to take part in a different workcamp than the one you applied for after being placed successfully, there will be a fee of CHF 50.- for the camp change.
Cancellation of participation
In case you cannot attend your workcamp for whatever reason, you have to inform the SCI-office and the organisation in your host country immediately. If you cancel after your placement has been completed, there will be a cancellation fee irrespective of whether you confirmed your participation or not. If your cancellation is made more than three weeks before the camp starts, you will have to pay 60% of the participation fee, if it is made less than three weeks before the camp starts, the cancellation fee constitutes 80% of the participation fee. In the following cases you will have to pay the whole fee: if you cancel upon the start of the camp, if you do not show up at the camp at all or if you leave the camp early. SCI cannot refund your travel expenses.
Cancellation of a camp by SCI
Sometimes a workcamp has to be postponed or cancelled on a short notice. In these cases, we will try to offer you an alternative. If we fail at finding a convenient alternative for you, the whole participation fee will be refunded. However, SCI Switzerland assumes no liability for previously purchased travel tickets.
In justified cases a participant can be suspended from the camp. If so, the volunteer is not entitled to reimbursement of the participation fees.
- 16 for workcamps in Switzerland and camps that specifically accept a minimum age of 16
- 18 for the other workcamps
- 20 for workcamps in the North-South exchange
Exceptions: We request a motivation letter for workcamps in Russia, Belarus, Central Asian and Caucasian countries and all other non-European countries.
Preparation and active participation
We recommend volunteers to participate in a preparation seminar (especially to those who take part in a SCI workcamp for the first time). The participation is mandatory for volunteers, who wish to go to North Africa or to the Middle East (Palestine...). As a participant in a workcamp, you need to be willing to help with everyday work and to take active part in the social events (group activities, discussions etc.)
Documents for the workcamp
You will get the detailed info sheet for your workcamp once we have received the payment for your fees. It will be sent to you by e-mail at the latest two weeks before your camp starts.
Trip and travel documents
You have to organize your journey, visa (if required) and cover your travel expenses yourself. Once your application is complete, it obliges you to arrive at the camp site at the official start of the camp on your own expense. Usually the day of arrival coincides with the first camp day.
We can provide you with an invitation letter from your host country, in case you need one for your visa application.
All volunteers need to arrange sufficient insurance coverage themselves. SCI provides only an additional insurance that can cover costs in case of illness or accident that might occur during the time of the workcamp. For this reason, we strongly recommend that volunteers have their health insurance card with them.
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