Who can Volunteer with Rising Star Outreach?
We welcome people from any part of the world. Volunteers must be 18 years or older, or attend with a parent or guardian. In good health and have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. Couples and Families are welcome too. We make special provisions for families and special groups. Please call to make arrangements (801) 820-0466
Does Rising Star Outreach help with the Visa?
Receiving a visa is the volunteer’s responsibility. All volunteers must have a current visa in order to travel to India. Rising Star Outreach will provide tips and written instruction, once the volunteer application has been approved.
We recommend that you apply for either a 6 month TOURIST VISA about 1.5 - 2 months prior to your session or a 30 day in country ETA VISA.
How long does it take to process my Rising Star Outreach volunteer application?
Once you have applied, we will send you details of your placement usually within 3 business days.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need?
We recommend you speak to your doctor before coming. The following vaccinations are recommended for travel to India:
1. Hepatitis A & B
3. Recommended treatment for Malaria.
6. Yellow Fever
Do you recommend any cheap airlines flying to India?
You will be flying into the Chennai/Madras (MAA) Airport
What will happen once I arrive in India?
All volunteers need to arrive one day before their program start date. You will be picked up by the Marriott Courtyard shuttle and taken to the hotel for one night. Rising Star Outreach will pick you up at 10 AM in the hotel lobby the day of your session unless other arrangements have been made with the US Program Director.
Tell me more about my accommodations
Accommodations will be provided from your session start date to the end of the program. Our campus has all necessary amenities for your stay. You will need to bring your own toiletries. An informational video is available for more information in the right hand column. "Where will I stay in India"
Do I need to purchase travel / health insurance?
We recommend that you purchase travel/ health insurance.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in India?
Your program fee covers your on campus food, accommodation, airport pick-up, Orientation, Pre-Departure information and in country staff support. You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as telephone, shopping, etc. We recommend around $50 per week for basic personal expenses. Remember, this all depend on how much you like to shop.
Is there phone and internet available on campus?
Yes, there are several phones on campus. We have our own cell phone tower. However, we recommend that you use email , Skype, Facebook or other apps to keep in touch with family and friends. Your mobile phone will most likely not work and international calls can be very expensive. If you have a SMART phone you can turn off the data and service and use the wifi feature.
What should I do in case of an emergency during my trip?
You will be provided with instructions before you leave for your trip including phone numbers, addresses or people that can help you.
Where can I change my money in India? Are there ATM’s?
There are multiple options, you can exchange money before you travel by visiting your bank and they can give you Indian Rupees. Other options include exchanging cash by visiting a bank or currency exchange kiosk. For these services you will need to have a passport with you. A currency exchange service is located near baggage claim in the Chennai Airport. Another option is ATM's, you could have charges that apply for a foreign transaction but they are located all around Chennai and Delhi.
What will be the food arrangement? Can I drink the water?
You are offered at least 3 traditional Indian meals a day, consisting of rice, vegetable, fruit and sometimes chicken. Breakfast and lunch are not taken as a group. Each indavidual will need to decide if they want to take advantage of the Indian meals that are prepared. If you do not want to eat all 3 Indian meals we suggest bringing your own snacks, cereal and other items. There are rotations in your schedule for when you are not on campus (construction/medical groups), we suggest bringing snacks to eat while you are away. We have clean water on tap.
Should I be worried about contracting Leprosy?
No, contracting leprosy is very unlikely with a healthy immune system and limited exposure.
Where will I stay in India?
What will I do when I arrive in India?
How do other volunteers feel?