1. Do I have to be a member of the church to apply to volunteer with Teachers Without Borders?
No, you do not! The network volunteers operate primarily in the education development cooperation projects of Finn Church Aid. Finn Church Aid does not engage in missionary work and works with everyone regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnic background, or political convictions. We respect the various convictions of our employees, volunteers and partners. Our work is based on human rights meaning that all our operations are guided by equality, non-discrimination and responsibility. We assess your suitability for a volunteer period based on your professional skill and experience solely.
2. Do I have a say in which educational level I will be teaching as a volunteer?
Our volunteers do not teach students in classrooms. We support the professional development and pedagogical expertise of colleagues and education sector actors, for example, by training, mentoring and coaching. So, the volunteers work with adults only.
3. Do I have to be a classroom teacher? Can I serve as a volunteer if I am an early childhood education teacher or a vocational teacher?
Our volunteers contribute to strengthening the expertise of teachers and education sector actors, so the most important thing is the ability to support colleagues. Whether you are a classroom teacher, a subject teacher, a vocational teacher or an early childhood education teacher by your background, your pedagogical studies and relevant work experience have given you a suitable foundation for most of the volunteer placements. Volunteers are sought according to the needs of the projects and versatile teaching and education expertise is needed. If some volunteer placement requires a certain specialisation this will be stated in the “Terms of Reference”.
4. Can I decide which country I will work in and where I will live once there?
As you apply, we ask you to apply to projects that match your professional skill and experience the best. Our objective is to offer high-quality Finnish professional expertise in teaching and education in all our projects to support the professional growth of colleagues. As we consider where to place each volunteer, we assess their areas of expertise and the needs of both the project and the stakeholders. Consequently, we may suggest a destination to the volunteer that they may not have originally applied to themselves.
5. Do I have to pay for my flights and living expenses as a volunteer?
No, you do not. We will cover the costs related to departing and your work during the period: for example, your vaccinations, visa, flights, accommodation in the destination country, and work-related travel or departure training sessions. Additionally, you will receive a modest monthly allowance, which covers some of the living expenses such as food.
6. If I send an application, does it mean that I am committed to departing abroad immediately?
No, sending your application files does not commit you to any volunteer period yet. In your application, we ask you to tell us when you would be available for a volunteer period. Once the application period ends, we go over all the applications. Next, we invite the most suitable people among the applicants for an interview. At the interview, you will hear more about the projects and your destination country as well. Then, based on the interviews, we offer volunteer positions to suitable candidates. If you accept the placement, we sign the volunteer agreement and begin preparing for your departure.