The Top 10 Questions Asked By IVHQ Volunteers Heading To Spain
Question 1 : Which airport do volunteers fly into?
So you want to fly into Madrid International Airport. It’s super easy - as soon as you get there the local team will pick you up and they’ll transport you back to the apartment.
Question 2 : How far is the accommodation away from the airport?
It really depends on traffic, because you’re dealing with about three million people in Madrid. Typically on a good day you’re looking at about 20 minutes drive.
Question 3 - What visas are required to volunteer in Spain?
Most nationalities are able to obtain a tourist stamp on their passport when they arrive at the airport. It’s super easy, you just walk up, hand them your passport and they will stamp it for you. For some nationalities it’s a bit trickier. They might have to get in touch with the nearest Spanish Embassy to determine the application process.
Question 4 - What is the volunteer accommodation like?
So the accommodation in Madrid is awesome. It is a chalet in a residential area outside the city center but very well connected. Within 30 minutes you can be in the center of the city to visit museums, do some shopping, etc. It is a very safe area and in the house you’ll live with up to 30 volunteers when it reaches maximum capacity. You have access to a paid laundry service and there are 4 bathrooms. You are probably going to share a room with 6 or 10 other volunteers. There is a small garden in the backyard for you to enjoy the good weather of Madrid.
Question 5 - Are accommodation upgrades available?
Unfortunately at this point in time there are no private rooms available, but we are looking to change that in the future.
Question 6 - Is it safe to volunteer in Spain?
It is very safe. I have been there multiple times on my own, and as a female traveler I’ve had no concerns with the safety in the area. There’s plenty of security at the apartment and the placements are a short distance away (walking and on the metro) so you’re always going to be around other people. Of course you’ve also got the support of the local team.
Question 7 - Is Spain suitable for solo travelers?
It is, and I would say the large majority of our volunteers are solo travelers. It’s awesome because it’s a great way to network with people from around the world, and you meet up at orientation. Large numbers of people will get together and travel together. Often what happens is a volunteer will say; “I really want to do this on the weekend, do you want to do that with me?”
Question 8 - How do volunteers travel to their placements?
On the first day, your program coordinator will travel with you via public transport. Most placements are between a 15 and 50 minute commute.
Question 9 - Is there a language barrier at the placements?
There is at some placements, but it’s definitely manageable. I would say the biggest language barrier we see is at our teaching and after school support placements. That’s simply because a lot of the individuals we are working with are either kids who aren’t familiar with the English language, or are adults and they’re only just deciding that they want to acquire the English language. Having a little bit of experience in speaking Spanish is always helpful, but not the end of the world if you don’t. You’re program coordinators are always there to support you.
Question 10 - What should volunteers in their weekends?
There is absolutely no shortage of things to see and do in the area. From food to art, history to markets, to concerts; everything you can imagine is there. On the weekends, some volunteers choose to travel abroad as it’s quite cheap to travel in and around Europe on the train and on some airlines. Often people go over to Barcelona, it’s about an hour’s flight at the most. There’s always something to do.
To continue researching your to Spain, be sure to browse the Spain program webpage, or start your journey by applying below.