Your programme starts with a language course of 2 to 12 weeks,
which is followed by a volunteer placement of either
4 weeks or 8 weeks. Please see the tables
below for details of destinations, durations, placements and
Placements are offered in the following fields: Social Work
& Education; Environmental; Admin, Marketing & Cultural;
Construction. Please note that you cannot choose your specific
field of work until you have submitted your booking and we
have sent out your Volunteer Profile form.
Why Learn The Language?
At Cactus we know only too well the benefit
of speaking a bit of the lingo in a foreign country. It's
not just the confidence and feeling of self-reward that comes
from being able to communicate with the locals - it's also
a valuable tool in making friends, breaking down barriers,
staying safe, getting to grips with the local culture and,
most importantly, having fun! By taking a language course
before your volunteer placement you will achieve all these
things and get much more out of your placement as a whole,
as will the volunteer organisation out of you.
We work with what we consider to be the best
school in each location for our client's needs. The criteria
we base this on include location, quality of teaching, size
of classes, facilities, accommodation and value for money.
Having personally visited each of our schools we have both
built strong relations and negotiated special prices to enable
you, the volunteers, to gain the maximum from your programme
at a low cost.
Your Language Classes &
You choose the length of your language course
(2 to 12 weeks). Your course will start on the first Monday
of the month, and you will have 20 group lessons each week,
which works out as 4 lessons each day in the morning, Monday
to Friday. Classes are kept small (the exact class size is
dependent on the school you attend) and all teachers are native,
university-trained professionals. You will sit a short placement
test on your first day to ensure that you are placed in the
correct group according to your level.
The school also runs a comprehensive programme
of activities and excursions for you to take part in during
the afternoons and weekends, some of which are included in
the price (eg. film night, dance class) and others of which
are not (eg. trip to the beach, museum entry, meal night).
During your language course you will have the chance to meet
your local Volunteer Coordinator and prepare for your placement,
which will follow on directly from your course.
:: Volunteer (4
weeks) & Language (2-12 weeks)
With this programme your volunteer placement will always be 4 weeks. You choose how long you want to study the language beforehand (2-12 weeks). Your programme will therefore last for a min 6 / max 16 weeks. Please click on the location links below for full programme details.
Language Level: You must be at least intermediate/advanced level to take the 6 week option (2 week language course + 4 week volunteering), and at least lower intermediate level to take the 7 week option (3 week language course + 4 week volunteering). All other programmes are available to beginners.
:: Volunteer (8
weeks) & Language (2-8 weeks)
With this programme your volunteer placement will always be 8 weeks. You choose how long you want to study the language beforehand (2-8 weeks). Your programme will therefore last for a min 10 / max 16 weeks. Please click on the location links below for full programme details.
Language Level: You must be at least intermediate/advanced level to take the 10 week option (2 week language course + 8 week volunteering), and at least lower intermediate level to take the 11 week option (3 week language course + 8 week volunteering). All other programmes are available to beginners.
:: Volunteer Feedback
"I cried when I had to leave the
kids. On my last day they each made me little cards..." More