FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you pronounce Amizade?
A: Amizade is pronounced ah-mee-zha-jee.

Q: What does Amizade mean?
A: Amizade is the Portuguese word for friendship.

Q: Can anyone volunteer with Amizade?
A: Yes, virtually anyone has the opportunity to volunteer in an Amizade service-learning course, group program, open group, or individual program. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds, occupations, and range in age from 12 – 93.

Q: I am a faculty member interested in running a program with Amizade. How can I do this?
A: Amizade works with faculty members from the around the United States to coordinate service-learning opportunities. Start by checking our faculty-led section of the website, then give us a call!

Q: I am an alternative break organizer. How can I work with Amizade?
A: Amizade works with leaders like you everyday to coordinate customized community-driven, action-oriented, service-learning programs. Our sites in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Appalachia, Mexico, Navajo Nation, Northern Ireland, Washington, DC, and Ghana make great alternative spring break locations.

Q: How can I fund my program?
A: At first, funding your program may seem like a difficult task. But don’t worry! Check out Amizade’s page on Fundraising to Build a Better World. Within this page you’ll find that Amizade works hard to provide you with opportunities to apply for private scholarships and our Amizade Scholarship. Amizade also provides our volunteers with a personal Fundraising Guide that will walk you through the essential steps of raising the necessary funds. If you are a university or college student Amizade helps you work with your Study Abroad Office or Financial Aid Office to ensure that you are receiving sufficient aid. If you are a West Virginia University student be sure to check out our the further information for WVU students out our WVU Financial Aid Page.

Q: Do all Amizade programs gain college credit?
A: No, Amizade is not just for college students. Our service-learning courses are accredited through West Virginia University and our faculty-led group programming allows universities to lead their own groups at our various sites.  However, group, open group, and individual programming provides volunteering opportunities for those not seeking university credit.

Q: Do you have liability insurance?
A: Yes, we carry both international and domestic liability insurance, as well as all other necessary insurances. It’s important to note that Amizade works very closely with our on-sight coordinators as well as monitors global events regarding the regions of our involvement. Amizade boosts a 17-year strong safety record with 6,000 volunteers to date serving without injury.

Q: Do you offer health, evacuation, or trip insurance for your programs?
A: Yes, Amizade is proud to announce that, in addition to complimentary health and evacuation for all individual, group, and open group volunteer programs, we now include trip protection as well. Please note that this is for all international programs only, and not available for US programs.

Q: Where do we sleep?
A: Participants in Amizade programs will always have a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Accommodations for group programs and service-learning courses are in communal guesthouses, homestays, hostels, or dormitories. Individual programming gives you the possibility of connecting with the local culture through homestays where you sleep in the quarters of a trusted community member. All sleeping accommodations are coordinated well in advance and safety is the highest concern. Amizade provides its participants with mosquito nets in areas where malaria is prevalent.

Q: Can you accommodate vegetarians?
A: Yes, throughout your participation in a program, Amizade does its best to accommodate meal requirements. That said, vegans and vegetarians will find some countries far easier to enjoy than others.

Q: Do we work all the time during our stay?
A: Amizade ensures that your program is packed with service-learning experiences. Service is a major component of Amizade, but this work is balanced with cultural activities that encourage you to engage with the community beyond your designated service work. Amizade also encourages downtime where participants have time to reflect on their experiences within the community.

Q: What do we do for fun?
A: Amizade coordinates fun cultural activities such as safaris, hikes through the Grand Canyon, river tours through the Amazon, and so much more. However, during participants downtime, we encourage our participants to engage with the community through fun activities such as sports, relaxing at a local café, or possibly learning to cook the local food.

Q: Do I need to purchase my own flight?
A: Yes, participants in Amizade programs are required to personally purchase their own roundtrip flights to and from our sites. However, Amizade covers internal flights and transportation during your program participation. Amizade provides you with travel agencies that work alongside Amizade to coordinate the most affordable flight costs possible. Flight purchases are done directly with our travel agency partners. Amizade will inform you in advance when it is necessary to contact our travel agency partners and make a booking.

Q: Can small children join a program?
A: Yes, this is possible for some of our sites. Please contact our offices for more information.

Q: Do you ever give program refunds?
A: No, unless a program is canceled or otherwise noted in a contract.

Q: How can my community benefit from Amizade’s volunteers?
A: At this time, Amizade is not expanding to other host communities. That said, we are always interested in making new friends, so feel free to stay engaged in our work!

Q: I love Amizade. Can I work or intern in your main offices?
A: There are currently no full time positions available with Amizade. However, Amizade annually provides internship and volunteer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in proximity of our Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV offices.

Q: I’m too busy to volunteer with Amizade. How can I still help?
A: We understand that there are many others out there like yourself who want to volunteer but do not have the time to give. But time is not the only way you can support us. Amizade is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that accepts tax deductible donations. Without our generous donors, Amizade would be unable to provide our volunteers the opportunity to serve, learn, and connect to communities abroad. Check out our support page where you can choose your best method of assistance.

Q: Your website is awesome. Who made it?
A: Our website is great right? It was designed by www.clicknathan.com

Q: Your logo is awesome. Who made it?
A: Our logo has gone through many changes throughout our 19-year existence. Our current logo was designed by Jason Cordova.