VIM Application

How to apply online

If you'd prefer not to apply online you can also fill out a paper application (.PDF file) and mail it back to us. You can also submit your application over the phone. Our Phone number is 1 (877) 463-7432 for international calls.

Complete the application form as fully as possible. To help ensure that the application process goes as smoothly as possibly, please see our Application Tips. While it is useful for us to have your passport number and referee details they are not immediately crucial to start processing your application. A deposit of $295 American or Canadian Dollars is required with your application. The deposit will go toward the total cost of your program and is not an additional fee. We will immediately acknowledge receipt of your application and deposit payment.

Please call us or email us if there's anything you would like to discuss. Our basic package includes food, accommodation, insurance, and the support of our staff at home and at your destination.

VIM Online

VIM Online is our online system, which allows you to log on to your own dedicated web page. Here we'll keep you up-to-date with the organization of your placement. We'll send you regular e-mail updates to tell you when there's something new on your page. If you don't have an e-mail address or easy access to the Internet, or just prefer to have hard copies sent to you don't worry; we still send information by post on request.

What happens next?

As soon as you are accepted, our Team will contact you about flights.

Within fifteen working days we expect to write to welcome you formally on to our program. At this point we will send you your VIM online login name, password and instructions by email. You can use these to access the following information on your own dedicated web-page:

  • General information about your destination, along with information about Volunteer Inn staff, offices etc.
  • Our teaching ideas booklet (if you've applied for teaching)
  • An invoice for the balance of our fee, payable three months before departure (or immediately, if there are less than three months to go)
  • Our formal Terms and Conditions
  • An 'Everything You Need to Know' chart about traveling in the developing world
  • A questionnaire for you to fill in and return, so we can match you to your job

Visa information, if it applies to you, will also be uploaded onto your dedicated VIM Online page, or sent to you, usually between one and four months before your departure. This time-frame depends on embassies and application deadlines.

About a month before your departure, we will upload or send you full information about your particular placement.

Amendments & Cancellations

If personal, academic or other circumstances turn out to make travel impossible at the time planned, placements can normally be deferred without cost or for a minimal charge. Please call us to discuss your situation.

Amendments, cancellations or part-cancellations must be notified in writing. The charge for amendments ranges from $75 to $130 plus the amount charged to Volunteer Inn Mexico by third parties.  If the total cost is going to exceed $180, we will provide you with a quote before proceeding. Cancellation charges depend on how far in advance of your stated departure date we have been informed in writing.  Your stated departure date refers to the earliest of either: the “preferred departure date” entered on your original application form or any subsequently agreed upon date.  If only a month and a year are specified on the application form, the "preferred departure date" is the 1st of the month specified:

  • Notice of 3 months or more - $100
  • Notice of 2-3 months - One third of total program fee
  • Notice of 1-2 months - Two thirds of total program fee
  • Notice of less than 1 month - No refund

Please note that the above cancellation charges apply whether an application is made more than three months before the stated departure date or less than three months before the stated departure date. Deposits paid less than three months before the stated departure date, defined as above, are non-refundable.

Please also note that if you have made your final payment, cancellation insurance will be available in defined circumstances.

Please remember - we're not responsible for everything.

If you choose to take part in one of our programs, we cannot allow for every eventuality. You will be choosing to travel far afield to places that can be both exotic and unpredictable. Lifestyles and conditions will be different from those you are used to - not necessarily worse but different. Please be prepared to cope with the unexpected, with local customs and shortages; with the vagaries of weather, travel and mankind in general. Common sense and good humor will see you through most things.

Terms and Conditions of VIM programs

Hours and Flexibility

  1. You and we are expected to show reasonable flexibility in arranging your hours of work, within the limitations set out in 2 and 3, below.
  2. When you join a Volunteer Inn Mexico program you may be expected to work the normal school or office hours of the country you have chosen, although exact working hours will vary between specific countries, projects and even individual placements. Your hours will typically be spread over a five day working week, and should not normally exceed 8 hours a day. You should never be required to work for more than a maximum of six days a week.
  3. You will be entitled to have two weeks of holiday as part of every 12 weeks booked. This means that you may choose not to work for two weeks out of every 12 weeks that your project lasts. We strongly prefer that this holiday is taken at the end of your placement. There is no holiday entitlement for bookings of less than twelve weeks.

Accommodations and Food

  1. Volunteer Inn Mexico is responsible for providing your accommodations and food for the period of your placement.
  2. If you choose to stay at the accommodations provided by Volunteer Inn Mexico during the holiday period to which you are entitled, then food and accommodations will be provided without further charge, but not in any other circumstances.
  3. If you would like more than your entitled holiday, we can normally make the necessary arrangements for you if you ask us well in advance, but we will not be responsible for providing food, accommodations or insurance for the extended time.
  4. Volunteer Inn Mexico staff have to obtain permission from and register you with local Police and immigration authorities to enable you to stay in local accommodations during your placement. It is a condition of their permission that you should not invite guests (either local or foreign) to stay overnight at your accommodations without prior approval from the relevant authority. Failure to adhere to this condition will be a disciplinary matter and will be dealt with according to ‘Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures’ below.

Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures

  1. We will be flexible, helpful and friendly - in particular, we will try to help you with your work if you’re trying hard, but still getting into difficulties. Nevertheless, formal complaints procedures (by you) and disciplinary procedures (by us) are necessary, and these are laid out in 11 to 13, below.
  2. If you have a complaint about the procedures leading up to your departure, call the New York office at 1 877 463-7432 in EST office hours or our Director’s office at +52 (1) 999-239-3592 in Mexico office hours and they will deal with it as quickly as possible, whether it be about our central administration or about any of our Volunteer Advisors based in our destinations. When you are on your placement, please bear in mind that you need to show a high level of independence and initiative in dealing with problems yourself as they arise. If you have a problem or complaint to do with your work, please discuss the matter first with your supervisor at the teaching or project placement. If it is not resolved in this way or if it is to do with your accommodation, please discuss the matter with our senior organiser in your destination country, or one of his or her assistants. Any complaint made or problem known to our overseas offices (including any made to overseas staff members at any time) will be recorded. Individual situations are then discussed and resolved appropriately. Finally, if you still feel dissatisfied when you are on your placement, you can contact our Director’s office at +52 (1) 999-239-3592.
  3. Every reasonable effort will be made to resolve any disciplinary matter before it becomes serious. However, we reserve the right to take appropriate action in the event of behaviour which would reasonably be expected to give offence to host, pupils, fellow-teachers, project managers or work colleagues. This includes behaviour such as serious rowdiness or drunkenness, failure to turn up to work, or leaving work without any adequate reason, or in the event of an unreasonable inability, from whatever cause, to do the work expected.
  4. A disciplinary problem would be brought to your attention in writing or, if you were not contactable, delivered to your accommodation address. If the problem still stood after five working days (or shorter period if urgent), a further letter would be sent saying that, if the matter was not resolved to our satisfaction within a further five working days (or shorter period if urgent), you would be repatriated as soon as we could make the arrangements. Should you wish to stay in your destination country beyond that date, Volunteer Inn Mexico would have no further responsibility for your food, accommodations, insurance or travel arrangements.
    It would be at the discretion of Volunteer Inn Mexico to suspend you from your work during any disciplinary process. You are under the authority of Volunteer Inn Mexico and their overseas agents and organisers throughout the period of the teaching or project placement.
  5. If Volunteer Inn Mexico agrees that there is an unacceptable amount of incompatibility between you and the host family and we consider it the right decision to change your host family, it may be necessary to provide you with hostel accommodations for a short period. This would be paid for by Volunteer Inn Mexico and you will be given money for food if it is not provided.

Amendments, Cancellations and Curtailment and Late Payment

  1. Amendments or cancellations may be notified to our Merida office by telephone but they must be confirmed in writing. The date of the telephone call will only apply if we receive written confirmation within two working days. Our overseas offices will provide advice on changing air tickets but our staff cannot be expected to take responsibility for changing them on your behalf.
  2. Extensions, provided they involve no change of project or program, are charged at the prevailing in-country extensions rate published on the website current at the time that an extension is requested. No amendment fee will be added to any extension charges where there are no other changes.
  3. A “month” in all matters to do with Volunteer Inn Mexico is defined as a calendar month.
  4. If you stay on your placement over your invoiced duration we will charge you an additional amount per day to cover your food, accommodation, insurance and support. Please refer to the “Apply Now” page on our website for the current daily rate.
  5. Our charge for an amendment is normally $95 plus any costs incurred by us. If the total cost is going to exceed $180, we will provide you with a price quote before proceeding.
  6. Cancellation and curtailment charges depend on how far in advance of your stated departure date we have been informed in writing. Your stated departure date refers to the earliest of either: the “preferred departure date” entered on your original application form or any subsequently agreed upon date. If only a month and a year are specified on the application form, for administrative purposes the stated departure date will be considered the 1st of the month specified.
    1. a) Notice of 3 months or more: $100
    2. b) Notice of 2 to 3 months: one third of total program fee
    3. c) Notice of 1 to 2 months: two thirds of total program fee
    4. d) Notice of less than one month: no refund

    Deposits paid less than three months before the originally stated departure date, defined as above, are non-refundable.

    Exceptions are entirely at the discretion of Volunteer Inn Mexico and must be agreed in writing at the time when any postponement or cancellation is made.
  7. Amendments, once your placement has started, are at the discretion of Volunteer Inn Mexico. As a guide only, 14 days notice is normally the minimum required.
  8. If you curtail your program for any reason other than for a breach by us of our obligations, we cannot pay any refunds and you would be responsible for any additional costs involved, including the cost of repatriation, subject to any claim that you may have under your insurance policy. At our sole discretion we will consider a request to make an ex gratia refund to you of any savings that we might make (such as on your board and lodging). We reserve the right to charge you an administration fee.
  9. Where a program involves two or more destinations it is treated as a single indivisible program and clauses 15 to 22, above, inclusive, apply as if the program involved a single destination.
  10. You must pay all amounts due to Volunteer Inn Mexico three months before departure, where “departure” means the preferred departure date indicated on your original application or any new date agreed in writing between you and Volunteer Inn Mexico for whatever reason. Exceptions to this obligation include agreed late amendments and additions and payments due if your application was accepted within three months of departure (defined as above), in which case the full payment is immediately due. If you do not qualify as an exception and do not pay all amounts when due, we reserve the right to impose a surcharge of at least $195, increasing the later payment is made, without prejudice to our right to terminate the agreement for failure to pay.

Responsibility and other matters

  1. Please note that your booking is accepted on the understanding that you come on the program at your own risk. It is not possible for us to be responsible for the actions or omissions of those involved in your program over whom we have no direct control, such as employees of airlines, transport undertakings and others. Equally we are not responsible for loss or expense due to war, riots, strikes, terrorist activities, natural disasters, or bankruptcies (or similar) of unconnected third parties. Volunteer Inn Mexico is not liable for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or other irregularity which may be caused by defect of any vehicle or other equipment, other than its own, or the negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved, other than our own staff.
  2. Some courses, treks and other activities are provided by independent third parties. You should note that Volunteer Inn Mexico can arrange bookings for these courses, treks and other activities on your behalf but are not appointed agents or representatives of these third parties and cannot accept liability for them or their activities.
  3. Please note that we give you all reasonable assistance to obtain visas, visa renewals and work permits, when they are needed. However, these are arrangements between individuals and a state and are not under our control.
  4. Please note that our volunteers are issued visas, where applicable, and are registered, where applicable, in their chosen country on the basis that their work is purely voluntary. Doing paid work while on a Volunteer Inn Mexico program is illegal; if the relevant authorities find you have organised paid work they may take action against you, and this would also be a disciplinary matter to be dealt with as provided in paragraphs 11 and 13, above.
  5. Please note that Volunteer Inn Mexico is not responsible for arrangements outside your working hours (2, above). The insurance provided covers your placement period including leisure time (3, above). Except insofar as “leisure” insurance may be provided as an additional item, and except for any travel arrangements it has agreed to make, Volunteer Inn Mexico has no responsibility beyond your placement period. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times.
  6. Please note that all services and accommodation are subject to the laws of the country in which they are provided. Volunteer Inn Mexico reserves the right to make changes in the agreed itinerary whenever, in their sole judgement, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the volunteer. Volunteer Inn Mexico also reserves the right to withdraw without penalty any program announced.
  7. Without in any way limiting our entitlement under paragraph 25, above, in the event that Volunteer Inn Mexico is advised by the US State Department, or, in the case of Canadians, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that you should not travel to, or should not remain in, the destination where you have been placed, then we will instead provide the nearest possible equivalent placement in the nearest possible equivalent destination.
  8. Please note that Volunteer Inn Mexico reserves the right to decline to accept any person as a volunteer, or to require any participant to withdraw at any time, when such action is determined by the appropriate Volunteer Inn Mexico staff representative to be in the best interests of the health, safety, and general welfare of the program or of the individual participant. In such a case, Volunteer Inn Mexico accepts no responsibility for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket or any other cost that you may incur.
  9. Dates, schedules, program details and cost are given in good faith, based on information available and in force at the time they are given and are subject to change and revision in the event of a change of circumstances. In the event that Volunteer Inn Mexico is unable to provide a suitable placement of the type requested, we will instead offer an alternative placement and will refund any difference between the price paid for the project placement and the price charged for the alternative placement in the country in question.
  10. Institute of Modern Spanish, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and you, the applicant, are the sole parties to the contract for the provision of your Volunteer Inn Mexico program. The proper law of the contract between us is the law of England. The courts of the England shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with the contract.
  11. Volunteer Inn Mexico will share the information submitted on the application form with its partners, branches and subsidiaries around the world. This information is not used for marketing or solicitation purposes, and it is never rented, sold, given or traded to other companies.

1 March 2017

Application Form Tips

1. Notify your reference

You will need to give us the contact details of one professional or academic reference.

Please tell them to expect to hear from us!

2. Refresh your résumé

Some projects require a résumé or CV. You will be asked to upload this file during the application process. (Or, you can send it to us after you apply.)

3. Gather your deposit and read our Terms & Conditions

The $295 application deposit will go toward your total program fee. If we reject your application, this deposit would be refunded to you. However, if we accept you, our Terms & Conditions apply and the deposit is non-refundable.

4. Want to apply for more than one project?

On the application form, tell us about each project, one by one, in the order that you want to do them. After selecting the first project, click "Add Another Project". When you've finished, click "Next Step".

5. What happens next

It takes us around five business days to process an application in normal circumstances. We normally respond by email. You can always reach us if you're not sure at 1-877-463-7432.

If you want to go last-minute, please submit your application and then call us. We can often work miracles.