frequently asked questions

Make the World a Brighter Place!

Frequently asked questions

All Bright Light Volunteers programs are designed for groups of at least 10 participants with the addition of at least one educator. Groups must be formed prior to scheduling. We do not place individuals.

Bright Light Volunteers provides all food, lodging, onsite transportation, bilingual, on-site local group leader, on-site Bright Light Volunteers stateside representative, medical & evacuation insurance, community service project funding, all cultural activity expenses, community donations, tuition for dual-enrollment college course offered online via our educational partner, Bethel University and certification of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

While your program contribution allows us to fund all in-country expenses it does not cover airfare, visas, immunizations, trip cancellation insurance, baggage fees, extra food (beyond three meals per day in-country), and any personal souvenirs.

The minimum duration of a program is 7 days. Our maximum program duration is 3 weeks.

Participants are housed in locally-owned bed and breakfasts, hotels, or hostels close to our project sites.

Nutritious, locally-grown and prepared foods are provided three times per day. In some locations, meals are taken at pre-selected restaurants. Upon registration, we inquire about specific food restrictions or allergies, and take special care to accommodate the dietary needs of all participants. 

Bright Light Volunteers are housed in safe, clean, secure accommodations. While traveling, students should either be with BLV coordinators, in groups, or assigned to a buddy, never alone. Our student-staff ratio is 5:1. Students are provided access to unlimited, safe, drinking water. We have highly-trained, coordinators that travel with the group every step of the way.  All BLV program coordinators are CPR and First Aid Certified. Our in-country coordinators have expansive knowledge of the host community. They have established relationships in the area with medical professionals and facilities. Each participant is covered by supplemental, international, medical insurance and emergency evacuation insurance. Students are transported in safe, well-maintained vehicles by experienced, licensed drivers.

Registration is a five step process:

1. Serious inquiries should be made roughly 9 months prior to your group’s intended departure date for the in-country service component of the program.

2. Once an initial inquiry has been made, and your group meets our criteria, you will be delivered a program proposal. Your group then has 30 days to secure your program dates by issuing a deposit of $500 per participant and providing completed  enrollment packets.  

3. In order to fund the program, 1/3 of the total program contribution must be paid no later than 120 days prior to departure. 

4. In order to fund the program, 2/3 of the total program contribution must be paid and copies of passports should be received by Bright Light Volunteers no later than 90 days prior to departure. 

5. In order to fund the program, the full amount of the program funding must be secured, and flight itineraries should be finalized and received by Bright Light Volunteers, no later than 60 days prior to departure. 

–  If at any time, the group falls below 10 participants, the program may be cancelled.

–  We encourage all participants to purchase third-party trip cancellation insurance in case circumstances beyond your control require you to withdraw from the program after the program funds and been distributed. 

–  If you are not insured and a cancellation is made, the following will apply:

If notice of cancellation is made 180 days or more prior to departure, all funds minus the $500 (per person) deposit will be returned.  

According to policy, Bright Light Volunteers does not secure airfare for your group. Flights must be arranged and itineraries should be provided no later than 60 days prior to departure. Every group member should be on the same flight. 

If you would like assistance securing flights for your group, please consider visiting STA Travel

BLV Refund Policy

Cancellation Date

Portion of Program Contributions

More than 90 days before program start date

Program Contribution, not including the deposit

Between 61 and 90 days prior to the start date

50% of the full Program Contribution, not including the deposit

Between 31 and 60 days prior to the start date

25% of the full Program Contribution, not including the deposit

Between 1 and 30 days prior to the start date

No refund will be provided

Bright Light Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity. Your payments for this program are considered a charitable donation and can be applied to your tax return. If you have any further questions please contact us.
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