frequently asked questions

Make the World a Brighter Place!

Frequently asked questions

All Bright Light Volunteers programs are designed for groups of at least 8 participants with the addition of at least one educator. Groups must be formed prior to scheduling. We do not place individuals.

Bright Light Volunteers programs are inclusive, innovative, and include the following:

– Community service project funding
– On-site, trained BLV representative
– On-site, bilingual community host leader
– All on-site transportation (excludes airfare)

– All in-country accommodations & meals
– All culturally immersive activities
– 24-7 stateside support
– All community donations
– Tuition for dual-enrollment college course offered online via BLV educational partner, Bethel
University
– Certificate of Global Citizenship administered by BLV educational partner Bethel University
– Presidential Volunteer Service Award- Bronze Level

– $500 non-refundable deposit (covers deposits for services in our host communities as well as processing and logistical services performed by Bright Light Volunteers staff)

The above all apply to all programs unless otherwise noted in your BLV GSL Program Contract. Please contact our offices at 1-866-612-4231 to inquire about your group’s individual BLV GSL Program.

While your program contribution allows us to fund all in-country expenses it does not cover: 

– Any applicable baggage-handling fees imposed by airlines
– Passport, visa, and reciprocity fees or any other fees associated with entry or exit from a particular destination
– Gratuities, if desired
– Extra beverages and snacks outside of the three daily meals provided by BLV
– Rooming supplement (if applicable)
– Expenses caused by airline rescheduling, cancelations, or delays caused by the airlines, bad
weather, or any other event or circumstances beyond BLV’s control. 

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 3:1. 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 or MORE 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 8 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.  

Bright Light Volunteers generally 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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