IS MY PASSPORT CURRENT?
Hopefully you already have a passport or are in the process of getting one. BUT if you’re one of those last minutes folks and still don’t have one, START NOW. Go to http://travel.state.gov/passport/
(If you are obtaining a passport for the first time, you must go in person to a passport acceptance facility, such as a U.S. Post Office. You will need to bring the completed application, two passport-sized photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate) and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.)
*If you do have a passport, well done. Now make sure that the expiration date is later than six months from the return date of your internship.
*Please make a couple copies of your passport. Leave one at home and bring an extra with you in your checked baggage.
WHAT VACCINES SHOULD I GET?
Unless your specific location requires certain immunizations (African countries often need proof of a YELLOW FEVER vaccination upon arrival), then Envision doesn’t have any other requirements. We leave it up to you to determine with your doctor or a travel clinic what immunizations you may need or want. In many tropical countries, malaria prophylaxis may be highly recommended.
The best place to find information on immunizations is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. This website will give you a precise health outlook on the country/region you are traveling to. These immunizations may require appointments made weeks in advance.
DO I NEED A VISA?
The first place to start is with your Envision site director or field contact. They may have specific steps for obtaining a visa for their country. FOLLOW THEM EXACTLY.
To learn more about visa requirements for your destination, please refer to the Travel Document Systems website. TDS will hand-carry your passport to the embassy to get the necessary visa stamp. This is an expedited service and TDS charges a fee on top of that of the embassy. (This is generally the recommended method of obtaining a visa while in the US. However, in many countries you simply receive your visa at the airport upon arrival).
A few more visa notes…
Visas applied for in the States may not be obtained without a passport and often not without a flight itinerary.
Some visas can take a LONG time to process, so do not delay! (France, Burkina Faso…)
Interns purchase their own visas (whether in the U.S. before traveling, or in the country upon arrival). Save your receipts to be refunded later if there is extra money in your support account.
Please, always mark TOURISM as your reason for travel (unless your country contact has other instructions).
HOW DO I ENROLL IN THE STEP PROGRAM?
We strongly suggest that you register with the U.S. State Department before you depart on your internship. You can do this by using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This lets our government know where US citizens are located in the unlikely case of emergencies. You will also receive travel alerts and other information about your destination.
WHEN & HOW SHOULD I GET MY PLANE TICKETS?
The sooner the better for cheaper prices! Since YOU will be purchasing the tickets yourself (see below) you can do it as early or as late as you want. We do recommend that you have a good start on your fundraising (30-40% raised) by the time you buy your airfare.
You can do your own online research, use a travel agent you know, or we can highly recommend using Raptim:
Envision (and the C&MA) have been working with Raptim Travel for 20+ years. Raptim Humanitarian Travel provides travel support for those serving worldwide, and has for over 66 years. They partner with over 50 worldwide airlines to offer needed benefits. These benefits include (depending on the airline)-- discounted fares, additional luggage allowance, relaxed restrictions/refunds/itinerary changes, extended booking window, 24/7 emergency service, free quotes and visa/passport assistance.
Raptim Humanitarian Travel supplements these airline agreements with international expertise and a variety of extra services to serve those who serve the world. To get a quote on your trip, group or individual, please contact our Raptim Humanitarian Travel expert. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (844) 882-3233.
CAN I RAISE EXTRA MONEY TO COVER MY PLANE TICKETS?
In most cases, interns will pay for their own tickets using personal funds. However, extra funds may be raised in your support account which we can use to refund you if/when you have enough to cover your field expenses PLUS your airfare. Keep your receipts for your airfare and other travel related expenses (visa, extra baggage, immunizations and airfare) in order to be reimbursed from your support account after your field costs are covered.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I LAND ON THE FIELD?
When you arrive at your destination you will first need to go through immigration/customs. You will be given a form on the airplane to fill out. Use the exact instructions your site leader gives you to fill in the info on the form. You will then follow through the immigration lines, pick up your baggage and meet your host or someone from the Envision site. Ask your contact for any other instructions they may have.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE DONATE TOWARDS MY INTERNSHIPS?
Please use the wording below to tell your supporters how to give to you online (preferred) or via check.
Simple instructions for investing in my ministry!
Write a check.
Make payable to "C&MA-Envision” with my name (ENV – INTERN NAME) in the memo line and send to:
The Christian & Missionary Alliance
8595 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Give Online (preferred)
1. Go to the C&MA online giving page: www.cmalliance.org/give
2. Under the “Select International Worker/Special Project” section, Type "ENV— INTERN NAME" in the text search box (Don’t worry if you don’t see the intern’s name listed as one of the preselected names; those are designated to our long-term Alliance international workers and projects)
a. After typing “Env – INTERN NAME”, click the red “Give To” button. If you do not see the button, simply hit space bar after enter the INTERN NAME and you should see it in the drop-down box.
3. Across from the search box in the same section, enter your gift amount, and then click the red “Add to Cart” button.
a. After you click the “Add to Cart” button, the intern’s name (ENV – INTERN NAME) along with the donation amount will be indicated below in the “My Gift Cart” section. Please verify that your information is correct in the cart.
b. **If you’d like to make the donation a recurring gift, please click the check box next to “Make this your recurring gift”.
4. Then choose which method you would like to use in processing the deposit in the section below listed, “How Would You Like To Proceed?”
ALL funds given to your support account will be tax deductible and your supporters will get a receipt for their records.
If you do receive any cash donations for your internship and it is not deposited into your support account, it will be your responsibility to report as taxable income when filing taxes.
CAN PEOPLE DONATE FUNDS TO ME DIRECTLY?
Yes, you can feel free to set up your own online GoFund Me account (or something like it). HOWEVER, any funds you receive in that way will NOT be tax deductible for your supporters. You can use those donations as personal funds to purchase your airfare etc. Or you can turn those funds into your Envision support account for field expenses.
If a supporter makes a check directly to YOU, you can sign it over to Envision. Please write on the back “payable to C&MA”, sign your name underneath, and mail it in (see above). Or you can treat it as non-tax deductible personal funds and deposit it for yourself.
Any cash you receive directly (or from a fundraiser) can also be used personally. OR if you desire to submit it for your field expenses, please use the online donation system (above) by ‘donating to yourself’ that amount using your own credit card (and keeping the cash).
IMPORTANT— For any money (cash, GoFundMe, check) given to you directly and then submitted to Envision, your donors will NOT get a tax-deductible receipt.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY FUND IF I DON'T GO?
WHAT IF I RAISE MORE THAN I NEED?
All donations given to Envision are not legally allowed to be returned to supporters in the case that an intern either discontinues OR raises extra.
If you choose not to go on your internship, any funds raised will be used to support other Envision interns and/or sites.
If you raise more than needed and have a leftover amount (even after airfare and travel reimbursements), you may request to use those funds to support another intern, an Envision ministry, or the C&MA.
In either case, you may also choose to keep your account open if you decide to participate with Envision again.
HOW DO I SEE DONATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO ME?
Every week (usually on Fridays) an automatic email will be sent to you with an attached list of donors who have contributed to you that week. (Check your spam folder). At the end of each month you will also receive a list of your overall account activity—all income, expenses and the total balance.
PLEASE be very prompt in thanking your supporters—send a card, a text, make a phone call… Acknowledging these gifts is extremely important! Include them in any prayer or update emails before, during and after your internship.
WHEN ARE MY FUNDS DUE?
For internships 2 months or LESS: You will need to have ALL of your total funds raised 30 days before you go. We can reimburse you for your airfare once you have raised enough to cover your total expenses on the field plus your airfare.
For internships LONGER than 2 months: You will need to have at least the first 2 months of your total funds raised 30 days before you go, AS WELL AS 100% of the rest of your funds pledged for the following months. Your supporters can choose to give a recurring gift each month which is considered a pledge. We can reimburse you for your airfare once you have raised enough for your first 2 months, plus the amount of your airfare.
IS A DEPOSIT REQUIRED?
We require a $150 deposit to confirm your commitment to this Envision Internship. Within 2 weeks of your acceptance, after you’ve prayed and discussed your participation with those who know you well, you’ll need to go to our online giving page** and make your first donation to yourself of $150. (**Please follow the support-raising instructions in the DropBox for online giving).
I'M HAVING A HARD TIME RAISING FUNDS, ANY SUGGESTIONS?
We know that finances can be the biggest obstacle between you and your internship! It is a big leap of faith to ask others to invest in your ministry and because of that, it’s also one of the best ways to build your faith and dependence upon the Lord before you ever even go. Persevere my friend! Spend time before God saying you are fully relying on Him.
Some other practical suggestions are in the DropBox including how to make follow up phone calls, fundraiser ideas, encouraging Scriptures about money, sample letters and loads of youtube videos.
PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact us for more encouragement or ideas!
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY OVERALL COST?
There are two costs for your internship. First is the amount you fundraise for your field expenses. This is the monthly cost noted on the website which covers your room, board, transportation, insurance, ministry experience etc… basically ALL of your expenses on the ground minus souvenirs, sightseeing and personal extras.
The second expense is your “outgoing costs”, or what it takes for you to get there. This includes your airfare, visa, passport, immunizations, and departure/airport taxes if necessary. Since this one-time/initial amount varies so greatly by intern and does not fall under Envision’s processes, these funds can either be fundraised separately (personally) or we can refund you with any extra that comes in to your field support account.
HOW DO FINANCES WORK ON THE FIELD?
Every site is different, but your Envision leaders or field contacts will orient you right away with how you’ll receive needed funds for your time on the field! It may be a monthly or weekly stipend, or you may have most items paid for by the staff separately. Know that your housing, food and necessities will be covered and you shouldn’t have to worry.
WHAT KIND OF MEDICAL COVERAGE SHOULD I HAVE?
All interns, whether domestic or international must have primary medical coverage. Typically, if you are under 26, you are on your parent’s plan. If you don’t have primary coverage then we suggest using a private insurance company or Federal care through https://www.healthcare.gov. We can also recommend the Reside Prime plan to cover your primary care and it also includes international travel coverage.
Envision will purchase supplemental travel/emergency coverage for all international interns (not necessary for domestic interns). See below.
WHAT DOES MY EXTRA TRAVEL COVERAGE INCLUDE?
If you’d like to see what is included in your additional emergency coverage, please see the Premium Plan at http://www.faithventures.com/compare-plans/ for interns serving 6 months or less. For interns serving over 6 months and up to 1 year, see the 365 plan here.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A MEDICAL OR TRAVEL EMERGENCY HAPPENS?
Your site leader is experienced in knowing how to address emergencies that may happen on the field. And they will be in immediate contact with our National Office to troubleshoot how to proceed in various types of situations. Know that we will be in touch with your emergency contact and will work quickly to resolve any issue that arises.
HAVE I COMPLETED ALL THE REQUIRED PAPERWORK?
All interns are required to complete 2 References, a Medical Emergency Contact form, and a Liability Release. We also require that you watch a Child Safety Video. If you think that you may not have finished these steps, please ask or we’ll hunt you down. Go here to make sure you did all 5 requirements. Thanks!
HOW CAN I PREPARE MYSELF FOR THIS INTERNSHIP?
Though no amount of training can sufficiently prepare you for everything you’ll encounter on your internship, we want you to arrive as ready as possible! (Especially ready to be FLEXIBLE!) We’ve put together lots of resources in the Intern Dropbox folder to help you get your head and heart ready and we expect you to read them :)
Your field contacts or Envision Site leaders also have materials they can send you so don’t hesitate to ask!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING ON MY INTERNSHIP?
WHERE WILL I LIVE? WHO ELSE WILL BE THERE?
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
These are all great questions for your Envision site director (or field contact if you’re not serving at an Envision site)! Please don’t pummel them with emails every day… we know there are a lot of unknowns but keep your questions to 3-4 a week in a short and sweet email. You can also prepare now for being VERY FLEXIBLE during your internship! There will just be things that neither you nor your site leader can prepare for and you’ll have to go with the flow! A lot.
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS, WHO CAN I ASK?
Our staff at the Envision National Office in Colorado Springs is here to help! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lor Xiong, Internship Coordinator, via email, phone, text, Skype, Facebook, VOX, carrier pigeon, message in a bottle…