As far as living conditions are concerned, what should I expect during my stay at Mongolia ?
The living conditions of the placement will all depend on the area to which you are assigned. Although a beautiful, friendly place, you should not expect luxurious accommodations in Mongolia. You will be placed within a welcoming family setting, and you will have your own room. Also, most placements will have electricity. Our host families are mostly educated, well-respected people, who have experience with international students. In addition, some members of host families may speak English.
When I’m packing for Mongolia, what should I remember to bring?
It depends on which season you’re coming. You may consider bringing are: warm clothes, torch, sleeping bag, sunglasses, hat, jacket, sweaters, boot, raincoat, first aid kit and sun block. Before you come, clarify details and send us your decision which season you are going to come.
If I’m dissatisfied with where I am placed, will it be possible for me to change locations?
New Choice will consider the request to move to a different location very seriously and in many cases, it is possible to change the working areas to better meet the expectation of volunteers. However, we cannot change positions frequently without genuine, sufficient reason.
Can I volunteer at Mongolia at any time, or are there only certain dates, which the program is offered? Are the dates fixed or open?
In Mongolia, the winter is long and cold (October to March)-with temperatures often dropping down to minus 20-30’c. Some our programs are offered certain season and the dates are fixed so you will see all our programs and choose which you want. Our program starts on 1st and 16th of each month.
Do I need to make my own arrangements to travel from the airport once I am in Mongolia?
When you arrive in Mongolia, one of our staffs will be waiting for you at the airport terminal. She/he will be holding a sign with your name (or your group leader’s name) on it, so there will be no confusion. Please remember to send your detailed flight itinerary so this arrangement can be made.
Will I have enough time to explore Ulaanbaatar during my volunteer program?
There will be plenty of time for you to explore Ulaanbaatar during your volunteer program.
Will I need extra money? If so, how much?
New Choice manages food and accommodation for their volunteers. So you won’t need more money for these expenses. However, you ‘l need to bring extra money in order to do:
· Snacks, treats and candies 2.50 US$ per day.
· For souvenirs or to explore night life
· Visa extension fee or work permission fee
What forms of communication will be available for me to access in Mongolia? Will there be Internet, telephones, and post offices obtainable?
Your placement will be in Ulaanbaatar city that is the biggest and capital city of Mongolia. So there are many places in which you can use the phone and access post office and Internet.
Can I bring a friend with me to volunteer, too? Will it be possible for us to stay together? We allow people to come with friends or even in groups. Of course, you can stay together. Please send some items about your friend before you come.
What would happen if I decided not to stay for the entire duration of the program?
Once the volunteer makes a decision and pays for the placement cost, upon receipt of invoice, New Choice won’t refund any placement cost under any circumstances.
What vaccinations will I need for Mongolia?
This all depends on what vaccinations you already have and what country you are coming from. No specific vaccinations are required for Mongolia. Some vaccinations, which have been recommended by western health authorities, include rabies, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, typhoid, tuberculosis and tetanus. New Choice do not cover liability and insurance of volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program.
What is your policy regarding payments? Are there any deadlines?
All payments have to be done at the beginning of the volunteer program. New Choice don’t accept monthly installments. If you want to stay longer than your committed period, you have to inform New Choice and pay accordingly.
What kind of food and accommodation should I except while I’m volunteering?
New Choice manage food and accommodation from the first day to the last day of the program in collaboration in Host family. You can have vegetarian food. Our vegetarian foods include rice, noodle, vegetables and tofu. Due to monetary constraints, for the volunteers who arrive earlier or who want to stay longer, it is impossible to offer extra food and accommodation. In this case, New Choice will help to find a good and cheaper place for food and accommodation.
How much do visas cost, and how would I be able to get one?
Any traveller in Mongolia can stay on a tourist visa for 4 weeks. You can get the tourist visa at the Mongolian embassy in your country. It is the responsibility of volunteers to purchase and manage for their own visa. If volunteer is going to stay more than a 4 weeks than need to apply to the nearest consular or embassy of Mongolia. It will help volunteer to apply for Mongolia visa in the following:
1. 1 – 4 weeks need to apply only for “ J “ category visa
2. 4 – 12 weeks need to apply only for “ O “ category visa
It is obtainable from The Office Of Immigration and Naturalization of Foreign Citizens in Ulaanbaatar. You are allowed to stay up to 30 days on a tourist visa, and then for any extension more a month. You must to pay for visa extension 120 USD. And if you want to stay and work more than 60 days, we have to change your visa category before arrive in Mongolia.
What do I need to know about traveling and sightseeing in Mongolia?
According to the volunteer program in Mongolia, you will travel and sightseeing. If you want to see museums, concerts or circus, you will need some extra money. Also if you want to buy gifts for your family and friends, you can buy them in Ulaanbaatar.
Where can I find more information about Mongolia?
Once you have registered for New Choice program, you will receive a volunteer booklet that includes a short introduction to the country and the region to which you will travel. Other sources of information can be found at local library, bookstore, or Internet. Please visit our web page (www.volunteer.org.mn) that will help you get ready for your volunteer challenge.
Where should I fly in order to get to my host-sight?
The only international airport in Mongolia is in Ulaanbaatar. So all international flights arrive and depart from there. You are responsible for you ticket, but once you are in the country, our representatives will meet you at the airport. Another option is the Trans-Siberian, the train that runs in-between St Petersburg( Russia) and Beijing( China) stopping in Ulaanbaatar. Many visitors to Mongolia prefer to use this for part of their journey. The main points that travelers board the train in Russia are, St Petersburg, Moscow and Irkutsk (by lake Baikal in Siberia) and Beijing in China, the train runs both ways and about twice a week in summer. Remember that you will need extra visas if you use the train and the Russian visa will require a letter of invitation.
What is the best season to visit Mongolia?
The best season to visit in Mongolia is from April to end of October. Mongolia is a country of four seasons with the annual fluctuation being almost 70’C! This means summer in the Gobi desert can be +40’C while winter in the north can be –30’C.
Is it very cold in Mongolia? Will I need to pack very warm clothes to accommodate for this?
You will need to pack warm clothes if you come between October-March. You’ll need scarf, gloves, beanies, sweaters, jacket and warm boot. Also you need some warm clothes even in summer. Cause in summer evenings, mornings and rainy days are so cold.
Is Mongolia safe?
In 1990 Mongolia made the one of the most peaceful transitions to democracy that the world had ever seen and since then it has never looked politically unstable. However day to day life in Mongolia does see occasional petty crime such as pick pocketing and general theft, visitors to Mongolia are urged to be careful in certain areas of the city where petty crime is more frequent. This is not to say that the level is any higher than other developing countries where poverty often leads to crime. Another ill effect of poverty is the prevalence of drunk’s who generally are more annoying than dangerous. One can normally easily spot a drunk whose general description is an unemployed man who is middle aged and almost legless at any hour of day. Alcohol mainly vodka is often seen as a destructive import from our neighbors in Russia however; narcotics and illicit drugs are virtually unheard of in Mongolia and are regulated with extremely toughness. If I get lost, whom should I contact? Is there an emergency number that I should know? Please be sure to take telephone number of Coordinator before you leave for your destination. Once you come in Mongolia, we will take care of you and also Ulaanbaatar is a small city (population 1.300.000) so you won’t get lost here.