Team joined a CCCs to complete maintenance works on revegetated areas for Caltrans 1

California Exchange Program 2020 – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What meals are included?
A. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, including weekends.

Q. Does the program cater for special diets such as vegetarian or vegan?
A. Yes, please include in your application.

Q. Can we drink alcohol whilst on the program?
A. This is an alcohol-free program; the CCC has strict rules. Be aware that failure to comply with this rule may mean you are asked to leave the program, without refund.

Q. What sort of accommodation will I be staying in?
A. Accommodation is shared bunk-style rooms in the California Conservation Centres, along with shared bathroom facilities.

Q. Will I be camping during the exchange?
A. The program is likely to include camping on a number of spikes – the CCC term for a small camp. Tents and equipment will be supplied (you will need your own sleeping bag for the duration of the program). When you are not camping, accommodation will be at the California Conservation Centres.

Q. Do I need to take a sleeping bag and pillow?
A. Yes, a sleeping bag is essential. Bring a pillow if you wish, or a pillow case that you can fill with clothes if you prefer.

Q. How many hours of volunteering will I be doing?
A. This will vary during the program, but as a guide will be around 8.30am to 4.30pm

Q. Will I have free time?
A. The team will have rest days, they could be during the week or weekend depending on what projects you are volunteering on.

Q. Do I need to take extra money with me?
A. Yes, it’s foreseeable that the staff at CCC will make recreational activities available to you, any expenses relating to these recreational activities are at your own expense e.g. shopping trips, visits to amusement parks or meals outside of breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you miss any of the meals served by the CCC (for instance, if you choose to go out sightseeing at weekends), you’ll be responsible for buying your own food.

Q. Who are the other volunteers on the program?
A. You’ll be part of a team of 9 volunteers and 1 CVA experienced Team Leader.

Q. Do I need any special skills to volunteer?
A. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit for this active conservation program, and prepared to join in to the best of your ability. There will always be a crewleader from the California Conservation Corps with the group along with our CVA Team Leader. They are there to explain the project to you, show you exactly what to do, and how to do it safely. You’ll learn plenty of new skills on this program.

Q. What if I have a pre-existing medical condition, allergy or injury?
A. Please declare any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies or injuries when you submit your application. The information you provide is kept in confidence, but is important to help us assess your application. If necessary, we’ll contact you for further information.

Q. How much luggage can I bring?
A. Qantas allows you 2 pieces of luggage weighing 23kgs each. Bear in mind that you need to carry your luggage around if you move from accommodation to accommodation.

Q. Can I bring a laptop, tablet or phone with me?
A. This is a personal choice. You should be aware that we cannot provide insurance or guarantee safe storage for items like laptops – you will need to take full responsibility for looking after it.

Q. Do we need to find our own way to the California Conservation Centres?
A. No, the group will meet at Melbourne Airport for departure along with your CVA Team Leader. On arrival, you’ll be picked up and taken to the California Conservation Centres where you will have an orientation and settle into your accommodation.

Q. What if I’m unwell during the program?
A. Please let your CVA Team Leader know so they can help.

Q. What insurance do I need?
A. All volunteers will need to have their own comprehensive travel insurance policy. Consider your personal needs and take expert advice for cover such as medical costs, cancellation costs and insuring your personal belongings. You will need to provide a copy of your policy to us before departure.

If you have any further questions please email our bookings department.