Volunteers' frequently asked questions
This notice board is where we have placed your Frequently Asked Questions and our answers.
If you have any questions that are not addressed
feel free to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018 program starts 23rd April 2018 and we are open until the end of October 2018
| How much does
- The cost per day starts from €29 for singles and €22 for those
|3 WEEK EXAMPLE
- SINGLE PERSON
A 3 week stay would be 3 X €210 = €630. Volunteers are more than
welcome to stay for more than 3 weeks. A 6 week stay is the suggested
maximum but in the past some volunteers have proven to be irreplaceable
and warranted a longer stay!
is included? -
Read more about how La Giraudière looks after its volunteers at The
Benefits of Volunteering at La Giraudiere
- Transfers to and from Chalais Train Station on
arrival and departure
- Transportation to and from Chalais during your
- Three meals a day
- French lesson: One lesson of 2 hours each week
- Weekly excursions to Chalais market and group
- In addition each volunteer has long weekends to
do as they please, go
surfing, explore Bordeaux, visit Lourdes, etc
do I pay the deposit to reserve my space? - Only when we
have confirmed that you have a place do you pay your
do you ask for a deposit? - Prior to asking for the
deposit some applicants booked a place and then
did not turn up. Apart from the wasted trip to meet them we also lost a
place in the group. This is why we ask for a reservation deposit. This
way we know you are serious and will be arriving and our journey to
meet you will not be wasted.
do I pay? - Your initial payment will be via the
secure internet payment
system provided by PAYPAL - La Giraudière has a verified PayPal Account
and we will send you the link to make your first payment and reserve
your place. The balance of your stay is due one week prior to your
arrival and you will recieve a request via PayPal.
"Remember to notify
your bank if you are travelling abroad and intend to
use your bank or credit card."
How long can I stay?
- The minimum stay of 3 weeks is suggested but as long as you can
provide 18 hours per week of volunteering you are more than welcome to
stay longer. A 6 week maximum is suggested but volunteers have stayed
up to 13 weeks in the past.
Do I need a travel permit?
- Depending on how long you are staying, your nationality
you will be going after your stay at La Giraudière you may want to
research what permits are required. As regards your stay at La
Giraudière remember that you are paying for your accommodation and you
are not being paid. Once your deposit is paid you will receive a
receipt for your reserved
accommodation, so you are a travelling tourist with reserved
accommodation at La Giraudière.
type of work is there to do? - This will
depend on the time of your visit, what is going on
at that time and what you may have to offer. You can read more at what
is planned at La Giraudière’s Objectives and how
volunteers can help
if I have no experience or skill? - Training,
advice and plenty of assistance are available and
provided no matter what type of work you are interested in doing.
I choose what type of work I do? - Of course
you can. There are many different jobs that need doing
here so there will be plenty to go around! Whether it is:
- Event planning
- Household management
- Internet work
- Clerical jobs
- Managing accounts
Can I bring my laptop?
- Yes you can, we have Wi-Fi in place
and it is included as part of
I bring my phone? - Yes, bring it to keep in
touch with people back home but please
leave it in your bedroom during the working day as there is nothing
more annoying than having lunch or trying to work with a group who are
I be working in a group or as an individual?
- Depending on what work you are doing and who is here will
determine if you are in a group or working alone but either way team
spirit is needed.
paid over US$ 1,000 per week to study abroad last year,
how can it only be €210 at La Giraudière? - With this
project you are contributing towards the success of La
Giraudière by volunteering and working 18 hours a week which enables
the price to be less. In addition, this program is run on a small scale
to provide an intimate experience and cut down on the cost of a larger
program. Finally, there is no third party to pay.
are Brossac and the area surrounding La Giraudière like?
- You would be staying in one of the most beautiful regions of
France. Charente is famous for its number of sunshine hours, clear
skies and unpolluted air. The countryside is full of rolling hills,
grapevines, sunflowers and scattered stone-built villages.
is La Giraudière? - La Giraudière is 1 km from the
centre of Brossac. Brossac is in
the southern part of Charente and lies 8 km from Chalais. To see for
yourself and use a Google interactive map of the location for La
Giraudière visit: Location La Giraudiere
do I get there? - The main arrival point is Chalais
train station which is about 8 km from
La Giraudiere. There will be someone there to meet you at Chalais. You
are responsible for getting yourself to Chalais station. Chalais
station is on the TER rail line that runs from Bordeaux to Angoulème.
Normally there are 3 trains a day so make sure to check how it fits
in with your arrival times. It is important to remember when making your
arrangements that Chalais is on the TER line and NOT the TGV line.
The nearest international airport is Bordeaux.
do I get from Bordeaux airport to Chalais station? -
From Bordeaux airport there is a shuttle bus service that departs
every 45 minutes which takes you to the train station at Bordeaux St. Jean where
you will have to take the train to Chalais. The line is known as the
Bordeaux to Angoulème line and there are 3 trains a day.
information can be found at: Rail Connections in Charente, France
have a flight to La Rochelle for €15. If I make my way to Chalais
will you meet me? - Yes, of course but I understand that the
flights to La Rochelle
arrive quite late so you may need to stay overnight somewhere.
I get there by car? - Yes, of course. Let me
know how you are traveling and when you
expect to arrive. Make sure you take a note of our telephone number and
purchase a French Telecom Card. If you are delayed or have a
problem you can contact us.
I need travel insurance? - Yes! Do not forget
to get travel insurance. Health care and
treatment can be very expensive in France and it is your responsibility
to have full cover for accidents and illness. If you are a European
Union citizen remember to bring the E111 as well. Also remember that your
E111 may not pay for all your treatment or medication so make sure you
have top-up insurance.
are the meals like, and how do they work? -
Breakfast is typically continental - toast, cereal, fruit and yogurt
all provided. There is also coffee and tea available at all times.
All the volunteers have lunch together during the working day and it
usually consists of a variety of salads, meats, cheeses, pizzas and
Dinners are a joint effort and are always had together. Normally
volunteers take turns to cook so that variety is maintained. There is
always wine or beer available with dinner.
is a typical working day for a Volunteer? - The
typical working day may vary according to the season as no-one
wants to work when it is too hot but basically you are volunteering for
18hours over 3 days. Wake up time is normally about 7.30am followed by
breakfast. We take a coffee break mid-morning and lunch is
normally at about 1pm and ends at 2pm. The working day finishes sometime
between 4.30 and 5.00pm. Volunteers have the early evening to do as
they please and then the evening meal is about 7 or 7.30pm.
I drink the water? - Residents have been
drinking the tap water for the last 16 years
and so far there have been no problems.
require a special diet (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free,
diabetic etc) can I still come? - Of course. If you let us
know prior to your arrival we can be
sure to have the right types of food available. Vegetarians or glutten free? Make sure you tell
us in advance.
drinks included? - Fruit juices are served with
breakfast and lunch. Red wine is
normally served with the evening meal and there are normally beers in
the fridge for after work. All of it is included but please in
What ages have
volunteered at La Giraudiere? Volunteers from 18 years of age to 84
have offered their services. Remember the minimum age is 18 unless you
are accompanied by an adult.
we apply as a couple? - Yes, as long as both
partners participate and pay, you are more
than welcome. Remember there is a reduction for those sharing.
I apply with my child or children? - Providing
your child is accompanied by a parent ot at least someone over 18 years
of age, yes they can come. They
must complete the application form and mark clearly how they would
like to help. If your child does not want to volunteer then they can
stay as a paying guest. Simply let us know when you apply.
I bring my dog? - Sorry, no.
we apply as a group? - Providing we have the space.
Presently we have 11 bedrooms, some
singles, some doubles and some triples. As the program continues more
accommodation will become available, so the answer is that it all
depends on when you apply and the dates that you apply for.
there a reduction in fees for those sharing a room?
- Yes, if you apply as a couple, two friends or are willing
share a room then the price per person starts from €154 per week.
is the weather like in Brossac? - The summer
can be very hot, up to 35+ᵒC and the region of south
west France is also known for its storms so it is advisable to prepare
for both. If there are particularly hot days, we may start and end work
earlier to avoid the heat. Winters can be very cold -10ᵒC recorded this
year. A page about the weather in Brossac has been produced and you can
see it at- Weather in Brossac.
I have arrived at La Giraudière how do I get about? -
There are 8 bikes which can be used and are ideal for getting
to and from Brossac. There is also a bus service that runs to Chalais,
Barbezieux and Angoulème and the nearest train station is at Chalais
(8 km away).
Language is used at La Giraudière? - English
is the main language but French is also spoken
when local visitors arrive. There are sometimes volunteers from other
countries that contribute to the variety as well. When interacting with
the local people it is best to speak French and 2 hour French lessons are
provided each week by one of our professionally qualified teachers and
it is included in the price.
is the nearest beach? - Brossac Lake has a
superb sandy beach and is ideal for swimming.
It is just 1 km away from La Giraudière. If volunteers would like to
visit a beach on the coast there are several different ones that are
only an hour’s drive away.
there a tourist office nearby? - Yes, there is a tourist
office annexed to the local Brossac Town Hall and another larger office 8 km away in Chalais.
there any paying guests at La Giraudière now? - Yes, we do
sometimes have holidaymakers and travelers if there is
space but volunteers and interns always take preference.
it possible to only come for one week? - Yes, it is, but the
cost per week is higher. Look at- VOLUNTEERS FEES.
intend to travel around France for the summer and was wondering
if I could split up my stay? -
Another alternative is to book two periods, say for instance you
want to tour France and use our project as your base or place of
arrival. For example, you could stay at La Giraudière for the first two
weeks of July and then do your 4 week tour of France and then return to
La Giraudière for the last 3 weeks of August. This is just an example;
the dates could be whatever you like providing it fits in with the places we
have available at La Giraudière.
I have to arrive at Chalais on a certain day of the week?
- We are very flexible and whatever day works best for you is
Although, we do know that mid-week flights can be cheaper so yes, go
you smoke at La Giraudière? - La Giraudière is a no
smoking zone but there is a smokers' corner
provided under a tree on the other side of the lane.
The reccomended stay is 3 weeks but you can apply for 1-6 weeks