Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to find your answer.

How much does it cost?

All of our placements are completely FREE, however we do ask our volunteers to fundraise a minimum target of £1500 or equivalent in a different currency before coming out to Sumatra. This money helps to keep our programs running on the ground and allows us to continue to protect the severely endangered Leuser Ecosystem and the magnificent animal species that call it home! 

What additional expenses should I expect?

Whilst your placement fees cover a lot! you will need to arrange your own flights, personal Insurance, and visa expenses. Visa costs are typically around £50 and flights typically range from £400 - £600 from most European Countries. 

Can I choose the dates I want to volunteer?

Our placement dates are fixed, however we offer a wide range of placement opportunities and up to 5 different cycles to choose from each year. We also offer full flexibility with your bookings. With free cancellation and rescheduling until 30 days before your arranged placement start date. 

What's the acomodation like?

During your placement you will be staying at our Hub in the village of Gotong Royong near Bukit Lawang, in North Sumatra Indonesia. You will be staying in one of our four volunteer dorm rooms, which are fitted with bunk beds and single beds. You will likely be sharing your room with volunteers on other programs so you will get to meet lots of lovely people during your stay. You can find a full description of the volunteer accommodation on any of the program pages by selecting a program from our Make a Difference page. Just look for the 'Life at the Trust' section. 

Do I need a VISA & whats the application process?

To legally volunteer in Indonesia, you will need a 60 day Social Visa. This can be applied for at your local Indonesian Embassy. You can find all of the details and an application form on your local embassy's website. There are two ways to apply;

 - In person: This typically takes 1 - 2 days. 

 - Via Post: This typically takes 7 - 14 days. 

After you have been accepted onto your chosen placement and you have sent us your fundraising money your Volunteer Coordinator will guide you through the visa application process and provide you with visa sponsorship. 

**IMPORTANT - please check your local embassy's website for COVID-19 updates and restrictions.**

Do I need to be a qualified teacher to volunteer with the Trust? 

In short... no. Here at the Trust we value experience equally to qualification as we understand that not everyone has equal access to qualifications. That's why we accept applicants with relevant experience, Qualifications or both. We also provide Comprehensive in country training for all of our volunteers when they arrive at the start of the placement, so no need to worry if its been a while since you've taught a class. You can find a detailed requirements section on each of the program pages for more info. 

How long will it take to get there? 

Naturally, this depends on where you are coming from. However, typically flights from most European countries range from 14 - 21 hours. This may also depend upon your layovers, stops and departure airport. 

Do you have WIFI? 

Yes! we have good WIFI at our Hub in Bukit Lawang. There is also WIFI available at many of the guest houses and restaurants around the village, so you wont have any trouble staying connected. Volunteers on our Eco-Farming placement do not have WIFI. However, The Hub is just a short 10 minute walk from the HUB. 

What is the current information regarding COVID-19

We are constantly updating our COVID-19 information to keep you informed. Make sure you check the Corona Virus updates section on the home page for up to date information. Prior to joining us in Indonesia you will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and share your vaccination certificate with us. Additionally during your placement we have many procedures in place to keep you safe, These are continually changing in response to the most up to date information from the WHO and the Indonesian Government.  

What kind of time commitment should I expect? 

All of our volunteers typically work 08:30 - 17:00, Monday to Friday. You will have weekends free to go out and explore! However we have arranged some activities for your weekends that are so amazing we know you wont mind giving up your weekend for! Including visiting the Elephant Sanctuary in Tankahan, A 2 day expedition into the Tropical Rainforest, White Water Rafting and more! 

Can I pay the fundraising target myself?

Yes! A lot of applicants are working full time in the lead up to their placement with us and don't have time to organise a fundraising event. If this sounds like you then don't worry! you can also pay the fundraising target yourself to save your placement! 

Can I continue travelling in Asia after the placement finishes? 

Yes! Lots of our volunteers catch the travel bug after their time with us in Indonesia and go on to travel all over South East Asia! All you need to do is sign off of our program after the placement is finished and you are good to go! If this applies to you, let your Program Manager know before the end of your placement. 

Cant find what your looking for?

Not a problem! Email us at or chat with us live using the chat icon in the bottom right of your screen. 

We're always happy to hear from you, and one of our dedicated team of team will respond as quickly as possible. 


To get regular updates on what our fantastic team in Sumatra are doing, be sure to follow our Trust Facebook & Instagram pages. Here you can find updates from our volunteers, staff and alumni, as well as lots of interesting posts about conservation & climate change!

You can now chat to our team on Facebook messenger, Instagram messenger and WhatsApp too!

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Find out what its really like... from the people who have done it!

Check out our volunteer ran blog 'The Bare Necessities' Coming in January 2022 And get the low down on live as a volunteer from the people who are doing it!

A unique and refreshing look at the world of environmental conservation and the unsung hero's of the thin green line. Find out about the amazing people, charities and organizations working tirelessly in anonymity to protect and preserve our planet. Gain insights into life as a volunteer and join us as we visit some of the most remote and incredible places on Earth. This is the Bare Necessities. 


The Bare Necessities

Find out who you will be working with!

Take a look at our meet the team section on the About us page to find out all about the staff you will be working with during your placement with us! 

Not sure if you have the time or the money? 

Not sure if you've got the time or the money for a volunteer placement in North Sumatra. Don't worry! we've got you covered!

The Bukit Lawang Trust are now offering two BRAND NEW and unique 'Digital Placements' for those passionate environmentalists who want to do their part but cant commit the time or the funds to a placement overseas. 

Having a full time job no longer has to get in the way of volunteering for a charity and lending a helping hand!

Interested? click the picture below to check out our exciting new opportunities. 

Digital Nomad

Digital Opportunities


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