Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of ministry will our team be a part of?
Ministry will vary based on destination and what missionary or national partner your team will be serving. United World Mission seeks to deepen long-term engagement with the tangible service that short-term teams can provide. Ministry could include, but is not limited to: street outreach, children’s ministry, church services, prayer ministry, construction projects, medical clinics, relational evangelism, and food distribution.
Where will our team stay?
Teams stay in a variety of accommodations, depending on what is available in the country or city you will be serving. These could include hotels, hostels, churches, dormitories, or guest homes. Some trips will be more rugged than others. You will be notified well in advance if you need to bring your own bedding or towels.
What will we eat?
For the most part, the food available will not be too strange or unusual compared to the United States. Ask your UWM team coordinator about your destination’s cuisine if you have any questions! Three meals a day is included in the cost of your trip. We strongly encourage team members to bring their own snacks. We will account and provide alternatives for food allergies to the best of our ability.
What is included in the cost of our short-term team?
- Three meals a day (not including travel days)
- Transportation on the field
- Comprehensive insurance for each participant (domestic trips not included)
- United World Mission team leader to accompany your group
- Training and debrief materials
- Translators or guides
- Entrance or exit fees, if applicable
- Visas, if applicable
- Travel resources and advice
- Assistance of an experienced trip coordinator
- Airfare, included in the cost on a destination-by-destination basis. Airfare prices are estimated until purchased in full.
What is not included in the cost of our short-term team?
- Any souvenirs (if you have a free day, the costs for that tour or option are included. Ask your UWM coordinator if you are unsure)
- Any extra food, drinks, or snacks outside the provided three meals a day
- Tips for help with personal luggage
- Any fees associated with baggage
- Cost of passport (if necessary)
How many people need to be on each team?
It depends on your destination! Some of our missionaries and partners can only take teams of 5 people, while others request teams of more than 10! Check the specific page for your destination of choice to see if there are any team size requirements.
When do I need to get my passport?
As soon as possible! We recommend applying for your passport at least six months before international travel. It can take between six and eight weeks for you to receive your passport, so it is best to allow plenty of time in case there are complications. For more information on obtaining a passport, visit travel.state.gov.
Note: there are some destinations that will require a copy of your passport prior, due to visa restrictions. Your UWM team coordinator will tell you if your destination is among the restrictions.
How long are United World Mission’s Short-Term Teams?
It depends on the destination, but they are usually between 7-14 days. They will not exceed 21 days. Check your specific location page for exact dates.
Does United World Mission help with funding my trip?
Registered applicants are responsible for raising all support, but UWM will help with resources if needed!
Does United World Mission purchase insurance for teams?
Yes, for all international destinations. This is included in your trip cost.
Do I need any vaccinations to travel on this short-term team?
United World Mission does not require any vaccinations unless they are required for a visa, but we recommend checking the latest health information with the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov for the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations/requirements, and advice on food/water safety for regions and countries. We suggest that all participants consult their physician before traveling internationally. UWM also advises all travelers to read the U.S. Department of State’s background notes for the destination country: travel.state.gov.
Is there a dress code?
You will receive a packing list and dress code prior to travel. The dress code is based on the requests of the missionaries or national partners whom you will be serving with. We don’t want our dress to interfere with our ministry. In general, the dress code internationally may be more conservative than you are used to.
Is it safe?
While there is risk to any travel, we have found that travel is not as scary and dangerous as people may perceive. To be safe, we as an organization take many precautions to reduce any risks. We stay in communication with missionaries and contacts on the ground prior to the trip. If there is any reason it wouldn’t be safe to travel in the host country, we would divert the team. We send a UWM leader with all of our teams who is trained in safety and will assure the necessary precautions are taken. We ask that all team members never leave the group. Every team member has international travel insurance, which includes coverage to transport a team member to a hospital, if that were necessary. We advise teams to report their travel to the department of state. Our missionaries know where the closest embassies and hospitals are to where our teams will be staying.
Are there age requirements?
All individuals traveling must be 15 years or older prior to departure, unless otherwise noted on the trip page.
Some of our trips do have a higher age requirement due to the nature of the destination or ministry; check with your UWM coordinator if you are unsure.