Frequently Asked Questions

What is Project Everest Ventures?

Project Everest Ventures is an incubator for the developing world. We aim to create sustainable social businesses, throughout Malawi, Timor-Leste, Fiji and India. Instead of a charity model, we look at how we can use business to provide goods and services that help underdeveloped communities to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our international Social Impact Internships expose students to the experience of building a real social business with a team of other social entrepreneurs, learning leadership skills, gaining personal development, and being part of the global social change movement. At the same time as implementing social impact opportunities, we train motivated and talented university students in leadership and business. We take our students to these developing countries, where we work with them to create globally scalable social businesses that address social issues in those developing markets. This is where you come in. We are determined to build you as the leaders of tomorrow through our internships and training.

Why are we different?

Project Everest Ventures is unlike any other program. You are going to be immersed in local culture, customs and environments, which is an incredible opportunity to work with local people and develop real solutions for real problems. We work through a human centred design, where we facilitate communities to develop their own solutions, with a key focus on sustainable positive impact which drives every stage of the Project.
Working with a team of dedicated and passionate students who are on Project for similar reasons as yourself is an amazing experience. Not only will you be able to achieve great things with such a fantastic group of people, you are going to make friends for life.
You are going to undertake leadership and teamwork training before your trip and whilst on Project, you continually develop on a personal and professional level. Project Everest Ventures is focused on community empowerment. We are also determined to empower you, as the leaders of tomorrow. Through the ups and downs of Project, whether things go to plan or against the grain, you are going to emerge a more confident and capable individual, equipped to tackle whatever obstacle life may throw at you.

Why business?

We are a Social Enterprise, meaning that the way we make impact is through a business model. We believe in market-based solutions to social problems and the power of business in delivering positive impact, because the nature of business means that impact can be achieved sustainably and scalably. We know that this is a little different, but it means that profits can be reinvested into ensuring long-term success of social ventures, retaining passionate, high-quality staff and leaders, and becoming big enough to fulfil our mission of enabling 1 billion people world-wide. Mindful of walking the talk, Project Everest Ventures is registered as a for-profit company. We are not reliant on donations or fundraising to cover operating costs, we pay our staff, and invest in our training and students so that they are well-educated and prepared to create the most effective social impact possible. As a Social Enterprise, it also means that social responsibility is embedded within everything that we do, from the optimisation of our products overseas, to ensuring that no one in the office forgets their keep-cup when we get our morning coffee. We believe that this is the most effective way to eradicate poverty and create tailored and co-designed solutions to huge global issues.

Before Applying

I am under 18 years old, can I still apply?

No. We can only accept people that are over the age of 18. Keep your eyes peeled on the website, we operate 5 months of the year and 17 year olds are able to apply for a Project that is happening after their 18th birthday! It won’t be long until you can join.

I am not a university student, can I still apply?

Yes! You don’t need to be a university student to come on board with us. If you aren’t getting credit from a university, you won’t be able to access grants and funding. If this doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t bother us.

What happens if Project clashes with my uni timetable or exams?

We don’t recommend you miss university or exams to come on project. If your university works on a trimester system or your exams fall into project times, have a look at alternative project dates over the next Summer/Winter period.

What does my program fee cover? What is included and not included?

Your project fee includes your accomodation on project, breakfast and dinner on project (not including weekends), safe drinking water, travel insurance for the duration of your project, international SOS membership for 24/7 access to medical and security advice and food at pre-departure training. For more information head here.

Is my deposit refundable?

No. Your $480 deposit isn’t refundable. If something pops up, you are able to move your project dates or country for a fee. This fee depends on how far out from your project you are. Please reach out to [email protected] to make a change.

Can I travel before and after Project?

Yes! You’re free to do what you like before and after the project, however we encourage you to arrive in country at least two days prior to project starting, and guarantee you will want to stay for the final night (and dinner) of project. Your included travel insurance only covers you for three days before and after project.

I have a dietary requirement, can you cater for it?

We do our best. A surprising number of our core team and senior leaders have nut allergies, so they know what it’s like to travel into the unknown. The cooks in all of our country have catered for many groups and a wide range of allergies. If you have any concerns, please voice these throughout your application process.

The Application Process

How can I get involved?

Pop your name down here and we will give you a ring! This call takes approximately 20 minutes and is a great chance for us to get to know you, and for you to get to know us. After this point you may be booked into the next stage of our recruitment process, an interview. These run in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong, Newcastle and Canberra, or can be conducted online, and take approximately 2 hours.

What happens after my interview?

After your interview, you’ll be sent an offer or a rejection within a week. At this point, you need to pay your deposit and sign your service agreement and that’s it! You’re locked in! Information will then come to you via email and Facebook, and you’ll be required to attend a pre-depature session in either Adelaide or Sydney.

This sounds interesting, but I'm not available for the next two years. Can I still apply?

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we only accept applications for places over the next year. Please keep checking in with the website and crowdicity, and reapply within a year of your available month.

I've applied for General Project, what does this mean?

This means that you’ve been placed into a Project pool. You’ll be allocated to a Project closer to your Trekker Training date. When allocating, we take into account your preferences, but also your experience, your degree, the needs of the Project and diversity of teams. If you wish to secure a place on a specific Project, it’s an additional $340. To do this you can let your Interviewer know, or email [email protected] if you’ve already come on board!

Making This Work With Uni

I'm sooooo busy, when do I fit this in?

Congratulations! If you’re a university student, this can be part of your degree. And this is a pretty valuable part. Coming on Project will allow you to implement what you know in theory and build experience doing it in practice, regardless of whether you study business, engineering, science, international studies, medicine, health. agriculture, or humanities. The skills you will learn set you aside from the hundreds of other students doing the exact same degree as you. We also run during university breaks, and there’s a good chance you can tick off a subject by coming on board with us AND travel in the process. If anything, we’re creating time for you.

I work casual hours and need to pay rent/bills/food/life. How can I afford this?

We have credit approved at most Australian universities, which makes you eligible for funding. You can check if yours is on the list here. If we don’t have that formally approved (yet), you have the power to approach coordinators and request your internship count as course credit. Funding includes OS HELP loans of up to $8100, NCP grants and some universities have their own mobility grant or loan schemes. These are all applied for and approved by your university, and your Global Mobility Office (or equivalent) are there to get you through that process so get in contact with them as a first step. We have PEV staff working on securing credit and grants at universities full-time, we will do what we can to remove barriers for you, just reach out!

Life In Country

Is it safe?

The safety, security, and wellbeing of our participants are our first priority.

Our Team Leaders have done intensive immersive crisis management training in Australia to prepare for this role. On top of this, when they arrive in their country of placement they undergo refresher training – which involves actually responding to scenarios and driving the routes to the hospitals. Senior Leaders have done all this and more, including training in how to organize evacuations. We also travel with our own Trauma First Aid Kit, Defibrillator and stretcher.

We also have a membership with International SOS, a leading provider of medical and security services. These are available to you 24/7, as soon as you pay your deposit. More information on International SOS can be found on their website, https://www.internationalsos.com.

All students on the ground are required to hold their first aid certificate, and are trained at Trekker Training and In Country Induction in how to call the Group Leader and report any incidents, initiating a response. At this point, the Group Leader will use one of the available vehicles to meet the casualty and get them to an iSOS approved hospital for stabilization. The Group Leader will then ring iSOS and ring an Australian staff member, who coordinates air evacuation if necessary, and gets in touch with the embassy, the student’s next of kin and the student’s university.

We conduct extensive reconnaissance missions to ensure the safety and security of locations prior to commissioning projects so as to ensure students work in safe conditions. We maintain communications with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and local expat networks to ensure that we remain up to date with our understanding of the safety of the regions in which we operate. If the safety of the area in which we are working is brought into serious question at any stage of the project, operations will cease and students will return to safety.

We receive alerts from iSOS regarding natural disasters or security situations, and these generally give enough warning for Senior Leaders to enact protocol and respond accordingly.

Of course, we do operate in rural areas and there is a lower medical care available than there is in Australia. We do depend on our staff and local services, but our evacuation and response plans are tailored for this (for example, we use our own vehicles instead of local Ambulances to ensure we have control over the hospital they are taken to). Response is so dependent on the country and the incident, but everyone on ground is highly trained, and we have responded successfully to multiple incidents in the past.

How much free time will I have?

Whilst on project you will be working full time. The hours depend on country norms and your leadership team, but your day will generally start between 0800 and 0900 and finish between 1700 and 1800. Week nights are yours, but they are typically spent within the Project houses, eating ice cream, smashing card games, watching movies, having your quiet time or if need be, finishing Project work.

Weekends are yours to explore the beautiful country or just relax after a solid week of smashing work. Be sure to appreciate all that these wonderful countries have to offer on your weekends, you will not regret it! Safety protocol does apply on the weekends, but there’s plenty to do within these.

What is the accomodation like?

Your accommodation is dorm style, in rooms of 2-8. We provide you with a mattress, sheet, blanket and pillow though. Take note, these mattresses are often foam or coconut, and the pillows are made of coconut husk too. Accommodation varies across countries, but on a base level you will have access to kitchens, bathrooms and a work space.

You may need to handwash your clothes, you may need to have bucket showers (and they will definitely be cold) and you will definitely be cosy, but that’s what life is like in these countries and to be honest, it’s half the fun!

In Fiji we have three houses, Malawi we have two and in India and Timor all Trekkers live in the same house.

Where are the Projects located?

Timor-Leste – in a suburb on the outskirts of Dili, called Meti-aut
Fiji – Sigatoka and Olosara
India – Bhubaneswar, in the State of Odisha
Malawi – Namiwawa and Nancholi Region

We can’t provide you with specific addresses as quite often, they don’t exist. Once you’ve come on board, your Senior Leaders will make sure you receive pindrops, what3word links, photos or landmark information to get you to either the accommodation or where we will meet you on induction day!

Will I be picked up from the airport? How do I get to induction day?

You won’t be picked up fromt the airport, as you should be getting to country at least two days before your induction day. Getting to induction varies country to country and will be communicated to you by your Senior Leaders. In previous years, Fiji have been picked up from Wailoaloa Beach Road in Nadi, Malawi have been picked up from Doogle’s Hostel and Timor have gotten taxis or microlets to the accommodation. In India, you will likely be picked up from somewhere in central Bhubaneswar.

When can I move into Project accommodation?

You cannot move into the accommodation until your first day of Project. The Project accommodation is available from the night after induction day (so the night of your first Project day) to the night before your final day of Project. This means that you need to book accommodation for everything up to the night before Project and you need to book accommodation for the final night of Project and beyond. We recommend you get to country at least two days early, to acclimatise, set yourself up with sim cards and get familiar with the country. Once you’ve come on board with us, we recommend jumping onto your Facebook group, working out who else is coming on Project with you and booking pre- and post- Project accommodation together! Your Senior Leaders can also give you some hints for accommodation at Trekker Training.

Clothes and Packing

What clothes should we pack?

You will receive a packing list when you come on board with us, that details specifics for each country. For work you’ll be required to wear long pants, have at least one pair of non ripped jeans and your Project Everest Ventures top (which will be supplied to you in country).

What electronics to we need?

You will need to bring your laptop and an unlocked phone to country, so you can complete your work. Malawi, India and Timor-Leste require converters and bringing a powerboard and power bank is also strongly recommended. You don’t need anything else, but if you have speakers or a camera, feel free to bring them! Make sure you remember all your chargers.

How do we book flights?

Once you’ve come on board, you can head here and let Stacey do the work for you! If you’d like to jump on your Facebook group and arrange a group to travel with, go for it! Flights do increase with price as you move closer to the date, so the earlier you book the better. We strongly recommend you get into country at least two days before Project starts, to acclimatise and get yourself organised. You will also have a final dinner on the final day of your Project, so we recommend not booking a 6am flight the next day!

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