Learn and Build Experience: Frequently asked questions

Do I have to have previous Habitat experience to apply?
No previous experience is needed! You do have to be a high school student between the ages of 16 and 18 and be motivated to help end poverty housing.

How many students will be chosen to participate?
A total of 200 students will be invited to help transform one community. Everyone will be placed into a crew of 20 that you will work with all week. 

What kind of supervision will there be?
There will be a staff to student ratio no higher than 1:10. Staff members are trained by Habitat for Humanity International and will make sure each student has a safe and enjoyable experience!

What is the program cost?
The cost is $650 plus airfare.

Are travel expenses included in the trip cost?
The $650 trip fee does not include travel costs, such as airfare, to and from the project location and the participant’s home.

What is included in the program cost?
The $650 program cost includes all meals, except for lunch on days of arrival and departure, lodging during the trip, trip related activities, travel medical insurance, a Learn and Build Experience T-shirt and curriculum materials. In addition, part of your program cost goes toward the work you will be doing in the local community.

What is the fundraising challenge?
In addition to your trip cost, Habitat for Humanity challenges each participant to raise $350 to help build homes across the world.

What if I cannot financially afford to go?
The Learn and Build Experience offers scholarships ranging from full trip costs to partial trip costs. See “How do I apply?” below for scholarship information. Awards will be given to participants showing financial need. Remember the power of fundraising, too! You can ask people to sponsor you, plan a fundraising event or even collect change from classmates.

I have already participated in a Learn and Build Experience. Can I go on another trip?
Yes, we are looking for your help! You can apply to be a Learn and Build junior leader. Information for the 2017 trip will be available winter 2016.

Where and when do you build?
Information on the 2017 trip will be available winter 2016.

How will I get there?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will be notified of the specific airport and times necessary for you to make your travel arrangements. A Habitat for Humanity staff member will be present to greet you at baggage claim and transport you to the host site.

Can I go with a friend?
The Learn and Build Experience is about traveling to a new place, meeting new people and trying new things. Although you and a friend can both be accepted for the trip, you will be placed in different crews for the week so everyone can meet new people. If you are interested in participating in a Habitat trip with an existing group, please visit the Collegiate Challenge page.

How is this trip different from Collegiate Challenge?
Unlike Collegiate Challenge, participants sign up as individuals instead of groups. The Learn and Build Experience is for students who are excited to learn about Habitat’s mission and want the chance to go to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. There is also an educational component to the Learn and Build Experience program that is not built into every Collegiate Challenge trip.

I want to go international. Is that an option?
There will be no international Learn and Build Experience trip in 2016. If you are interested in participating in an international short-term build with Habitat, consider the Global Village program.

I am from outside of the United States. Can I participate?
Yes! We welcome a diverse group of students and staff to be a part of Learn and Build Experience.

Do the words “educational activities” and “educational component” mean I’ll be taking exams?
No worries! We will not be testing your housing knowledge – or any knowledge during your trip. Education activities are meant to teach participants about local poverty housing needs through events such as community tours, listening to a Habitat homeowner’s story or participating in team building and community service. Each affiliate offers a new perspective based on local needs and area poverty.

What if I am 15 now but will be 16 before the trip?
You may apply for the trip as long as you turn 16 before the start of your trip.

I’m ready to go! How do I apply?
Trip information and applications for the 2017 trip will be available winter 2016. Contact us at learnandbuild@habitat.org.

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