Frequently Asked Questions
Application Process FAQs
How can I apply?
You can apply online on our website simply visiting the page of your award of interest. It will be necessary to create an account and register with your email address. You will then be able to complete an online application form (for the following Awards: Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Youth Activitst-Vermont, Ecuador and Eurocamp) or download a PDF application to complete and send by post (for all the other Awards).
Applicants for ACCESS, Mature and NUI Galway ALIVE Awards need to submit their application through their university.
If you are not able to register online, please contact us here to ask for a paper application form.
In any case, the deadline for applications is 12 noon Thursday February 9th 2017
How does the new online application process work?
The Online application process applies to the following Awards:
Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Youth Activist-Vermont, Ecuador and Eurocamp:
It should take at least 30 – 40 minutes to complete the online application process. The Online system now allows you to create an account, SAVE and come back to your application process when you have all your reference information ready
You can upload your videos, images and reference files when you have them ready!
The new application process for EIL Explore allows you to take your time and submit the best application you can!
Watch the video below to get an idea of how the system work
When is the deadline?
If you are posting your application documents close to the deadline (5th Feb or after), as well as posting the original in an An Post office before 9th Feb, please email a copy of the full application to firstname.lastname@example.org or to your ACCESS/Mature/NUI GAlway Alive officers if you apply for an ACCESS/Mature/NUI Galway ALIVE Award – This will secure that your application was received on time. Make sure to get a postal receipt from the Post office. If your original copy does not arrive by post, your emailed application will not be considered.
What age group is it for?
Which EIL Explore is for me?
I am under 18, do I travel on my own?
EIL Explore supports you to travel independently. You will have pre-departure support, administrative support and a local co-ordinator abroad. Most winners fly alone, with exception of the Vermont & Youth Activist participants who travel as a group.
I don’t speak another language, can I still apply?
Yes, you can. There are many EIL Explore awards that do not require prior foreign language experience. However you will need to be willing and enthusiastic about participating in a basic language course while you are abroad. EIL Explore is about learning through cultural immersion in a new community. Communication is a very important part of culture, of which language is only one aspect.
If I can’t go for the full duration of the award, should I still apply?
No. If you can not travel for the required award duration (e.g Mexico = 8 weeks) please do not apply this year. Maybe next year you might have greater availability.
If I win, how big does the Action at Home need to be on my return?
There is no set ‘size’, the quality of the Action at Home is the most important.
Participants have a variety of skills and capacities and this is why there is a choice of Action at Home types to suit people with different interests (Explore, Connect or Voice). It is YOUR project and you decide how you will share your experience abroad with your community on your return. Most importantly, your Action at Home needs to convey your learning and reflection on your experience, and illustrate the community you shared it with.
Generally speaking, a simple project done well is best 🙂
What if I have never traveled on my own before?
Previous travel experience is not required. For many past participants it was their first time on an airplane 🙂 All winners are supported pre-departure and while abroad to travel independently around the world. This might be your chance to push your boundaries and see more of the world.
What if I need help when I am abroad?
All winners are supported throughout their experience by a personal staff-partner, a past participant mentor and the EIL Explore coordinator. While abroad, all of these people are still available to the winner in addition to their 24 hour local coordinator on the ground in that country. As a winner you will receive a pre-departure workshop (in Ireland) and an arrival orientation (in the host country) briefing you on what you need to know locally as well as all emergency contacts. Many winners live with host families, who are great sources of support and help. There is also an EIL 24 hour Emergency Phone number if needed.
Are the travel dates fixed?
There is some flexibility. Most participants work closely with the office to fix dates (June – Aug) that suit them with regards university and work commitments. Some awards have fixed dates, these include: Vermont & Youth Activist (30th June – 9th July excluding travel), Eurocamp (August) & Secondary School in Europe (late Aug – Dec).
Will I need vaccinations?
Depending where you are travelling, you may need vaccinations. We recommend checking your destination country on www.tmb.ie. All winners requiring vaccinations receive a contribution to the reimbursement of these costs.
Who will I be living with when abroad?
Many winners (e.g. Ecuador, Japan, Ecuador and Secondary School) will live with host families while abroad. This offers them the unique cultural experience of living in the community as well as genuine family support. Other winners stay in residential accommodation with other participants (e.g Thailand, Vermont). They get to live with participants from many different countries and provides them with great peer support system.
Do I get to choose where I go or what I do when I get there?
For Access and Mature, and NUIG Alive Awards, these winners will work closely with EIL Explore staff to identify an available country and project that is of interest to them.
For Secondary School in Europe, the destination country depends on availability of countries that speak your European language of preference.
What if I get homesick, or ill while abroad?
All winners are supported throughout their experience by a personal staff-partner, a past participant mentor and the EIL Explore coordinator. While abroad, all of these people are still available to the winner in addition to their 24 hour local coordinator on the ground in that country. They would receive an pre-departure workshop (in Ireland) and an arrival orientation (in the host country) briefing them on living abroad, coping with homesickness, what they need to know locally as well as all emergency contacts. Many winners live with host families, who are great sources of support and help. There is an EIL 24 hour Emergency Phone number also if needed.
Can I apply for more than one award?
Yes. You can apply for any award you are eligible for. However, it is very clear when reading applications to see which one has received the most attention and careful consideration. If you are applying for more than one, please make sure the quality doesn’t slip. Apply now.
I was shortlisted last year, can I apply again this year?
If you were shortlisted but did not win in previous years, yes, you can apply again. All the learning you have done in the last 12 months can only strengthen your application. Many past winners won on the second, even third, attempts. However, if you are already won an award with EIL (Explore, Travel Awards or Global Awareness Programme), you are not eligible to apply again.
I don’t have an Irish passport, can I still apply?
Yes, as long as the passport you do have is valid and you are a permanent resident in Ireland you are eligible for an EIL Explore award.
Essay, video or photography – which is best for my application?
At shortlisting, there is no extra marks for format, so choose whichever suits you best. The quality of your answers is more important than the format. It is important to note that your ‘Why choose me’ personal statement and your Reference/Nomination form are equally important for selection purposes.
Is there samples of previous Actions at Home?
What if I can’t make the interview ?
It is compulsory to attend the interview day in person. If shortlisted, and you can not attend, your interview place will be given to the next suitable candidate. If you know now that you are not available on this date, we recommend that you consider applying next year instead.
How are the winners selected?
After the deadline, all eligible applications are reviewed in February 2017 by different members of the EIL Network and by recruiting partners (e.g. Foroige, Future Voices Ireland, NUI Galway ALIVE etc.). EIL network members include staff, board members, and past award winners. A shortlist is created, and participants notified. Interviews are held in Dublin Saturday March 11th 2017. In April, the winners are notified.
Check out How it’s assessed for more details.
If I win, what practical steps must I take to fulfil the award?
A successful participant is required to complete the following:
- Put effort and time into your preparation for the award and required documentation
- Return all completed documentation required by EIL Explore in full and in a timely manner
- Attend the Interview day in Dublin on Saturday March 11th 2017
- Participation at the Pre-Departure Workshop and Post-programme Debriefing
- Respond to all communication with EIL Explore promptly
- Design, roll-out and submission of an Action Project your return
When is the Pre-departure Workshop?
The Pre-departure Workshop is organised by the office on a date that is mutually agreed by all the winners. It is usually a Friday or Saturday in May, possibly early June. The date is agreed when all the winners have been notified. Check out the Timeline for an overview of the whole process.
I’ve been shortlisted, what can I do to prepare for the interview?
We recommend that you research the specifics of your chosen award. Make sure to know exactly what you are applying for, take the time to think about your motivations and what you think it makes you the best candidate for an Explore award.
Further preparation might include asking yourself questions about your own community and how you will apply the experience to become a better global citizen. It might also be interesting to research the culture of your destination, being careful to consider that you are not travelling there as a tourist. These blogs & news items might be helpful.
When will the winners be notified?
In April . Check out the Timeline for an overview of the process.
Something has come up, can I change my travel dates?
Prior to booking flights, there is some flexibility. Most winners work closely with the office to fix dates that suit them with regards university and work commitments. However some awards have fixed dates, these include: Vermont & Youth Activist (30th June – 9th July 9th excluding travel), Eurocamp (August) & Secondary School in Europe (late Aug – Dec).
After booking flights, any changes that need to be made will be at the participant’s own expense.
What happens if I don’t complete my Action at Home?
The Action at Home is the central part of this award. If an Action at Home is not completed or is of poor quality*, the participant will not be deemed to have completed the programme. They will not receive certification for the award, and will not be invited to participate in further opportunities with EIL. They will not be able to use EIL Explore on their CV or receive a written reference from EIL Explore into the future.
*Participants will have the assistance and feedback of the EIL Explore Co-ordinator when both developing and assessing the quality of their project.
Interested organisations FAQs
Who are EIL Explore’s existing partnerships?
Can I speak to someone about working with EIL Explore in the future?
Can I speak to someone about my nominee?
What is the selection procedure?
Check out How it is assessed for further details on the process
When is the deadline?
12 noon Thursday February 9th 2017 – We recommend a receipt of postage for all documents posted (Unfortunately this deadline is not flexible).
You can find details of all important dates and deadlines on Need Help.
How many people can I nominate?
- For ACCESS, each Access office can nominate its 5 preferred nominations.
- For MATURE STUDENTS, each Mature Student office can nominate its 5 preferred nominations.
- For all other awards, a nominator can nominate as many applicants as they choose. (e.g Secondary School in Europe, Youth Activist etc)
What is the timeline?
What kind of supports are in place for the winners?
All winners are supported throughout their experience by a personal staff-partner, a past participant mentor and the EIL Explore coordinator. While abroad, all of these people are still available to the winner in addition to their 24 hour local coordinator on the ground in that country. They would receive a pre-departure workshop (in Ireland) and an arrival orientation (in the host country) briefing them on what they need to know locally as well as all emergency information. Many winners live with host families, who are great sources of support and help. There is an EIL 24 hour Emergency Phone number also if needed.