Student Placement FAQs

Find answers here to all the frequently asked questions about Student placements offered through the Latin Link Stride programme.

Who can apply?

We are looking for committed evangelical Christians who are actively involved in their church. Applicants should be flexible, able to show initiative, open to learn and able to demonstrate a reasonable degree of independence. The minimum age is 18 years.

What happens after you receive my application form?

We read it through carefully and then usually send you an email inviting you to a Stride information day at our offices in Reading. Or if you are based in Ireland or Scotland, the relevant Area Coordinator will contact you to arrange a meeting and interview.We will also contact your referees and ask them to give us their views on your suitability for Stride.

What are my chances of being accepted on Stride?

We recommend that you carefully consider the challenge of short-term mission and that you pray and seek the advice of Christian friends and your church leaders before submitting your application form.

We also have a responsibility to be confident that you are emotionally and physically able to serve on Stride and therefore it is important that you are 100 per cent honest with us throughout your application. In some cases we will ask applicants for a second interview, or will seek further advice and Psychological Clearance as a condition of your acceptance on the Stride programme. For all Striders we would seek to have adequate support structures in place for the duration of your placement. We also ask all applicants to complete a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check as Striders will often be involved in youth and children’s work.

What about medical stuff?

We require everyone who goes on Stride to get medical clearance before they leave for Latin America.

You will need to have some inoculations before you go to Latin America. Please note that you are responsible for the cost of these, though we will give you a letter that may help you to get a discount at your GP surgery or travel clinic.

As part of the orientation course there will be training on how to stay healthy in Latin America.

How will I raise the funds?

We will give you specific advice about this at the Stride information day, and continuing support and encouragement as you begin your fundraising. There are many ways in which Striders have raised funds in the past, including charitable trust funds, donations from friends and family, church mission committees, sponsored events and earnings.

Pray, trust that God will provide, and actively seek to raise the support – and the money will come in.

How is my placement organised?

Once you have been offered and have accepted your place on the Stride programme, we will draw up a profile of you, based on your application, interview and references. We will then seek to match you with an available placement. Once a placement has been fixed, the Short Term Coordinator (STC) in the country where you will be placed will organise other aspects, such as a mentor, accommodation and language study.

Can I choose where I go?

We always take into consideration people’s personal preferences. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet any specific requirements.

What happens when I come back?

The STC who organised your placement will spend some time with you at the end of your placement as a form of debrief, to allow you to reflect on your experiences. Then when you get back to Britain or Ireland, usually a month or so after your return, we will meet with you to chat things through, and help you to reflect in depth on how your experience has impacted you and how it might help you in the future. You will also be invited to a debrief weekend for all those who have returned from Step projects or Stride placements during that year. This is usually held in November, and is a great chance to catch up with others you may not have seen since orientation, as well as to reflect as a group on what you have seen and done, and to think about the future.

I'm a Medical student - what about language?

For medical or nursing electives, it is essential that you have at least A-level or equivalent Spanish/Portuguese before you will be accepted on Stride. You will also need to invest time and effort into learning specific medical or nursing vocabulary related to the placement you will be involved with, before you arrive in Latin America. We can help with some intensive language study in country when you arrive, but this will be at an additional cost to you.

Do I have to book my own flights?

Yes, but don’t panic! We will help you find good routes and deals through our Travel Management Company and you’re covered by their ATOL licence.

What about insurance?

The cost of joining the Latin Link medical emergency and travel insurance policy is covered by your Stride monthly fees. Our policy has been specifically designed to fit the requirements of volunteers on the programme.

You must arrange your own insurance cover if you choose to travel after the end of your Stride placement.

What support does Latin Link give?

Everyone on Stride becomes part of the Latin Link team in their country. Each Strider has a Short Term Coordinator (STC) and a mentor who are on hand in Latin America and who help to oversee the placement details and offer pastoral support and guidance.

The office team in Britain and Ireland is also available to offer support in various ways throughout the whole process.

Why not just send the money?

To encourage the Latin American Church – years of experience in mission have shown us how much the Latin American Church values the support given by Striders. Not only are churches helped by the practical help that Striders offer, but also through the support, friendship and personal testimony given by the Strider.

To develop as an individual – many Striders return home with stories of how God has impacted their own lives as they served him.