We recommend a 2-4 months stay as it is the most economical for the volunteer and the most beneficial for the local community. Programs and communities we work with have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to make sure that a volunteer gets settled in. By having longer term volunteering, volunteers are able to apply the skills and knowledge that they have acquired during the later stages of their participation.
Long term volunteers generally have a better experience because it normally takes 4 weeks to really become a part of your new community. After four weeks, you would most likely to have overcome any initial cultural shock, become adapted to living situations, be familiarized with the local language and will have found your function with the community. But again, each individual is distinctive and your adjustment period may be longer/shorter than 4 weeks.
This is not meant to discourage short term volunteers, as short term placements can just be as worthwhile as an accounting personnel. GCS understands that people have restricted time and resources to travel and as a result, we offer program placements as short as 2 weeks. In spite of the length of time that you plan on volunteering, if you demonstrate gusto and keep an open mind, you will customarily have a rewarding experience.