What Do We Look For in an Abante International Colleague? Who Should Apply to the Program?
An Abante International Colleague is a High School graduate or a College Student who:
- Exhibits strong leadership qualities
- Has a strong faith base and stable relationship with Jesus Christ
- Has an adventurous spirit and is open to new challenges
- Is financially prepared to cover the cost of the program
- Is mentally and emotionally stable
- Sees his/her career path as their God given calling.
Steps For Admission Into the Program
First Step: There is an online application available on the website, under Admissions. You can also click here to access it. You would need to fill out the application and submit it in order to complete the first step for admissions.
Second Step: Submit two to three letters of recommendation. These could be from an instructor, a spiritual advisor, an employer, or a relative.
Third Step: You will receive an email, followed by a phone call, from an administrator in order to schedule an online interview (this may be done via Skype/FaceTime).
Fourth Step: If the student lives in proximity, A face to face interview will take place at which time the colleague is welcome to bring either a parent or a spiritual advisor to accompany them, or come by him/herself. If the student lives outside the city limits, a Skype or FaceTime interview will be arranged.
Fifth Step: Should you receive a call/email stating that you have been accepted into the program, preparations need to begin to get you ready for your nine month journey. You will need to familiarize yourself with the Abante website and the pertinent information there.
Cost of the Program:
Passport and Visa Information: You will need to apply for a US passport immediately following your acceptance into the program, as you will be traveling to many countries during your nine month journey. You are responsible for any fees related to the acquisition of a passport. Visas will be applied for during transit. Abante International will cover the fees for the visas.
Go to this link for instructions: http://travel.state.gov
Health Insurance and Vaccines Information: Each applicant is required to have his/her own health insurance. Once you have a finalized trajectory scheduled, be sure to research (google each country homepage) the requirements for vaccines or any other medical requirements. You are responsible for the fees required for any vaccinations needed for your journey. It is important this is taken care of prior to departure.
Go to the following link for more information: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/travel_abroad/Health%20Issues/Health%20Issues_6114.html
Emotional and Physical Health: The Abante International program is designed to educate and train you to Learn, Live and Lead in a Global Community. Besides the learning component, there is extensive travel, and intense physical activities that the team engages in regularly. Many of the experiences will be physically challenging, therefore, it is imperative that you are in good health spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Travel and Transportation Information: Traveling abroad can be intimidating for someone who has never traveled before, as well as for those who simply have limited experience interacting with other cultures. It is important to have all the pertinent information prior to the day of departure. It is also important to communicate regularly with your assigned directors for travel details; meet-up area, time, etc.
You can go to the FAQs on this website for information on how to pack, travel requirements, etc.
You can also go to the following links for tips and additional information:
Credit Cards/Debit Cards Use Abroad Information:
Credit and debit cards are the preferred way to use money abroad. Depending on the location, sometimes cash will come in handy. Do not exchange money at the airport -it is costly and the rate is not the best. Wait to do it at a local bank. You need to inform your bank that you will be traveling, and also which countries you will be visiting. This is to protect yourself from fraud, or a stolen identity situation. The charges show up form other parts of the world, it will raise a red flag to your bank and your card will be locked down. Be sure to let them know where you are heading a well as your return date.
Go to this link for more detailed information, and useful tips: https://www.fidelity.com/mymoney/credit-and-debit-card-tips-for-travel
Calendar and Schedule Information:
We live and die by our calendar! Instructions will be shared every morning during devotion time, and also in the evening before bed time, however, other than texts on a group chat specifically designated for group communications, the calendar needs to be checked every morning and every evening for any sudden change or emergency.
What Does a Typical Abante International Journey Look Like?
Each colleague must make arrangements to arrive at Hartsfield airport in Atlanta, GA on the date specified by the director of his/her team (you are responsible for your airline ticket to get to Atlanta). Once in Atlanta, an Abante crew member will be waiting at the airport baggage claim area to bring you to your host home.
As a colleague, you will spend the first month of your journey in Cleveland, GA where you will engage the other colleagues, directors, host family, host church, and community, while undergoing cross-cultural training and orientation. This portion of the program is known as what we call First Segment.
The next three months of the journey or the Second Segment will be spent in a “warm” culture-country chosen by the executive directors of the organization. A warm culture is a culture where the climate is warm and the people are extremely friendly, open and “laid-back”. During these three months, you will live in community with the other colleagues while learning and exercising the Zacchaeus principle, lead community projects, and engage in scheduled and organic missions work, as well as offer church support and participation where needed.
Colleagues will then have a three week break. You can choose to purchase a ticket to go home for the holidays, or stay at your host home to celebrate the holiday with them.
Everyone will meet again on the appointed return day in order to complete the last 5 months of the program or what we call the Third Segment. During this time, you will engage a “cold” culture-country, which simply means the country’s temperature is cold, and the people tend to be more reserved, timid and very structured. It provides a great contrast from the previous segment and a wonderful opportunity for you to experience the best of both worlds. Again, you will engage the local culture through community and social projects, missions work, church service, and any other organic need as it presents itself.
Colleagues will return to Atlanta, GA the first week of June for the closure of the program with a celebration of their accomplishments in our Sacra Ducta Ceremony. Following the ceremony, colleagues are free to go home.