timor_immersion

HIGH SCHOOL GROUP PROGRAMS

The Timor Unearthed High School Immersion Program is an all-inclusive educational travel experience. ​We work closely with all our group leaders to provide support during the planning and preparation of your group trip to Timor-Leste. Typically our programs are 10-12 days, 8-15 students, and 2-3 teachers. ​Our programs are flexible and designed to meet the needs of your group.​ Please read below for more information about our high school program services.

ALL-INCLUSIVE PROGRAMS

Below is an outline of what is included in our Timor Unearthed High School programs.​

PRE-DEPARTURE

  • Consultations to design the itinerary and discuss activities to focus on group learning objectives

  • Comprehensive risk assessment for each group

  • Immersion pre-departure information package

  • Immersion pre-departure information session with teachers, parents, and students to ensure everyone is prepared for the experience

  • On-going support via phone and email leading up to the immersion

  • Timor Unearthed has partnered with Reho Study Tours (Melbourne based travel agency) to manage and book your group flight to Timor-Leste.

 

IN TIMOR-LESTE

  • All-inclusive immersion program

  • In-country pre-departure briefing on arrival

  • An experienced team of local guides and drivers who have completed training in workplace health and safety, safe driving, child protection, first aid, and tour guide skills

  • High-quality educational workshops provided by our partnering organisations

  • Co-ordinated sustainable tourism activities. All our sustainable tourism experiences include an educational component (i.e. snorkeling and marine conservation, homestay experience and Timorese culture, trekking and eco-tourism).

  • Historical and cultural tour of significant sites

  • Reflection sessions and journal. We believe it is important that our groups take time to reflect on their experiences. Our team co-ordinates reflection sessions to encourage students to share their thoughts, ask questions, and enhance their learning experience

  • All accommodation carefully selected to be safe and comfortable

  • All transportation in well-maintained vehicles

  • All meals. Our restaurants are carefully selected based on similar values and quality. We include meals at hospitality training centers and restaurants that share the same vision to grow the hospitality and tourism in Timor-Leste.

 

BACK HOME

  • We want our programs to inspire students to make a positive change when returning home. After the immersion experience, many students and teachers want to continue their connection with Timor-Leste. This may be by fundraising and supporting a local program students visit during the immersion. We assist in connecting schools to our partnering organisations where students can fundraise and support local Timorese communities.

EXCLUSION

Flights, personal travel insurance, entry visa fee ($30.00USD), medical expenses, or personal spending money (~$50.00USD).

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WHERE WE TRAVEL TO

We travel all around Timor-Leste.

Below is a map of some common communities we visit.

 
 

EXAMPLE ITINERARY

Below is our suggested outline for an immersion program.

DAY 1-2     WELCOME TO TIMOR-LESTE

  • Pre-departure briefing (safety on tour, our expectations, getting to know our team and mission)

  • Guided tour of Dili city learning about the history of Timor-Leste

  • Educational workshops provided by our partnering organizations

  • Pre-departure reflection sessions

 

DAY 3-6     COMMUNITY HOMESTAY EXPERIENCE

  • Coordinated visits to local community projects (For example, womens groups, aquaculture, coffee processing facilities)

  • Homestay program where students live with local families and participate in daily life of the village including visits to local primary school (outside of school hours) and markets

  • Guided walk through coffee plantation and farmlands

  • Educational workshops provided by our partnering organizations

  • Reflection sessions with TU team and members of local community

 

DAY 7-9     VISIT TO RURAL TOWNSHIP IN TIMOR-LESTE

  • We provide a number of options to the school immersion leader to design the itinerary on these days to best suit the learning objective of the group. Based on the focus area of learning we select an area in Timor-Leste with local projects and activities of interest.

  • Sustainable tourism activities such as visiting local projects, hiking, snorkeling. All our sustainable tourism activities have a component of education.

  • Educational workshops provided by our partnering organizations

  • Reflection sessions with TU team and members of local community

 

DAY 10     FAREWELL TIMOR-LESTE

  • Final group reflection

  • Itinerary to be confirmed based on departing flight

CORE ELEMENTS OF OUR PROGRAM

HOMESTAY EXPERIENCE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do local people feel about us going to their villages and communities?


Timor Unearthed programs are guided by the communities we partner with. We conduct regular stakeholder engagement meetings, provide training and suppor. We hold a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with our homestay community. Our homestay families have received training in child protection, food safety, hospitality and have participated in homestay exchanges with other programs in Timor-Leste. Our families are very welcoming and open to sharing their community and lifestyle with students. They take a lot of pride in their culture and history and this experience is a great opportunity to share this with the global community. They understand this is an educational experience for students. Most people in the village are subsistence farmers and do not have any other source of income other than selling coffee and produce at local markets. This experience offers families an alternative source of income through sustainable tourism and share their culture.

We provide regular consultation and review sessions with our host families to ensure our homestay experience is positive for all involved. Our homestay coordinator, Norberto, is a local to the village and assists in facilitating our homestay experiences. We have always recieved positive feedback from our homestay community.




What support is offered to our group leading up to the trip?


In preparation for the immersion our management team will work with your schools program coordinator to design the itinerary and activities to focus on group learning objectives. We include a pre-departure information booklet and a pre-departure information session with teachers, parents and students to ensure everyone is prepared for the immersion. We can even assist with flight bookings and have a partnership with an experienced travel agency managing group flight bookings to Timor-Leste. When you arrive in Timor-Leste we conduct a pre-departure session with everyone involved on the immersion program including Timor Unearthed staff and your school group. We understand that prepartion for an immersion program can be time-consuming and at times overwhelming! We aim to make things as easy as possible and provide on-going support to the school via phone and email leading up to departure.




What bathroom ammenities are avaliable?


We always select accommodation facilities that are safe and hygenic. During the program, bathroom facilities will include mandi (bucket) style showers with cold water, and squat toilets. Some accommodation facilities may have western toilets and hot water.




Is Timor-Leste safe?


The people of Timor-Leste are very hospitable and friendly. This is reflected in survey data collected by The Ministry of Tourism and The Asia Foundation in 2014, which revealed that 84% of travellers surveyed rated personal safety and security as either 'good' or 'very good'. The official advice of the Australian Government's Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Timor-Leste (01/01/2020). This includes paying close attention to your personal security at all times and monitoring the media about possible new safety or security risks. Your safety is our primary concern at Timor Unearthed. You will have peace of mind travelling with experienced guides who know the country well and have reliable contacts throughout Timor-Leste. We have thorough risk management strategies and procedures in place in the unlikely case of an emergency. Read more about our commitment to safe travel.




When can we travel to Timor-Leste?


We operate travel programs in Timor-Leste all year round. December-April is wet season, which means access to very remote areas may be restricted due to road conditions. We strategically plan our travel program activities and the locations we visit to best fit the season.




Who are our guides and support in country?


All our immersion programs are facilitated by very experienced senior tour guides. We also will have several junior tour guide staff who will be on the program as an opportunity to recieve training and mentorship from our senior staff. All our staff have received training opportunities in safe driving, workplace health and safety, first aid, child protection, sustainable travel and tour guide skills. On the immersion you will have 24/7 support from the Timor Unearthed management team. Find out more about our team!




Can you cater for dietary requirements?


While in Timor-Leste you can expect to eat local food which includes rice, beans, vegetables, beef and chicken. In Dili, we also dine at restaurants that provide Western meals. All our restaurants are selected considering on food safey and hygiene practices. In the past we have catered for students with nut allergies, seafood allergies, and vegan/vegetarian dietary requirements. We provide all clean drinking water in water dispensors for the duration of the program.




Is there phone and internet reception?


Typically, all locations we travel to have good phone and internet connection. It is generally possible to call home or access the internet. We can provide your group leader with a local sim card to use for the duration of the program. We encourage all students to take a break from technology and not use their phones while in Timor-Leste.





 

FIND OUT MORE

Please feel free to get in contact with our team to find out more about our programs.

Contact Us

EDUCATIONAL | SAFE | SUSTAINABLE

GROUP TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN TIMOR-LESTE

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info@timorunearthed.com | @timorunearthed | +61 434 992 276

Timor Unearthed Tours Unipessoal LDA © 2019