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Design Summit FAQ

What do we do on the 14 days of the program?

Over the course of two weeks you will learn in a unique cross-cultural environment and be supported by professional mentors drawn from technical and development fields.


Am I eligible to apply for the Design Summit? Do I have to be an engineer?
You don’t have to be enrolled in an engineering degree to attend the Design Summit. However you do need to be a currently enrolled university student or recent graduate (less than 6 months). In exceptional circumstances, non-university students are accepted at the discretion of program team.


I am under 18 years old; can I still attend the Design Summit?
Unfortunately we cannot accept minors on this program. EWB will be running study tours throughout the year. You are encouraged to apply for these programs when you have turned 18.


What if the Design Summit clashes with exams?
Always make arrangements in line with your university and degree requirements. EWB does not encourage students to reschedule exams to be able to participate in the Design Summit Program.


How do I pay my program deposit?
Your program offer will contain a unique deposit payment link. You can find this link easily by searching your emails for the subject line ‘EWB – Humanitarian Design Summit Program Offer‘. No surcharge applies for Visa, and AMEX is not accepted.


Is my deposit refundable?
If you are unable to travel due to contracting COVID-19 up to 7 days before the program commencement date, your deposit will be refunded in full where you are able to provide evidence in the form of a PCR test or doctor’s certificate. In all other circumstances, deposits will not be refunded if you decide to withdraw after you are accepted into the program. If you decide to take out personal travel insurance, or if your university provides insurance on your behalf, you may be able to recover deposit costs in some cases (i.e. illness or loss in the family). Consult your relevant policies for more information.

Withdrawal notice period  Deposit refund  Balance refund 
Up to 8 weeks pre-program  0%  100% ($3,000) 
Between 4 and 8 weeks pre-program  0%  50% ($1,500) 
Less than 4 weeks pre-program  0%  0% 


If I am placed on a wait list, will I find out if my application is successful or unsuccessful?
Yes, all applicants on the wait list will be informed if their application is either successful or unsuccessful.


What does my program fee cover? What is included and not included?
Your program fee includes all in-country logistics, all meals, cultural activities and language lessons, twin-style accomodation, chartered transportation, remuneration for guest speakers, translators and homestay hosts, a team of professional facilitators and mentors to support and guide your learning and experience through-out the program, 24/7 in-country support, support of community partners, comprehensive risk and safety processes and support of EWB’s programs and activities. Your program fees may include travel insurance (this is on a university by university basis) to cover your full participation in the program, including cancellation if you are unable to attend. The program fee does not include flights to/from destination, passport and visa application costs, pre-departure medical costs and vaccinations or any personal expenses (including alcoholic drinks).


Can I be provided with an invoice for tax purposes?
A tax invoice will be sent automatically via email once payment has been received.


What financial assistance opportunities are available?
Please check your eligibility for scholarships and other fee-support by contacting your university’s study abroad office for more details. Your faculty may also have funding allocated for leadership and additional education opportunities. Contact your faculty for more information.


Can I travel before or after the program?
You are more than welcome to organise your own travel before and after the program’s official start and end dates. Participants are expected to attend the full duration of the Summit. Accommodation will be covered by EWB throughout these dates. You will need to organise your own travel insurance if you are travelling outside of the program dates.

Where can I find country-specific information to best prepare myself for my Design Summit?
Firstly, read your pre-departure pack for all the basic information you need to prepare for your travels. The ‘get to know more’ section in the pre-departure pack provides a few key resources to get you familiar with your host country and human-centred approaches to design and development. We encourage you to start here! We also invite you to post on the Facebook group any discussion questions you might have, interesting resources you find and to meet other participants on your trip.


Will there be any workshops prior to departure?
A teleconference will be held for all participants prior to departure. The teleconference will cover a preliminary safety briefing, preparations for departure and answer any additional questions that participants may have. More complete workshops will be held over the first two days of the Summit in preparation for community visits. Suggested pre-reading will be provided to prepare students for the Summit experience.


Will there be any opportunities to meet the other participants before the trip?
A Facebook group will be set up to allow participants to share information and to meet informally. If you do not have Facebook, we will also be holding a pre-departure teleconference in the lead up to the trip.


Can we book our flights as a group?
If you would like to book flights in a group you are more than welcome to. EWB does not organise flights for participants but you might like to coordinate flights with other participants from your state. A Facebook group for all the participants will be created to discuss flights and will be a convenient place to hold other conversations about the Summit.


What are the sleeping arrangements? Will I be sharing accommodation? Will I be able to choose who I share with?
Accommodation will be mostly twin share in hostels and lovely local hotels. Accommodation is pre-arranged by gender into twin rooms. Participants will rotate roommates over the course of the Design Summit. During community visits, participants may be staying in the one location, and may share rooms with more than one other person, depending on the facilities of the community.


Am I able to stay in the accommodation for a few nights before or after the actual dates of the design summit?
Accommodation is provided from the first night of the official Summit program. Accommodation and travel outside of these times is the responsibility of the participant.


Do I need to purchase my own travel insurance?
Travel insurance is essential for this program and will be provided by either EWB or your university. If covered by EWB’s policy, insurance covers participants one day prior to the program start date to one day after the program conclusion date. If covered by your university’s policy, please refer to the relevant policies. If you are embarking on your own personal travel outside of this time you will need to purchase your own travel insurance.


What category of Australian Federal Police Check do I apply for?
As we will be visiting and staying in communities with children, participants will need to complete a Federal Police Check. When you apply for your Federal Police Check, in Section 1 you will need a “Name Check Only”.  Under Section 8, select code number 37 “Care, instruction or supervision of children/ Care of intellectually disabled persons/ Aged Care staff/volunteers”.  Note that Federal Police Checks can take up to 3 weeks to receive – check the AFP site for current processing times. Federal police checks must be no older than 6 months old.


What sort of clothing is required? Do I need to adhere to cultural customs?
While in country, it will be important for participants to wear culturally appropriate clothing, which includes T-shirt sleeves and long pants. Low cut tops, singlets and short skirts/shorts are not appropriate, especially when visiting communities. It is also important to note that the climate may be tropical and humid, and so light cotton fabrics will be most comfortable. There may be an opportunity to purchase some clothing at local markets.


Do we need to provide our own bedding and mosquito nets?
Bedding and mosquito nets are provided for all participants. Participants are welcome to bring a sleeping bag liner and pillowcase of their own for the community visits if they wish, however, this is not a requirement.


Should I take electronic devices such as tablets or laptop computers?
Some places you will stay will have a wi-fi connection. However, the use of electronic devices is completely optional and not required for the work done on the Summit. Participants will be responsible for ensuring their own devices are secure.


Do I need to take my mobile phone?
Participants are required to have an unlocked mobile phone for the Design Summit, for safety and so that everyone in the group can keep in contact. Local sim cards will be organised on your arrival. If you would like to take your own mobile phone using your existing number, it is up to you to contact your provider in Australia to negotiate roaming costs.


Will there be laundry facilities available?
Laundromats are widely available where you can have your clothes washed, dried, and folded for only around $2–3 per kilo of clothing. In addition, some of the hostels we are staying in may have a laundry service included with your room. During community visits, facilities may be more basic.


Is there an opportunity to leave luggage in a central location before going out to community visits?
There will be an opportunity for participants to leave extra luggage at a central location before going out to visit communities. However, it is encouraged that you pack lightly, as everyone will be responsible for carrying their own luggage.


What last minute preparations are needed?
In terms of last minute preparations, make sure you have some foreign currency in cash and a passport photo if you are purchasing a visa on arrival, an unlocked mobile phone, your International Covid-19 Vaccination certificate, insect repellent and sunscreen, a notebook and pen, and your passport. In addition, be sure to keep family and those close to you, informed of your travel plans and any emergency contact details


What information are you able to give us on what engineering projects we will be working on?
The focus of the Design Summit is to learn from community partners, and engage in the design process. Rather than working on set building projects, we will be working with EWB’s community partners, to learn from and contribute to long-term solutions. You will be sent information on your community partner shortly so that you can begin familiarising yourself with the community.


Would I be able to base my university research project on the Design Summit?
Yes. The Summit may be used as a base for your university research project if you are studying at ANU, UTS or RMIT. If you are considering basing your research project on the Summit, please get in contact with the EWB research coordinator, research@ewb.org.au. To see the type of EWB research projects that are currently available, have a look at https://ewb.org.au/project/research-challenge/. The Summit is a great way to see humanitarian engineering first hand, and you may discover new ideas for possible research projects.