What exactly is OriginAL?

OriginAL is a program launched by GERMIN and the Global Albanians Foundation. OriginAL, through a beautiful trip, aims to provide a volunteer, educational, and cultural experience for Albanian Diaspora Youth (ages 18-24) in their homeland countries. The goal is to strengthen their ethnic identity and create long-lasting connections, especially between them and their youth peers in our homeland countries. We plan to bring Albanian youth from all over the world for two weeks to Albania and Kosova and to build this number to hundreds and thousands of Albanian youth worldwide in the coming years.

Am I eligible?

Priority to be part of the trip is given to Albanian youth from the diaspora with the following criteria:

  • Between the ages of 18-24;
  • Not lived in Albania or Kosova after the age of 12;
  • Not spent more than three months in Albania/Kosova after the age of 12;
  • Albanian origin;
  • At least one Albanian parent or grandparent.

I am from Albania or Kosova. Am I still eligible to apply?

The trip includes several spots for Albanian youth from Albania or Kosova with the following criteria:

  • Between the ages of 18-24 
  • Living in Kosova or Albania for more than three months;
  • Albanian origin;
  • At least one Albanian parent or grandparent.

Is there an age limit?

Everyone interested in becoming a participant in OriginAL’s trip must be between the ages of 18 and 24.

How does OriginAL decide on safety and health decisions?

We will collaborate closely with Albania’s and Kosova’s Ministries of Health while maintaining the greatest degree of protection on our travels, adjusting as needed.

Can I continue my travel and stay in Albania/Kosova after the trip?

Participants in OriginAL may extend their stay if they so desire at their own expense. OriginAL doesn’t cover charges outside the planned schedule. 

Before returning to your resident country, you will be responsible for your Covid-19 test. If you are found to be Covid-19 positive during your extension term, you will be responsible for making your quarantine arrangements. 

This is, of course, all in the account after the OriginAL trip is over.

How does OriginAL perceive “Ethnic Albanian”?

You must be Albanian by birth or have at least one Albanian parent.

Do these journeys have any effect on the people who go on them?

The OriginAL tour aspires to be a life-changing event that provides everyone who participates with a deeper understanding of their own culture and ethnicity.

Not only will you learn new things, meet new people, and visit magnificent sights you’ve never seen before, but you’ll also remember this trip as a vital aspect of your youth and the formation of your Albanian identity for the rest of your life.

Do I have to pay a deposit fee for the trip?

If you are selected to participate in the program, a deposit fee will be required to secure your spot. After the program, you will receive the deposit back, or you can decide to donate it to the program.

What is the refund policy?

You can’t receive a total return of your deposit. Please review your decision before applying because we do not offer cancellation options.

What payment alternatives are available to me?

Deposits are made and processed using a safe online payment system. International credit cards are also accepted. There is no way to pay via wire transfer, cash, or check.

Is it safe for me to input my credit card information and pay my deposit online?

Absolutely. All deposits are paid, managed, and returned using online platforms, which is 100% safe.

How is OriginAL financed?

This cooperative project began with an online fundraiser, which has already generated most of the funds required to cover the program’s expenditures.

What are the primary activities and topics of the trip?

Don’t worry about missing out on the must-see places in Albania and Kosova, such as Kruja’s Museum and Prizren’s Castle—we’ve got you covered! Our excursions are well-rounded and centered on significant markers of historical and national sites, current arts, culture, technology, and environmental efforts, and Albanian values such as social justice, urban culture, and community.

What is OriginAL’s role? We collaborate with trip organizers to give Albanian youth the gift of a free trip around Albanian lands.

What are our responsibilities? All earth travel is coordinated, and instructional, and quality standards, procedural guidelines, and security procedures are established. Every trip is also subjected to comprehensive quality control checks to meet our standards. 

In a nutshell, the trip is created and performed by professionals subjected to a rigorous approval procedure by OriginAL, all so you may enjoy your journey to the maximum!

My schedule prevents me from taking a 14-day trip, but I don't want to miss this chance. Can I participate for less than 14 days?

While we understand this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, responsibilities such as job, school, and family might make it impossible to complete the 10-to-14-day program. We do not have the opportunity to offer participants to stay shorter. So, everyone should be part of OriginAL on the specified dates.

Can OriginAL accommodate those with medical, developmental, and physical disabilities?

Absolutely! We provide a limited number of accessibility excursions and accommodations. Trips for people with medical, developmental, and physical disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), vision or hearing impairments, IBD and Crohn’s Disease, people who use wheelchairs, and others, among them.

Please let us know about your health issues beforehand so we can prepare your accommodation plans.

Can I travel with my partner?

You and your significant other can participate as long as they are eligible to partake in OriginAL’s journey.

What if I become ill or require medical attention during the trip?

Your health is our number one priority! An on-call doctor and area hospitals are available at all times. In severe cases, participants will be relocated to another location for expert medical care and, if required, will be sent to their place of origin for further treatment.

Will there be staff members with us for the entire trip?

OriginAL is, without a doubt, a supervised program where you travel in a group environment. Each tour is guided by a Tour Educator and joined by the staff, making OriginAL happen. A bus driver also escorts the party.

How will we travel around Albania and Kosova?

You will travel by bus as a group. OriginAL’s high rules apply to all tours, tour bus providers, and drivers.

Is a passport required?

Yes! No one may enter Albania or Kosova unless they have a valid passport with their resident’s country or Albania’s/Kosova’s dual citizenship.

What if I don't have a passport yet?

We recommend starting the procedure immediately if you don’t have a passport.

*The passport does not apply to Albania and/or Kosova participants because they can travel only with an ID between the two countries.

Accessibility Statement

OriginAL is open to all Albanian youth worldwide. OriginAL makes every effort and invests resources to provide all participants with equal opportunities.

People with medical, developmental, and physical disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), vision or hearing impairments, IBD and Crohn’s Disease, wheelchairs, and others, are welcome to join us.

Please let us know about your health issues beforehand so we can prepare your accommodation plans.

Accessibility arrangements for buildings

OriginAL will ensure that each building has a friendly approach toward people with special needs.

We will provide the following:

  • Accessible entrance;
  • Accessible restrooms;
  • Bus Handicap accessible;

Is it mandatory to have a COVID-19 vaccine to participate?

Vaccination is not mandatory, and non-vaccinated individuals may also participate.

Is a COVID-19 test required before I return to my resident country?

It depends on your country’s Covid-19 policies. If necessary, a Covid-19 test will be arranged for you in Kosova prior to your return home.

Is it necessary for me to take a COVID-19 test before traveling?

It depends on the country’s Covid-19 policies at the time of your traveling. For every possible change, we will inform you in time.

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Get ready! / Bëhuni gati!

Application will open on May 25th, 2022.

Aplikimi hapet më datë 25 Maj, 2022.