What actually is YWAM?
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) was started in 1960 by Loren Cunningham, a young American pastor with a vision to see young people engage in mission. Since then, YWAM as a movement has grown in both numbers of full-time volunteer staff and physical locations around the world. YWAM now offers training to thousands of people every year who communicate the good news of the gospel, provide practical care for those in need and receive further training where appropriate.
Who can apply to do a DTS?
The main qualification for studying in a DTS is that you have a relationship with God, want to grow in Him and want to help other people get to know Him. The other qualification is that you are at least 18 years old.
What should I expect during the application process?
You will need to fill out an application form, medical report, personal history form, police background check and ask three people to fill out reference forms for you. We must receive all the forms for us to consider your application.
Once we have received your entire application we will pray and discuss it as staff. We will be conducting phone or Skype interviews with you at this point. These help us to get to know you better… and help you to get to know us better! We will then let you know whether your application has been successful or not.
What will my day look like during the lecture phase of the DTS?
As Christians and YWAMers, we highly value our relationship with the Lord, so all are encouraged to start the day with having set aside time with God – taking time on your own to be with God, read His word, worship Him and listen to His voice.
DTS schedules differ from school to school but our mornings usually start with intercession for other nations/ministries and worship, and then continue with lectures. Afternoons are filled with studies, small groups, one-on-ones, work duties, local outreach and other activities. It is definitely an exciting time!
How can I adjust to living in a different culture?
Come with an attitude of openness to learn. Many things, including ideas and behavioural norms, will probably be different to what you are used to. This will take some adjusting. It is all part of the experience, and if you remain flexible and dependent on God, it will definitely add to your time here and prepare you for a life time of cross-cultural and cross-generational missions.
During the course of the lecture phase you will have a weekly one-on-one meeting with a member of staff with whom you can discuss any concerns you may have.
Do I need a visa to come do a school in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK?
British and Irish passport holders will not need a visa. Most other countries will need a visa, in which case you will need a letter of sponsorship from us to obtain a one for your school.
Once you have been accepted as a trainee, we will be in contact with you about the visa process. The visa process normally takes 2-3 months to complete, depending on your country of origin. Don’t worry, our administrator will walk you through it and give you guidance for every step.
How much does the DTS cost?
Every DTS varies e.g.
Admin fee (non-refundable) £30
DTS Lecture Phase £2,350
DTS Outreach Phase £1,800
Registration fee: £200 non-refundable room deposit due when acceptance letter is received. (This confirms your acceptance of our offer and reserves your room.) This amount counts towards Lecture Phase fee balance.
This doesn’t include airfare, vaccinations or visa costs.
How do I raise the money?
Once you’ve been accepted to the school, we’ll be happy to help you come up with ideas for raising the money for DTS. Please feel free to contact us to discuss it. Click here for more information on fundraising. (https://ywam.org/supportraising/)
Some of our trainees are supported by their churches, friends, or families. Others work for a period of time to earn the money, and others use their savings accounts or sell their car and other possessions.
How do I pay for the school?
There are a variety of ways to pay your school fees. If possible please pay electronically:
via bank transfer
via PayPal on our website (PayPal account, or credit/debit card)
via bank draft in British Pounds.
with cash - pound sterling only, you can withdraw cash (Sterling Pounds ‘£’ GBP) from local ATM and pay in person once you arrive.
We would advise you to inform your bank and credit card companies that you’ll travelling for a specific period of time, so they won’t block your cards/accounts.
Are there any additional costs?
Yes. Additional costs include your airfare to and from Belfast, NI as well as your return outreach airfare (from Belfast to outreach location). You will also be required to pay for any required vaccinations, and your UK and outreach location visa costs. Other cost could include gifts, toiletries and personal spending money.
When are the fees due?
Lecture phase fees are due on the first day of school, during registration. We appreciate if the outreach fee is paid by week 8, though it is due in full before the commencement of outreach. YWAM will aid in the selection of flights for outreach. Payment for transport to the outreach location (such as flights) and visa fees will be in addition to the outreach fee, and will be payable upon booking – typically around week 5.
What is/isn’t included in the school fees?
The school fees include your accommodation, meals, and the cost of team travel, as well as food, accommodation, and travel on outreach.
The school fees do NOT include transport to Belfast, Northern Ireland and back to your home country nor does it include visa expenses to UK or to outreach. All personal expenses incurred while involved with YWAM Belfast are the responsibility of the student (such as medical costs, food and snacks away from the DTS house/apartments, toiletry items and mail). It is a good idea to bring some spending money for things such as snacks or personal items.
What is your refund policy?
Lecture phase - A trainee(s) leaving for any reason
Prior to the first session of class- 100%*
During the second week of class- 85%
During the third week of class- 50%
No refund is payable to trainees who leave after the end of the 3rd week.
The £200 registration fee is not refundable or included in the above percentages.
Outreach Phase - A trainee(s) leaving before the commencement of the outreach will be liable for any irrecoverable expenses incurred on their behalf (for example: accommodation bookings, flights, etc.). Once outreach has commenced, no refund is payable to a trainee.
What is the cost for children?
Fees for children are based mainly on food costs but also include a nominal amount for utilities.
Is money given for DTS is tax deductible?
Donations for students are NOT tax deductible. If someone wants to send a gift, please ask if your church can help with tax-deductible gifts.
Do you have scholarships available?
Not at this time. Each of us (staff) at YWAM Belfast still need to pray and fundraise for airfares, day to day living expenses and other expenses. We are all on this faith journey together.
Do I need travel insurance?
YES. Travel insurance is required for your stay here in UK and international outreach. We advise getting multi-country travel and medical insurance for 6 months (or the duration of your school/internship if longer). For outreach we will purchase travel insurance at your expense if you are not insured already. We will let you know if we need to do this.
Do you have someone who can pick me up at the airport?
Yes, if you are flying into Belfast City or Belfast International airports, we can collect you on DTS arrival dates. Please send us your complete flight details as soon as you have confirmed your flight. Someone will meet you at baggage claim holding a sign that says ‘YWAM’.
Do you have shops near you? How about grocery? Banks? ATM? Entertainment?
The YWAM house is a 10 minute walk from a big grocery store, 2 minute walk from a pharmacy, and 5 minute walk from smaller convenience shops. Coffee shops, a post office, cafes, etc. are within a 1 mile walk. ATM’s will be available at several of these shops. A bus stops very near the house, which will take you into the City Centre. There is a nice park across the road from the house, great for a wee walk with friends or some quiet time to yourself. Belfast is a compact city, and very walkable. There are a number of entertainment options within walking distance, or a short bus ride away. All the main banks have branches in the city centre.
Do you supply food for the weekends as well?
Yes. There will be a rota for different people who will take turns cooking dinners on the weekends for the group, breakfast and lunches will be on your own (though the food is provided as a part of your school fees.)
Can my family/boyfriend/girlfriend visit me during DTS?
Upon request and subject to DTS leader’s approval. There may not be available accommodation at the YWAM location, so alternative accommodation may be necessary. Please inform at least a month in advance.
Do I need to bring bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow)? A towel?
You do not need to bring bedding as those items are all provided. Please bring a towel, you will need to take it on outreach as well. You will need a sleeping bag for outreach, so you can consider bringing one from your home country if possible. Or you can easily purchase a sleeping bag here in Belfast.
I have special dietary needs. Will I have access to a kitchen?
You will have access to a kitchen, though the kitchen is used for all the cooking of meals for the students and staff. Depending on your special dietary needs, we may not be able to accommodate them with our kitchen setup. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this further.
How much luggage should I bring?
You will be sharing a room with several other people and there is limited space. Please pack lightly for DTS and only bring 1 suitcase or hiking backpack.
Can I bring my laptop/tablet and will there be internet available?
Yes, you can bring one laptop or tablet per person. You do need to be aware that you will be responsible for the safety of your devices, and depending on the outreach locations, you may not be able to bring laptops or tablets on outreach. If this is the case, your device will be stored at the YWAM house during the outreach phase.
Make sure you bring a plug adapter (your country plug may be different from the UK’s), you can buy this in Belfast if needed. As well the voltage in the UK is 220 volts, you may need a voltage converter. Many phone/computer/tablet chargers have built in voltage converters, you will need to check your own devices to see if you will need a converter.
Yes, we have internet access available at the YWAM houses. This is included in your school fees.
Can I bring my mobile phone?
Yes, you can bring your mobile/cellphone. You will, however be asked to switch it off during lectures, meetings and other school activities.
Can I bring my musical instrument(s)?
A musical instrument is a great item to bring! You may be able to use it during worship times in DTS and even on outreach as long as you don’t mind carrying it. Please contact the DTS to double check that your particular instrument will be able to be brought.
What is the climate like in Belfast, Northern Ireland?
We have four very distinct seasons. Spring is usually wet but gets warm and dry towards May, when everything comes alive and there is lots of colour. Summers tend to be warm between 15C and 25C and last to the end of August. Fall weather is not so much cold as it is rainy and umbrellas are easily available. Winter weather starts around November and tends to be very cold between 2C and 6C lasting until March. In Northern Ireland we get a lot of rain, and it can come at any time of the year. So it is advisable to bring a good rain jacket with you to Belfast.
Do I need to take part in outreach?
To successfully complete the DTS, you will need to take part in the outreach phase. This is the part of the school where the main focus will be on putting into practice what you have learnt over the course of the lecture phase. Both halves of the DTS are very important, lecture phase and outreach phase, and they are integral to the overall aims of the DTS.