How does the application process work?

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Once your application is received, we will touch base with your references and review your application. Depending on the response time from references, you should hear from LiveDifferent within 2-3 weeks of applying as to whether or not you have been accepted into our upcoming session. Once accepted to the LiveDifferent Academy program, you will need to pay your deposit and send in a signed Consent Package and signed Child Protection Policy Agreement. You will then be able to set up an online fundraising page where people can donate towards the community project costs of Academy. More details will be provided upon acceptance.

Do I need to book my flights?

LiveDifferent will provide all Academy Students with return flights with WestJet. Certain restrictions apply, so contact us for more details.

Do I get a tax receipt from paying for the program?

LiveDifferent does not issue tax receipts for contributions made towards the Program Costs, as they are not directly related to the charitable component of the program. There are certain restrictions when issuing tax receipts. Full details are available upon request.

Can I get university credit?

LiveDifferent is not able to provide university credits for completing our Academy program at this point. We recommend contacting your university of choice prior to starting Academy about the possibility of earning university credit. Academy staff will do what they can to assist students to earn any credits available to them. On another note, however, the experiences that you will have and the opportunities to truly see and live with another culture while working alongside them for sustainability and improvement is something truly amazing on its own.

Am I able to communicate with friends and family while away?

Yes. Going to a new country and being away from home, often for the first time, can be both exciting and challenging. We understand that you will want and need to stay in contact with friends and family. There is Wi-Fi available at our base, though there will be times when there are lapses in service. We encourage you to find a balance between staying in touch with people back home and making the most of the opportunities surrounding you to learn a new culture and language and to develop relationships with the community and group members. Staff on the ground always carry cell phones making them available in case contact needs to be made between a participant and a family member or vice versa. Family members will be provided with a phone number they can contact in case of an emergency.

Do I need a passport to participate in the Academy?

Yes. A valid passport is mandatory to participate in the LiveDifferent Academy in Mexico. Please keep in mind that the meeting location for the Academy is San Diego, CA which means you will be traveling through the US to get to Mexico. Don’t worry if you don’t have a passport at the time of applying, you can notify us when you receive it. If you hold a passport from a country other than Canada, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met all the requirements for entry into the country you are visiting, and for some, this may include acquiring a visitor’s visa. If you don’t currently have a passport, be sure to apply for one as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

Do I need a travel visa?

If you hold a Canadian passport, you do not need a travel visa to participate on a LiveDifferent. Please keep in mind that the meeting location for our Mexico Builds is San Diego, CA which means you will be traveling through the US to get to Mexico. Build. If you hold a passport from a country other than Canada, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met all the requirements for entry into the country you are visiting, and for some, this may include acquiring a visitor’s visa. Please contact your destination’s embassy or consulate in Canada or your country of residence well before your departure for accurate and up-to-date information on visa requirements.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory for all LiveDifferent Academy participants to have Emergency Medical Travel Insurance. If you need to purchase Emergency Medical Travel Insurance, please visit or speak to your travel insurance company of choice.

What is ‘Week in the Life”?

Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”? The ‘week in a life’ is your chance to do just that. It is a week-long experience that we have developed in an effort to simulate some of the situations and difficult life-choices that many migrant Mexican workers and families in the area must make. It will be as if you arrived from mainland Mexico searching for work. You and your ‘family’ will build a structure that you will live in (on our base) – where you will cook your meals over a fire, bathe, wash your clothes by hand and sleep. During the days you will do work that is common in the area for day labourers and receive the average income that a family your size would make in order to purchase your food and pay your bills. Most Academy alumni claim that this week was one of the most challenging and most impactful weeks of their life. Living out a bit of the reality of people you will meet during your time in Mexico will add perspective that is not possible from just talking about the issues or even seeing it. Come let our staff guide you through this experience as you walk a mile in a migrant worker’s shoes for a week.



How safe is the LiveDifferent Academy program?

All of our staff are very passionate about what we do and we believe that we all have a responsibility to help those in need and to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. LiveDifferent maintains excellent community relations and works diligently alongside community leaders, other NGOs working in the area, and often government officials in each country that we work in. Safety is always our number one priority. All of our key staff are first aid certified and we always have access to quality medical attention (if needed) in all countries that we work in.

How does LiveDifferent ensure the safety and well-being of their participants?

LiveDifferent has a long history of safe, positive and life-changing humanitarian travel projects – taking over 5,000 students since 2005 with no serious injuries or incidents. We recognize there are always safety measures and risks when travelling to any developing country and with this in mind, we pay close attention to what is going on in the Baja California area and along the routes we travel. We carefully plan our travel, destinations and daily programming to ensure not only a safe experience but a culturally rich one with the opportunity for incredible learning beyond the stereotypes and assumptions often perpetuated by political groups and the media. You can feel confident that if we had any concerns about our ability to host your group safely or if any travel concerns come to our attention before or during the Academy Program we would be sure to communicate immediately with any registered students and their parent(s)/guardians.


Get in touch with a member of our team