SALT frequently asked questions

Your time with SALT is not just a year abroad. It’s a chance to relate to the world in a new way, make mistakes, get messy and learn through trying. You’ll grow. You’ll experience the world. You’ll find purpose. You will Serve and Learn Together.

SALT runs each year from August to July

SALT 2024-2025 is full. SALT 2025-2026 will be from August 12th, 2025 to July 11th, 2026. Orientation will be August 12th, 2025 – August 21st, 2025 and the re-entry retreat will be July 5th, 2026 to July 11th, 2026.

Orientation and the re-entry retreat are mandatory for all SALTers with costs covered by MCC. You leave for your international placement immediately following orientation. Travel back home to your permanent residence in Canada or the U.S. will immediately follow re-entry.

  • Not an "expert" but ready to lend a hand and learn from others
  • Desire to build healthy cross-cultural relationships and deepen understanding
  • Strong communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Patience, flexibility and willingness to be stretched in new ways
  • Good sense of humour, humility and willing to learn from mistakes
  • Committed to learning a new language and culture
    Willing to actively participate in a local church community

There is no program fee to participate in SALT.

You will need to cover costs related to a pre-service medical exam (required), optical/dental exams (optional), passport and visa expenses and any vaccinations relevant for the country where you are placed.

MCC covers all assignment-related costs. In order to help cover these costs and contribute toward the sustainability of the opportunities that SALT will afford you, we simply ask that you let your family, friends and faith community know you will be serving with MCC and encourage them to donate.

If you aren’t able to raise much, don’t worry! As long as you use the basic fundraising tools we provide, you can participate in SALT and will receive the same level of MCC support regardless of the amount you raise.

Assignment-related costs MCC covers include:

  • All basic needs related to assignment (travel to and from assignment, food and household costs, housing, in-country transportation, etc.)
  • Full medical coverage (no co-pay)
  • Vacation days
  • Orientation and re-entry participation, including travel
  • MCC in-country meetings and retreat costs
  • End-of-term benefits

You also receive a small monthly stipend for personal items such as clothing, vacations and haircuts, and are eligible for assistance with repaying student loans.

You will need to cover costs related to a pre-service medical exam (required), optical/dental exams (optional), passport and visa expenses and any vaccinations relevant for the country where you are placed.

We begin accepting applications each fall for terms starting the following August. Only those received before February 15 are guaranteed to be considered for a placement in the same year. The earlier we receive your application, the greater your chances of being placed. We start the placement process each January and finish in late May.

When applying to SALT, you are asked to list your assignment preferences. Once your placement process begins, together we will work with you to identify which assignment(s) may be the best fit for your skills and interests and the expressed needs of a local partner organization.

We send a summary of your application to MCC staff in the relevant countries that may have a possible fit for you. In consultation with the local partner organization, they weigh your skills and interests against other suitable applicants. The partner organizations make the ultimate decision about who to interview and offer their assignment to.

MCC will help you make educational loan re-payments that are due during your SALT term. You will also receive an additional three months of loan assistance upon the completion of the full SALT term to help you with your transition back home. The amount provided is determined by your loan repayment plan to a maximum of $290 monthly.

In most cases, SALT can be used to fulfill an internship or practicum requirement of your degree. Before leaving on assignment, you must discuss this in advance with us to ensure we are able to meet the specific requirements of your educational institution. It is up to you to ensure that SALT meets the requirements of your program before leaving on assignment.

Learn more about using SALT as an internship from Tyler Loewen and Dexter Volkman.

SALT is not about being an expert but going deep in a new culture and building meaningful relationships. It is not for the faint of heart. It’s about taking chances, trying something new, getting messy, learning from mistakes and being challenged. In the process, you will learn a lot of things, and perhaps teach some things. It will be an experience you will remember for a lifetime.

You can find out more about life as a SALTer by checking out the SALT Facebook page where we post current SALTer blogs, photos and stories. You can also read about the experiences of past SALTers in the SALT Yearbook.

Learn more about what it's like to be a SALTer from Chris Klassen who served in Kenya.

For more information about SALT policies and procedures, download the complete SALT policies document

Have any other questions about the SALT program, assignments, or application process? Contact MCC.

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