ISV (International Student Volunteers)

Provider

Our mission is to support sustainable development programs around the world through life changing student volunteer programs designed to positively impact our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens.

Program destinations include South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. ISV has won multiple awards, and over 30,000 participants from around the world have experienced our volunteer, educational, cultural and adventure programs.Volunteers can join small teams for two-week projects in conservation or community development, followed by a two week adventure tour. Many university students earn academic credit for their involvement. Local staff carefully oversee programs and volunteers abroad. ISV is recognized as one of the highest rated volunteer and travel organizations in the world. ISV is a non-profit organization in California, USA and its Australian operations are based in Sydney. Begin your ISV Adventure!

Programs from ISV

Program Reviews

  • Annika
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Newcastle Australia
    University of Newcastle
    Best Time EVER
    04/05/2015

    To be completely embussed in the culture of the country and not speaking much Spanish myself I felt it was a safe and exciting way to travel. I made so many friends and all the tour guides were relaxed and easy to talk to there were even some tears when we had to part. I was in the Osa Peninsula for two weeks where we planted 850 mangrove with a mud fight to finish and we got to actually handle and work with sea turtle, they are such amazing creatures! the week we spent in Heredia was a great way to welcome us to the tour and allow the group to bond, as well as the cool activities Intercultura offered such as a weekend in Montverde we got to hold a toucan and boa constrictor. As a person who is afraid of heights zip lining was exhilarating and beautifully peaceful at the same time! I haven't even got to the adventure tour yet!
    I strongly advise this, I fell in love with the Country.

    How could this program be improved?

    Perhaps encourage participants to learn a bit of Spanish prior and perhaps be a little more lenient on the last night of the two weeks volunteering, it would have been nice to relax with a drink and also support the local community.

    Photos:
    Getting a bit wet White Water Rafting
    The view from Monteverde
    Casually on an Ox
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  • Kieren
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Brisbane, Australia
    Queensland University of Technology
    A great alternative to standard travel, directly volunteering still better
    03/09/2015

    Let me begin with this: I absolutely adored volunteering for the turtle project in Ostional beach, Costa Rica in January 2015. Our main role was to assist in the research of why Leatherback and Black turtles are heading towards extinction by collecting data from adult and infant turtles. We also took direct action to eliminate dangers such as plastic pollution littered along the beaches, transplanting nests to safer environments, and fending off predators such as birds and dogs (if you so choose to). It's an experience to escort little hatchlings down the beach and watch them swim off, starting the next leg of their journey.

    I would recommend, however, to join a volunteer group through a non-profit third-party or simply contact the volunteer project itself.

    I would recommend this project to people who are interested because it is a great alternative to standard travelling: you are giving back to communities in need; you are minimising your impact as a tourist; and you are experiencing true connection with the communities you will be visiting.

    How could this program be improved?

    The program was run smoothly. I have no other suggestions.

    Photos:
    Freshly hatched negras tortugitas (black turtles) waiting for their release onto the beach.
    Exhuming a black nest to collect nesting and hatching data.
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  • Fatima Taoube
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Sydney, Australia
    Macquarie University
    Trip of a Lifetime!
    03/06/2015

    This trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life! It was so easy to get along with the other volunteers on the group, and we all bonded very well. I loved meeting all of the beautiful locals in the amazingly stunning town of Chintsa in East London. Going down to the beach every morning and taking in the spectacular scenery was so much fun. Playing sports with the children was also so much fun, as you could really see the enjoyment in their faces. The work done on the volunteer site was very hard and rewarding. We did the work on the creche whilst the children and carers were there, which allowed to really see just how much they appreciated it. The children even became involved by grabbing a paint brush and painting the mural. This was definitely my favourite part of the program, although the adventure tour I must admit was pretty incredible!! I got to bungee jump off the highest bridge bungee in the world, abseil off table mountain, and do cliff jumps at Blyde River, things I never thought I'd get the chance to do in a million years. I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere at Island Vibe in Jeffrey's Bay and in Cape Town. The locals were so friendly and chilled out, I never wanted to leave!!

    I would 100% recommend this program to everyone! It is the most life-changing experience and leaves you ready to help and explore the world!!!

    How could this program be improved?

    I think its important to make the extra costs more clear beforehand. Other than that, everything was amazing! Wish it could have been longer!

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  • Harry Barley
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Melbourne, Australia
    RMIT
    ISV Shingwedzi
    03/05/2015

    A truly amazing experience. While on project we had the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of amazing animal species, and we were able to see the benefits of the work we were completing first hand. Not only fulfilling, but a life changing experience. Could not recommend highly enough!

    How could this program be improved?

    Maybe more free time/down time on project, was quite intense. To be honest though I wouldn't change anything

    Photos:
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  • Madalyn Bernardelle
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Melbourne, Australia
    Victoria University
    Take me back!
    03/05/2015

    I have travelled the world to nearly 30 countries and my experience with ISV was my all time favorite experience yet. The Volunteering aspect was filled with hard labour, learning new things, laughter, friendship, townships and an extremely rewarding outcome. Our arms ached, bodies sweated and got tired but I wouldn't change it for the world. That was the best part! We knew what we were doing was getting done for the right reasons as we were surrounded by children who would be using the facilities we were creating around their childcare centre.

    The Adventure tour was full of facing fears, fun and exploring new cities. This was an experience where I reconnected with myself and those around me to get out what I put in. I then have the privilege of traveling to Zambia and Botswana to be faced with lions while camping in Chobe National Park and swim on the edge of Victoria Falls. Does it get any better than that? It sure did!! I flew over Vic Falls in a microlight flight and rafted down the Zambezi.

    This trip was a life changing experience where I learnt about the world we live in, unique individuals and found myself through daring, challenging and testing myself.

    Thank you ISV and your incredibly commited, passionate and enthusiastic leaders.

    * I completed this in 2015

    How could this program be improved?

    I honestly couldn't fault it

    Photos:
    Angels Pool | Victoria Falls
    Volunteering | Cinsta, South Africa
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