ISV (International Student Volunteers)

Provider

ISV's 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.

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 their educational, cultural and adventure programs. Volunteers can join small teams for two-week projects in the field of conservation or community development, followed by a two week adventure tour. Many students earn academic credit for their involvement and highly qualified local staff carefully oversee programs in each country. ISV is recognized as one of the highest rated volunteer and travel organizations in the world and is a non-profit organization in California, USA. Its Australian operations are based in Sydney. Begin your ISV adventure today!

Programs from ISV

Program Reviews

  • Lee
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    North Carolina State University
    Making the Connection
    07/31/2015

    Being in the United States, it is very easy to move about life without thing of our impact in the world. This program really opens the eyes of the participants about the "real world" and focuses on a learning perspective instead of just a "vacation" in which you can also impact the world. Coming from different majors of Engineering to Biology to English, everyone on the journey learn the true value in protecting this world and having sustainable fun. When I returned home, I have seen the impacts of this journey in practically everything I do, from buying groceries, to enjoying entertainment. ISV impacts the student and volunteers in a great way, supplying both knowledge and fun.

    How could this program be improved?

    The program itself does not need improvement. What does need improvement is the price and how it is advertised. The poster price is only about half of the entire cost; it does not include plain tickets, spending money, money needed to get food in the host country, and required insurance. Also, ISV advertises an "Optional Activity Package" which has everything the participants want to do on the trip. And this is about an extra $350. So the trip is much more than the poster price. There are way too many hidden fees.

    Video Review:
    Highlights and Photos from New Zealand 2015!
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  • Robbie
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Atlanta, GA
    University of Florida
    Experience of a lifetime
    07/24/2015

    I spent four weeks over the summer in New Zealand traveling the North and South islands with 27 of my peers. While the second half of the trip (adventure tour) was more exciting and fun, the first two weeks spent volunteering on Motuihe Island with only 8 of us had a much stronger impact on me. The volunteer portion of my ISV experience gave me new perspectives on many environmental topics including ecosystem restoration and sustainable living. My project leader was also very knowledgeable; he taught us all about contemporary world problems and gave us different point of views through deep debate and discussion.

    With little to no cell phone coverage, the 8 of us got to know each other very quickly. Through the volunteer work and free time spent on the island, within days, we all became so closely-knit as a group of friends. I am so happy I decided to go to New Zealand. If it wasn't for ISV, I would have never met these 7 kids which I can now call some of my best friends.

    The adventure tour was incredible. Wether you're a thrill seeker or you just want to relax, New Zealand has it all. The country is filled with countless beautiful landscapes from mountains to beaches and everything in between. The blackwater caves of Waitamo (glow worm caves) might be the most interesting place I have ever visited.

    I highly recommend New Zealand as the site of your volunteering and adventure. I made lifelong friendships while exploring some of the most beautiful cities in the world. And the drinks taste great!

    How could this program be improved?

    The food on the island during the first two weeks was limited. However, our project was the first of many more and I have no doubt that ISV will fix this small issue to accommodate everyone.

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  • Heather
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Columbia, SC
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
    Life Changing Trip
    07/22/2015

    Thailand was the most beautiful place I have ever visited. In the coarse of to weeks I met life long friends while helping others. One of the silliest stories from my trip was an adventure on the school bust with the children from DEDPC. Everyday we got to take the bus home with the kids, and the views were incredible. At the last stop one day the bus driver stopped and at first we thought it was odd, but then we got off and the views of the mountains were breath taking, and life just seemed simple.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would want to know how much money was going to our host organizations, and for there to be a little more structure at the host organizations.

    Photos:
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  • Brittany
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Saginaw Valley State University
    A life-changing trip to say the least.
    07/22/2015

    I absolutely loved Thailand. I feel in love with the people, the culture and most of all the experience. I instantly felt at home during my project and during my adventure tour. My only complaint is to update the travel manual to include an updated version of what to pack and what not to. I was aware of how conservative Thailand was, but not to the extent I should have been. Other than that, I would not change a thing. If I had the time left, I would go on another trip. I know I will be back to Thailand, the question is: When?

    How could this program be improved?

    Update the Travel Manuel: i.e. Packing list, Money.. ect.

    Photos:
    Friends forever, never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart.
    That three hour hike was well worth the view.
    Taking baths with our elephant friends.
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  • Maria
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Raleigh, NC
    North Carolina State University
    The Experience of a Lifetime
    07/20/2015

    During my travels I not only got the experience to be immersed in wildlife and work/play with elephants, but I got to be completed excepted by a group of friends and people in The Kingdom of Thailand and have a great time with them. The local people are lovely, genuine and sweet. The cities are beautiful and the islands will blow your mind! All the activities we get to do in each place makes the trip worth it. I felt really comfortable with everyone I met in every city I went to. It was special to volunteer in Thailand with elephants because the elephant is Thailand's national symbol, yet they are being mistreated. It was great to see the rescued elephants and educate others about how to properly care for elephants as well. This trip means so much to me and it has encouraged me to want to go back to Thailand again in the future. ISV made it a safe and awesome travel experience!!!

    How could this program be improved?

    I think the packing list should be more efficient and have less items on it, I ended up not needing so much stuff.

    Photos:
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