IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Why choose IFRE Volunteers Abroad?

IFRE Volunteers, a leading U.S. volunteer abroad organization, specializes in ongoing, year-round projects available from 1 week to 12 weeks in 20 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. Wherever you choose to go, your IFRE volunteer experience will start with a one-week language and cultural immersion program providing you with an in-depth understanding of the local culture, basic language skills, regional issues and local customs. IFRE, a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization, is committed to providing you with a meaningful volunteer abroad experience that will change your life.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Shadowing

I volunteered at Sahid Memorial Hospital, a small community based hospital in Kathmandu,Nepal. During my volunteering stint, I was attached to the Emergency Department (ED). In the ED, they had a different medical officer in charge every day, which allowed me to interact with and learn from multiple doctors. Despite being a small hospital, there was a significant number of walk-in patients in the ED with diverse medical needs. During the afternoons, I was given the opportunity to explore different departments in the Hospital. My personal favourite was the Surgery department. The highlight of the program was observing live surgeries.

Registering for the program was easy. The program cost is fairy affordable as well.
Anjana, my program coordinator was friendly, accommodating and supportive throughout my stay in Nepal.

I would strongly recommend pre-med students to apply for this program to witness firsthand the diverse medical practices and gain invaluable clinical experience.

  • The staff at IFRE are friendly and helpful
  • The hospital had various departments for exploring niche opportunities
  • I had an opportunity to interact with different medical officer on a daily basis
  • The accommodation (Hostel) wasn't comfortable for my stay.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Sahid Memorial Hospital Experience

I volunteered in Sahid Memorial Hospital in the heart of Kathmandu in April 2024. I was assigned to the ER. I also made rounds in the General Ward with two of the ER young doctors. I participated in the assessments and treatment plans for some of the patients. The nursing and medical staff I interacted with were friendly. I felt at home after the first day. It’s a wonderful experience for me. I’d definitely seize another opportunity to go back. I spent some time touring the city. I also took a guided hiking tour of Shivapuri Peak which was exhausting but fun.

What was your funniest moment?
Riding on a commercial scooter.
  • Eye opener
  • Fulfilling
  • Cost-effective
  • Travel time
  • Long layover
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience

I was able to volunteer at a camp for the kids in Antigua, Guatemala and this experience was life changing. I was able to make such meaningful relationships with the kids and improving my Spanish was a bonus!! The host family I was with was also so so amazing and I had no problems with them at all. They were the sweetest people and I cannot wait to go back and stay with them!! Even outside of the program, I was able to explore the beautiful city of Antigua and it was so fun being able to immerse myself in the culture there. I highly recommend this program !!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely soak in every moment because everything goes by so fast! I never wanted the week to end.
  • relationships
  • adventure
  • new opportunities
  • bug bites
  • some food didn’t match well with me
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Yes, I recommend this program

Kathmandu Volunteer Work

Had an absolute blast. So much to see in Nepal and so many Nepali youth to help and just have fun with. Nepali locals are friendly and accommodating, and working with the IFRE allowed for a smooth, welcome transition into Nepal. Food and activities are great and cheap. There's a ton to experience in Nepal, especially if you want to take a hiking trip outside of Kathmandu. Try to see and enjoy as much as possible, especially helping with loads of diverse volunteer work. It can be a very fulfilling trip to take, as well just a lot of fun.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Arriving to the Kathmandu airport, especially if you don't have a ton of experience with international travel (specifically entering third world countries), can be pretty surprising and overwhelming. Walking outside into the frenzy of taxis and noise can be nerve-racking. Just keep moving and trust in the volunteer organization that your working with. They'll take care of you.
  • Diverse volunteer work to participate in.
  • Very cheap once your in Nepal
  • Very kind people all around
  • It's going to feel like your being too spontaneous with the information your given beforehand. You'll be fine, you kinda just gotta go for it.
  • You might get a little sick of eating very similar foods the whole time.
  • Air pollution/quality is not great.
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Yes, I recommend this program


Volunteering at the orphanage was more than just a simple act of giving back; it was a deeply enriching and transformative experience that left an indelible mark on my heart. From the moment I stepped through the doors of the orphanage, I was greeted with smiles that radiated warmth and genuine affection. The children, despite facing challenges and hardships that no child should ever have to endure, possessed an incredible resilience that was both humbling and awe-inspiring.
One of the most striking aspects of the experience was witnessing the boundless energy and zest for life that the children exhibited on a daily basis. Despite the uncertainty of their circumstances, they approached each day with an infectious enthusiasm that was impossible to resist. Whether they were playing games engaging in creative activities, or simply learning, their joy was palpable and served as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

What was your funniest moment?
Learning handball from the boys at the orphanage was definitely a highlight! Despite my best efforts, my goal-scoring skills left much to be desired. Their patience and laughter made the experience incredibly enjoyable, showing that sometimes the best moments are the ones filled with joy and shared laughter, even if the goals weren't exactly plentiful.
  • Opportunity to make a difference
  • Food was amazing
  • Flexibility to contribute in many ways
  • Language gap was hard sometimes


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I spent one month in Bali in 2018 and I fell in love with the exotic island of Gods and its wonderful people, hence I made a promise to myself and decided to go back a year after to give some of the kindness and helpfulness back to their community.

I have always been interested in teaching; however, I have never done it in a classroom before. Therefore, for me, the combination of traveling and volunteering with IFRE as an English teacher seemed to be a perfect opportunity.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

During the process of my online application, everything went smoothly; I was given all the help and support that I needed.

The in-country coordinator Komang was more than just a support for us: he took us to a traditional Balinese wedding, showed us the most beautiful authentic parts of Bali and was there whenever we needed him. He was also really flexible and helpful when we wanted to change our accommodation or had any other questions.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My advice to other volunteers is to be really open-minded and take every opportunity you have to get involved in an authentic cultural experience. Nothing compares to the feeling of getting to know multiple different cultures, religions, people and their stories. It also truly is a wonderful thing to see how huge an impact you can make just by teaching English in a primary school.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We were teaching from Monday to Friday, three classes per day in a primary school in Bali. The entire school had one English teacher, Miss Surya, and we were assisting her from 9.30 until 12.30. The students (age 6-12) were really respectful, energetic and lovable, and all the teachers we met were very helpful and amazing.

We had breakfast and lunch cooked by a wonderful Balinese lady and had our meals nearby the school which was approximately 30 minutes from our accommodation and organized by the in-country coordinator, Komang. The program does have accommodation 5 minutes' walk from the school; however, I and my friend decided to stay somewhere else as that place suited us and our needs better.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was being alone in a far-away foreign country. Luckily, one of my friends joined me on this journey and that was a great help. However, the organization and their in-country coordinator in Bali do give you all the support and help that you need. Though, if you are planning to volunteer on your own, and you do not like being alone, this might not be the best option for you.

As IFRE is a smaller organization, they spread out the volunteers all over the island, hence do not really expect to meet with other volunteers.

What did you like the most during your stay?

The first five years are crucial for children’s cognitive development. During these early years and even after, children have the ability to pick up, process and understand languages much quicker.

That’s why I’m more than thankful I could be part of these wonderful, energetic and lovable Balinese children’s journey of learning English as a second language.