IVHQ Globe

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

About

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) brings people together from all walks of life to make a difference on the adventure of a lifetime. We offer the world’s largest range of volunteer programs with 300+ projects across 50+ destinations - from teaching and working with children to medical missions, conservation and wildlife volunteering.

With over 14 years of experience, IVHQ provides safe, impactful and affordable fully-hosted volunteer experiences. Our multi-layered support network and flexible booking policy means you can volunteer abroad with confidence.

Our programs range from 1 to 24 weeks across premier destinations in Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, North America, Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a new culture while making a difference? Join our 118,000+ community of IVHQ travellers who have spent over 7 million hours supporting local communities.

Reviews

Default avatar
Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

English teaching in Romania

I cannot write anything higher than how perfect this project was. I had time to do anything and everything!
My instructor always made sure to check on me and my roommates and we all got along amazingly. The schools I got to teach at were so loving and grateful it made me so sad to leave them.
I felt so valued at this site from all the amazing people I got to be with. The food in Romania is fantastic and the affordability knocked me on my back.
I was so glad there was a way to go on a humanitarian trip without spending overwhelming amounts of money.

Pros
  • Amazing food
  • Everything is so cheap
  • Safe streets at night
Cons
  • Zero nightlife other than sad run down clubs
  • Jet lag
Default avatar
Neve
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

unforgettable experience

This trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Entering the program, I was worried that I would have trouble making friends or meeting anyone that I could get along with during my time in a foreign country. In the end, I had no reason to worry, everyone I met during this trip was so kind and friendly and like minded. I will never forget everyone I met thanks to this experience, they will be friends for life. The volunteering itself was amazing too, Croatia is such a beautiful country and a great location for the program. Not to mention the hostel was amazing. I went during early spring and it was a great time, it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t tourist season which was perfect. Everyone that was a part of the program was so helpful and accommodating and the hours I spent at the shelter were so worthwhile. The shelter was a great environment and it provided lots of opportunities to try and improve the lives of the animals there. I definitely plan to do another program with IVHQ in the future. Overall this was such an amazing experience and I will never forget it, I only wish I had stayed longer!

Pros
  • I met countless amazing people.
  • The hostel was great, very clean and comfortable.
  • Croatia is such a beautiful country with so much interesting history.
Cons
  • I wish I would have stayed longer than I did.
Default avatar
Hector
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare Arusha Tanzania

I stayed a total of three weeks in Arusha doing the childcare program and it is the best thing that has happened to me. From the moment you get there you feel like you are part of something. This program made me grow as a person inmesively and opened my eyes to the world, it made me realize that I want to do this type of stuff way more often and I think everyone MUST try it. The bonds that you make with other volunteers and staff are incredible and really my only regret is not staying longer. The childcare program is very well organised and the joy that it gave me doesn't compare to anything that I had previously done. Seeing the kids every morning with their huge smiles made my day everyday. If you are thinking of volunteering with IVHQ don't think anymore, just do it, you won't regret it one bit.

Pros
  • Getting to know people from all around the world
  • Experiencing a new culture and seeing an amazing country
  • Growing as a person and helping others.
Default avatar
Kyle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Construction project Pokhara, Nepal

I had the adventure of a lifetime. From the moment I committed to my trip I was in good hands. The program guide and online application were very clear and had me set up for success! Everything leading up to the flight was smooth and I felt comfortable traveling to a far away land by myself (1st time). The support stayed top notch as the local team in Nepal were extraordinary. I stepped out of the airport to a warm welcome from Mukunda. Couldn’t have been in better hands with the local team. My hotels were booked, I got a solid orientation and a stroll around the neighborhood. My home stay was a wonderful family I enjoyed sharing conversation with the sons. From planes, to bus rides to my home stay, to jeep rides to the trek add-on, I was taken care of and never felt abandoned or lost or scared. Affordability, cultural immersion, fun add-ons, this organization has it all! Can’t wait to book my next trip! 10/10

Pros
  • Affordability
  • Cultural immersion
  • Epic add-ons
Cons
  • NA
  • NA
  • NA
Default avatar
Richard
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Turtle Conservation- Ambalangoda

Really good being in contact with these wonderful animals .Very varied activities, cleaning beach , collecting seaweed , mending fences , cleaning tanks , scrubbing algae of Turtles and feeding them .
Due to constant power cuts in Sri Lanka it was difficult to get momentum and a structured day . We encountered quite a bit of idle time .
Accommodation was close by and was excellent. Very good facilities and well maintained. Food was excellent with lots of variety. Good location for visiting other parts of Sri Lanka eg Weligama, Galle and Colombo.
We had a week in Kandy prior to going to Ambalangoda, which gave us a terrific insight to Sri Lanka culture.
Overall a brilliant experience.

Pros
  • Location
  • Working with the Turtles
  • Sri Lanka and it’s culture
Cons
  • To much idle time
  • Insect bites
  • 8.30 curfew on going out

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program as I wanted to spend the holidays in a different way, giving back and helping others. after the year we had in 2020, I wanted to do something different from what I have before and considering projects were closed for so long, now is the time to volunteer. The holiday project allowed for this to happen!

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

My original program provider was IVHQ, who helped me organize the dates for my travel and gave me a lot of advice on the project. They also helped organize the local in-country pick-up as I was in the country before my program start date. The program provider we worked with once in-country was Maximo Nivel, who helped with everything once we arrived and gave a very detailed orientation.

As for what I organized myself, I purchased my own flights, also you can do this through IVHQ, likewise with travel insurance.

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

Make the most out of your programs. Fully engage in the project and take initiative. before you arrive, come up with ideas on ways you can help and even plan activities. there is not much to worry about, you will have the full support from the entire in-country team whether this be general advice or based on your specific project.

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

based on the holiday project, where we partake in different projects daily, we would:

- I woke up around 6:30-7 am and got ready, and we were able to request a time for breakfast, which we would usually ask to have 15 mins before we had to leave home.
- we would arrive at Maximo to travel as a group to the daily project. Getting to the projects would take around 15 minutes.
- we would arrive at the projects and get to work. Shorter project times were around 2 hours and our most extended project where we completed two jobs in a day was for around 7 hours
- for longer projects, we would take a break in the middle and go out for lunch, but sometimes we would do the entire project and come back to Maximo together and go out for lunch ourselves
- after eating, we would go out and explore Costa Rica
- we ate dinner at 7pm every day and then would relax at home till we went to bed

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

exploring the country e.g. traveling around far distances alone or in small groups. the only way to overcome it was to go ahead and do it, at the weekends we traveled first to one beach which was a 3,5-hour bus journey away and the second place was 8 hours away. as a foreigner with limited Spanish skills, it can be scary to be far from familiar places alone but everything went smoothly and everyone in the country was very helpful.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Why did you choose this program?

The IVHQ program seemed to offer all that I was looking for: destination, available projects, affordability, plus the fact that it not simply an adventure travel company. Their programs were dedicated to helping communities in need. The schools where we worked had all been built by volunteers, and we provided materials and labor to renovate and build toilet facilities for the children. A few weeks of work by a few people eventually build a school.

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

IVHQ assists with everything: flight information, visa and health requirements, airport pick up, travel to placement, orientation, daily visits to the worksites, and regular meetings at our residence to discuss any issue.

The website provides most of this information in advance, but it's reassuring to meet "face to face" with the organizers. On our own, we have to arrange emergency travel health insurance, criminal background report, vaccinations, and visa requirements if required.

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

In Africa, bring as few clothes as possible, and nothing with long sleeves and long pants. Clothes can be washed daily if necessary. Insect repellents are only required at night, as they simply wash away in the daytime by the heat. Bring anti-malaria medication and personal toiletries, and a small first aid kit.

My advice: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING! You will be with an outstanding group of people and you will have a fantastic adventure.

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

Because of the heat in Ghana, all 10 of us only worked in the mornings.

In construction, we left for our 30-minute walk to the site around 6:30 am and it was an enjoyable walk, as everybody waved and greeted us. We returned to our compound around noon on motorbikes.

The childcare group prepared breakfast and lunch for the school children and were finished by 1 pm. Their school was only a 5-minute walk. Afternoons and evenings were spent reading, playing games, interacting with the children.

Weekends were for sightseeing, usually gone for 2 days (at our expense).

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

I had no fears, no concerns. The website provides all the information that you need about your program. The country website (tourism) provides the rest.

As for safety, always remember that you are in a group. There are no safety concerns at the placement site, and we traveled on weekends in groups for 8 or more. Local people are very hospitable and helpful. You will soon discover that you have no worries.

Enjoy your stay.

Professional Associations

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