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

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Lindsay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing!

Life changing experience! IVHQ was there from start to finish making sure I knew what to expect and what was needed. They followed up with me throughout my entire stay. The local placement also exceeded expectations with accommodation and knowledge. My only regret is not having stayed longer in Victoria Falls. The food, adventures, volunteer work and scenery make this a trip of a lifetime. This was my first overseas trip as a solo traveler, and I always felt safe and in good hands. I'm already planning my next volunteer program abroad!

Pros
  • IVHQ Support
  • Local Placement Team
  • Value
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Anna Christina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

Amazing experience! I volunteered with Oceans2Earth in Cairns, Australia. The hostel where we stayed was lovely and lively. The program was super informative, fun, and valuable. All of the people were wonderful. I cannot recommend it enough!

The program run in one week increments between 1-6 weeks. Our typical day involved making breakfast in the hostel (food provided), walking down to the marina, and catching a boat to an island. We would then spend a few hours snorkeling, doing coral health surveys and marine life data collection. Lunch was also provided (and impressively good!). We would then get the rest of the day free.

Pros
  • Fun
  • Valuable impact
  • Wonderful accommodations
Cons
  • Pick the right season since you will be in the water-- consider weather, stinger season, etc
  • Be aware that unless you pay extra you will be in a dorm style hostel
  • You need to be comfortable in the water
Default avatar
Jan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wolf conservation in Mafra, Portugal

This wolf conservation program was a fantastic experience I would never miss a chance to do again. The accommodation provided was a cosy wooden cabin in the middle of the forest, surrounded by the enclosures of the nine Iberian wolves we were conserving. The staff were incredible, and working with them, and my fellow volunteers was an absolute joy. Meeting amazing people with the same passion for protecting wildlife as I do was such a wonder. Everyone was extremely friendly, and the scenery around us was always breathtaking. We were surrounded by 16 acres of woodland, allowing for lovely hikes in our free time. I feel so lucky to have been able to feed and observe such beautiful creatures and capture such footage in camera traps and on our personal phones. The work experience included a lot of manual labour, such as cutting up the meat for the wolves, clearing up leaves and twigs on the forest floor, removing unwanted weeds, and working with cement to reconstruct the enclosures. It was demanding work, but it was well worth it. The friendships and memories with the wonderful people I met will never leave my side.

Pros
  • Observing the beautiful creatures that are the Iberian wolves
  • Meeting amazing new people
  • Living out in the middle of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Cons
  • Working during the day in the hot sun
  • Asiatic hornets in the area being attracted by the meat for the wolves
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Brynn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bali turtle conservation

My first time leaving my home country I went to Bali for the turtle conservation for 2 weeks. The volunteer work was so rewarding and being able to see and experience their culture was incredible. The coordinator support was excellent, they will take you wherever you need to go, they make sure youre okay when your sick and take you to the hospital if theres concern because they care about your safety and health. They become a huge experience during your trip and become part of your volunteer family, they are friendly, kind and they will laugh and joke with you. The people you meet there from all over the world are incredibly kind and youll make friends for life. As a young person whose graduated highschool and is going into or is in university this is a great way to spread your wings, make a difference, and make friends with people around your age.

Pros
  • meeting people
  • Rewarding volunteer work
  • learning culture
Cons
  • Food is good but theres times you will not like whats provided
Default avatar
Jenka
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 weeks Hua Hin

It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. The teaching, the meeting new people, the culture, ... everything was great. I would definitely do it again.

I went to Thailand alone as an 18-year-old. I was looking forward to it immensely. When I finally arrived, there were almost no volunteers. Of course, it was already super late and I went straight to sleep. The next day was actually the "official arrival day" and there were so many new people. I was really relieved because there were so many different nationalities. This is where everything started.

Pros
  • New culture
  • The children
  • The amazing people
Cons
  • Transportation back to the airport

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 62

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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