Volunteer abroad with IVHQ

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

About

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 10 years, making IVHQ the world’s most experienced volunteer organization with the best safety record.

Whether you're taking a volunteer vacation, gap year, or on a career break, IVHQ has a wide variety of programs ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks to fit anyone's schedule.

Programs are available in these destinations: Bali, Costa Rica, South Africa, Greece, Fiji, Nepal, Peru, Jamaica, Madagascar, Spain, Belize, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Italy, Tanzania, Cambodia, Victoria Falls, India, Vietnam, Portugal, Laos, New Zealand, Belgium, Morocco, Brazil, China, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Indonesia, Cambodia, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand.

Explore the programs below and visit the IVHQ website for more information.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

99 Devon Street
West New Plymouth 4310
New Zealand

Reviews

Isabela
10/10

I spend 2 weeks there and I was able to participate in different programs. Most of them, teaching English to children's. But they also have programs with elder care, cancer victims that need a moment of joy and kindergarten assistance.
It was a immersive experience and we could connect with the communities and get to know the people who live there. For me, this was the top 1 reason why I loved this experience.
The children's were kind and respectful, eager to learn. So the teaching was natural and easy.
I felt home in our volunteer house. We had dinner together every day and spend weekends travelling together as well. I felt welcome by the city and by all the Colombians I met.
If I had the time, I would stay there at least 4 weeks. Two weeks was enough for me to leave with tears.

How can this program be improved?
I would recommend the program to require Spanish speaking from volunteers, or at least intermediate level. Being able to communicate and connect with the community is what make this program so special for me, and it can be frustrating for the volunteers who can't.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katlyn
9/10

The week I spent in Jamaica was a rewarding experience that allowed me to become immersed in a new culture while having a beneficial impact on the local community. As part of the Sports Development Program, one of the most impactful parts of the trip was experiencing the enthusiastic and uplifting spirits of the children at the primary school where I taught PE classes. After speaking with the other IVHQ volunteers I lived with during my stay, I can say with confidence that IVHQ has rewarding opportunities for volunteers with a variety of interests. Whether it be your first volunteer trip abroad (like me!) or if you have vast travel experience, IVHQ’s supportive staff and high level of organization makes it a reliable and trustworthy organization for any volunteer.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maleeha
9/10

I did three weeks in Kandy, Sri Lanka which was such an amazing first experience of volunteering abroad. Both the local team that looks after you once you arrive in Sri Lanka and the IVHQ team are so incredibly helpful, reply to emails very fast and are very supportive. The IVHQ team was really accomodating with me changing around my program dates to start earlier and were helpful in preparing to go to Sri Lanka as well. Whilst in country the IVHQ coordinator stayed in touch with me to make sure everything was going well, and also checked in on me once I got home. The local NGO that you volunteer with in Sri Lanka is so warm and helpful, they truly go above and beyond to make sure you're comfortable and having a good experience. Once you arrive in country you learn more about the local NGO, they have so many projects available - more than those explained on the IVHQ website, for example there are several different types of teaching projects on offer. The volunteer accomodation is also very nice and has a really nice shady backyard which opens onto the Mahweli river (the longest river in Sri Lanka) .

Yes, I recommend this program
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Autumn
10/10

This was an incredible experience, living off-the-grid for a little while on a warm, tropical paradise. Hammocks, a tightrope for walking, some books, a volleyball court, and cards are available for the volunteers. It was even possible to project a movie some nights. The staff was so personable and knowledgeable. The work was super fun, though I felt that the staff would have been able to make more of an environmental impact on their own (they are way more skilled in taking measurements and spearing), however the program helps with awareness. New people come and go each week. Just know, it is not resort living, be prepared for cold showers and finicky Wi-Fi, you are there to work! The food was delicious (you even eat lionfish) and the staff holds a barbecue every Thursday night. Thank you!!

How can this program be improved?
Warn people ahead of time if the Wi-Fi will be down during their stays.
Yes, I recommend this program
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eustace
9/10

Hi!
My name is Eustace and I volunteered with IVHQ last month on a healthcare mission. First off, I will say, I was a little nervous upon arrival as this was my first time doing something of this nature. However, the moment I spotted the Yellow flag with the smiley face I suddenly became overwhelmed with this great feeling of excitement. My volunteer mission had begun.

Although, my driver and I could not communicate due to the language barrier she still greeted me warmly. I was then transported to the Maximo HQ where I met all the staff who were very nice. The next step was to complete the orientation. This provided me with all the information I needed to know about what to expect on my trip. At the end of my orientation I felt fully prepared for the week ahead of me.

A Maximo program leader and I then made our way over to the elderly home I would be volunteering at for a quick tour and introduction to the staff. He was trilingual and very familiar with Costa Rica so he was very informative when I asked questions. The bus ride to Cartago was approximately 45 minutes so I had ample time to ask numerous questions. I learned the route I would be taking to get to and fro the home and also got to meet some of the patients I would help care for. I couldn't believe it was still just day one as I felt like I had already been here for multiple days. The locals are very friendly and will always greet you warmly.

After the tour of the home, we returned to the Maximo HQ where I got my schedule for the week and was then transported to my host home. This is where I met my mama tica. Although her english was not that good her son, who was bilingual, helped to bridge the gap. My Mama tica made my brief stay in Costa Rica a memorable one. At the end of the trip, I felt like I gained another family. Every morning, she would check in on us to make sure we were up and at dinner we shared stories about our cultures, childhoods, and a variety of other topics.

The time I spent volunteering at the elderly home helped me to fulfill all my goals for the trip. I learned a lot about patient care and got to interact with the patients who were always happy to spend time and share their stories. One tip I will give you is be prepared to possibly take frigid showers for the duration of your stay. It's a small adjustment but you get used to it after a while. Also, one of my childhood friends took the trip with me so in our down time we went on mini adventures through San Jose and took the bus to Jaco on the weekend. I suggest if this is your first time you get one of your friends to take the trip with you. This will help to ease any unnerving feelings you may have knowing that you have the support of your friends.

Best,
Eustace.

How can this program be improved?
I think the program doesn't have any noticeable flaws. It is very impactful and helps bridge cultural gaps between people who come together united for a good cause.
Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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