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

Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
Joe
10/10

I had a great great great time and the hosts were amazing. food was great. people were great. weather was warm. friendly animals. The house was clean. They kept the house very clean. The other volunteers were very very very nice. The tours were very fun. Uxmal was incredible, the ruins and tour guide were nice although his english was a little patchy and difficult to follow. I was unable to go to the cenotes because of food poisoning but other than that it was an all around great trip. Also the IVHQ members were amazing with instruction and informing us all on everything that we needed. I worked with CRIT center and all the children were happy. The atmosphere did not seem like a hospital at all, it was colorful and the kids were excited to come in. Although I did not speak the language I had no problem playing with and entertaining the children.

How can this program be improved?
I was all around happy with the program, I don't think there is much room for improvement. But I am required to write a bunch of these reviews when I'd rather just do 1. So that is my main complaint. Just make it so we have to do 1 survey and I can save some time.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Brittany
10/10

My experience with IVHQ was great. I always heard good things about them and their programs. What I also liked was there prices, as they are all reasonable! IVHQ-Kenya was where I decided to go with 3 of my classmates. We are Occupational Therapy students and were so excited to give back to the Kenyan community. I was placed in an orphanage where children reside with various disabilities. We were able to provide a lot of range of motion, positioning, education, feeding, and play for the children. My experience at the orphanage and with my host family was fantastic as I learned so much about the Kenyan culture.
I also traveled while in Kenya. IVHQ recommended several day or two day programs that we took advantage of. If you are thinking about going to Africa, do it! You will not regret it. I never once felt unsafe and was always treated with great hospitality. I can't wait to go back one day! Thank you IVHQ - Kenya!

How can this program be improved?
I did not know of the many programs that were offered until I arrived in Kenya at the volunteer house. I would recommend letting future volunteers know of these programs in advance to plan out their trip. I was very happy I came a couple days early to travel some!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Isabella
10/10

Since returning from my IVHQ experience in Zambia for 3 weeks, I'm already thinking about which program to do next. It was the most life-changing experience which allowed me to grow as a person and learn so much about myself and the world. The program exposed me to a new culture and an extremely eye-opening experience. IVHQ was outstanding in both the lead up to the program and during my time in Zambia. They made me feel supported and they were always professional and approachable. I did the teaching program in Zambia which was phenomenal. I was able to learn many new skills whilst having the most rewarding experience. I made many new friends, embraced a new culture, explored a beautiful part of the world and I made memories which will last a life-time. I highly recommend an IVHQ program as you will undoubtedly have an unbelievable experience.

How can this program be improved?
I have no comment as I found the program excellent in every way.
Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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