ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia
99% Rating
(122 Reviews)

ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia

Despite its spectacular rugged beauty, Australia has lost many of its iconic species over the past 200 years and has one of the highest mammal extinction rates in the world. Conservation initiatives are becoming increasingly important for this island nation, and through volunteering with International Student Volunteers (ISV) you can help to make a real difference to Australia’s unique and diverse environment while exploring a new culture.

Projects with ISV vary from working at a wildlife sanctuary, to assisting with scientific research or participating in outdoor education programs. Volunteer tasks involve planting native species, removing invasive weeds, tackling erosion, monitoring species and habitat enhancement. ISV's conservation volunteer projects in Australia are a must for anyone who wants to make a positive environmental difference. Visit their website at www.isvolunteers.org to sign up for the experience of a lifetime in Australia today.

Locations
Oceania » Australia
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Language
English
Housing
Guesthouse
Hostel
Hotel
Hostel
Hostel
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

The project and adventure tour costed a little under $5000. However, you do have to purchase the international flight separately which was under $2000. It was pretty pricey but if it was all totally worth it. ISV gives really good tips about fundraising. My main suggestion is to start saving and fundraising very early!

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    97%
  • Fun
    87%
  • Value
    96%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (122)

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Adrianna
Female
20 years old
Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University

Best Summer Ever! Australia 2016

10/10

Traveling with ISV to Australia was one of the best decision that I have ever made. Growing up I had always wanted to visit Australia and travel the world, but I thought it would be impossible to go so young. After hearing about ISV I knew that I had to take the opportunity that was given to me. Going to Australia was the first time I had got on a plane and the first time I had ever left the State of Texas. It was scary and nerve-wracking at the beginning of the trip after all I went by myself half way across the world and with a bunch of strangers. This was the scariest thing I had ever done, but after the third plane and after meeting my group members, I knew it was all going to be okay. Volunteering at Phillip Island Nature Park for two weeks was interesting and a lot of fun. Learning about the environment, the animals, and making an impact in the world was an adventure itself, by building penguin houses, watching penguin parades and chasing wallabies out of plantations, it was so much fun. The girls I spent my time with went from strangers to family in just a couple of days. But that was just the beginning, and the action packed adventure tour was next and it was really an adventure, wing two weeks of laughter, being a risk-taker, and having adrenaline rushes. From swimming in the Great Barrier, to jumping off bridges and planes, the adventure was everywhere. The last week of the trip was a tour around the tropical islands of Fiji and it was paradise. This trip was not just a vacation, it was a life-changing experience. Learning about the culture of Australian natives and Fiji natives was a great experience and it made me realize how lucky I was to have everything. This trip is a bit pricey but every cent spent was all worth it for the trip of a life time and I definitely recommend everyone to join the experience.

How can this program be improved?

This program could be improved by giving out project overviews or travel manuals more advanced rather than right before the trip. Maybe just samples of what the previous groups have done. Overall the program had everything organized.

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Riley
Female
22 years old
Winnipeg
University of Manitoba

Bellbunya Sustainable Community (AKA Paradise)

10/10

I have always wanted to visit Australia. However, it seemed so far away; out of reach for me. When I heard about ISV, such a trip didn't seem so impossible, and I signed up shortly after. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
My 4 weeks with ISV Australia were life changing. It is easy to throw around words like that on paper, but truly experiencing it is something different all together. From day one at Bellbunya Sustainable Community in the Queensland Sunshine Coast, I felt at home. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be surrounded by such inspiring people, working amidst the most beautiful flora and fauna under the winter sunshine. Not once did I miss home, for I had found a new one, with 11 people who became like family to me. The bush regeneration work we did was hard but rewarding, and it was really wonderful to see the lingering achievements of past ISV groups in the area. I hope to return one day to see the trees we planted and visit the extraordinary people I met on project.
The reward for all that hard work was the adventure tour of a lifetime. When they say 2 weeks of action-packed, adrenaline-fueled activities, they mean it! Not only did we get the opportunity to jump out of planes and off bridges, but we got to experience things so uniquely Australian, from the Great Barrier Reef and local Aboriginal culture, to World Heritage sites and Vegemite! We covered the beautiful eastern coastline of the country with a fearless leader named Brodie, who truly is a fountain of knowledge on local history, activities, and hotspots.
Leaving my new ISV family at the end of the tour was really tough, but those are friends I know I will hold on to in the future. Not only did I leave with heaps of pictures and memories and great new friends, but with a greater understanding of life in another country, and how the ideals that we sought to understand there can be applied to my life back home. It can seem scary to sign up, to pack and say goodbye to home, but I promise you, it is worth it every step of the way.

How can this program be improved?

I am sure everyone wants the trip to be cheaper, since it is pretty pricy, but I could really see where that money went. To me, it was worth every penny, but I think it could be emphasized how much additional money you will have to spend on the adventure tour. You will likely return home having spent more than anticipated, but to me, the things we did were truly priceless.
Also, the overnight bus rides on tour are quite difficult. I certainly don't know a way around that, since there is a lot of distance you cover on the trip, but it made for some uncomfortable nights and subsequent mornings. I think two weeks for an adventure tour like that is just the right length.
Overall, I think ISV does a fantastic job of providing safe, educational, rewarding, and exciting programs for people who want to take a step (or two!) out of their comfort zone to learn more about the world and our role in it.

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Jacqueline
Female
25 years old
Edmonton
University of Alberta

Overall best experience of my life but with a cost

10/10

Definitely the best experience of my life. This is my second time with ISV so obviously loved it so much I did it again. Adventure tour was incredible and safe. Really loved and miss my project. The staff was very friendly and well organized. Only issue I had with ISV is I found them really expensive but I thought it was worth it. Like I looked up the flight prices individually and they are a lot cheaper if you book them on your own than with the group flight. The volunteer portion is over priced but the adventure tour is reasonable. Highly recommend the four week program. You will regret it!

How can this program be improved?

Make the program cheaper and a discount for those who have went before.

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Hairuo
Female
21 years old
Shanghai
Stony Brook University

Life-changing Experience

10/10

This trip to Australia is life-changing to me! I have learnt so much about how to protect the Earth by putting into individual effort, and how to better work in a team as well as enjoying the fun of learning about different culture.

Through two weeks' of tiring but exhilarating voluntary work, I understood how important it is to protect the Earth. Small steps can make big differences. I learnt how to do basic recycle, such as compost, desperate waste collection; I learnt that the consumption of bottled water, which could be less clean than tap water, has created tons of plastic waste; I learnt about how seriously the cutting of trees and construction of buildings along the Asian east coast has negatively threatened migrating birds' foraging habitat.

In addition, since I, as a Chinese, was immersed in both Australian and American culture, allowing me to enjoy stunning Australian sceneries in the farm and conservation park as well as lots of American jokes and food. It's amazing to cooked together, lived together, and talked about different life with students just like me all around the States!!!

How can this program be improved?

Increase group member communication.

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Kristina
Female
21 years old
Worcester
Other

ISV Australia 2016

10/10

Going to Australia was on of the nest decisions I have ever made. Growing up in a small town I have always wanted an adventure, and I always wanted to do something bigger. This trip gave me the opportunity to do both. Being able to look back at the two weeks of volunteering, and seeing what my friends and I had accomplished was overwhelming. It is an incredible feeling. Then after two weeks of hard work, you get two weeks on adventure. We did things I would have never imagined doing. I made new friends and new everlasting memories.

Malarie
Female
22 years old
Flagstaff, Arizona
Northern Arizona University

ISV- Australia Stole My Heart

10/10

ISV has changed my life, I got a taste of a different way of living. Life was simple yet so exciting while traveling with my ISV Group. I worked in the Wild Mountains, a beautiful rain forest located near Rathdowney Queensland, with 13 other Volunteers who soon became a little family ill never forget and will always love. The Wild Mountain taught us how to live in this wonderful world off the resources earth provides us. We learned about sustainable living, while planting trees, doing track work, eating a vegetarian diet, and so much more. Traveling alone takes you out of your comfort zone and taught me so much more than I had expected to take from this trip. While volunteering I also learned about myself and what we I am capable of doing. ISV showed me what is important in life. Making an impact felt great and I will continue to do so in my own community now that I have the education.
The last 2 weeks of my trip was the Adventure Tour, it was an exciting 2 weeks of nonstop laughter and doing crazy things such as sky diving and white water rafting. One of my favorite activities was when we went scuba diving/snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. Floating above it and just realizing how beautiful this world we live in is and how lucky I was to have the opportunity to travel to this amazing country with this awesome group.
ISV brought me life long friends and memories I'll always share and never forget. I highly recommend traveling with International Student Volunteers. I have traveled with my family, I have also studied abroad but I have never walked away from a trip feeling this satisfied.

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Michaela
Female
22 years old
Dallas
Texas A&M University

ISV 2016

10/10

My experience with ISV has changed my life. Although it sounds cheesy and cliche, I truly mean it. I learned so much about the importance of living sustainably, and how to properly apply that to my lifestyle. I had never actually been educated on conservation until I went to Australia. Not only was the learning experience amazing, the people I met have all become lifelong friends, that I will always share this experience with. I learned to push myself in multiple ways, like having to come out of my comfort zone to meet and live with 50 total strangers, and convincing myself to jump out of a plane 14,000 feet in the air. My life will forever be changed because of ISV.

How can this program be improved?

N/A

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Patricia
Female
21 years old
newark, nj
Fordham University

ISV Australia May 2016

10/10

I had been nervous to be living with all strangers for two weeks, I felt homesick as I was boarding my flight. But as soon as I hung out with everybody I felt really comfortable because everyone else was likeminded and cared about the cause. Not only did I form a bond with all these girls but I also became inspired. Sometimes I felt really alone about my efforts at making a change but ISV introduced me to people that are just as passionate as me. I also thought Australia was one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Not only that but the lack of a language barrier really helped with culture immersion

How can this program be improved?

I think the cost is a little steep but I understand that that money funds all the excursions and volunteer efforts.

Courtney
Female
22 years old
Wabasha, Minnesota

ISV Australia 2016

10/10

Due to the particular design and experiences within the ISV Program, I have been encouraged to learn more about our world and how each and every one of us makes a global impact each and every day. Which certainly reflects the programs mission statement which is "to support sustainable development initiatives around the world through life-changing student volunteer and responsible adventure travel programs designed to positively change our world and to educate, inspire and results in more active global citizens." After being in extremely beautiful locations and learning about them individually, I also came to appreciate them in the same way locals did. More importantly, I discovered the potential threat many of the plant and animal species that were in danger and the types of effort it would take to preserve them. With hands-on contributions and even embracing new daily habits to conserve energy and water, I realized that our group alone could potentially make a significant difference for the entire world. For example, I was a part of a group discussion one evening during our volunteer project where we learned about the aftermath of global warming and the emissions of carbon increasing the ocean acidity. This directly has affected the Great Barrier Reef, by destroying already 90% of it as it has weaken the shells of plants and animals. After snorkeling there myself, the idea of stealing away the future of ocean life for the next generation to come began to sink it. While I don't live there and see the reef everyday, I certainly find it an extremely important part of our ecosystem. I didn’t want to think of it just as a tourist anymore, but rather as a person who truly cared about the impact and danger it could do to our entire ocean. It was at this moment where I realized that I was gaining knowledge that would help me become a citizen with a better global perspective. This is how traveling is meant to be done.

How can this program be improved?

I think that overnight bus rides were tough for me and others as it was difficult to get enough sleep to be prepared for the next day. I would hope that this could be modified in some way or another.

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Kaytlin
Female
20 years old
Cheyenne, Wyoming
University of Wyoming

Australian Adventure

10/10

This program in Australia provided me with many great first experiences. This trip was my first time out of the country and I got to go to a country I have always dreamed about going to. I have volunteered in the past but never for two weeks or on a sanctuary, where I got to work with many Australian animals including some endangered animals. I participated in many things that I have never done before such as surfing, white water rafting, rappelling, and scuba diving. I conquered my fear of being too afraid to try new things and travel to incredible places because of this project. I made a difference in this world and met some amazing people that I hope to cross paths with again someday. I would not take back the experiences that I had working hands on with Australian wildlife and the pride that I felt when we accomplished something. This program has showed me what great things can happen when a group of ambitious volunteers work together to achieve something. I learned a lot more about teamwork and how to be a better team player. I have had many life changing experiences and would not trade them for the world.

How can this program be improved?

This program could be improved by allowing more time to try new things and explore everything.

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Dianntha
Female
24 years old
Edinboro, Pennsylvania

"Impact Your World"

10/10

Sometimes some people get lucky enough to experience something so life-changing that it makes everything make sense and fall perfectly into place; this is what ISV has done for me. ISV gives you a concrete purpose. They tell you the "why" and "so what" behind the volunteer work that you do; they show you exactly how you are making a difference and who and what it will effect immediately and 5, 10, 20 years down the road.

I volunteered in Little Desert just outside of Nhill, Victoria, Australia. Our group of 16 students planted 11,470 trees in under two weeks on the Salvana property owned by Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA). I physically saw a change that I was a part of. Our project leader, Alex, and a CVA employee at Little Desert, Ben, made our efforts take on a whole new meaning by explaining just what 11,470 trees would do in the years to come. We didn't just plant trees; we created a habitat for animals-a safe place for them to come back to Little Desert, make a home, breed, re-wild the area. However, it wasn't until a little conversation at the Night Markets in Cairns that this all really sunk in.

I was walking through the Night Markets in Cairns doing some souvenir shopping when I stopped at a small shop where two men were making jewelry. I started talking to them and they picked up on my American accent and asked what I was doing in Australia. I explained that I was there with ISV, had completed a volunteer project, and was now traveling up the east coast. This stranger whole-heartedly, sincerely thanked me. He expressed pure gratitude and told me how wonderful it was that I would take the time to do that for his country. I was taken back; I hadn't realized until that moment how big of an impact we had all made. We didn't just plant trees; we truly impacted our world in more ways than one.

Cydney
Female
23 years old
Tiffin, Ohio

Trip of a Lifetime

10/10

I have traveled many times before, but it has always been with family. Never have I traveled by myself before, nor this distance. I absolutely loved it. Working on the project in Australia is, by far, the best thing I have ever experienced. During the time on project, I lived in an apartment with several other girls and we were within 20 minute walking distance to the Sanctuary. The town was small and cozy. Everyone we met was so friendly and laid back. While on project I worked hard, learned a lot, made many great friends, and enjoyed every minute of it. After the time for project was over some of us stayed longer with the ISV program and went on the adventure tour. It is truly an adventure! I made even more new friends, saw breath taking landscapes and wildlife, and learned more about the culture. Our tour leader was the best and said if we ever came back we always had a place to stay. At the end of the trip I felt accomplished and grew in many ways as a person.

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Ashley
Female
21 years old
Guyton, Georgia
Georgia Southern University

Making a Difference

10/10

I was sitting in biology class when an overly enthusiastic girl came and told us about an opportunity of a lifetime. An opportunity where you not only got to travel to a foreign country, but you also got to make a difference. I spent my first two weeks at Waterfall Springs which is a gorgeous organization that focuses on the breeding and release of the Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby which is an endangered species. My group members, who soon became like family, and I worked tirelessly to clean up their enclosures and make Waterfall Springs more professional for future donators. The second two weeks were spent traveling around Australia doing once in a life time activities while learning about the importance of ecotourism. I was able to sky dive, bungy jump, scuba dive, and so much more. My project leader and tour leader were so knowledgeable and fun to be around. I left Australia wishing I never had to leave. I took a chance when I signed up because I had never been to a foreign country let alone by myself for an entire month, but travelling with ISV was the best decision I have ever made and I would recommend it to ANYONE!!

How can this program be improved?

It couldn't be! It was PERFECT!!!

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Alyssa
Female
22 years old
Palatine
Purdue University

Life Changing Experience

10/10

I've always wanted to travel the world, not just to see it, but to really experience different parts of the world. I believe it is important to experience the people, the landscapes, and the overall culture because really experiencing how other people think and how they do things and what they value can change how you view yourself and your own culture. It can open your mind and make you think in different ways. This program does an amazing job with allowing you to really experience the culture of the country you choose. Through this program I went to Australia, and even though I only spent a month there, I felt as though I really got to experience and understand their culture. They took us all over Australia, I got to experience probably ten different cities of all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of different people, all over Australia. It was beautifully organized, I felt safe and trusted my guides the whole time. The guides were some of the most knowledgable people I had ever met. I got to spend two weeks working to restore Aboriginal land and the last two weeks exploring different cities all over the countries having the most fun I've ever had in my entire life. Surfing, abseiling, bungee jumping, ocean kayaking, skydiving, I still can't believe I got to do all these amazing activities. Single best experience I've ever had, I definitely plan to volunteer with them again.

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Rhett
Male
21 years old
Fort Collins
Colorado State University

An Amazing Experience for a Student

10/10

Tl;DR - It was the best trip I have ever taken and I highly recommend it if you are a student looking to travel to Australia.

I was sitting in class one day, when a teacher informed us that there was someone here to talk about volunteering and traveling in another country. When the representative mentioned Australia, I was very interested as I have always wanted to travel there. After learning more I immediately signed up for their 4 week program.

What happens then is you travel to your country of choice (pending availability) and volunteer your time for 2 weeks living with a host organization. These organizations are local to that country that need volunteers to help them with various tasks with he goal of making our world better. I was put on a conservation project working on a Wallaby Refuge and Breeding Program. What ever project you are put on, you get to live for 2 weeks immersed with that local organization with an ISV project leader which really helps you get a sense of what your country is really like.

After your 2 weeks of working with volunteers from all around the world, you really form bonds with them, and become great friends with them to the point where I still talk to mine. But after you are done volunteering, you get to spend the next 2 week touring around your host country, in this case Australia. We travel from Cairns to Sydney (North to South on the East Coast). ISV has a set of amazing activities planned for you to enjoy at each place you stop at. I defiantly recommend doing the Optional Activity Package as it is worth the money. They also have a bunch of activities outside of ISV that they have discounted with.

All of the people are very professional and amazing at ISV and I highly recommend this trip. And reservations I had about the value of this program were soon forgotten after all the fun I had volunteering and traveling around Australia.

How can this program be improved?

I have very few words for how to improve this trip, It has been the best trip I have ever taken (coming from someone who is lucky enough to have traveled internationally many times before this trip)

Amber
Female
23 years old
Tucson, Arizona

First Time Traveler Overseas

10/10

My trip to Australia for volunteer purposes is one that I can't even put into words. It was the first time I'd ever been out of the US and I was very scared, but thanks to the people in ISV, I have the desire to do it again. I worked really hard at the Walkabout Wildlife Park because that is the whole point of volunteering, but I also made new friends and got to experience Australian culture and beauty. Kangaroos hopped near my workplace and I learned new skills like chopping trees and working on an electrical fence. After working all day, we sat and talked while eating new dishes. All of us contributed and that is what made the whole experience fun and exciting. If you decide to go, it will be the best $5,000 dollars you spend for a 4-week trip. Make a difference. Learn a new culture. Be a good citizen. Volunteer and have fun simultaneously. You will never forget the adventure because I can't!!

How can this program be improved?

Not Applicable- I believe everything happened the way it should have even if it wasn't perfect.

Zayd
Male
21 years old
Bolton, Ontario

Trip to the Land Down Under

10/10

After finally saving up to go to Australia, ISV gave me a trip better than i could imagine. Everyone has their ideal trip in mind before leaving, but ISV thoroughly overachieved mine. Walking along the coast seeing pods of Dolphins in Byron Bay, Skydiving in Cairns over part of the amazing Great Barrier Reef, and then just the next day Scuba diving in the Great Barrier reef. While in Australia i happened to get sick With Pneumonia, even with that in mind, id recommend this trip to anyone!!

How can this program be improved?

show them sharks

Caroline
Female
21 years old
New Jersey
University of Maryland

ISV offers a life changing experience.

10/10

Honestly, there are so many amazing stories from this trip, that picking just one is too difficult. What I can share with you is that this trip helped me form life long friends, learn the value of being environmental friendly, see first hand how much one person can make an impact on this planet, and how to live a life which extends far past your comfort zone. I would recommend this program to anyone.

How can this program be improved?

All in all, ISV as a company provides an organized, safe, and educational environment to its program. However, the one thing I believe needs improvement is the amount of money they tell you to bring for the trip. Food is VERY expensive in Australia ($4.50 for a small coffee, which i purchased every day), and because I only brought $300 US dollars (this is what ISV told me to bring in their travel manual) I felt as though I was always worried about spending too much money. Just be aware of the amount of money you bring, because no one wants to feel like they don't have enough money on a holiday.

Elizabeth
Female
22 years old
Delano, Minnesota
Minnesota State University- Mankato

ISV Australia 2016

10/10

I had the best time of my life while traveling to Australia with ISV! For the first two weeks I volunteered at Wild Mountains. While at Wild Mountains I learned about the environment and sustainability. We focused on eco-friendly ways of living and doing our part to help the environment, like planting trees and weeding. While at Wild Mountains, I was forced out of my comfort zone as we unplugged from our technology, embraced the environment around us in every way possible, and enjoyed some delicious vegetarian food! The volunteering at Wild Mountains changed me and opened my eyes up to all the environmental aspects of the world. The second two weeks of my trip were spent exploring the eastern coast of Australia. We skydived in Cairns, visited the Great Barrier Reef, went white water rafting, surfing in Byron Bay and even visited P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way in Sydney. I experienced more in my two weeks in Australia than most people get to experience in a lifetime! I made lifelong friendships and memories. This trip was life changing for me, I tried things I never would have if I wasn't asked to get out of my comfort zone. I would recommend traveling with ISV to anyone and everyone! It will change your life in so many positive ways!

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Kathryn
Female
21 years old
Leesburg, VA
Virginia Tech

ISV Australia

10/10

My name is Kathryn and I went on the Australia program from May, 26th to June 24th. I'm an avid traveler and have been to about twenty countries from North America, to Europe and Africa. You can imagine my excitement when provided the unique opportunity of immersing myself into Australian culture, being able to explore the beautiful continent and make a huge environmental impact as well. For the first two weeks, I worked along side other volunteers to plant trees through a government funded project called 20 Million Trees which worked to fill gaps for animals to be able to move through the continent more safely when they migrate. Also, as global warming makes living more uncomfortable in the north, animals will want to travel further south. I absolutely loved the group of people I worked with and it was a real thrill to be working in the Australian wild, living amongst the kangaroos! The second two weeks, we went on the adventure tour and it was definitely the trip of a lifetime. We went to so many unique places that many other tourists would not have been able to visit such as Fraser Bay and Byron Bay. My favorite activities were scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, learning to surf, white water rafting through a rainforest, and bungee jumping! I 110% recommend this trip for all travel lovers and adventure seekers and those who want to learn how to become a responsible tourist!

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Bryanna
Female
21 years old
CA
University of Colorado- Colorado Springs

Amazing Experience!!!

10/10

I have never been overseas before so this was a new experience. I volunteered on Phillip Island where you get to see and learn amazing new things each and every day. I learned more about the different type of weeds that are not indigenous to the island as well as more about the little penguins and koalas. After volunteering on Phillip Island, we met up with the other groups and moved our way up the coast doing things that I never thought I would ever get to do. I met so many amazing people that we can look back on our memories from when we were all a part of this amazing experience. Highly recommended to those who have never gone overseas before.

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Zoe
Female
20 years old
Johnston, IA
Iowa State University

Once in a lifetime experience

10/10

I have never been on anything like this before in my life. I had my project at Waterfall Springs, a wallaby sanctuary. We did some work repairing fences and tick proofing wallaby pins. Some of the work can be a little repetitive and stressful but once you see the end result and a happy wallaby you realize it was all worth it. The people you work with become lifelong friends that you never want to lose touch with, and your project leader will be someone you look up to for the rest of your career as an environmentalist. Don't miss out on such a great experience.

How can this program be improved?

I can't think of anything!

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Kathy
Female
21 years old
Indianapolis
Ball State University

ISV Australia

10/10

I showed up to Australia and I looked around the group that the leader said was mine and I didn't know anyone. To be honest, we were all scared, but we all shared this want and need and drive to volunteer to the best of our ability and that made the 2 weeks simply amazing. No one wanted to be on their cell phones, no one missed home. Everyone wanted to see everyone else succeed, and ISV get's those students that want to give back and I think that in itself is what causes for such dynamic groups. After seeing more stars than I ever thought possible there is no way that I can see the world the same way again. Now that I am home, I've made little changes just to make sure that I can curve my carbon footprint. The memories and friends I made are priceless and I would gladly pay to make those 2 weeks happen all over again.

How can this program be improved?

Not possible.

Britni
Female
21 years old

No Regrets

10/10

I can't get over how wonderful this trip was!

It all started out in Lithgow, a town in the Blue Mountains. We were working with AEFI, Australian Ecosystems Foundation Inc., at a wildlife sanctuary called Secret Creek. We spent two weeks there repairing trails, planting trees, and helping with the animals (which was a dream come true for a wildlife major!) Our operator here was amazing and knowledgable, we learned a lot as we worked and had a blast at the same time! By the end of volunteering, we could really see how far we'd come. Our trail started at the bottom of the mountain and our ragtag team of 10 made it all the way to the top! After planting all 1,700 of our tree saplings, it felt amazing to look over the once empty field and see nothing but the barriers we put around each baby tree. The end of volunteer work was definitely filled with a feeling of accomplishment.

Then on to phase two- Adventure Tour! We were encouraged to try new things and explore new places every day as we traveled up the east coast. Each and every person had something big that they overcame and accomplished while Brodie (the wonderful tour leader) kept reminding us that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone." I began living this idea as I pushed myself to the edge of what I thought I could do by taking up each opportunity I got to try something new- rappelling being my first major fear conquest. The more open you are to trying new things, the more you get out of adventure tour. ISV did a great job lining us up with great included activities and I wholeheartedly recommend the OAP (optional activity package) to get as many activities as possible. You will definitely find yourself doing something you never thought you'd do!

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Angela
Female
22 years old
Standard, IL
Northern Illinois University

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone

10/10

During my trip with ISV my project group volunteered in the Wild Mountains. This property is a buffer land that sits on the boarder of Queensland and New South Whales within the bush to try and protect the neighboring national park from invasive species. I was very skeptical of this project at first because I am a biology major with an emphasis in pre-med. Plants and conservation were an area I was not familiar with. However, between the helpfulness of ISV and their staff and the group of students I was paired with, this experience quickly became the best experience of my entire life. Not only was the volunteer project new and challenging, but also so rewarding. Walking around the property and seeing the work that previous ISV students had completed was one of the most amazing feelings. It made all of us realize that we truly were rebuilding Australia's amazing sub-tropical rain forest. After the volunteer portion of the trip came the adventure tour. As the title says "life begins at the end of you comfort zone," you definitely take very large steps away from what you think is a comfortable place. From Skydiving to scuba diving to repelling off of cliffs, you get to see everything Australia has to offer as you travel down their eastern coast. On this trip I not only gained new insight on Australia and the world but I also made a group of friends that will last me a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?

I do not see anywhere that this program could be improved. It is perfect and as a student you need to live every opportunity that they give you to the fullest.

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Kirsten
Female
21 years old
Tolland Ct
University of Rhode Island

ISV Australia Impact your world

10/10

As a student that is more involved with animals and marine ecosystems I was a bit skeptical about being up in the mountains and working with plants. I knew they were important, but I figured I'd let the plant people deal with the plants and I can worry about the animals. Once I was there and engulfed in the trees my views completely changed. I saw the importance and beauty of each individual tree and plant and the real dangers of others. One friend brushed her hand on a stinging tree and she was hurting for days and she still says that her hand will sting from time to time. Each creature, plant or animal, deserves appreciation and respect and we can just focus on one little aspect of our world, but all of them as a whole.

How can this program be improved?

A little more interaction with the locals would have been nice, but overall incredible.

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Kenzie
Female
20 years old
Saint Augustine, FL
University of South Florida

ISV Australia

10/10

Conservation is always something I have been very passionate about. The time I spent at Banrock Station in South Australia has deepened my passion for the conservation efforts in environments all over the world and it has certainly made me more conscious of my lifestyle.
My most memorable story is one from the very last night on project in South Australia. The Kingston-on-Murray Caravan park where we had been staying for the past two weeks had a dock on the river with an incredible view of the stars so, myself and my fellow ISV participants grabbed blankets and pillows and headed to the docks. I don't remember how long we stayed there but I had never seen a shooting star and by the end of the night I had seen five. FIVE!! The milky way was clearly visible and the spot in which I would usually look up to see the big dipper was replaced with the southern cross. As we lay there in comfortable silence I couldn't help but reflect on the friendships I had made and the impact my new friends and I made on the local environment at Banrock Station. It was truly a life changing experience.

How can this program be improved?

There isn't anything I can think of to improve my experience in Australia with ISV.

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Kendra
Female
20 years old
Alamosa
University of Northern Colorado

Lithgow Love!

9/10

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!! But I think that without the people involved in my group, it would have been close to the same experience. I loved exploring Lithgow and Australia and being able to just be myself in this amazing country. Lana Austin was my project leader and she has already changed my life for the better. She opened up my eyes to things that I would have never thought about doing to save the environment and was always happy to help with anything whenever anyone needed it. I would have given anything to have been able to stay longer and ISV did an amazing job giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.

Jillian
Female
23 years old

ISV Australia

10/10

This trip was the best thing that I've done in my life so far. As a biomedical student, I learned so much about environmental science as well as how everything and everyone on Earth are connected. The volunteer work we did was very fulfilling and my friendships with my group mates grew even stronger during the travel tour. The money it takes to do this trip may seem daunting, but it is 100% worth it! No regrets at all!!

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Mallory
Female
28 years old
Ohio
Ohio State University

Loved the Trip

10/10

One of my favorite parts of my ISV trip was working at the Walkabout in southern Australia. We got to work with many animals and restore their habitats. We working with kangaroos, dingos, kiola bears and many more awesome animals. We working closely with them and got to hold/ pet many of them Also, meeting new people from all around the world was amazing!!! I met new friends from Canada, England, Wales, China and many other places. We all became really close on the trip and I even talk to some of them know 5 years later.

About The Provider

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ISV’s mission is to support sustainable development programs around the world through life changing student volunteer programs designed to positively impact our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens.

Destinations include South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and

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