ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia

Video and Photos

Program Update:

ISV will only be conducting programs for this coming summer, 2018 in the Dominican Republic.

About

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.

Related Programs

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!

Reviews

99%
based on 122 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 30 of 122
Amber
10/10

First Time Traveler Overseas

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Zayd
10/10

Trip to the Land Down Under

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
Yes, I recommend this program
Caroline
10/10

ISV offers a life changing experience.

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Elizabeth
10/10

ISV Australia 2016

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kathryn
10/10

ISV Australia

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Bryanna
10/10

Amazing Experience!!!

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Zoe
10/10

Once in a lifetime experience

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!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kathy
10/10

ISV Australia

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Britni
10/10

No Regrets

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!

No, I don't recommend this program
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Angela
10/10

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kirsten
10/10

ISV Australia Impact your world

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kenzie
10/10

ISV Australia

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kendra
9/10

Lithgow Love!

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jillian
10/10

ISV Australia

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!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Mallory
10/10

Loved the Trip

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.

Yes, I recommend this program

About ISV (International Student Volunteers)

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.

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