ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia

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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 46 - 60 of 122
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Colleen
10/10

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

Traveling to Australia was always my biggest dream. When the opportunity arrived via ISV I literally jumped on it. That was almost 10 years ago now and I still think about my time and experiences there regularly.

Traveling with strangers from all over your own country, then meeting people from another country; you grow as a human being and take away a whole different understanding of the world.

I had the privilege of volunteering at the Walkabout Wildlife Park. The staff there were amazing, and the experience of working around the park, being followed by free roaming kangaroos and wallabies was incredible. I love seeing how much the Park has grown and expanded since then.

The ISV staff do a great job keeping participants well informed, prepared and safe from the moment you sign up. After my trip with ISV I had a lot more confidence traveling on my own.

How can this program be improved?
ISV developed programs for high school students, which is great! Develop a program for post graduates like me! Also i would have loved more time on Fraser Island.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alessandra
9/10

Best Decision I Made in College

Do yourself a favor: sign up with ISV. I had the time of my life and for two weeks I was able to experience Australia with seven other wonderful individuals who were around my age and had similar life goals. I wouldn't take back this experience ever. It seriously changed my life.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly don't know what could have been improved beyond slashing the cost a little. It was a little pricey, but I don't regret spending the cash.
Yes, I recommend this program
Heidy
10/10

DO IT! Just book the trip and GO! You'll thank me later.

It is said "To travel is to take a journey into yourself". With this idea in mind, I signed up to take the trip of a lifetime. I decided to make an impact on this world, while also wanting to impact my life. ISV trips provided the opportunity to do both! We arrived in Sydney as complete strangers, but after 2 weeks of planting trees, working in community gardens, and building community relations, we became the best of friends. Playing games every night with our tour leader, trying a famous Australian "Tim Tam Slam" as our "right of passage" into Australia, waking up every morning to wild kangaroos right outside our door, and the magic of experiencing a new culture. After a somber departure from our tour leader we set out to join another group of strangers to travel the Australian coast with about 20 other like-minded individuals, a fully loaded coach, and a tour leader with a passion for travel and fun. We sang songs on the bus, we played games, we laughed, talked, watched movies, got to scuba dive the great barrier reef, jump out of helicopters in Cairns, attempted to surf in Byron Bay, and got to see the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands, and a chance to refresh ourselves after an over night bus trip by waking up and taking a bath in the crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie, where the "sand" is made completely of silica while exploring one of the World Heritage Sites that is Fraser Island!

I not only made the best friends of my life, that to this day I am in contact with, but these experiences have left their mark on me. I experienced a new culture by stepping outside of my comfort zone, and thanks to this trip, my "travel bug" has only increased, and my passion for travel has pushed me to further my horizon and see more.
So DO IT! Just book the trip and GO! You'll thank me later.

Yes, I recommend this program
Sean
10/10

Absolutely Amazing Australian Adventure

In Summer 2015 I embarked on the ISV Australia 4-Week Program, and it was undeniably one of the best decisions of my life. I would happily do it again and would recommend the program to anyone looking to have the time of their lives.
The first two weeks of this program were devoted to the Volunteer Project. My particular project assignment involved forest management and beautification in Coffs Harbour. This portion involved lots of hard work but felt incredibly rewarding, and the evenings and weekend off allowed for exploring a truly amazing location in the world that not many tourists are able to experience.
Following the Volunteer Project, the next two weeks involved the Adventure Tour. This portion of the journey involved traveling down the Australian East Coast from Cairns to Sydney. I must have packed more activities into these two weeks than at any other time in my life. From scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef to skydiving and bungee jumping in the same day to surfing the refreshing waters of Byron Bay to exploring the streets of Sydney, there was never a dull moment.
I also participated in the one-week Fiji Excursion following the Adventure Tour. This provided an amazing opportunity to relax and unwind after the Australian experience. Snorkeling the warm waters of Barefoot Island with the manta rays, visiting local Fijian villages, and standing on the beach of Mondriki Island (where Tom Hanks was stranded in the movie Castaway) were some of the highlights of this portion.
Overall, this was an incredible journey, and the memories and friendships will last a lifetime. I recommend this program to anyone with an open mind, sense of adventure, desire to make a positive impact on others and themselves, and willingness to step out of the comfort zone to try new things (foods, activities, etc.) I am looking into participating in another ISV program in the near future.
One final note: Maybe it's just me, but Vegemite is not as bad as a lot of people say it is. I actually liked it. I definitely recommend giving it a chance-you might be surprised

How can this program be improved?
The one aspect of the trip I would change is the amount of time spent in Sydney. It is the one large city that we travel to during the program, and I felt that I was unable to explore as much as I would have liked to. An extra day to explore the area would have made for a greater experience. Aside from that, there is really nothing negative that I can say about this program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Madeline
10/10

Travel with International Student Volunteers!!

I had the most amazing experience in Australia with International Student Volunteers, I wouldn't trade it for the world! I was able to complete 80 hours of community service and take away some life long friends from my experience. The most memorable moment, looking past all the amazing sites we saw, was after a long day of volunteering being sorrounded by the most genuine and kind hearted people that were there for the same reasons as I was. To learn, make a difference and educate others! Not only did I learn more about Australia's wildlife but I was able to learn more about myself through the my journey. I would highly recommend doing the 4 weeks, once your there you won't want to leave!! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do the 4 weeks in Australia and add a week on in Fiji, adventuring touring which I absolutely recommend as well! I got hands on with wildlife that I never would have been able to experience if I hadn't traveled with ISV!

How can this program be improved?
The cost!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelly
10/10

Once in a Lifetime Experience

I traveled with ISV to Australia where I volunteered at Walkabout Wildlife Park for 2 weeks! (I also signed up for the activity package and was able to travel down the East Coast for an additional 2 weeks).

Absolutely everything, starting from the plane ride across he Pacific to the flight coming home, was absolutely incredible! Not only did I Interact with animals including kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, and wombats on a daily basis, but I also stepped out of my comfort zone and had an adrenaline rush of a lifetime when I went skydiving, white water rafting, snorkeling, surfing, and abseiling!!

My project leaders were the friendliest people I have ever met and I made lasting friendships along the way!

I wouldn't trade my experience for anything in the world.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, I think it would have been easier if daily meals were included.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jane
10/10

Trip of a Lifetime!

Words cannot even describe how incredible my ISV Australia experience was. I was able to gain hands-on experience with several native Australian animal species, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, flying foxes, and much more! During the Adventure Tour, I was able to cross off snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef from my bucket list, and it truly exceeded all of my expectations.

ISV organized everything so that we were able to work hard, have fun, and learn as much as possible.

I brought a friend with me on my program, and to this day we still reminisce about how much that summer changed our lives.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sydney
10/10

Unbelievable

This trip changed me as a person. I've learned so much about myself in Australia. I couldn't recommend this trip more. I met amazing people that will be life-long friends of mine for sure. It was the best experience of my life and I reminisce constantly.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change anything, I would want it to be longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Stephanie
10/10

I Couldn't Put a Price on it!

This was my first time going overseas, and I do not regret, for a second, going with ISV. When I was deciding to go abroad, I knew I didn't want to sit in a classroom like you would with study abroad. With ISV you get hands-on experience, immersing yourself in the country's culture, gaining more knowledge than you ever could gain just by sitting in a classroom. Instead of listening to someone lecture, I actually got out and experienced these places first hand, seeing wallabies, baby sharks, and even holding a koala bear! For two weeks, you will volunteer in the project of your choice (if you apply early!). These two weeks are tough, and towards the end, you will be close to your breaking point. On my last day, I could barely lift a shovel! But you just have to keep pushing yourself, and know that what you are doing will be a great help to conservation in Australia. The last two weeks are the adventure tour, where you will participate in fun, but, sometimes, extreme activities! You will see The Great Barrier Reef, a bunch of wildlife, pet a koala bear, explore Sydney, white water raft in the rainforest, bungee jump etc. The locals were extremely friendly, helpful, and accepting. In addition, the ISV and CVA staff were the best! They truly appreciated what you were doing for them, making you more proud of all the work you were doing. ISV will force you outside your comfort zone more times than you can count, but you will come out as stronger individual: both mentally and physically. I recommend applying early in September, so you can visit the country you want, and get the program you want! Yes, this program is very expensive, but I couldn't put a price on it because there's nothing like it.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked more time to explore Sydney. It was such a big city, and I felt that I didn't see enough of it.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Tyler
10/10

Life changing experience!!!

ISV Australia has provided me with experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life! The ISV staff are incredible and the individuals I met within my volunteer group have been some of the greatest people I've met in my entire life. The conservation work my group did was so fulfilling it made me change my major of study once I completed the ISV program. We worked at Walkabout Wildlife Park for 2 weeks and had amazing opportunities every single day that you can't get while just being a tourist. Anything from cleaning animal enclosures, getting up close and personal with kangaroos and Dingoes, to clearing brush were all made possible due to my involvement with ISV. Australia is renowned for its shear beauty and with ISV you not only get to experience the beauty of Australia but you play a crucial role in the conservation of Australia's unique ecosystems. This program has changed my life in so many positive ways. Between the 2 weeks of working in the wildlife park and the other 2 weeks traveling the East coast of Australia I can say I have done more "once in a lifetime" things in a 4 week time span than majority of people do within an entire lifetime. Scuba diving and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafting on the Tully River, skydiving in Cairns overlooking the ocean, getting licked to death by dingoes, swimming next to Sea Turtles and the list could go on for ages! Don't let anything hold you back from joining ISV on a volunteer program because you 110% will not regret it!!

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, I don't have any criticisms in terms of how the program could be improved. Maybe a more affordable cost but the cost you pay as a volunteer goes into the activities and accommodations set aside for you. The cost is intimidating to some people but you have to understand that when you look at all of the things you get to do and experience it proves to be worth every last penny in the end.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anna
10/10

Aussieland! :)

I have been waiting to take my first ever out of country travel experience with ISV Australia since I was a freshman in college and I was beyond happy to finally make the trip happen the summer before my senior year! I went back and forth on it so many times, but ultimately I am so thankful I made the decision to participate in the program. I met some of the most incredible people on the volunteer project who shared my passion for learning and volunteering in order to make a difference in the world and I truly believe we did. Wild Mountains was an amazing place and I would never trade my time there for anything in the world. The adventure tour was also beyond anything I could have imagined. It forced me outside of my comfort zone more times than I could count, but the friends I made, laughs we had, and memories I now carry everywhere with me were 100% worth it! International Student Volunteers is a wonderful program and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone even the slightest bit interested! :)

How can this program be improved?
The trip was absolutely incredible and it brings a smile to my face every time I think about my time in Australia, which is why thinking of something that could be improved it so difficult... However, if I had to say something, I would say that providing participants with a more detailed description of what the volunteer project will entail would help them to decide which project to select a little easier!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kylie
10/10

ISV Australia

This summer of 2015 I went To Australia with International Student Volunteers. I didn't know what to expect and it was my first time out of the country but it was by far the best experience of my life. Every time I read someone's review about how the people they meet are now their best friends I was like "yeah, sure ok" but I met the most amazing people and still talk to them. There is something about this shared interest in helping the world and traveling that brings people together and this trip did just that. I made the most amazing friends that I would not trade for anything and I have never laughed so hard for 5 weeks straight in my life. Australia is the most beautiful place in the world and all of the adventures we went on there were outstanding. If you are looking for a trip that is going to make you feel worthwhile, this is the trip to go on. Spend the money, deal with all the logistics of going and get on that plane. You will not regret it. Every activity you do is planned to the very last detail. You want to white water raft in the oldest rainforest in the world and you definitely want to scuba dive/snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, and of course you want to learn how to surf in Byron Bay (my favorite location on this trip). Trust me, you wanrt to do it all. And trust me even more when I say you are going to be in good company. ISV picks the most amazing team leaders. My group cried when we left our project leader, Meg and we bawled our eyes out when we had to leave each other and that is only after 4 weeks! This experience is life changing and I recommend you go to isvolunteers.org and you sign up today because you will never have another experience like it.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jennifer
10/10

ISV Australia

This trip was the best decision of my life. On my project, my group of 8 people became like a family. During our volunteer weeks we stayed in a sustainable community and did conservation work to help connect 2 rain forests. We had so much fun during our volunteer weeks. I loved where my project was at because in the community we got to meet people from all over the world and hear about their travel experiences. I was surprised how much people in Australia encouraged us to continue to travel. The next 2 weeks was the adventure tour. I got to do so many things in 2 weeks that most people do not do in their life. We did things that made me step out of my comfort zone and conquer my fears (rappelling). I also got to do things I have always wanted to do (snorkel the Great Barrier Reef). I made so many friends during this month and I want to go back! It is a great experience for a first time traveler.

How can this program be improved?
This program was close to perfect. If I had to change one thing is that I would have liked more time in Sydney.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amanda
10/10

My Experience in Australia

Signing up with International Student Volunteers for a summer session was the best decision I have ever made! Along with doing some amazing conservation and preservation work, I met many friends from all over. I learned a lot about myself and about the culture from where I stayed while abroad. This volunteering opportunity looks great on applications and is well worth it!

How can this program be improved?
I would change absolutely nothing about this trip! The leaders were qualified and knew what to do when they were tested.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelsey
10/10

ISV Gave Me the Best Summer of My Life

Traveling to Australia through ISV was easily the best experience I've ever got to be a part of! From the moment we stepped off the plane in Brisbane, everyone we came across made us feel so welcomed in this new environment. My project leader was amazing, and our project hosts at Wild Mountains were some of the greatest, most passionate people I've ever met in my life. It was amazing to see the kind of impact we got to make on our world in those two short volunteer weeks. The adventure tour was also amazing! In the two weeks, I got to experience so many amazing adventures that most people won't even get to experience in their whole lifetime. From bungee jumping, to white water rafting, to abseling off the side of a mountain. ISV really helped me push myself out of my comfort zone and I couldn't be more grateful for the experiences and the people I got to meet while doing this once in a lifetime trip. Thanks ISV!!!

How can this program be improved?
I wish there was more time in Sydney like there was in Cairns. I feel like Sydney has so much to offer and we didn't get to experience enough of it! Other than that I loved this program.
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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