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.

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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 76 - 90 of 122
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Lea
10/10

Once in a Lifetime

The best part of ISV was the volunteering portion. The staff at wild mountains were so welcoming and amazing that hey made the first two weeks unbelievable. From helping build the whiptail house to planting trees we did it all. Extreme weeding aka lantana bashing is perhaps the funnest thing ever. They show you how to help conserve energy, and make you really want to help protect and save the environment. Not only that but they create an experience that makes you look at yourself and become a better person.

The people you meet on this trip make all the difference. I am a shy person and this trip made me put myself out there and meet people that I still call friends today. The adventure trip pushes the boundaries of things you would do. It was so incredible to go surfing and swim in the great barrier reef. For a book worm like me to rappel down a rock face was perhaps the scariest, craziest thing i have ever done and by far the most fun i have ever had.

This trip was truly a once in life time experience that allowed me to discover who i am and become a better person

How can this program be improved?
Its hard to say what can be improved when i went in with such an open mind. I had a really great time.
Yes, I recommend
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Jordan
10/10

amazing life experiences

The whole experience was amazing. I like how they start you off in a small group for two weeks so you have time to get to know people and make some closer friends before you get into the bigger group ( especially if your not the most out going). As for the things you actually do, the volunteering was rewarding, the people you help really appreciate it. The adventure components were also awesome. I remember running off a sand dune cliff towards the top of a rainforest canopy and falling 4 to 5 feet to land waist deep in sand. The best time of my life

How can this program be improved?
One out of four of the guides was a little off but no ones perfect
Yes, I recommend
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Katelyn
10/10

ISV Austalia

Traveling to Australia through the ISV program was on of the best experiences of my life. I worked in a community helping them weed and replant their surrounding wildlife areas. We learned about the people in the community we worked with, the importance of living a green life and about how they strive to live in a conservative way. It's almost overwhelming how much volunteering in another country can change your views on your surrounding world. After we said tearful goodbyes to the community we took of on another two week adventure that included scuba diving, white water rafting, visiting wildlife reserves, rappelling off cliffs and takiing cruises around the Austalian coast. It was by far the best experience of my life, I met people I consider a second family and I cannot wait to go back!

How can this program be improved?
I thought it was an amazing program, I would have only like to stay in Sydney a bit longer then we did.
Yes, I recommend
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Daniel
10/10

Changed my life

The work project was fun the people we worked for were very friendly and made the experience fun, even though we were working physically hard. The adventure tour was even better, a new adventure everyday especially getting to surf in Australia. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life. (I have been a lot of places)

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes the food wasn't as much as you had hoped for, but I was never starving.
Yes, I recommend
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Emily
10/10

[Insert Life-changing Title Here]

I could write an entire book on my experience in Australia with ISV, but since you have a thousand other stories to choose to read, I will just say this...

I have traveled internationally every summer for the past 5 years. From trips with student ambassador programs to Europe and the Galapagos Islands, to dancing at the Fringe Festival in Scotland, to just visiting a friend in France, I have truly seen just about every side of international traveling. I chose to try ISV because I wanted a volunteer experience, and Australia was somewhere I had always wanted to travel to.

I can honestly say that ISV topped every expectation I ever had. Every experience on the trip was another that left me wanting more. The volunteer experience was absolutely amazing, the trip down the coast was fun and culturally enlightening, and I took adventures I may have never taken in a lifetime.

If you have the opportunity to travel with ISV, take it. I can promise you that it will be the trip of a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?
All I would say is I wish this trip could be longer. I would spend an entire summer with them if I could.
Yes, I recommend
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Olivia
10/10

Trip of a lifetime

I can't even begin to explain the wonderful experiences I gained from this trip. I think about it daily, even a year after my return. I accomplished so many life goals and found some pretty great friends along the way. The volunteer work that I did during first two weeks was so exciting; I actually wasn't ready to leave and continue on to the two weeks of tourism. The two weeks of traveling was overwhelming at first. I wasn't a big fan of being with 40 new people and having to get used to a new tour leader, but I am so grateful for it. I met the greatest friends and had a blast doing different activities with them. My favorite part was snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef; I actually brag about that to everyone I talk to. By the end of the trip, I actually cried because I wasn't ready to come back to America. This trip changed my life, my outlook on life, and my career goals and I highly encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zones and take this trip!

Yes, I recommend
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Kayla
10/10

Priceless ISV Australia Trip

Never in a million years did I ever expect to get the experience that I did when I decided to go on an ISV trip! To me this trip was priceless in so many ways it's so hard to even describe! First off, you get grouped with people from around the United States and around the world. This gives you a great opportunity to learn about all different cultures and about other people in our world today. Next, you get to volunteer and give back to such a wonderful cause! To me I think my group had the coolest project. We literally woke up everyday and got to work amongst all of the wild animals of the bush including kangaroos, koalas, emus, and wallabies. The feeling that you get that you were able to help achieve huge goals within a community is beyond amazing! The relationships that you build with the people you work with is so uplifting. You have so much in common with everyone that goes because honestly, we are one team and on a mission. I must admit that we did have someone that didn't fit into our group due to various reasons, but in the end that made me and the rest of the volunteers that much closer! Nothing is better than getting hugs and connecting with others on a completely different level, especially once you complete some awesome goals. Not only that but the experience of doing the adventure tour would leave you breathless. Whether its free falling out of the sky at 10,000 feet or scuba diving in the ocean, or repelling down the blue mountains there is nothing in Australia that will leave you anything but short of breathless. Thank you ISV for making my trip PRICELESS.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing that we could have changed is one of the kids that gave us a really hard time. ISV handled it all appropriately and made the rest of our trip enjoyable. This was not ISVs fault.
Yes, I recommend
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David
10/10

Two Weeek Volunteer Only Program

I can only speak about the 2-week volunteering experience, but I feel as though I cannot say enough positive about ISV. The staff were very informative, helpful, and genuinely nice. I was worried about opting for 2-week only volunteering, but our leader helped us make every day count with several extra activities and cultural experiences. Our project leader went well above and beyond what I could have imagined from a leader in terms of helping us acclimate to the culture, bond with our group members, and experience Australia off the beaten path.

How can this program be improved?
I do know that we made an impact with our work and helped out the local government where we volunteered, but I do feel as though we could have been more helpful with our work, or maybe have done some unique work with a more substantial impact.
Yes, I recommend
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Kellie
9/10

Best experience

I loved my ISV trip to Australia. My conservation project taught me many valuable tools for living eco-friendly. The adventure tour was also amazing! I got to do so many things that I would have never done otherwise. I met great people and nice students.

Yes, I recommend
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Marissa
10/10

Amazing experience I'll always remember!

I loved this trip, I was able to impact Phillip Island, Australia and the Little Blue Penguins inhabiting the island. I loved every single minute of the conservation work I was able to do the first two weeks as well as listening to the speakers once a week. I got to repel off of a mountain, I learned how to surf in Byron Bay, I scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef, and I was also able to immerse myself in Australia culture and food. ISV ignited a passion in me for conservation and traveling. I hope to be able to travel again one day and promote conservation in another country at the same time. Thanks ISV for the experience!

How can this program be improved?
When my team and I were recruited, we were given a very low price for how much it would really cost, mine doubled plus some, and I didn't do the figi trip nor skydiving or bungee jumping; I did the minimal. It was the price of the trip in general and then the unexpected need to purchase our own food the first two weeks and a lot more often than the second two weeks. We didn't know that the meals that would be include in the second two weeks would be so small. We all found that our pricing did not come out to be that little. It caused a financial burden on my family and I we are still trying to recover from.
Otherwise I think the trip was laid out as I would hope and expected.
Yes, I recommend
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Denise
10/10

ISV 2009

The best part of my trip was experiencing a new way to live. Living at Austrop with solar power and out door pluming was new to me. I love the friends I made and being able to hold a fruit bat! My experience has led me to volunteer for an environmental conservation organization back home!

How can this program be improved?
I would have love the opportunity to work with more people who live in Australia. There was only to people at Austrop and I would have been nice to meet more local people
Yes, I recommend
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Alinar
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime!!!

Signing up for ISV was a spur of the moment decision, and it was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. One month in Australia really opened my eyes and made me realize the true value of travel. I experienced more things in the four weeks that I was there than I ever did before. Meeting new friends from all over the world, trying new things, and seeing the best of what the country has to offer - it just doesn't get any better than that. If I could do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. The volunteering alone was an amazing and enlightening experience, but Sea kayaking while sperm whales and dolphins swam beneath us; snorkelling with parrot fish and sea turtles; bungee jumping not once, but twice from the highest bungee tower in the country... I could go on and on. The fun was just non-stop the entire trip. If you ever have the opportunity to do this, DO NOT HESITATE! It will change your life!

How can this program be improved?
It's hard to say since I had such a great time. I guess I would say just trying to make it cheaper for students to participate.
Yes, I recommend
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Jessica
10/10

Aussi! Aussi! Aussi! Oy! Oy! Oy!

I really enjoyed my experience with ISV in 2007. We spent two weeks doing conservation work (trail building, planting of native vegetation, removal of invasive plant species, etc.) in the Kangaroo Valley/Canberra areas of Australia, then spent two weeks playing tourist, all the way from Cairns back down to Sidney! The conservation work was meaningful and appreciated by the locals, and it was amazing to see the impact we could make over the course of just a few days. The highlights of the travel portion of the trip were playing with wombats at a wildlife sanctuary, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef (where we saw blacktip reef sharks, sea turtles, giant clams, and so much more!), ocean rafting the Pacific Ocean, getting a glimpse of the aboriginal culture at a local historical park, rappelling in the Blue Mountains, white water rafting, looking for dingoes on Frasier Island, a dinner cruise of the Sidney harbor, and the freedom of having several unplanned days in between to choose our own adventures, like climbing to Point Byron (Australia's most easterly point) and watching the whales and dolphins down below. I made some great friends along the way, many of which I still keep in touch with to this day. If you are looking for a way to make a difference, meet new people, and quench your thirst for adventure, I would highly recommend ISV!

How can this program be improved?
Lower costs and/or longer durations of programs.
Yes, I recommend
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Weston
10/10

An amazing experience

When an ISV rep came into my class freshman year at university talking about how great this program is, I never thought it was something I could actually do. I looked into it a bit more on my own and became certain that it was in fact something I could and should do. If you're debating whether or not you should take this opportunity, I recommend that you do it. The people I met will no doubt be a part of my life forever, as will the memories and experiences I took away from this trip. If you're looking for a spring break party drinking fest, this is not the trip for you. If you're looking for a cultural exchange with students of all ages and backgrounds from around the world, for a chance to travel while giving something back and doing something meaningful at the same time, then this is the program for you. Every day is a new experience with this program, from replanting coastal rainforests, to providing food for beautiful endangered species, no two days were the same but every day was memorable and meaningful.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I would help the smaller groups become one more united group for the second two weeks. I still felt like people tended to stick to their smaller more comfortable groups, but friends I made from other small groups were some of the best and the ones I keep in closest contact with still today. I would have liked to meet and spent more time with others who weren't as comfortable branching out.
Yes, I recommend
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Rachel
10/10

Great program with understandable difficulties

This was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The volunteer project gave me some incredible hands-on animal experience I was able to include on my job resumes. The adventure your was equally as excellent, if not better. There were some understandable difficulties that required an open mind. Sometimes things were not as I was expecting and a little more "roughing it" than I had assumed. But it in no way took away from the experience. If I had the time and money, I would absolutely go on another trip in a heartbeat. Great job ISV!!!

How can this program be improved?
I would've liked to have spent another day at the whitsundays!!
Yes, I recommend

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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