Location
  • China
    • Xian
Length
1 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Apartment Host Family
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
335
Price Details
Fully hosted experience from only $335 for 1 week - this includes accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, orientation and 24/7 in-country support.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
May 01, 2024
Feb 20, 2024
34 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Trusted by 136,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the world's #1 rated volunteer programs in China and 50+ destinations worldwide.

For the past 6 years, we've won the "Top Volunteer Abroad Provider Award" from GoOverseas, so you can trust that you're in the safest hands with IVHQ in China.

Our affordable projects start from $27/day for your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, project placement and local support. Projects run year-round, with durations from 1-24 weeks. Choose from 3 projects, Teaching English, Special Needs Care or a special Summer Outreach project, based in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province. Plus, you’ll stay in a volunteer apartment or local homestay with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world (private room options available).

With IVHQ’s superior pre-departure support services, you’ll gain exclusive access to your own Volunteer Travel Specialist, comprehensive preparation tools and volunteer training before you leave home.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Cheapest volunteer programs from $27/day for your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, project placement & local support.
  • Volunteer for 1-24 weeks, year round start dates most Mondays
  • 15+ years experience & only B Corp certified volunteer travel organization
  • Get free changes up to 14 days before you start with our flexible booking policy
  • Affordable way to earn college credit - gain 5 credits for only US$500!

Program Reviews

4.77 Rating
based on 13 reviews
  • 5 rating 76.92%
  • 4 rating 23.08%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.7
  • Support 4.55
  • Fun 4.3
  • Value 4.65
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 13 reviews
Default avatar
Valerie
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Expect nothing and receive unconditional love

I initially opted for a teaching experience but finally ended up with the special needs initiative. As forewarned, the conditions are indeed austere (think doorless toilet, malfunctioning heater and toilet flush, leaking pipes) and the food is staple-centric. But working with the people who love unconditionally when you show them love was truly a great experience. I was initially a little nervous as the special needs group can be extremely warm towards you and this is my first encounter. Overtime, I've come to see them as little kids (not so little) who just want someone to pay them 1on1 attention. In the 5 days, we taught them some English greetings, a Singapore dance and some maths. In return, they taught us that it takes so little to be happy.

I am looking forward to my next one.

What was your funniest moment?
When we discovered that the attached bathroom did not come with a door!
Pros
  • The participants will appreciate you unconditionally
  • Lovely air
Cons
  • Food
  • It can be intimidating initially as they can show physical affection immediately
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Mei-Ming
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience of volunteering in China

My experience in volunteering in China was an amazing experience! I enjoyed every moment of this unforgettable experience! It's such a bright and happy place and such a pleasure to do volunteering and work with such cute happy Chinese children and lovely respectful Chinese teachers that help you for every part of your journey! Teaching English to the Chinese children was an interesting opportunity and it made me like the work and have an opportunity to further my education and jobs. It was my favorite job out of all the jobs I did. It made me learn what type of job I will like and not like and what my goal for the future is and how to work towards my goal! Being in the city helped alot and was amazing! There are so many people and so many beautiful tourist attractions and restaurants. Every weekend and some nights I would go to a new tourist attraction and also go to new places! I highly recommend The City Wall! The City wall was very fun where you can ride a bike in the wall! I was very happy because I have an interest in china my home! I was born in china! And also I love the food and people and I'm learning the language! I highly recommend volunteering in china! Also the team and HIVQ was so lovely and helpful during my time here! Thanks!

Pros
  • Getting to know new friends and people
  • Experience work in china and life and culture
  • Sight seeing and visiting places and enjoying life in the city
Cons
  • Sharing rooms with roommates
  • Not getting paid
  • Having to buy drinks and extra food on weekends over not getting lunch and not getting drinks
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
natsaha
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing adventure

My experience teaching English in China was very special. Not only did I learn a lot about the culture, but I also felt I made an impact in the small villages near Xi'an. I would recommend this program to anybody who is looking for something out of there comfort zone, and to experience a new way of life! It was truly inspiring. Also, you get a lot of free time, so you can easily go to other cities near your placement. It gives one a sense of independence, especially if you do not speak the native language. Travelling is very good by fast train; you can drive to cities within 30 minutes to an hour, if the city is close enough. I would highly recommend climbing mount Hua Shan. It is known as the most dangerous, but beautiful mountain in China!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was the sense of community in certain places. It was very beautiful to see the people coming out at night to play ping pong, badminton, and dance with each other.
94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rebecca
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ China teaching English program

I volunteered in China for 4 weeks on the teaching English program and I can honestly say it has been the best experience in my life. I arrived on the Saturday evening and the airport pickup ran smoothly. for the project itself I was placed at the school in Weinan. I was expecting Weinan to be a small place, but it is a good sized city with lots of places to eat. The school was really accommodating and helped me in any way possible. In the morning we would go out to a different kindergarten every morning which transport provided by the school. I loved the Kindergartens's the children are so tiny and cute and they are fascinated by foreigners teaching them. Be prepared for the children to repeat back to you whatever you say to them. I would say the children really respond well to songs, games and dancing. In the afternoon I taught at the school where I was staying. The classes are 40 minutes long, I structured my lessons by doing a refresher activity from the previous lesson and then I introduced a new concept to them. At the weekends we went back to Xi'an where we mixed with the other volunteers. In xi'an there are lots of things to do which included terracotta warriors, the city wall and the Muslim quarter. As well as having lots of placed to eat. Get ready for a big culture shock and embrace the Chinese culture you will have an amazing time!!!!!

101 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It's wonderful to hear your time on the program has been your best life experience so far! It sounds like the students responded well to your classes and I'm sure your lesson suggestions will be valuable for other volunteers preparing for their trip. It's great that you immersed yourself in the local culture and made the most of what Xi'an has to offer for weekend activities. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer!
Sarah - IVHQ China Program Manager

Default avatar
Xiaoning
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A week in Xian,with a group of special ones

It was my first time to care for the mentally disabled,but at the beginning,I felt like a freshman.Everyday during that period,I got up at 6 a.m. to catch the bus,and it took me more than one hour to reach our destination.Despite that,what I want to say is,it was of great value.
Jingjieniao Centre was a special place,which acted as an asylum for the mentally disabled.Most of the members there were intellectual disabilities,who were adults physically but very young children mentally.Among them were several autism boys,who were even tougher to communicate with.In general,almost all of the students there were those who had already been rejected by The Special Education School,due to their poor mentally conditions.They could neither adapt to society,nor get systematized education.
Although they will never understand all of the knowledge you taught them,you can feel their passion towards learning new things.For those who can hardly speak a single word,a small act like playing with them and helping them concentrate on tasks,is even more worthful.During this whole process,kindness and patience are needed.You must repeat your words again and again to them in order that they can remember a small part of them,and sometimes,drawing pictures and giving examples are efficient ways.
Language barrier is a big problem,since most students don't speak English.Body languages like taping their shoulders or shaking their hands will always be feasible. Autism students seem to be more introverted than others,so that you may stretch your hands towards them and invite them to join you.Don't forget to encourage them after they have interacted with you.
Xian is a beautiful city,which is known for its ancient buildings and local flavor snacks.The week in Xian was a wonderful,and even valued memory to me.Every time staying with my partners from all over the world,I felt like being energetic.

What would you improve about this program?
For volunteers,some tools are needed,like picture books and small games.I hope that volunteers can get this kind of resource from volunteer accomodation.
99 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Xiaoning, Thanks for sharing this beautiful review! It is heartwarming to hear about the experience you had on the Special Needs project and we are so grateful to have had you volunteer with us. We hope you will join us again in the future.
Sarah - IVHQ China Program Manager

Default avatar
Brittany
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with IVHQ in CHINA!

I have never been out of the country. I haven't even gone out of state without my family! When I graduated high school, I decided that I was going to go halfway across the world all by myself! I was "in the moment" and wanted to do something new!
I researched many volunteer organizations to narrow down which ones seemed trustworthy and safe. After about a week I had decided on going with IVHQ and it was the best decision I made! IVHQ has a great online system full of helpful links and tools. Online there is also a tool to where you can chat with IVHQ staff and the response time is unbelievable! The staff was very helpful and answered my millions of questions. I even got to meet the lady that was helping me online when I was volunteering in China! she came to China for a visit and she was as nice as she was online!
While I was in China, my accommodations were so comfortable, I instantly felt at home. I was staying with a host family and they were very great to have around. The family took great care of me while I was with them and we bonded over dinner and card games. I was sad to leave and cried as i said my good-byes!
Volunteering was very rewarding with IVHQ! The placement provided me with many tools to work with the children and teach them English! The children were so cute and fun to be around! I wanted to be around them forever! The staff and children were so sweet to me the whole time I was volunteering!
I am definitely going to volunteer with IVHQ again! I got to travel and experience a whole new culture while I was doing something good and rewarding! I definitely achieved all I wanted and more while I was volunteering and the feeling of volunteering is like no other!

What would you improve about this program?
This program needs no improvements! It is very up to date and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful!
102 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Brittany, What a great review! Thanks for sharing and for making the brave decision to travel halfway across the world on your own. We are so thrilled to hear that you felt instantly at home with your host family in China and that you found your volunteer work rewarding. Thanks for being an amazing volunteer and we can’t wait to have you join another IVHQ program!

Default avatar
War
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Reflection on Teaching English in Shaanxi Province

I'm here to write the best review possible and I'm gonna do just that. Taking this trip was such a thrilling experience for me because I really got to build my public speaking skills, see new parts of the world,dabble in some exotic gourmet foods, and get the chance to be on the other side of the teaching spectrum and see what it's like to be teaching. This trip made me realize about how difficult it is to be a teacher because not every student will be able to grasp what you are trying to communicate across. Teaching is also such a rewarding feeling because the look on the students faces as I was teaching brought some happiness to me. I tried to make this experience as fun as possible for myself and all those that I taught and I am guaranteed that was accomplished successfully. The food is so delicious, the surrounding area is so beautiful in Xi'an city, and the people are so funny and admirable. There's so much to say and I don't know how to get it all down in writing but part of me actually wishes that My duration could have been extended so I could have stayed longer in China. I was getting so comfortable there besides having to deal with the language barrier, I could actually picture myself living there for quite some time. In summary, Asia is an awesome place to do some volunteer and humanitarian work. You will not regret taking your time to venture out into the global world and see what else life has in store for you and I'm so delighted I was fortunate and able to have participated in this traveling program experience. Do not hesitate or think once more, if you want to come to China do it!or anywhere else for that matter. IVHQ IS FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

What would you improve about this program?
There's not much to say about how it could be improved. I'd like to add that maybe there can be more volunteers and staff that can speak English more fluently but that's not a big issue at all. Other than that I really don't have any concerns in my head to state.
104 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi War, Wow! What a great review! We are delighted to have had you volunteer with us. Thanks so much for making the whole volunteer teaching experience fun for you and your students. It sounds like you really enjoyed your time in China and we would love to have you join us again in the future.

Aliénor
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A couple of weeks in Xi'an

During that first week of summer, the heat seemed unbearable. The kind that sinks beneath the trees and rises from the pavements, from which there is no escape under a perpetually cloudy sky. At work we were set to cleaning a large rug. The orphanage centre didn't have a hoover, so we were scooping dust with a dustpan and brush. Of all the cleaning jobs I had to do, that was probably the worse (and that includes Chinese toilets). As I stopped to give my aching arms a rest, my heart sinking because I realised I was only halfway through, I noticed one of my co-volunteers had disappeared. I was lucky enough to work with two people, a mother and a daughter. I asked was told that there was a commotion downstairs: one of the special needs kids was being sent home. You have to understand that the people I worked with were good people, they were giving and cared for every disabled child there. However, the children who still had families were required to pay a small monthly contribution.
The child in question was one we'd nicknamed 'Little Fatty', his plump face giggled when we swung him around, and he'd often slip his hand into yours as you climbed a flight of stairs. He had been in this care centre for over a year.
His parents were no longer able to pay the school fee. The father had little income and even less training or education, and his mother was blind. Their son was crying and refusing to leave the Special Needs Centre.
I worked with a wonderful woman who exemplified all the kindness and spirit the Chinese are so often capable of, and went down to see if she could help. She ended up paying for the little boy to stay another month, and paid for medical examinations which would ultimately grant him help from the government. To top it all off, she bought enough chicken for the whole orphanage, and we had it with rice and vegetables that very lunchtime.
I was fortunate enough to witness other scenes disproving all our theories on humanity's ultimate selfishness and greed, but this was the first and of which I keep a fond memory.
The orphanage cut up a watermelon that afternoon, which we ate whilst caring for the kids, who gleefully let the juice dribble down their chins.

99 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alienor, Thanks for sharing this story from your time on the program in China. It is always heart-warming to witness kindness. It would be our pleasure to welcome you onto another IVHQ program in the future.

Questions & Answers

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