Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Bali from $295

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Trusted by 90,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Bali and 40+ other destinations around the world.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Bali, you can choose to volunteer in Ubud or the coastal town of Lovina. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Bali, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects in Bali:

  • Teaching (Ubud)
  • Kindergarten (Ubud)
  • Construction & Renovation (Ubud)
  • Turtle Conservation (Ubud)
  • Environmental Education (Ubud)
  • Health Education (Ubud)
  • Kindergarten Support and Teaching (Lovina)
  • School and Community Renovation (Lovina)
  • IVHQ’s Bali programs are available year-round, starting every Monday and you can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.
  • Highly affordable program fees from $295 for 1 week - including airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support.
  • You’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure training.
  • Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart - we are the world’s safest organization and you’ll have 24/7 in-country support.
  • You’ll be joining between 40 and 80 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Bali each month and you’ll be joining a network of 80,000+ volunteers.

Questions & Answers

IVHQ requires that all volunteers participating on the program be at least 18 years old. However, if you volunteer with a parent or guardian on the same project as you, you can go at younger than 18. It is important to note that the local organization, Green Lion Bali, does host volunteers from other organizations other than IVHQ, and some of those organizations have different age requirements....


based on 95 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 95
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Amazing time at Turtle conservation

My name is Eva, I'm 18 years old and I just finished my 3 months volunteering at the Turtle conservation on Nusa Penida Island. I can honestly say it's been the best three months if my life. From the introduction week in Ubud to the daily volunteering on Nusa I can only say all the staff members I met were absolutely incredible. From the coordinators to the kitchen staff everybody greets you with a smile. ivhq's support was really good, they answered to my Emails super quickly and always encouraged me to ask more questions if I was unsure about something. The only thing I feel could use improvement is the support in getting a visa extension but that really only matters if you plan on staying longer than 60 days and isn't that big of a deal. All in all, I had the most amazing time, I made friends for life with other volunteers and the coordinators there. I am beyond grateful for the experience I've had.

How can this program be improved?
Obviously making it cheaper would always be welcome. Other than that I mostly would have wanted more support when trying to get my visa extension after 60 days. I was a little stressed out by that.
Yes, I recommend this program

Above and Beyond

IVHQ was above and beyond what I had expected! The hospitality, the people, and volunteers were all amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better experience than what I was given the last 4 weeks. Orientation week was spectacular! The program really had us submerge into the culture, and really prepared us for the weeks to come in our volunteer program. The program staff were very helpful for all my questions, and if they didn't have an answer they were very eager to find one. Weekends away from volunteering was an amazing way to go out and explore all the island had to offer with my new volunteer friends! I met the most amazing people in a short amount of time, who will become long time friends. I can't wait to sign up for my next big volunteer adventure through IVHQ!

How can this program be improved?
More preparation. More information of Visa requirements.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ivhq Bali

I had the opportunity to meet life long friends, volunteer on a project I am super passionate about, and have new experiences. I had a hard time leaving and considered staying longer! Nusa Penida was a great place to call home for a while.
I took this trip as part of a gap year between high school and college and had the best time. I know I want to do something with marine conservation so seeing that there was a turtle program drew me in! This trip really instilled my passions even further and I cant wait to go on another trip like it!

How can this program be improved?
I wish the introduction week was a little shorter. Staying in Nusa Penida was amazing and I wish the introduction week didn't take a whole week.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Many positives, but they are overshadowed by big voluntourism problems

I was in Ubud, Bali for 16 weeks in the Summer of 2018 working in the construction program. The actual volunteer organization is Green Lion Bali, which I believe currently runs all of the programs in Bali that IVHQ advertises; IVHQ matches volunteers and programs, but is normally uninvolved once the volunteers are on the ground.

I'll start with the positives:

• The volunteer accommodations were above my expectations. The rooms were cleaned daily, the food was tasty (though after 16 weeks I am ready to not eat rice for a few years), and there was a bar/restaurant right across the street. Safety was largely not a problem, but a few volunteers did have their items stolen (mainly phones and cash). To Green Lion's credit, in at least one case they were able to get the item back. Please note that there are several volunteer houses in the Ubud area (as well as Lovina), and I am not sure how the others compare. Also, while I did not personally experience the accommodations at Nusa Penida, I heard from many volunteers that there were issues with bed bugs, hot water availability, and food quality. Many of the volunteers in the turtle conservation program cut their time short to return to mainland Bali due to the accommodations and lack of work.

• The program coordinators were nice, helpful, and present. All of the staff were Balinese (with a few interns from other Green Lion affiliates in Southeast Asia). The local village drivers were fun and personable, and I made friends with lots of them, as did many other volunteers.

• The construction projects on which I worked were 'real'. We were laying brick walls, mixing and pouring concrete, demolishing old walls, plastering, etc. During my time, we helped build 2 separate schools to expand classroom capacity and give free Kindergarten to local families that could not afford it.

• Bali is beautiful and safe, and there are dozens of places to visit on the weekend breaks. At my facility, there were normally 80+ volunteers, most of whom were interested in exploring Bali.

Unfortunately, there are core problems with the programs that make it very difficult for me to recommend Green Lion/IVHQ to other volunteers. In short, Green Lion has a big, and still growing, voluntourism problem:

• Most programs only work a few hours a day. In construction, it was typically a 3-4 hour day, with additional time for the commute to and from the site. The teachers worked less than that. During the prime of Summer, when there were hundreds of volunteers, the turtle conservation volunteers worked an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. I heard that the programs used to have longer working days, but Green Lion shortened it due to volunteer feedback. This leads into my second point.

• Many, if not most, of the volunteers were more interested in partying than volunteering. It was normal for significant numbers of volunteers to miss work because they were hungover from going out the previous night. Many skipped Monday or Friday to extend their weekend travel. On at least half a dozen occasions over my 16 weeks, volunteers came back at 3-5 AM and woke the sleeping volunteers up by jumping into the pool from the second story, playing music on speakers, and just generally being loud drunks. During orientation week, all volunteers are required to sign a code of conduct that threatens removal from the program if it is violated. However, I never saw a volunteer get kicked out or meaningfully reprimanded during my stay.

• Most of the volunteers (maybe 75%) were 18-20 years old. This is not an intrinsically bad thing. However, older volunteers may struggle to share living space with people who are just out of high school. I had roommates vomit in our shower, 'adopt' stray dogs (resulting in puddles of urine in the bedroom), and leave half-eaten snacks on the floor (exacerbating insect problems). I know of one volunteer that was so drunk that she wet her bed, and one of her roommates had to clean it up. For context, I'm in my late 20s. Don't get me wrong, there were many volunteers that were older, and many great volunteers among the younger group. I was also in Bali during the American/European summer, so it may be a different age make-up at other times of the year. However, if the above sounds awful to you, I would look into the private room housing options.

• I have concerns about how the volunteers' program fees are being spent. To be fair, I never asked Green Lion for a detailed accounting of the cost breakdown (though I would love to see one even now). The coordinators seemed to be underpaid, the volunteering accommodations were packed (i.e. lots of program fees flowing in), and the supplies for the various programs/projects were okay at best. Construction volunteers must pay an additional 50 USD/week, which meant there should have been anywhere from $400-800 more for supplies, but we didn't see that money manifest in better building supplies or tools. I did hear that Green Lion was building several new facilities in the next few years, leading me to worry that much more money is getting poured back into the organization instead of into the communities that are being served.

I loved so much of my experience in Bali, but I can't bring myself to recommend it to volunteers that are looking to maximize their impact and work alongside like-minded people. I would love to see Green Lion and IVHQ make some improvements to remedy this. If, however, you are looking for a vacation with some volunteering, this may be a good fit for you.

How can this program be improved?
• Start holding volunteers accountable. Green Lion and IVHQ treated us more like customers of their business than volunteers in their programs. I get that this is a tough balance to pull off, as volunteers and their program fees are the life blood of these organizations, but in its current state Green Lion pushes away passionate volunteers.

• Increase the amount of work/volunteering hours.

• For the teaching programs, institute a curriculum that volunteers can use to guide their lesson planning. As it stands, many of the volunteers primarily played games with the kids or repeated the same lessons as previous volunteers to the same class.

• Reduce orientation time to 1-2 days and eliminate everything that isn't needed (visiting the Monkey Forest, water temple, etc.). Right now orientation takes an entire week, and many volunteers are only there for 2-3 weeks total.

• Potentially institute minimum duration stays (e.g. 3+ weeks). I know that other organizations have done this. This would help dissuade volunteers that are primarily looking for a vacation, but may also eliminate people unfairly.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Patrick,

I’m the Program Manager for IVHQ Bali - Ubud program and I wanted to take the time to acknowledge your review and the part your feedback plays in the ongoing improvements around our program and ensuring it is contributing to positive outcomes for the people and community in Ubud.

Our Bali - Ubud program typically receives consistently positive feedback so I was sorry to read that you felt certain aspects of your experience weren’t positive. However, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the volunteer work on the Construction and Renovation project.

We do our best to prepare volunteers before they arrive with realistic expectations around projects and volunteer hours. I’ll be following up on the feedback you’ve raised around the Teaching project, as our aim is for volunteers to follow the local curriculum, and the overall impact of volunteers.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback and providing us the opportunity to discuss how your experience could have been improved.

Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager

No, I don't recommend this program

Teaching (and learning) in Bali

Hi everyone! I am Michela, I am 20 years old and I live in Italy. I study management engineering in Milan and my dream job is to become the Italian minister of education. I have always dreamt of volunteering abroad, but every time I tried to apply the prices were very high and I couldn’t afford it. I found IVHQ right before giving up my dream, and they helped me realizing it. They supported me in every step of the project: from the application process to the end of my amazing two weeks. I choose to Volunteer in Bali as an English teacher. Why Bali? I don’t know. They had so many different destinations and choosing one was very difficult, so I just followed my instinct and picked Bali and, believe me, it was the perfect place. I am one of those people who get bored very easily, but Bali always offers so many different activities and experiences that you could stay here for a year and still have new things to try. Their culture is inspiring, the people are as nice and happy to help as you can’t even imagine. Why did I choose to be an English teacher? To answer this question, I have to tell you a little bit about myself. My life changed completely when I was given a scholarship by one of the most prestigious schools of Milan. While I was growing I realized that the difference between my friends who lived in Pero (the small town I live in) and me was that I was actually learning what there was outside the box. I started middle school without knowing a word of English and I finished high school considering myself almost a mother tongue. I've made friends all over the world, I traveled, I studied, I learnt how to interact with cultures that were completely different from mine. And none of this would have been possible if I hadn't been taught English. This language represents a chance for everyone to be understood and considered in a world governed by people who have no interest in growing critical thinking in poor and non-developed populations. I believe in the power of instruction more than in anything else. I am firmly convinced that the only way humanity is going to improve and empower itself is by extending education in the entire planet. By teaching kids English we can not only give them the possibility to interact with the rest of the world population, but we can also give them a chance to think critically and become citizens of our world. My first day teaching I was amazed by the curiosity of my kids (yes, I consider them a little bit mine too). They had so many questions, if they finished an exercise they wanted another one immediately, if I taught them how to introduce themselves on Monday, on Tuesday they would come to me the moment I walked into class to let me see that they remembered everything. On my last day I wanted to try something different: I wanted to teach the verb “to be”. Everybody told me that would have been too hard for them, but I thought they were worth a shot. So, I asked if a member of IVHQ could help me translating what I was saying in Indonesian. After one hour my kids were screaming the verb “to be” as loud as they could. They were happy, they knew they had learnt something new, and they were proud of themselves. And I was proud of them too. My last day was also the day before Independence Day, a very important holiday here in Bali. I could hear other children playing outside our class, so I asked my students if they wanted to end the class earlier and go play with their friends. What they answered made me cry of joy and think a lot: “No miss, we’d rather stay here and learn with you”. We went on learning that day, and as soon as the class was over, we ate chocolate laughing for another hour. When I got home I thought about the difference between us, citizens of developed countries with very good education systems and them. And the more I thought about it the more it was clear: we study because our parents, the society, the job market, want us to study. They study because they are passionate, because they are willing to communicate with the world, because they know how important it is. They don’t have marks. They don’t want to copy. They want to learn. I came here thinking I would have taught something, but at the end I was the who learnt the most.

Thank you IVHQ for giving me the opportunity to grow and for giving them opportunity to learn and have a voice in this world.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Wonderful experience

I was a part of the Bali Sea Turtle program with IVHQ. I could not recommend it more highly. I learned a lot about marine life, experienced snorkeling and hiking and holy water temples and hidden beaches. I made friends I know will last for years and memories that will last forever. The staff was incredibly helpful and the accommodations were lovely, much nicer than I would have expected because of the low price! I will 100% be traveling with IVHQ again.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Georgia, thanks for your review! It is awesome to hear that you immersed yourself in the Balinese culture and had and incredible time on the Turtle Conservation. We really appreciate your time and efforts, thanks for volunteering with IVHQ! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ubud, Bali- Exceeded my expectations

I'd never payed to volunteer abroad somewhere before so was quite unsure about the whole thing and I had no idea what I was getting myself into... but the application process of IVHQ was so easy and the abundance of information provided/ support offered made me more at ease.
I initially wanted to volunteer to help with the turtle conservation however due to the locations I ended up volunteering to teach English to kids in Ubud, Bali. Teaching English to kids who don't speak a word of your language doesn't sound easy... and it wasn't... especially as the kids were just crazy. But despite the language barrier, I really loved spending time with the kids who were surprisingly really eager to learn and they are always so happy to see you. I would highly recommend that if you are staying in Indonesia before hand then learning a bit of Bahasa Indonesian would be very useful.
In addition, the accommodation was far nicer than I was expecting (there's a pool!) and I had the most amazing experience getting to know so many young travellers from all over, with all sorts of great personalities. Initially, I was not keen on the idea of a whole week of orientation, but it was so fun and full of laughs, and its not often you get such a good chance to get to know other people in a fun, relaxed environment.
Ubud is such a beautiful area and the people there are all so kind and friendly. I have so much admiration for the Balinese culture. Bali also has so much to explore, and other than the hours you have off volunteering everyday, the weekends are the time that EVERYONE leaves the campus for a trip elsewhere.
In a nutshell, I had one of the best experiences in my life.
(This is a legitimate review :)) )

How can this program be improved?
Balinese teacher present during classes and can help teach along side volunteers who are new /beginners in teaching
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks Alice for the inspiring review! It is really great that you enjoying the Teaching project and got so much out of it. Awesome that the accommodation was way better than you expected too! Very heartwarming that it was one of the best experiences in your life! We would love to have you volunteer with us again any time! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Found my self in Volunteering

Getting out of your comfort zone always seem like a scary idea, however volunteering with IVHQ turned out to be the best experience I have gone through during the 30 years I have lived. I went through the volunteering experience as part of my career shift plan, a break to consider this turning point in my life, I was lost, overwhelmed with the fast track lifestyle we get engaged in. An in this socio cultural experience I have found what I have been missing for a while: peace, happiness, and my self.
IVHQ Volunteering has provided me with all necessities to complete this experience and end up giving and getting in return at once.
To start with, the accommodation was very clean and comfortable, and the local cooks fed us with healthy and variable food on daily basis.

The local coordinators provided us with support at all time and were friendly and cooperative. The orientation they have provided gave us an insight to the local environment and connected us with the surrounding culture. They also were of great support while carrying out the volunteering duty.

The online community assisted in all questions and concerns I had before, during, and after the trip.

International Volunteer HQ, was recommended to me by many of the previous volunteers, and after my trip I definitely recommend them for any person looking to pursue such a mind and social broadening trip.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your awesome review Farah! it is great to hear that you came out of your comfort zone and ended up having an incredible experience. It was our pleasure to help you along the way and that you found the local team helpful and friendly. We hope one day you will volunteer with IVHQ again! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Mount Batur Bali IVHQ !

Best experience of my Life !

This year I decided to pick up my bags and travel as a volunteer. I choose to volunteer in Bali, Lovina teaching English with IVHQ and it was the best decision I made. From the second the airplane landed it was paradise. The landscape surrounding me was green, the smells were natural and pollution free, and the plants, the fruits, the sound of the birds, the people singing, and the children playing filled me with a sense of complete joy. The program was very well organized. An administrator sent a driver to pick me up from the airport, and on my very first hours I was already exploring different places. It was a mesmerizing experience!

When I arrived at the volunteer house I was nervous to meet the rest of the volunteers. After all, I was traveling alone from the other side of the globe. From the moment I got there, we were all automatically connected. It was amazing! the very first day before our introduction to the program we all went out to watch the sunrise and dolphins. It was down the street from where we were staying and it cost us only one dollar per person. Incredible! Some free afternoons we went to waterfalls or hiking, and each day was better than the one before. I went to Bali thinking I could make a difference in the lives of others, but little did I know the life that would be changed would be mine. The team from IVHQ made a big impact in my experience. They always made us feel at home, they helped us with everything, they cooked amazing meals in the mornings, the afternoon, and the evenings. Something I loved is how they played their guitars at the end of each day. They truly made the atmosphere a happy and welcoming place. Just thinking about it and writing about it feels like a dream again.

Let me tell you about my teaching experience. I never realized how much impact we make on these children until I was there. Every day these kids had their papers, their pencils, and were ready to learn. They waited at the doors and they had the biggest smiles on their faces, and they loved getting their papers graded. They felt loved and they were learning English and interacting with people who really cared for them and had the desire to teach them. I thought them healthcare Education, the classes can include topics such as brushing teeth correctly, washing hands, general body cleanliness and nutrition. I also tought them English using games, songs, art, sports and music and I teamed up with other volunteers for additional support. We all had so much fun! When I saw their excitement, I realized that I was little by little starting to make a difference in the world one person at a time. The last day, the kids prepared a good-bye surprise where they wrote letters and brought flowers and little presents.

It is amazing how you come into this program as strangers and you leave with bonds of friendship that will endure. You see all the human beauty of humility, patience, inner happiness, and souls at peace with the world as it is. These are all “Lessons of Life” that I could have not learned in a classroom. I am not a teacher, in fact I’m going to be a lawyer, but what I experienced in Bali, no money or college degree can buy. I transcended race, religion, language barriers and cultural divides to arrive at happiness and peace. The dresses and trinkets I brought home may remind me of my time there, but the true souvenirs will be the memories of the warmth and smiles of the Balinese people. Those souvenirs cannot be lost or broken and can’t be stashed away in the bottom of a box or the corner of a closet. They will always be within me. My way of seeing things has changed and I can change things for the better one person at a time. I’m extremely thankful for all the help and professionalism of the IVHQ team in making this experience exceptional and look forward to the next volunteering opportunity. In fact, I have already been accepted to volunteer in India during my winter break! Thank you IVHQ !!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lourdes, it is awesome to hear from you and thanks for your review. Great to hear that you found that the program was well organized! It sounds like in your free days you did some pretty incredible things. Wonderful, that you made such great memories on your Teaching project with the children and the other volunteers. Thank you for volunteering with us! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program

Best 2 weeks of my life

I was hesitant going abroad by myself at first, living in Europe and heading all the way to Bali was a long journey and I was worried I hyped it up too much and I wouldn't be able to make friends. Well I was worried for nothing! Everyone is there to help out and make new friends, the staff are some of the friendliest I've ever encountered and the Balinese people were so welcoming wherever we went. The first week is usually induction if you do more than a week, and that is where you meet most of the people while going around Bali with the group supervisor. My supervisor, Dayu, was so so sweet and helpful with everything. During the week you do whatever option for volunteering you decided to go for and have weekends off to explore Bali. We went to nusa penida and Gili islands which were two of my top to do things even before I got to Bali so I am so happy I managed to do them! I've met people from all over the world and I would 100% recommed you go even if youre having second thoughts like I did, it will change your outlook forever and I will for sure be doing it again! Teaching children while also seeing a different country was so much more rewarding to me than anything I did before and I can't believe how nice and welcoming everyone was. The program I did was teaching, and after only a week I got so attached to them and teared up when I had to leave. I really hope they remember all the things I taught them, I guess the only way to find out is to go back again.. :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for your awesome review Selen! It is really great that everyone was so welcoming and that your first initial doubts before you arrived were blown away. Cool to hear that you were also able to explore the beautiful islands in your spare time. We really appreciate the time you spent on the Teaching project, we hope to have you come back one day :) Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Volunteering in Bal

Hello! My name is Anna and I come from Spain. I did only two weeks volunteering in Bali but in this short time, this experience has become the best one in my life. Each day was special and everyday I learned a lot from the local people, coordinators, children and the other volunteers who are now friends.
I was a bit afraid to go there alone but I think it’s the best way to enjoy it and learn only for your own growth. In addition, you won’t feel alone at all! You will be around different and beautiful people all the time! I totally recommend and for sure I will repeat!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for your review Anna! It is really great to hear that it was the best experience of your life. Awesome that it was so special for you, thank you for a volunteer with IVHQ! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amazing experience

It was an amazing experience. The staff were very nice with us, it was super safe in bali and we really felt the impact we had while teaching the children. They were very receptive and needed the information we gave them. It was also very cool to travel around the island during the weekends, there are such beautiful and amazing places in bali. Finally i would really recommend this program to anyone who loves travelling and discovering new places and horizons because it can also help the local community if you choose this trip

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks Jafar, we appreciate your time you spent on the Health Education project! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Even the tiniest person, can change the course of the future

On April 22nd of 2018, with a cup of coffee in hand, a 19 year old girl opened her laptop, logged in IVHQ and chose Bali as her destination. It’s not a big deal, right? She just clicked a few buttons and typed a few words. However, just like every epic movie has an ordinary beginning, that is how a marvelous brand-new journey began.

Yep. That girl is me. And I feel so glad that I choose this path, the right one. Volunteering with IVHQ in Bali is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life because I’ve learned a lot from this trip and I also surpassed myself again and again. Responsibility, friendship, love, courage, trust…How could I forget all these things Bali has taught me?

I love animals. Watching more and more species become endangered due to human’s greedy or environmental pollution always hurt me a lot. And knowing that except writing some words online to appeal to people to protect animals, I can’t do any practical things to help them hurts more. I hate this sense of powerlessness. Luckily, I found IVHQ, which provides me with a chance to do the thing I dreamed of: to protect the animals with my real actions instead of words. And that’s why I choose to sign up for the four-week turtle conservation program. Honestly speaking, the fee for the four-week program is not a small sum of money for my family because dollar is much more expensive than RMB and both of my parents are normal workers. So, at first, they don’t want me to sign up for it. But this is my dream, how could I give up. Finally, I persuaded them. And my experience has proved that it is worthwhile. Everything is worthwhile. Thanks to IVHQ, you realize my dream.

With the help of coordinators and other foreign friends, I succeeded in doing a lot of things. I fed the turtles, brushed them, caught the crabs for them, cleaned their tanks, changed the water and took care of them with my body and soul. I felt so happy every time I saw them swim to me and ate the food I prepared for them. I can still remember clearly that I jumped out of joy when I found Cindy (Yep I named every turtle) gained weight after my three-week care. I should admit that it has been a while since my last time do one thing with all my body and soul for such a long time. Some of my friends complained about the monotony of our tasks because they were always the same. But I never thought like that. I love the turtles. I love Nusa Penida. I love the things I am doing and I’m proud of what I am doing. Before I came to Bali, I always hate myself for doing so little and I always want to do more. I want to save all the animals and to make a great contribution to the protection of animals. However, I know that’s beyond my ability. At least, for the 19-year-old me, that’s impossible. Thus, I’m a bit negative because of it. But after I came to Bali, everything changed. Except taking care of the turtles, sometimes we also cleaned the streets and the beaches. All of the tasks were not change-the-world-greatly type. But I knew we were changing it. It was during one of those simple days I realized that, it doesn’t matter whether you can make a great contribution or not, what matters most is that you are doing something for the animals, for the environment, for the world. What matters most is that you are taking actions. I can’t save all of the turtles. But I swear I will save as many as I can. One person’s power is limited. Maybe one person can only pick up 3 plastic bottles from the beach and throw them into the rubbish bin. Nevertheless, what if everyone is doing the same thing? What if everyone does a bit for our world? Never underestimate yourself. Even the tiniest person, can change the course of the world.

In addition, I also made a lot of friends from all over the world. Ben, Lauren, David, Martin, Emma, Giacoma, Jenny, Sam, Grace, Sichen, Janelle, Fawn…There are so many people I can never forget. We helped each other. We learned from each other. And I never felt lonely when I was with them. They made me feel like I was at home and we were a big family.

I will never forget that scary Sunday night.
On August 5th, Lombok was hit by the earthquake. Even if I was in Bali at that time, I could still feel the ground shaking and I could hardly stand on my feet. At that time, I was spending my second weekend in Canggu with my good friend Sichen. We walked a lot during the day time and we were exhausted. But after the earthquake happened, we didn’t dare to go into the hotel to sleep. Everyone was outside the hotel. The little kids were crying and there were people hugging each other. Everything was in such a mess. Canggu is near the ocean, as a result, we were also afraid of the tsunami besides of the earthquake. Finally we decided to go back to Greenlion, Ubud because at least, we had friends there and we had coordinators there. So we took a taxi and went back to Ubud directly.

We arrived at Ubud at 12:30, exhausted and scary, and I didn’t have a bed to sleep because I supposed to stay on Nusa Penida Island at that time. And that’s when Dwita, the coordinator, showed up, at the time we needed someone most. I was really surprised that she was still awake. It was a bit contradictory. On one hand, I felt so happy I found someone. On the other hand, I didn’t know whether I could stay here because I didn’t belong here at that time. I should be on Nusa Penida Island. But I didn’t have other choices. So I told her what happened. And before I could ask her whether I could stay here, she said “Ok I got you. You must be tired now. I will find a bed for you. Stay here, have a good rest and we can figure it out tomorrow. DON’T WORRY. YOU ARE SAFE HERE.” Her words just hit me right through my heart and I almost burst into tears. At that time, for a person as scary as me, nothing was more powerful than “You are safe here.” Thanks Dwita a lot. Thanks every coordinator in Bali. They are so kind, nice, responsible, helpful and considerate. After so many twist and turns, finally, I got a bed and decided to sleep. However, before I entered my room, I felt another earthquake. I stopped. All my faiths of falling asleep collapsed in front of the earthquake. YOU NEED TO GO TO BED. I told myself. Because I was so exhausted and I could feel my body was shaking because of tiredness. But I did’t dare to sleep. What if I fall asleep and never have a chance to wake up? Then my roommates came out. They felt the earthquake, too. And that’s the first time they met me, covered in a pink blanket, with bloodshot eyes, pale face and a shaking body. I knew I looked so bad. “Are you alright? Sweetie?” I felt too weak to answer them. So I shook my head. “Do you want to come in? I think you belong to this room?” I shook my head again. “Why?” I knew that I must say something. But the moment I begin to talk, I couldn’t help crying. It’s hard for me to recall what I said at that night because I was already on the edge of breakdown. But I can remember clearly how my roommates helped me. They hugged me, tried to comfort me, brought my luggage into their room, made the bed for me and told me to go to bed. “Have some rest, Zillah. All of us will be here with you, ok? Don’t worry, all of us will be awake, if something happens, we will wake you up, is that ok?” And I did what they told me. I fell asleep, immediately. And I have a nice sleep. It’s a bit weird to call a place you just arrived at one hour ago home. But I should say, I did feel back home. And my roommates, though we only knew each other for 10 minutes, are my families. This is the first time for me to experience an earthquake and I was in another country, without the company of my parents and friends, so no doubt I was so terrified. However, I felt lucky that during the darkest time, I can still have coordinators and friends to stand by my side and give me support.

I've never protected the turtles with my own hands.
I’ve never felt I was so close to my dream.
I've never seen such blue ocean and such bright stars.
I've never known what life will be like on the other side of the earth.
I've never made friends from so many different countries and I've never talked so much and laughed so hard.
Thanks to IVHQ. It makes everything become different.

And maybe, that's the meaning of traveling and volunteering. Meeting new people, enjoying different views, changing the world into a better place and surpassing yourself again and again.

Never stop pursuing your dream.
Never stop exploring the world.
Never stop doing good things even if it is small.

I want to say something to those who have been a volunteer and who are going to be a volunteer: “Guys don’t stop doing that. Because the world needs more people like you.”

Even the tiniest person, can change the course of the future.

How can this program be improved?
The variety of the food can be improved.
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Bali

Being able to be a part of the volunteering team in Bali has been one of my most memorable experiences. Taking part in the volunteering program for 5 weeks has allowed me to immerse and thoroughly interact with the local community within the homestay compound, staff, and people around the village. Prior to reaching the destination, IVHQ has provided a lot of support pre-program. As a first timer taking part in volunteering through an organisation, I had a lot of doubts and uncertainty yet my program manager was able to promptly answer questions with clear responses. There was a lot of step-by-step guidance especially in settling paperwork such as obtaining a visa and I was in-touch with the local team even before arrival which made the transition a smooth one. The volunteering experience has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone through interacting with local people where language barriers exists yet I was still able to feel comfortable with the facilities that were provided. The living conditions were safe, comfortable and very well taken care of. The orientation program that was organised allowed me to better understand Bali and I was able to learn more about the local culture while this provided me with the opportunity to meet new people within the volunteering program. Choosing Bali as the program destination has allowed me to get a glimpse of the community lifestyle that remains strong within the culture while appreciating the nature that the island has to offer. The local host family are very friendly and the staff from Green Lion Bali (the local organisation) has provided a lot of support and are willing to help whenever needed. I thoroughly enjoyed the volunteering experience and will look forward to taking part in another within the near future and IVHQ is definitely an organisation that I would apply through.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It is great that you were able to immerse yourself into the culture and step out of your comfort zone! We are pleased to hear that you found IVHQ helpful as well the local team. Awesome that you will look to volunteer with IVHQ again, we look forward to hearing from you in the future! Brigitte - IVHQ Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best experience of my life

The most amazing experience in my life. The Bali program is amazing, amazing people with so much to give, I wouldn’t chance my two weeks in Bali for nothing in fact I think it was a little period of time. I would love to come back to Bali again! I’ve met great people that first became friends and now they’re family to me. The orientation week was the best, they give you th opportunity to get along with other volunteers and most important to know about Bali culture, I loved to learn some Balinese language it was so fun. The coordinators are the best, they give 100% of them all the time always taking care of every detail of our things. Besides all this, in the orientation week Bali program give us the opportunity to visit temples, assist to a Balinese dance show (amazing!), cooking classs was so fun and the flower offering class was one of my favorites. It is amazing that besides volunteering you have the opportunity to meet new friends and learn about their culture which now I admire. Never going to forget my week in Ubud; as of now it’s my favorite place in the world! After that I traveled to Nusa Penida island where I worked in the turtle conservation for a week, incredible experience, to clean tanks, clean the turtles and some other activities like cleaning the beach and streets was such a inclredible experience! Besides the island is beautiful and t has so many amazing beaches to visit. The people there are so nice and so welcoming, I really thought to extend my volunteer program for at least 2 more weeks but unfortunately I couldn’t. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER! Never going to forget Bali.

Yes, I recommend this program


About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...