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Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteer abroad!

It has always been a dream of mine to travel the world while helping others. IVHQ helped make that dream come true! Before I arrived to Guatemala, IVHQ was very helpful and informative. Lachlan was my program manager. He was always helpful. He was only one email away! IVHQ does an awesome job of helping its volunteers organize their trip. The online profile through their official website is extremely helpful. Especially for those first timers!

Traveling Solo.

Not only was this my first time volunteering abroad but a first time traveling to another country ALONE. Well, I can assure you not once did I ever feel alone. From the moment I stepped outside the airport I was greeted by staff and other volunteers. Volunteering abroad is a great way to make friends and to meet like minded individuals! To all my introverts-volunteering abroad can bring out those little extroverts in you:-)

Mi Casa, Su Casa.

The Family stay house I lived in for one week was very well kept and clean. The food was great! I felt safe, not once did I ever feel endangered. The other volunteers were awesome. We clicked right away.

The Orphanage.

I was registered in the childcare program. My assigned placement was an Orphanage located outside of the town Antigua I was staying. Volunteering at the Orphanage was truly a humbling experience. These beautiful children just want love and attention. It made me realize that above everything else, love is what is important. These are children who have been in unfortunate situations but gleamed with joy. All they want is your affection. That is all. In a world of superficiality, this was a reminder of what is most important.
Love and Happiness.
I will miss each and everyone of these children. I came to this program thinking I would save them but they saved me.

Overall I had an amazing experience in Antigua, Guatemala. If you're looking for adventure, cultural enrichment and a chance to give back to others, well IVHQ is right for you!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing volunteer experience in Peru

I just spent 4 weeks volunteering in Lima this summer with volunteer IVHQ, and without a doubt it was one of the most memorable and exciting experiences in my life. I participated in the specials needs/childcare program, in which I volunteered at an orphanage for young kids with disabilities. The staff were extremely friendly, and I was able to assist in the specialized therapy programs as well spend time playing with and feeding the children. They were so lovely to work with everyday, and will definitely be a highlight of your trip. Apart from this placement, volunteers are also able to visit a halfway house for young girls and participate in special events with the center for adults for disabilities (ex. parades, birthday parties). I highly recommend participating in both, as you can really see how happy the residents are to have our company.

Most volunteers work mon-fri and have the weekends off. Because of this, there are many opportunities to travel and visit tourist attractions, which I highly appreciated. I volunteered for 4 weeks, and used each weekend to see what Peru had to offer. From sandboarding in the desert, jungle hikes in the Amazon, whitewater rafting in Lunahuana and of course the famous Machu Picchu, the possibilities are so diverse that everyone can find something they enjoy. And although it was a bit expensive, it was totally worth it and beneficial to travel with other volunteers (especially if your spanish skills are non-existent like mine haha). However if traveling isn't a priority, there were always people who stayed each weekend as well. Going out and experiencing the nightlife was quite popular, as well as staying in for chill movie nights.

The volunteer house had about 24 volunteers living there, which meant things were always eventful. Most were in their 20s, but the range was probably 18-40ish years old. It was extremely interesting to meet volunteers from all over the world, and learn about and compare different cultures. The accommodation itself was ok, with limited hot water and shared living spaces, but it is a volunteer experience afterall. The food on the other hand was actually pretty good the host family/staff were welcoming and personable. Although there was a language barrier for many volunteers, they would take the time to know all our names and say hi every morning.

Overall, it was definitely the best summer I've ever had, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an adventurous volunteer opportunity.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Pura Vida, 2016

I have been searching for an affordable volunteer program for the last two years. A program that allows me the freedom to coincide with my work schedule. To be completely honest, I was beginning to lose hope on making this experience a reality until I came across IVHQ. I asked myself, "What if..?" and before I could change my mind I submitted my application without looking back. I have to say this was one, if not thee best thing I've done this year.

On weeks leading up to my departure for Central America for the very first time, I made sure to plan and check off all necessities from my travel itinerary. I was so nervous and excited at the same time, overwhelmingly excited to be exact. I've traveled in the past, I have also volunteered often but never had I traveled to volunteer abroad...and alone. I tried to prep as much as I could, but who can be ready enough for the pleasantly unexpected?

Upon my arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica a friendly staff member awaited with a bright yellow smiley face flag. This was a good sign. My mom could finally breathe. The drive to headquarters through town, downtown and local neighborhoods was beautiful. This was the very moment everything felt "real." Fast forwarding past my orientation, which was very informative, my mama tica (host mom) showed me the way to-and-from home on the bus routes. Ironically enough, I was not familiar with public transportation but this was one thing I was very excited to experience for the first time, among other things. My short week in Costa Rica was spent working on construction and renovation in Barrio Cuba. My teammates were friendly and from all over the world; Mexico, Canada, Europe and the states. During my time there, I worked on an existing community building and parking lot that was being renovated into a day care and playground. Here, I met a fellow Interior Design colleague from Florida I still keep in touch with. We brainstormed together, helped each other, utilized our time there, made friends, learned a couple of things in construction, wandered through town together, visited museums and indulged in the delicious food everywhere.

My time had rapidly come to an end. I enjoyed everything about being there so much I thought about extending my time. I met volunteers that permanently moved to Costa Rica after their trips and I also thought about not coming home. It was my first time truly and genuinely pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and everything that I know. Every new thing I did there rewarded me with immense self-growth and gratitude.

All in all, I can say I made a difference in my short time there and I came back home a new woman. I will never forget the cooking class in the rain, the bus ride to work in the mornings while a man played his guitar and sang to me in Spanish, the sloth I saw in the wild at night, zip lining over the forest and being so in-tune with myself and nature. It was meant to be, I was meant to go there even if it was only for nine days.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Peru retreat 2016

Upon arrival I was welcomed with smiles and friendly gestures. I was drove to my homestay where to my surprise absolutely no english was spoken! I was not aware of this prior to my arrival but it was absolutely a learning experience. My homestay family was very patient with me as I tried to communicate with my awful spanglish. The first day of volunteering was a day I will never forget. Having no process experience with working with kids with special needs it was a big of a shock. The center, although run by the government, had not nearly enough supplies for everyday things. For example during lunch time we had to use infant t-shirts as bibs and there wasn't enough spoons or PEOPLE to have them all feed in a timely fashion. These men and women work so so so hard at this orphanage for kids with special needs. It honestly broke my heart but also humbled me in ways i can't express. The smiles from the children were life changing. Just knowing that you may be the only person to make them smile or even to talk to them is a wild feeling. Although i was only there for a week I had already started creating bonds with the kids. You start to pick your favorites but still show love and care for all patients obviously! We did all sorts of activities that helped the kids develop skills such as painting, making noodle necklaces, making fruit salad (we cut the fruit, no worries), and running through obstacle courses. The other couple days we went to the park and got to play catch and just take in the beautiful park. You know me and my friend were chatting thinking man we wish we could do more there really isn't anything in this park and then we thought this is like the highlight of their week! They get so excited when we line up for the park or even ask about it we get all around smiles. The staff are so kind, gentle, and loving. I felt so bad leaving I just wanted to help them forever! I will for sure go back to visit them. And of course the other volunteers I met during the project were amazing. They are people that I would love to have in my life forever. Such kind and loving souls as that of the staff at the orphanage. It takes a special kind of person to put themselves out there and to devour their precious time helping others. I am already looking into my next volunteer trip its just so hard to try and afford as a college student.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Magical Mexico

I started my journey into Mexico with great apprehension. I was terrified that I wouldn't like the house, that I wouldn't get on with the people but I couldn't have been more wrong. I made friends for life, fell in love with a country and really did feel like I was making an impact.

Volunteering truly does help you grow as a person and allows you to help in a way that just isn't possible at home. I cannot recommend the experience highly enough.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ecuador has stolen my heart

I volunteered with IVHQ in Quito, Ecuador for 8 weeks in the Teaching English program. During my time there, I volunteered at a private school as an assistant for an English teacher. The staff at the school were wonderful! I felt incredibly welcomed and appreciated for my time. I developed friendships with the teachers and students, and on my last day, I literally had tears in my eyes because I was so touched by this experience. The local staff in Quito are amazing, especially Gina! Whenever I needed help with anything, they would drop what they were doing to help. The city itself is incredible and the people are as well. I lived with a host family who, in general, were welcoming; however, I wish I could have stayed in the volunteer house. Overall, I loved volunteering with IVHQ, and I am already looking into other programs for the future!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

Guatemala summer trip 2016

Awesome program! Initially, I was terrified of joining, as I have never travelled alone before. I was worried that not many people would be volunteering, and that I would be alone! Once I got to the airport, I was greeted by the staff members and waited for about FORTY other volunteers. Forty!! We then drove from the airport to Antigua, which was about 1 hour away. There, I was introduced to my household, which held about 20 other volunteers and an AM, PM, and night guard staff. That night, I met most of the volunteers in the house and felt at home immediately. Everyone was so welcoming and nice! Orientation was the next day where I learned more about what the program has to offer along with the conditions in Antigua. Work days are from Monday-Friday. I volunteered at a clinic about 1 hour away and had to take 3 different chicken buses (painted old school buses). I was terrified going on these chicken buses, but I was at ease when I found out one of the volunteers in my house was stationed there too. I would recommend maybe requesting to be with someone in your household. I know a few people who had to travel alone and it was scary for them! At the clinic, I got to do basic triage procedures and shadow doctors/nurses. My clinic was not very "hands-on," but many volunteers in the household differed! It all depends on the placement. Antigua itself was not dangerous/scary if you know how to act and use common sense (don't wear jewelry, have big bags, have money out, etc.). The Guatemalan community was so friendly, I loved it! I finished placement at around 12 and reached the house at 1 PM. I then would change and grab lunch with friends. Some days, we planned excursions with the program's partner. For instance, we hiked an active volcano and toured a coffee farm where we ziplined and rode horses! On days where we didn't do excursions, we would walk around Antigua and explore the town. Dinner was from 6-7 PM and afterward, everyone in the household would bond -- either going out, getting dessert or just staying in and talking! Even though I only stayed for a week, I grew so close to them all. Can't wait for another adventure next summer :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Love and serve

One of my biggest dreams I really hoped would happen one day, was to volunteer abroad and work in a children's orphanage. I've always looked up to people who were able to give back to not just their community, but to the world. Not knowing when this would actually I happen I just prayed and kept dreaming about the day it would actually happen. As I got older and I got serious about school, I decided I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. My dream of working in an orphanage went away for a little bit and my main focus was to finish school and get some more experience in a classroom. My new dream was to still somehow work with less fortunate kids and teach abroad.

As I was researching one day in the summer of 2015, I came across a program called IVHQ, like any volunteer programs out there, this gave you options to pick different projects in different countries. Peru really tugged at my heart strings and I decided to apply and see what happened. Now, one year later, here I am fulfilling not just one of my dreams, but two! For the month of July I have been teaching English to 1st-4th graders at a local elementary school AND working in a children's orphanage here in PERU! It's been unreal and I still can't believe I'm here.

The kids and students I work with are some of the most loving, eager, and grateful children I've ever worked with. It's such a great feeling, that I can't even begin to explain, to see how happy these kids are when you just walk into the room. My biggest goal was to just show these children love and affection, and I'm thankful I've tried my best to accomplish that. I've had so much fun this past month and have grown in ways I never thought I could grow. I came into this hoping that I would change some of these kids lives, and I'm leaving this country with MY life forever changed. My heart is forever imprinted by these children and I'm looking forward to the next country I get to volunteer in!

IVHQ gave me the opportunity to fulfill two of my biggest dreams and I am beyond thankful to the ones in charge of this program. They are so organized and know what they are doing. I felt safe and really cared for throughout the planning and especially during my stay in Peru.

I travel to grow, impact, and love on others. Keep dreaming big everyone, I did, and look where it's taken me! (plus this is only the beginning!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Exciting, incredible, unforgettable

I just returned from Bogota where I spent two incredible weeks and already want to go back. I met amazing, charismatic, full of goodness people in Bogota that will be close to my heart forever. The program provides an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange and learning. Definitely the saying that life begins at the end of your comfort zone is very true. Every day is and incredible adventure at the programs. The volunteer house is spacious, comfortable and clean. The flexibility to participate in different programs is a very good benefit. I began volunteering at the orphanage where you will find beautiful and super smart kids who appreciate the attention and affection that volunteers provide. English teaching program is very structured and fun the little ones are eager to learn the language and the big ones are super curious to know about the countries of the volunteers, little ones are very affectionate and energetic. Altos de la Florida school has a spectacular view. My favorite program was Mama Yolanda, those boys steal the heart of anyone, they are intelligent, charismatic, respectful and really value the time with volunteers. A part of my heart stayed in Bogota. I really enjoyed my experience, definitely I grew during my stay in Bogota. . The country is very nice and safe, there are many things to do and the public transportation works very good. I loved the experience and will definitely return.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An incredible experience

I've stayed in Senya Beraku in the turquoise program in the orphans house... In short, it has been an awesome and exciting experience which is changing your mindset a lot.

IVHQ did a really good job from the very first moment of contact. The administrative part was professional, guided, supportive and very fast. Also the onsite support was seamless. You will be picked up from the airport, they are introducing you to the people around you, to the procedure of the upcoming days and the house you are staying...

The work itself was just great. Imagine 50 kids who are curious about you and the ability to teach and play with them. The people onsite are doing a really good job and the experience is changing your mind completely. Honestly, the days you are supporting the kids might be valuable for the kids but even more for yourself.

If you are going there, please bring (English) books, pencils and clothes which is from my perspective most required.

At all I have never felt so welcome as an so obvious foreigner, never have seen so many beautiful smiles at a time, met people seeming to be poor - but not complaining, upstanding, willing to help, and rich of mood and gratification.

Thanks Ghana, there is a lot we could learn.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

More then you could ever imagine!!

I have just got back from being apart of the childcare program in Cambodia. I spent the month working with kids at NBIC, not only was the organisation, assistance and guide provided by IVHQ amazing, the kids they allowed me to work with are children that have changed my life forever!!!

This was the first time I have ever done something like this and I can tell you now if you are thinking about it stop thinking and just do. You will never experience something so amazing in your life and you will become addicted and want to do it again and again.

I can't thank everyone at IVHQ, CVF and NBIC enough for allowing me to have a month full of fun, laughter and life experiences!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

I was placed in the province of Pursat in Cambodia doing childcare with New Hope for Orphans and what an amazing experience it was! Being placed in such a rural area I was very out of my comfort zone and didn't know what to expect but little did I know it was going to be the best 3 weeks of my life! Having IVHQ on call I always felt comfortable knowing if I had any questions or needed anything they would help me out straight away with no hesitation! After adjusting to the heat,food and culture I really started to embrace everything for what it was! My homestay was very comfortable and the family were always smiling and making me feel very welcome in their home! The meals were delicious and I got to try so many traditional dishes that I would not have ordered from a restaurant. The ride to the orphanage everyday was a favourite part of my day, as there is no tourists going through Pursat you really are the only one !! All the kids and even adults would run out to the street just to wave at you & say hello! Arriving at the orphanage I was always greeted with so many smiley faces and lots of hugs ! I would leave with the same and plus many pictures the kids would draw for me. The children taught me the simple things in life, not only was I there to help them they helped me see what happiness truly is! I felt comfortable leaving at the end of my 3 weeks knowing they are all one big family and will always look out for one another. On the weekend I went and visited Battambang where there was a few touristy things to do but still such a pretty little town that felt a bit untouched! after my placement I went and visited Siem Reap and Phnom Phen & I am so grateful that I had the chance to see the real Cambodia !! I plan to continue my travels around the world and volunteer again with IVHQ! I would highly recommend this program to anyone!! Step outside your comfort zone and LIVE!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

3 weeks of memories & experience In Bali

On the 2nd of May 2016 I left home to begin my second volunteering trip with IVHQ in Ubud, Bali. After volunteering in India in December of 2015 I had an itch to do more and after having a great experience with IVHQ I choose to venture towards Bali.
I can honestly say the program was great, the people I met were great and the memories and experiences I have will never be forgotten.

In Bali I did the construction/renovation program and during my time we were building a kindergarten in a local village, at times it was hard work specially as it got hot and sunny during the day but in the end it was fun. Everyone managed to get through the work as we got more satisfaction knowing that once the kindergarten is complete so many children will benefit from it.

Along side the volunteering the social aspect of the program cannot be beaten, you meet people from almost every part of the world and become friends instantly, at the house I lived in we had almost one person from every continent sleeping in the one room. You could easily walk down the main street in the Ubud village to go to the local cafe and on your way you would see 20-30 other volunteers and everyone would stop and talk before going with what they were doing.

After the volunteer work was completed everyone would socialize together and weekend trips were extremely common as everyone wanted to see Bali, these trips led to strong friendships and even more memories, one of the best memories for me is watching the sunrise over the beaches of Canggu with a group of friends, it is one that cannot be beaten!

Overall I enjoyed the program immensely, everything from the volunteering, to meeting new people, to travelling and partying together. You become such good friends with everyone, I even have people who were volunteers coming to visit me in Australia.

The feeling you get from volunteering and working towards a common goal whether it be building a kindergarten, teaching English to the local children or teaching healthcare is one that cannot be explained, rather it has to be experienced and IVHQ does a perfect job of providing that experience.

So overall if you are thinking about volunteering overseas and making some of the best memories while you do so then I highly recommend IVHQ.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

I don't want to go home

After 2 weeks in the kindergarten program, I am sitting in the airport not wanting to go home. First week, orientation. What a crazy experience, you get straight into experiencing the culture and learning all about your local village in full on action packed days. My second week I spent in the kindergarten with the sweetest kids who were so excited to learn English. The kids were buzzing to see you and sad to see you go, they truly appreciate you being there and I would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching English in Vietnam (Hanoi)

As cliche as it is to say, volunteering in Vietnam was eye-opening, life changing and one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being in a country that spoke an entirely foreign language with different cultural norms was initially challenging and intimidating, however my program coordinator Hiep was extremely supportive and helped me resolve any concerns regardless of how big or small they were.

My placement involved teaching English to University students in Hanoi, as well as doctors and nurses at a local hospital. As an undergraduate university student myself, spending time with the local students was very eye-opening and provided me with an insight into a different way of life, education system and cultural values that I couldn't possibly have garnered from a tourist experience. The students' enthusiasm for learning English and warmth towards the volunteers was very humbling - after lessons, they often invited us to join them for lunch or dessert! Unlike other volunteering programs, the work of IVHQ volunteers directly impact the lives of students, as acquiring English language writing and speaking skills significantly increases their prospect of employment in an incredibly competitive job market. I cannot recommend this program enough; being immersed in a country as diverse and culturally rich was eye-opening, challenging and infinitely rewarding.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ghana and the silver program

The most uplifting, heartwarming and fulfilling experience I've had. I was with the Silver Program in Kasoa for two weeks, which was no where close to enough time, and I fell in love with the country, the people and the culture. The IVHQ staff was both helpful and encouraging. They answered all our questions and showed us how to adapt to their lifestyle. Special thank you to Evans for all that he did for us, he's truly amazing. I worked with the Saviour Children Foundation while I was there and they are incredible. Mr. Patrick and Mama Pat are truly angels and deserve all the best in this world. They worked hard to give us an amazing experience and the children were the most incredible people I've met. Every single one of them inspired me with their passion and optimism. This was an unforgettable trip I will tell my grandchildren about. It will not be long before I take another trip with IVHQ. They have truly been amazing to work with.

Best of luck to all who are planning a trip to Ghana. Be open-minded and be ready for the best adventure of your life!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

2 weeks in Ghana

I spent two weeks in Ghana with IVHQ at the Potters Village in Dodowa, and I don't regret my decision : this was the best trip of my life.
First, because for once I wasn't a tourist. I had the opportunity to discover a small town, to feel connected with the people there and to be part of something. I was fed up with going to places, take pictures, and come back with the feeling that I had been of no use to the people there and talked to no one except taxi drivers and hotel staff. This time, I can say I know more about the country I visited, and I must say that it is worth talking and spending time with the people in Ghana as they are the most welcoming people I ever met.
Secondly, because I met those extraordinary kids who changed my life for ever. Two weeks is a short stay, but they give you so much during those two weeks that it just breaks you heart to leave... These children open their arms to you and give you a great lesson. I was lucky to be able to teach French during my stay, and seeing them so eager to learn was moving. I have never wanted to be a teacher, but I could teach these children for the rest of my life.
Finally, the IVHQ team is perfect. They assist you with your arrival and they stay in touch once at your placement. I had lots of questions in my mind before going, but they all received answers, and when I landed, I knew exactly what would happen and where I was going.
In brief, this was an amazing experience that I recommand to anyone who wants to volunteer in Africa, especially for the first time.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 10, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Hi Julie, It sounds like you had a really positive and memorable experience and we are glad that we could facilitate this for you. It’s great to hear that you felt supported by the local team and welcomed by the locals. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and we hope to welcome you on another IVHQ program again in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

volunteering in Ghana

Words can not describe how grateful and blessed i was to experience and be a part of this program. IVHQ in Ghana over exceeded my expectations. They made sure we were taken care of and provided there assistance in making sure our volunteer experience was the best it could be. They were always available to answer questions and provide us with the necessary we needed on our volunteer site and also went above and beyond in helping us set up tours to make our experience in ghana a memorable one. The program i was placed on was truly a life changing experience. I was volunteering for 3 weeks at the savouir children's foundation where built relationships that i know will last a lifetime. The founder, the staff and the children will forever be in my prayers and my heart.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 03, 2016 at 7:35 PM

    Hi Orlando, It’s nice to hear from you. We are so glad that you had such a positive experience volunteering in Ghana. Thanks for for your feedback. It’s great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program again in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable, money can't buy!

I have volunteered twice now with IVHQ and could not rave about them enough! I was first drawn to them because of the affordability of the program's compared to other organizations, and I must now note the quality you get for that price - amazing! My first time was in Vietnam where I did the Teaching project. It was amazing getting to know the other volunteers as well as knowing you are helping make a difference in people's education and lives. My next time was in Fiji doing the Kindergarten project and I didn't think the experience could top the first time but it once again exceeded my expectations. You are made to feel like family and really are immersed into the culture. You can tell the difference you are making for the community. I couldn't thank IVHQ enough for the experiences they have given me - unforgettable, money can't buy type stuff! I have smashed goals, made lifelong friends and grown as a person along the way. Definitely recommend!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 25, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Hi Amy, Wow! What a review, thank you! We love hearing from our volunteers and we are so glad that we were able to provide you with such positive experiences for you in Fiji and Vietnam. We look forward to welcoming you onto another IVHQ program again soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching English in Siem Reap

I recently volunteered through IHVQ teaching English at an NGO in Siem Reap for 7 weeks. The staff were so helpful and I was placed in a great school. IVHQ does a great job ensuring that the placements they provide are both childsafe and reputable.
Overall, I had an amazing time on my trip and would recommend the experience to anyone.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 25, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Hi Kira, Thanks for your recommendation. It's great to hear you had such an amazing experience volunteering with our team in Cambodia. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best Thing I've ever Done

When people ask about my experience in Guatemala, I tell them it was the best thing I have ever done. I got to travel to a beautiful place unlike anywhere Id been before. I ate a variety of new foods. I saw wonders of the world I didn't know existed. I saw an elderly woman stand for the first time in twenty years thanks to the volunteers at the nursing home we worked in. I met amazing volunteers who instantly became my friends. I traveled with them, laughed with them, and shared incredible experiences with them. I discovered passions and strengths I never knew I had. I relive my month in Guatemala in my head all the time. The places I saw, the people I met, and the work I did will last with me forever. Thank you IVHQ for the opportunity and thank you Maximo Nivel for all that you do. I cannot wait to go on my next trip!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 22, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Hi Courtney, Thanks for your feedback. It sounds like you had a really memorable time in Guatemala and we are glad that we could provide this for you but it sounds like you had the right mindset to get the most out of your experience. We can't wait to have you back! Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

CARNAVAL IN RIO

I worked on the Carnaval program with Vila Isabel, a samba school in Rio de Janeiro. I really enjoyed my placement and the locals were super friendly and helpful. It is great to be part of something so beautiful and see it come together in the end.

One thing I would absolutely recommend, though, is to brush up on your Portuguese before arriving. Some girls didnt speak any and still got along fine but speaking even a little really helps open doors for you.

The house is real big, spacious and a pleasant environment to live in. And the House manager Miguel is an absolute darling.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 22, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Hi Maya, It's nice to hear from you. It's great to hear about your experience on the Carnaval project in Rio and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program again soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching English and Feeling Amazing

I LOVED my entire time over in India with IVHQ, I want to go back already. I met so many likeminded people, and as a vegan, found it incredibly easy to find meat free meals EVERYWHERE.
The children were so lovely and the staff helped wherever they could.
I could not recommend something more than this program.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 22, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Hi Molly, Thanks for the recommendation. We are glad to hear you had such a positive experience in India. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Bir, India

Before deciding to go to India on my own, I always thought I was prepared to face the challenges. India was nothing to new to me since I have been to my relative’s city a few times by now. But boy was I wrong! Himachal Pradesh was a whole new adventure.
You really get the essence of traveling to a new place when you live like a local. I was lucky to have such a wonderful host family that took care of everything I needed. However, with no heater or hot water, the first couple days were rough.

At night the street dogs kept howling and it was almost -4 degrees. I slept with two layers on and three fluffy blankets. And----I was still freezing! I got used to it after a while and got my little space heater that I had to be an inch away from to feel warm. Bucket showers became a wonderful water saving routine for me as well.
The best part of living in a small town is that you become familiar with every road and alleyway. Faces start to look familiar wherever you go and you have a chance to be part of a huge family! Every morning I would eat some Tibetan bread with nutella and drink some chai and be on my way to class.
Along with my KG2 Class, I also used to teach a class in the late afternoon for a bunch of kids that were older. Most of them were around 16-19 years old. Teaching them was much easier than handling the little kids! They were wonderful listeners and so enthusiastic to learn.

​We went over things like poverty, environmental concerns and other major problems in our world. We read stories that had deep morals and they understood everything so well. Sometimes after my lesson I would ask them to teach me a little about their views on life, which was very enlightening as well. It's easy to hear things but extremely hard to actually implement it in your everyday life.
We went to Dharamsala for one weekend and visited the Dalai Lama Temple. Other two weekends were spent in Amritsar and nearby towns.
One of the purest forms of happiness comes from helping people. Seeing the difference you can make empowers you and might make you more happy than the person whom you have just helped.I see so many people trying to learn how to be happy and sharing posts that teach us that secret to happiness.
I decided to be cut off from social media and I hadn't even talked to my best friends when I was in India no matter how much I missed them. There is an intoxicating feeling about living life in the present moment and only talking to those that are around you along with being in a different place where no one knows who you are in the world you call "reality". By living in such a place, your true persona comes out. The way you talk, the things you believe in and what you see all changes.

Having very few facilities around me and being able to make it through made me realize that there are a lot of things I take for granted in life and I really don't need half the things I splurge on back in the states.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 22, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Hi Sanhitha, It's nice to hear from you! We are glad that you had such positive experience volunteering in India. It sounds like you had a really memorable time and we are glad that we could provide this for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we look forward to welcoming you on another program soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ghana

I had the most incredible time with IVHQ's trip to Ghana. The staff were all welcoming and so helpful. I never one felt unsafe or out of place. Although I was only there for a short time the staff at Ivhq and the local staff made me feel truely at home and welcomed.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 08, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Hi Rebecca, Thanks for sharing your volunteer experience in with IVHQ in Ghana. We are glad to hear that you had such a positive experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer!