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Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best two weeks of my life!

Volunteering in Guatemala was definitely the most fulfilling experience I've had yet, I went for the medical program and since day one I fell in love with every single patient and every person I had the opportunity to work with. I'm only in my second year of med school and I got to vaccinate, triage, give pap smears, suture, heal wounds and also learn so much about pharmacology. I lived in a volunteer house with about 20 other volunteers from all around the world, the house was beautiful and we ate delicious food daily. I went by myself but definitely made friends for a life time in only 2 weeks, you always had someone to travel the city with after placement and every night we went out to bars and had fun. Not to mention the amazing weekend trip I took to Semuc Champey (google it, it's paradise) and how cheap everything was. Definitely recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and wants to get outside of their comfort zone.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Can't wait to go back!

My time at UBECI changed me a lot. The kids at the markets showed me what is truly important in life. I am more thoughtful, and I have started to be conscious of my behaviors, consumption, and complaints. The kids opened my eyes and turned me into a better person.
If you want to do something different do not hesitate, there is no better time than now.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Argentina sure has a lot to offer!

Making the decision to volunteer with IVHQ was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I say this because the process of getting to my program was extremely easy and I left home feeling very informed and prepared. The other great decision was choosing the Teaching program in Argentina. The placement was very well matched with my skills and there were opportunities to diversify my volunteer experiences. Having the opportunity to work closely with the teaching staff and build relationships allowed me to see a little bit of the inside of the educational system there. It showed me that they experience the same challenges and successes we experience in our public school systems. Their commitment and dedication was uplifting and invigorating!
Additionally, the staff at the volunteer house made sure they did their best to make me feel comfortable and well cared for. Lastly, the opportunities to travel on the weekends were totally appreciated. Argentina has many different landscapes to explore...from the spectacular icy blue glaciers of the south, at the National Glacier Park, to the cascading waterfalls of the north in Iguazu. Volunteering with IVHQ was the perfect program to mix business (volunteering) and pleasure (traveling like a free bird). I would definitely do it again!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Adventures in Peru

In June of 2016 I spent two weeks in Lima, Peru, it was by far the most rewarding experience. I have never done anything like that before and it is way better than I had anticipated. The placement I was put into was so amazing, I had the opportunity to help and just play with the kids. It really touches your heart and makes you want to come back and back. I can not wait to go back to Peru to volunteer once again. IVHQ sponsors were so helpful; anytime I had a question they always answered it right away. I have never met and talked to so many kind hearted people. They are always willing to help you out! I never was disappointed. IVHQ was the best experience and I plan to share my journey with everyone else so they can experience it for themselves!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing!!

I got to the hostel absolutely stunned by how beautiful it was. Immediately you can see so much culture surrounding you just on the street of your new home. The volunteers I lived with were nothing but inclusive and nice. While my volunteer project was a little far away, I could see the immense help they needed and the impact the kids had on me made the traveling all worth while. We go out every Thursday with the people who run Jive and you can really see how devoted they are to what they're doing. Not only that, but they are amazingly nice people who are extremely easy to talk to about anything and are always open to any complaints or problems you may have (I had none). Overall this experience was one I am so grateful for having and it couldn't have been possible without Jive being there every step of the way!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Argentina - community project

IVHQ provide excellent and prompt support leading up and during my volunteer placement. Volunteering with IVHQ in Argentina was a great way to travel outside the US for the first time. My limited Spanish language skills were a concern but I quickly found a welcoming Argentine community. Working with the elderly at El Arbor and assisting with Children's Day preparation provided a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with the community. Staying and volunteering in Villa Allende allowed for the opportunity to interact with a smaller community while having access to the larger city of Cordoba a 45 minute bus ride away.

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 Mérida, Mexico

This was my first volunteer trip ever, at 45 years of age. I taught English I Mérida, Mexico, and signing up for this put me in a situation where I was venturing into the unknown on several accounts. IVHQ presented me with a comprehensive, well organized, and timely system in order to prepare.

I followed everything IVHQ had me do, to the letter, and I can honestly say that I had the most wonderful experience of my life. Literally, the worst thing that happened to me the entire time was that I got some mosquito bites. I could not possibly have been better prepared, and I credit IVHQ for this.

All staff of IVHQ Mexico were very well prepared, and made me feel at home. The volunteer house was clean, and well run, the food was good, and they went to great lengths to accommodate people with special diet requirements.

My placement was was excellent, and took very good care of the children in their care. The process of moving into the role of teacher for a week was seamless, and CRIA is able to make the most of what each volunteer had to offer. Although I was only there for a week, I do feel I was able to connect with the children, and to affect positive change.

It's not like the unexpected didn't occur, but for any would be volunteer with a good attitude, and willingness to go with the flow, in my estimation, it would be impossible not to have a great experience.

This experience has changed my outlook on travel such that I am no longer interested in vacationing on cruise ships, but rather I will spend my vacations volunteering with IVHQ, and likely in the same placement.

I have tried very hard to think of constructive criticism of my experience and I cannot. IVHQ has got it right in Mexico.

Thank you for this experience.

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.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review September 13, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    Hi Mirko, Thanks so much for your recommendation! It sounds like you really enjoyed your time on the Teaching project in Ghana. We would love to have you volunteer with us again in the future. 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

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.