Indelible experience! I've had the time of my life learning lifelong lessons. It has truly been an amazing experience. I've embraced the culture and fell inlove with it. Jose Garces
Easily the best month of my life
Submitted by Mia C. - Eastpointe Wayne State University | June 30, 2015
I had the most amazing time during my five weeks in India. I did four weeks in the Dharamsala program and one week of orientation that I highly recommend. The Dawa family members(who's house we lived in) are the nicest, most accommodating people you will ever meet. They are there to talk to if any problems arise with your placement or if you get ill or really if you need them for anything. My placement was interrupted by multiple week-long ceremonies so Llamo found a local person for me to tutor one on one right away. I felt like I'd been there forever after just two weeks and after four, I didn't want to go home. I can't wait to return.
Kennedi's Costa Rican adventure
Submitted by Kennedi Riley - Baltimore Hampton university | June 30, 2015
I had a blast!!! I really enjoyed working with the kids. Volunteering abroad is defiantly a life changing experience. I made a video to show everything I did while in Costa Rica.
A wonderful visionary of Peru
Submitted by Narmii - Toronto York University | June 28, 2015
I had amazing and once in a life time kind of experience doing my first ever abroad program with IVHQ in Peru. The community , the teams, the home stay who became family, the orphanage and its team, but it most importantly the important and wonderful people I have met had made my journey unforgettable and a pleasant one. Will recommend this trip and experience of a lifetime with Volunteer IVHQ. Not only is it worth the the time and money spend, but everyday motivating and making the impact on the ones who need it the most. LOVE. Te Amor Peru
Fiji Sports Education Appreciation
Submitted by Ashlie Milton - Adelaide | June 28, 2015
After experiencing a down time in my life and having people surround me with such uplifting thoughts and words i too wanted to give somebody those same uplifting thoughts and words to make a difference in their lives. That's when i decided to Volunteer in Fiji through IVHQ.
Stepping out of my comfort zone into unfamiliar surroundings, third well culture and away from my norm was a huge change from my high maintenance fast materialistic lifestyle.
From the moment of arriving in Fiji i was greeted with warm friendly smiles and information about what to expect for my time in Fiji.
I have experienced nothing less than beautiful people and a loving, caring culture. Fiji has certainly made me appreciate and see things at a different perspective. I will never forget those excited and full of life faces as i was their to teach and support the children, i believe they taught and supported me. What an Experience of a life time! <3
Mayan agriculture project
Submitted by Adriana - Saskatoon University of Saskatchewan | June 28, 2015
I was lucky enough to spend a week volunteering in Mexico on the Mayan agriculture project. IVHQ was extremely helpful with answering any questions and concerns I had and I felt that I had tons of support from them. The staff in Mexico were also amazingly helpful and went out of their way to assist me. I think the only problem I had was with some of the other volunteers in the house as they enjoyed partying but I was lucky that I was not living there during the week. The project itself was amazing, the living conditions were simple but comfortable and I met amazing people who shared similar interests as me. The work we did was interesting and every volunteer had different tasks. The farm owner/host, Bernd was wonderful and took care of us. Conversations with him were wonderful! The Mayan workers are extremely special people and I am happy I got to experience working with them. Although there was a language barrier, we all found ways to communicate and work together. It was hard leaving but I cannot express how much fun I had and I am excited to go back!
Submitted by Victoria M - British Columbia Douglas College | June 25, 2015
In two months and four days it will be exactly one year since I touched down in Accra, Ghana. I can still remember every single detail, every smell, every sound, the entire two months I was there will be embedded happily in my memory forever. I encourage everyone to see a part of Africa once in their lives because it will truly change your way of thinking. It will change your life. Every day I am back here in Canada is another day I am wishing I was back in Iron City, Kasoa. I had the chance to volunteer at both the Green program (Achiase Children’s Home in Swedru) and the Amber program (Virgin Kids Academy in Kasoa) while in Ghana, both very different experiences. The amazing thing about the IVHQ program is that you could be away from your friends and family for months and yet you feel 100% at home. I have met some of the best people, and some of my best friends to this day while volunteering in Ghana. If you ever have the opportunity to travel, travel alone, and travel with IVHQ. It is a great way to kick off independent travelling without giving your parents or loved ones a heart attack that you are leaving alone. You will never regret Africa. You will never regret Ghana.
Just do it! Don't hesitate. Bali experience :)
Submitted by Katka M - Bratislava | June 22, 2015
If you ever thought about doing anything related to volunteering at home or abroad all I can say is JUST GO FOR IT!
It was an amazing experience. I met so many interesting people, both local and from around the world. You get to know more than just the culture of the host country, but also you get a glimpse of culture and language of all those you meet on your travels. I made new great friends, experienced new culture and food.
You also have the opportunity to not only help but to also see how the local, everyday life goes for people in the host country and be part of it for a short period of time.
It is also an incredible opportunity to travel and experience the "turist" side of things on weekends and I encourage you to make plans on weekends to see the country also from this point.
Just be open to allow all the new experiences and I can guarantee you will have and amazing experience wherever you will decide to travel as did I.
I'm back home for few months now and I am already planning my next trip!
So stop dreaming and just go for it and apply today!
Volunteering in Ho Chi Minh City
Submitted by Megan Ramirez - Nashville Vanderbilt University | June 13, 2015
I absolutely loved the 4 weeks I spent in HCMC, Vietnam. I did the special needs program and worked at a daycare with children with disabilities. I absolutely loved playing with the kids and helping them with their English, Vietnamese and math work!
I felt prepared for the trip with the online training and emails from Reeve and others. I enjoyed working with the staff at the site there and the other volunteers. Also, Anna, Khanh and all the other coordinators do an amazing job.
My time there really means a lot to me and I know I'll definitely be going back!
Submitted by Katie - University of Northern Iowa | June 09, 2015
I loved my experience abroad through IVHQ. It is way cheaper then any other program. I really enjoyed the kids I worked with and I felt like I was making a difference. The staff was friendly and helpful. I always got immediate responses to questions. I plan to do another trip through IVHQ in the future.
Teaching English Cambodia!
Submitted by Brydie - Brisbane | June 09, 2015
I had a very rewarding and life changing experience volunteering in Cambodia. IVHQ was very affordable, easy to contact and communicate with. They provide plenty of help and information to help you with your trip. The local staff were great! Super friendly and happy to help you with anything they can. Being there was a big challenge as it was my first trip abroad, but the people I meet there were awesome, and watching the children excel from me being apart of there lives was the most amazing thing. I would recommend IVHQ to anyone wanting to volunteer through a program!
IVHQ, the best way to get to know a country!
Submitted by Angelyce LP - Philadelphia Temple | June 09, 2015
Going to Brazil seemed like a distant dream before I learned about this program. Luckily, my dreams quickly became a reality after I was accepted into the teaching English program for three weeks. IVHQ gives you plenty of independence while providing you with support when and if necessary. My fellow house mates were a joy to be around. I can honestly say I've never bonded with strangers so quickly than when in that house. After three days I felt like I was living with friends I'd known for a lifetime. Rio is a beautiful country and the program allowed me to learn the street names, great places to eat, the beaches, the places to get the best priced stuff, and they introduced me to the language school which further helped me with my Portuguese studies. My placement at Rocinha was incredible. The students and staff were so helpful. They wanted me to learn about their culture just as much as I wanted them to learn English . Working with them seemed more like a cultural exchange than volunteer work, after classes we even went surfing. I never imagined I'd surf, but on the second day I was out on the water. IVHQ helped me make amazing friendships and gave me an unforgettable experience and for that I am forever grateful.
Submitted by Laura - Vancouver | June 08, 2015
I have volunteered in Africa and Peru with IVHQ and both experiences were amazing. IVHQ is affordable, safe and offers a huge amount of support both prior and during your volunteer placements. I would recommend IVHQ to anyone who wants to any future volunteer.
Ghana - Just Do It!
Submitted by Gina - London | June 08, 2015
I'd highly recommend volunteering in Ghana with IVHQ!
I spent 4 weeks on the Turquoise Programme doing teaching and childcare and loved it. I was out of my comfort zone and thrown into a completely different culture but never once felt scared or worried. IVHQ were supportive from Day 1 and I knew they were never far away if I had questions or concerns. The registration process was simple and once I landed in Accra the support continued.
What I loved most was the ability to help out in many different ways. It wasn't a prescribed programme with people telling you what to do, but rather open to volunteers helping out as and when they saw fit and using their skills.
I met some amazing people, both locals and volunteers and got to travel to different parts of Ghana. I have so many great memories and random stories from my month in Ghana!
Submitted by as91 - | June 05, 2015
I had a great experience doing the teaching program in South Africa.
A typical day of volunteering consisted of waking up, getting ready for teaching, arriving at the school, tutoring students in grades 1-6 for 45-60 minute incriments, and going home. After program, we did things such as hanging out at nearby cafes for wifi, relaxing at the house, stopping by the beach, or going out on an excursion, such as seeing the penguins at Boulders Beach.
The staff before and during the trip was always very kind and willing to help. My favorite part of the trip was bungee jumping, and going on a lion walk during a safari trip along the Garden Route. I was in South Africa for 2 weeks- If I did the trip over again, I would probably stay for a few more weeks.
Submitted by TVarn - columbus The Ohio State University | June 04, 2015
The IVHQ program was one of the best choices I have made. It was more of an experience and adventure than I could have asked for. I chose the Healthcare Education Program in Bali for 2 weeks. It was a great first-time trip to engage in, and I wish I could have been there for a longer amount of time! The staff was amazing and always helpful, the living situations were way more than I expected, orientation week was an amazing way to immerse in Balinese culture, and the kids at the school were so inspiring. I met so many new friends from all over the world!
The great thing about IVHQ is that there are programs for everyone. If you like working with kids, there is teaching, healthcare education, kindergarten, etc. If you would rather do more hands-on, there is community outreach stuff like construction, environmental programs, and the turtle conservation. Every program is unique and there is something to accommodate everyone! Having your choice of length of the program is also useful. I wasn't sure how I would feel about traveling alone across the world, so I did the 2 weeks to kid of dip my toes into traveling. If you are experienced, you can volunteer for months!
Lastly, do not be afraid to go alone! That was honestly one of the best decisions I made. You make friends there (there were around 50 volunteers my orientation week) and it is great to be able to do what you want to do and fully engage in the experience to open up to new ideas.
IVHQ is the way to volunteer and travel!
One of the best experiences of my life so far.
Submitted by Soraya Kebbouche - London University of Hertfordshire | June 04, 2015
To anyone considering volunteering with IVHQ in Italy, I would HIGHLY recommend you do so. The month I spent in Naples by far exceeded my expectations. I met so many amazing people from around the world who have become life long friends. I volunteered with two different NGO programmes which both provided me with a great learning experience and career building platform. I was fortunate enough to explore the beautiful city of Napoli, wander the little streets, try all the amazing food as well as travelling further to places such as Capri, Pompeii and Amalfi. I've only been home for 2 days now and miss Italy incredibly which goes to show how perfect my time and experience was there and I am sure I will be returning very soon. Arrivederci!
Submitted by Amanda Kuczmiec - Framingham Northeastern University | June 01, 2015
Hard work day in and day out drives the United States' culture. While deciding to travel to Costa Rica I knew I would be in for a culture shock, but I had no idea how much that shock would change my life in such a positive way. From the start, I was welcomed into Maximo Nivel and my Mamatica's home with open arms. With only having taken Spanish in high school, I was nervous for the language barrier. However, my Mamatica was very patient with me and took pride in my improvement with the Spanish language within the two weeks I lived at her house. Throughout my two weeks, I made friends that I hope will last a life time, learned to navigate a beautiful city, and volunteered at a local special needs school. The kids at the school were amazing and, even at four years old, made it a point to include me in their free time activities even if I could not speak perfect Spanish with them. I have never imagined myself working with kids in the past, but the cheerful greetings and big smiles from the children each morning are causing me to reconsider my future career path. I was even able to observe physical therapy at the school. As a physical therapy major, I appreciated the opportunity to view my future profession in a different country. Outside of volunteering, I found the Costa Rican culture to be very laid back and welcoming. The "Pura Vida" lifestyle shown through every person I met. I found that I wanted to bring that mantra back with me to the United States. All in all, my trip uncovered a sense of adventure within myself that I didn't know I had. I want to continue volunteering in Spanish speaking countries in the hopes that I can become fluent in the language one day, and I also want to live a life full of "Pura Vida". Even though I have been brought up to work hard day in and day out, I will from now on remember to take time every day to enjoy life and to indulge my sense of adventure whenever possible. Thank you to IVHQ for making my experience in Costa Rica possible because my life has truly been changed for the better.
IVHQ Volunteering Bali
Submitted by Rachel - Sherwood Park | May 04, 2015
I spent a total of 12 weeks on my volunteer trip to Bali. And all I can say is it was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I did the Turtle Conservation Program and have zero complaints. The program is placed on the small island of Nusa Penida which is absolutely beautiful, not only the landscape and the waters but the people on the island were the kindest people I have ever met. Apart from working with the turtles we also taught 3 times a week. Which for an 18 year old with no teaching experience was nerve-wracking at first I quickly fell in love with it and got so very excited to see my kids each week! The ivhq and local staff were always so helpful, and were ready to help with any questions. I definitely would go through ivhq again to volunteer abroad.
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review June 03, 2015 at 8:10 PM
Hi Rachel, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on you time volunteering with IVHQ in Bali. It sounds like you had a very memorable time on the Turtle Conservation project. We look forward to seeing you on another of our programs in the future.
Want a meaningful and unforgettable experience? Give it a go!
Submitted by Rebecca Wu - Liverpool The University of Liverpool | May 01, 2015
No words can match that wonderful volunteering experience I had in Nepal with IVHQ. Everything is just beyond the words. I just turned 18 years old at that time and I want to do something I have never experienced before. After crawling on the internet for several days, I found IVHQ! For a student without any income, IVHQ provides relatively affordable projects compared to other organizations. Additionally, it takes participants’ health and safety seriously. On the very first day of my project, I was supervised by the local coordinator, who was very friendly, supportive and was always there for me if I have something to ask. Thank you for your great work! Also, before I actually land in Kathmandu, I have got everything I need to know and prepare through constantly communicating with IVHQ. The program administration is really effective and you always get a speedy response.
During my two weeks childcare project in Kathmandu, I witnessed how children at the Children’s Home were living with happiness and dreams. They were living below the lines, however, their attitudes were not! My main roles were to look after the children, play with them, do laundry and teach them maths and English. To be honest, instead of me teaching them, it was the lovely children that taught me life lessons- thinking positively all the time! As for my host family, they are amazing people! Aama and other family members made me really feel at home. She gave me a beautiful Nepali name and treated me as her daughter! As they do not have hot water for shower, every time they would boil the water and provide me with hot water. I really appreciate them for their great care!
On the weekend, me and my friend took the time out to explore this old city. I met great people and had inspiring conversations, which changed my life. No exaggeration! After the two weeks, I found my passion and realized my inner call. Now I know what I want to do with my life and I am taking further steps for it! Everyone has a life purpose in this world. You just need to listen to your inner calls. If you do so, I promise you will never go wrong. Before you find it, you have to know this world and know yourself. Travel and volunteering abroad is a great way to start your self-discovering journey.
Generally, I could not recommend IVHQ more if you want to give something back to the community, immerse yourselves in local cultures and care about your budget and safety issues. Just bring with you an open mind, heart and arms, embracing all the uncertainties and challenges in your life! Good luck everyone!
PS: Nepal is now suffering the most difficult time and really needs a helping hand. Let’s pray for Nepal and give support! I promised the children that I will go back and I definitely will continue my journey with IVHQ.
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review June 03, 2015 at 8:05 PM
Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your feedback. It’s great to hear that you took advantage of the pre-departure material and support that IVHQ provides. It sounds like you had a really memorable volunteer experience in Nepal. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ.
Heaven On Earth - Ghana
Submitted by Iqra Malik - McMaster University | April 04, 2015
1...2...3...GO! Don't overthink, don't hesitate, trust me (this random stranger you have never met) just go for it. I can almost guarantee my life away to the opinion that you will never regret this decision to volunteer in Ghana through International Volunteer HQ. I decided to volunteer during the summer of my third year of university and since this was my first time I was overly paranoid and insecure. But that is what life is about, enjoying, taking risks, doing new things, right? Well so I signed up and before I knew it I was heading to Ghana for four months. The welcome from the local coordinators was so warm and comforting that not for a single second did I feel homesick. I felt emotional connection with the coordinators immediately and they made sure all my needs were met; from cell phones and cash exchange to food and clean water. It has now been almost a year since my return but still I am in strong communication with coordinators and other locals - the love is real! On top of that my relationship with locals and the projects I worked on are so meaningful. You have probably heard this before but I will say it again...this was the absolute BEST experience of my life! I have made some of the most beautiful and memorable friendships in Ghana. If you want to experience real humanity, love, and inspiration...you know where to go :)
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 30, 2015 at 10:43 PM
Hi Iqra, Thanks for your feedback, we can’t agree with you more! Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ! We hope to see you on another of our programs soon.
English Teaching in Penestanan, Bali
Submitted by Rachel - Cairns | March 31, 2015
I volunteered with my partner in Bali in April 2014 and we had the most amazing time
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 30, 2015 at 10:34 PM
Hi Rachel, It’s great to hear you had an amazing time. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!
Cultural Enrichment, Lifelong Friendships, and Extraordinary Experiences
Submitted by Audria Sarmiento - California UC Berkeley Extension | March 30, 2015
I have volunteered in Guatemala, Peru and Colombia all through IVHQ. Each experience was one that I will never forget and can never compare. Each country I had the privilege to absorb life-changing and life-long cultural and personal experiences. From working construction laboring long days of building a foundation of an orphanage, learning how to make adobe bricks to working with the elderly, feeding the homeless, to spending time with blind and sick children. All of these 'projects' have made such in impact in my life that I strive to volunteer abroad every year and to try to give as much as I can to the people and communities that welcome volunteers like me with open arms. IVHQ has great relationships with local organizations within its host country. They prioritize safety and awareness and have a variety of volunteer projects for people to choose from. If you are seeking cultural enrichment, life-changing experiences, adventure excursions, and life-long friendships I highly recommend to volunteer with IVHQ; I would not volunteer any other way!
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2015 at 9:17 PM
Hi Audria, it’s so great from our returning volunteers. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about your experience with IVHQ and volunteering in Guatemala, Peru - Cusco and Colombia - Bogota. We look forward to hearing from you when you are ready to plan your next volunteer abroad trip. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Turtle conservation Costa Rica
Submitted by Claire A - Gig Harbor | March 30, 2015
My time in Costa Rica was amazing! I was placed at a small conservation site on the Pacific Coast with a population of about 400. At this site were marine biologists, who were very passionate about their job and were such happy, easygoing, people! The laid-back vibe of Costa Rica made this project a perfect balance of work and play! We would spend many afternoons cleaning turtle nests, examining eggs, or cleaning the beach! I was even lucky enough to see a leatherback turtle (the largest species of sea turtles in the world!!) laying eggs! But my absolute favorite part was being able to release baby turtles into the ocean during sunset. It was magical!
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2015 at 9:02 PM
Hi Claire, Thanks for sharing a little about your volunteer trip in Costa Rica. It does sound like you had a magical experience. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to see you on another of our programs soon.
Submitted by Tara - Hangersville | March 30, 2015
I spent three months in Nairobi, Kenya teaching in the Kibera slums. I have nothing but good things to say about my time there! Right from the beginning I felt as though IVHQ was walking along side me as I prepared for Kenya. They were always prompt in getting back to me when I had questions and were very thorough. I felt confident that I had everything in order before I left because of them. Once in Kenya, I continued to feel confident and secure with the help of NVS. They always helped me out when I had questions or if problems arose. Anytime I had a problem, I always had help figuring out what to do. It made me feel at ease to know that there was always someone who could help me out every step of the way. I felt as though the money I paid was a fantastic price for all the help I received. I would highly recommend going through IVHQ if you are volunteering anywhere in the world. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience!
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2015 at 8:54 PM
Hi Tara, It’s great to hear from you. We are glad that your time volunteering with IVHQ in Kenya was up to your expectations and that you felt looked after in the lead up to your trip and throughout your 3 month volunteer experience. Thanks for the recommendation and for volunteering with IVHQ!
First Time Volunteering Abroad
Submitted by Nancy Nimsz - Ocean City Maryland | March 30, 2015
My husband and I volunteered in Bali as our first experience. Needless to say we did not know what to expect as far as the work involved or the living experience that we would have. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Our group which also included some retirees like us was fun ,supporting and friendly !
The younger participants welcomed us as their equals.
Our housing and location enabled us to really experience typical Balinese village life on a daily basis. We felt like we were part of our host family.
Volunteering in a foreign country was always on my bucket list. I feel privileged to have been able to have such a worthwhile experience.
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2015 at 5:18 PM
Hi Nancy, Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ! It’s great to hear that you and your groups experience in Bali was up to your expectations. It sounds like you had a really great time and we are glad to have been able to provide you such a memorable experience.