International Volunteer HQ Participant Reviews
Childcare in Pokhara, Nepal
Submitted by Mariangel | January 15, 2018
I did my first volunteering in Nepal (Pokhara) through IVHQ, I can say that was one of the best experiences in my life. The staff was amazing very helpful and worried about giving you the best, also the company have volunteers of very different countries, so I had the opportunity to share this amazing experience with more people.
Also the people in the childcare place were really kind and were guiding us to really enjoy the program and make the difference with the kids!
Thank you IVHQ!
Program: Volunteer in Childcare in Nepal
WOW!!! This will change your life!!
Submitted by Laura Burks - Kennewick | January 15, 2018
This was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking for any volunteer project, cultural experience or just an adventure. I looked into other free volunteer programs but IVHQ was the only that one I found that required a criminal background check on all their volunteers. I was a female traveling with another female and this provided a feeling of security within my volunteer group. We where in Guatemala for a holiday experience so not only were we able to participate in a few different volunteer opportunities but we were also able to experience New Years Guatemalan style.
Laos: Incredible, life changing, and filled with love
Submitted by Yvette - Auburn | January 11, 2018
Incredible, life changing, and filled with love is how I would describe my experience volunteer teaching in Laos. I set out on my own and joined this program with the hope to help children develop their language skills so that they might have better career options in the future. I had no formal classroom teaching experience, but for three weeks IVHQ gave me the utmost guidance and support. The schools had a clear understanding of the volunteer's role and were extremely organised. Knowing what my responsibility was as a volunteer, and their expectations really helped me to contribute all my skills productively. The children too, are aware of your role as a volunteer and that you may only be there for a short time-frame. This is so important for the children, and I was really impressed with how IVHQ has developed the teaching program in Laos.
Everyday I taught an English class in the morning and afternoon at two different schools. We had to cycle to the schools, and it was amazing to be able to immerse myself in the Laos landscape and understand the Laos lifestyle. The school teachers were extremely supportive and would sometimes try to learn English like the students when I was teaching. It was a really special feeling to be able to support the community in this way, and develop their language skills.
Throughout the rest of the day, there was plenty of time to socialise with the other volunteers, go exploring, prepare for lessons and play some sport! The IVHQ program really fosters a sense of family. I went to Laos alone, but I developed life-long friendships with the other volunteers and program facilitators. We went travelling to Luang Prabang and the city on the weekends, and this really helped to enhance my understanding of Laos and the culture. It has definitely been the most incredible, life-changing experience, filled with soo much love and happiness, I have ever had. I would relive it again and again and again.
Program: Volunteer and Teach in Laos
Submitted by Brandi - University of Pittsburgh | January 10, 2018
As an adult with a full time job it’s not easy to take a weeks’ vacation let alone more. This is why I became so interested in the Holiday Experience from International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). It’s a one week program during the holidays that allows volunteers to experience multiple placements during their trip. My placement was in Antiqua, Guatemala for one week during Christmas. I was able to work at three different placements and felt like what I did truly mattered. Did I change the world…no. Did I make a positive impact no matter when it came to the people I interacted with as well as within myself …yes! That’s why I loved this program so much. I can only afford to have a week off from work and I really wanted to volunteer and this program made it possible. I was able to immerse myself fully into the culture by learning Spanish from just normal communication…or learning how to salsa through Maximo Nivel (the organization in Antigua). Some would say one week is not enough but in my experience, I worked very hard to stay out of my room and tried my best to live as a local would. This is a symbiotic experience where you leave something for those you interact with but you also leave with something. Whether that be a sense of fulfillment for helping your fellow person or a new realization about yourself. Don’t go back and forth like I did in the decision to go because once I landed; I knew I’d made the right decision.
Medical, childcare and teaching experience at Potter's village and in Frankadua
Submitted by Steph - Vancouver Canada | January 08, 2018
My experience as a medical outreach volunteer and as a childcare volunteer was nothing short of amazing. Of course my trip would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the aid of Evans. He was absolutely amazing and was knowledgeable about everything and anything. Not only did he play a tremendously huge part of organizing and helping me make the malaria outreach happen, he was also a significant part in organizing our weekend outings as well. Benedict as well as the local staff at Potter's Village and Giles from Frankadua were fantastic as well. Everyone was very helpful and welcoming -- especially the kids. I will definitely be going back!
Program: Volunteer in Medicine in Ghana
Bali (Ubud)- healthcare education 2017
Submitted by Victoria - Vancouver Canada | January 05, 2018
This was my first time volunteering abroad so I was quite nervous and did not know what to expect. After coming home from Bali, I am extremely thankful to IVHQ for giving me the opportunity to do this project and for their continuous support leading up to my trip to ensure that my travels would go smoothly. This was truly such a humbling and life changing experience that I will never forget! The moment I was greeted by the local organization in Bali and met the other volunteers, all my worries had faded away. It is amazing to see how quickly friendships and connections form between volunteers and the local people in such a short period of time. There is something magical about Bali- I have to say that people in Bali are the most genuine, loyal and humble people that I have ever met. Everyone smiles here and it is contagious!
During the first week, the local program staff gave us an orientation of the Balinese culture. We visited a monkey forest, a holy water temple, a rice field, had a Batik painting class, went on a walking tour of Ubud with some free time to spend browsing through the markets, learned to cook some traditional Balinese food, saw a traditional Balinese dance (Kecak) and learned some basic Bahasa (language spoken in Bali). A great variety of activities and they were well organized and fun! Be prepared for lots of walking and moving around during this week :).Thank-you to the kitchen staff, I have now developed a new love for tempeh and peanut sauce!
I came to Bali for the healthcare education project, hoping that a group of children would learn something new from me. In fact, they were the ones who had re-taught me the meaning of a very powerful gift: gratitude. It was remarkable to witness how excited and grateful these children were to receive basic stationery that I had given them for Christmas which we would think to be ordinary. I never would've thought that a group of children who I only got to know for a week would have such a big impact on me.
If you are thinking of volunteering abroad but have some hesitations, I would definitely just take the dive and follow your dreams and everything else will fall in place. Not only was I able to learn about the Balinese culture and people, I learned so much about myself during these two weeks. Trust me, it will be rewarding in the end that you won't regret it!
An experience I'll never forget
Submitted by Tayla - Geelong Australia | January 01, 2018
I spent two weeks in China volunteering through IVHQ in their Teaching English program. The school I was placed and lived in was in a place called Weinan which is about 1.5 hours from Xi'an where the main volunteer headquarters/orientation is located.
Before doing the IVHQ program I had never been overseas, and I decided to go to China because the culture intrigued me, and I was keen to put myself out there in a place where the children would benefit. I quickly learned that my English skills would be put to good use, as little to no english was spoken in the schools.
Before departing my home country of Australia, the program staff and administration were always prompt to respond to any questions or queries via email, and when arriving in the country, I felt as though I was well looked after.
In China, there were staff members available to help with things like booking train tickets, translation and recommendations on local restaurants. Those in charge of the volunteer accommodation in Xi'an ensured all volunteers were fed, warm and healthy. I felt safe the entire duration of my trip and when it came time to leave, I couldn't help but wish I could've stayed for longer.
I'll never forget the experience, especially the children who are warm, loving and want to be your friend more than anything. The other volunteers I met and stayed with in Weinan were incredible people, who also contributed to the experience being amazing.
I highly recommend the IVHQ Teach English in China program and I will certainly volunteer through this organisation again!
Submitted by Emily - Lawrence University | December 25, 2017
I spent two weeks volunteering with the Green Lion Bali through IVHQ, and I will never forget my time there. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, especially the staff, who were amazing. The organization of the project was really great as well--the first week is spent learning about the culture and customs of Bali and visiting various places in and around Ubud. This week really helped me get adjusted to Bali and understand more about the people and why the work I was doing was so important. For my volunteering week, I worked with a class of local kindergarteners, and they were so sweet! I absolutely loved every minute. The support I received from the staff and other volunteers made me feel confident and motivated the whole time I was there. I quickly made many friends, and we were able to have adventures around Bali together. After this trip, I am eager to travel and volunteer more in new and exciting places!
Program: Volunteer in a Kindergarten in Bali
An experience of a lifetime
Submitted by Henrik Anker Kavli - Oslo Norway | December 21, 2017
Four months in Ghana has flown by! And it has been a blast! So many good times, with so many nice people. Whether it is the other volunteers or the locals, you will soon find yourself having a new family, built up of people that once used to be strangers. You will meet people that are way different from you, and realize how much you can learn from them. You will be in crazy, weird and surreal situations that will take you far outside your comfort zone. But use these to learn about yourself, and grow as a person. Try to experience as much as possible. Don’t hold back. Because hey, you are in Africa!
Going with IVHQ has been a very good experience! I always felt safe, and cared for. The food was of high quality. The accommodation was absolutely fantastic. The staff was nice, welcoming and helpful. All in all, I’m very happy with my stay in Ghana! And I’m sure you will be aswell!
It couldn´t have been better
Submitted by Vera Prusko - Nuremberg Germany | December 19, 2017
My decision to volunteer with IVHQ in Ghana was one of the best decisions in my life. I decided to go to Ghana together with two other German girls who I knew from the nurse school. Before we arrived I was really excited because I didn’t know what to expect. For the first time I would visit another continent and I had to speak so much English. At first we had an orientation day in the volunteer house in Accra, together with every volunteer who arrived with us. The information we got there was enough to be well prepared for the purple program in Frankadua. Normally we would have been at the purple program only for one week but we asked if it is possible to spend the rest of our stay in Frankadua. I want to say thank you to the coordinator of the purple program and the Boss of IVHQ who made it possible that we had four amazing weeks in Frankadua. We were warmly welcomed by both, the other volunteers and the locals. The work we did was very versatile. We did a lot of wound care for children and adults, we tested children from various schools for malaria and gave them the medicine they needed. We also twice accompanied a girl to the hospital because she had problems with her eye. We got a lot of support from the other volunteers for the medical outreaches. Also the manager of the purple program helped us to have enough material to do the wound care and the malaria tests. Everything was well organized from the beginning to the end.
Important to say is that I have felt save at every day and nighttime. Also we had a great cook who supplied us with food three times a day. On the weekends we always had lots of fun. We went to the coast and did other activities which were organized by us volunteers. For example we visited loads of beautiful beaches or did a hiking tour to the waterfalls. Especially the countless Basketball games we had with the locals and the volunteers together and the evenings at the fire or at the bar will stay in my memory. I can´t say anything negative about my whole stay in Ghana. I had an unforgettable time with unforgettable people.( And I hope my English is a little bit better now.)
Program: Volunteer in Medicine in Ghana
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 10, 2018 at 7:21 PM
Hi Vera - it certainly sounds like you made the most of your time in Ghana! We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your time on the program, and that you were able to make a positive contribution in your work. I'm certain the villages you worked in appreciated and valued your contribution, and your dedication to your placement work made a massive difference. We wish you all the best, and hope to have you join us again soon! ^Kaila - IVHQ Ghana Program Manager