International Volunteer HQ Participant Reviews
Positive experience teaching in Sri Lanka
Submitted by Paula | September 23, 2017
I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in Sri Lanka with IVHQ. From the moment I began my application, I felt incredibly supported by the IVHQ staff and knew I would be in good hands once arriving in a foreign country. As a solo volunteer traveling from the U.S., I was nervous and had many questions before the trip. The IVHQ staff were more than helpful in answering my questions and easing my worries. The program itself was wonderful. I stayed in a home with a lovely Sri Lankan family and 6 other volunteers. The home was basic but comfortable and clean. I felt as though I was getting the authentic experience, which is exactly what I wanted. My program was teaching English in a local pre-school. This experience was also positive, and I really enjoyed the children and the teachers of the school. It was not always easy as the language barrier did make it difficult to communicate with the kids, but overall I felt like I was applying my teaching skills in a meaningful way. I still keep in touch with the teachers, the other volunteers, and the family I lived with. Sri Lanka will always have a special place in my heart, and I look back on this experience fondly. I highly recommend IVHQ for those considering volunteer projects abroad.
Turtle Conservation in Junquillal, Costa Rica.
Submitted by Charlotte - University of Manchester | September 23, 2017
I volunteered for the Turtle Conservation through IVHQ/Maximo Nivel in August. I was posted to Verdiazul in Junquillal and really enjoyed the experience. The activities included patrolling the beach at night, cleaning the hatchery and reforestation so we were definitely kept busy! The turtle sightings were better than expected- whilst I was there we had two hatchings and on one of the patrols we found five nests and saw two turtles in one night. I would definitely recommend IVHQ, Maximo Nivel and Verdiazul to anyone looking to volunteer in Costa Rica as I had no problems with any of the companies.
Submitted by Abri Shalay - Cornell University | September 21, 2017
IVHQ's Madrid program was amazing. You are located in a safe area with 24/7 support and receive a comprehensive orientation. The apartments are more than comfortable and are close to public transportation. I had work in the morning and free nights and weekends to explore with my phenomenal housemates. We even flew to Lisbon, Portugal one weekend. You must go to the night club, "Teatro Capital" one night if nothing else when looking for the social scene and the food in Spain is to die for. Safe travels!
Memoirs in Ho Chin Minh
Submitted by Rahul Thomas - Dubai | September 20, 2017
Getting a big hug and a thankyou in Vietnamese from an elderly man to whom i was serving food in the Food Outreach program in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam would definitely rank as one of the most cherished moments of my life.
The Food Outreach programme organized by International Volunteer HQ in Ho Chi Minh City was a truly unforgettable experience. Great Website, Outstanding support from the Program Manager at IVHQ, Prejourney resources, Value for Money, A very warm, friendly and helpful local team in Vietnam and a great experience in the volunteer program are all the reasons why i would definitely recommend International Volunteer HQ to any aspiring volunteer. Highly Recommended !!
Great Volunteering Experience Teaching English in China
Submitted by Kinnar Patel - University of Cambridge | September 20, 2017
I spent 4 weeks teaching English in China, 2 weeks in a village and 2 weeks in Xi'an. It was a fantastic experience working with the children (who were always enthusiastic and lively) and meeting other volunteers. With IVHQ you really get to experience the country at a closer level than just travelling as you are working alongside locals everyday and live in areas that are not "touristy". In fact, during my two weeks in the village I did not meet a single person who could speak English. This gives a more authentic experience, and lets you know that what you are doing is truly worthwhile. On the weekends you get plenty of free time to explore the local area and even head further afield to see some of the main attractions in China. The accommodation in Xi'an is really homely as David (the man running the China project) often visits and his parents live there, providing hospitality and company to the volunteers. Overall it was a great experience and one that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in China or teaching or just wanting to travel.
Volunteering in Ghana 2016
Submitted by Chaylynn Amash - Michigan United States | September 19, 2017
I volunteered in Ghana, Africa for 2 months in 2016. When I first arrived in Ghana, I was taken to the first volunteer house where I met Benedict Adeli who went over all the important info I needed about my program. After all the volunteers had arrived a few days later we were all taken to our program placements. I was placed in the Pink program where I got the most amazing opportunity to volunteer in Potters village with the most amazing kids I have ever met. During my time there I got the chance to learn about the Ghanaian culture, I got to learn the language, and make such strong connections with the kids that I can be forever grateful for. Over the course of my volunteer time in Ghana, Benedict Adeli consistently checked up on me and the other volunteers doing in home visits, and messages through text always making sure the volunteers were safe, and comfortable and doing good. Benedict, and other IVHQ members always made sure that volunteers were doing okay and it was very reassuring to know that IVHQ takes such good care of their volunteers! If you have the chance to volunteer abroad I recommend you choose Ghana as your location and the Pink program as your placement!
Program: Volunteer in Childcare in Ghana
Live in Paradise!
Submitted by Laura | September 19, 2017
The Nakavango Conservation Programme in Zimbabwe is a beautiful piece of paradise. And there's not better way to experience it than to live and work on site for a few weeks! Where else would you find yourself camping under the stars surrounded by Africa's Big 5?!
This programme is for you if:
1) You want to experience the African wilderness
You'll get to take game drives through the reserve (almost) every day, and are sure to see to a variety of African wildlife such as buffalo, elephants, giraffe, black rhino, and kudu (and *maybe* a lion or leopard if you're lucky). You'll also get to spend one night a week camping on the reserve, and nothing says 'wilderness' like cooking over a fire and sleeping under the stars (or peeing in the bush!)
Notice, I said *wildlife*! Nakavango is not a zoo. You are never guaranteed to see an animal, and you will not pet them. This is an authentic wilderness experience.
2) You enjoy a work/life balance
You can expect to put in some sweat equity wielding a shovel or hoe (duties include clearing roads, removing alien vegetation, working in the garden, and watering trees in the orchard), but that will take up just a few hours a day. The rest of your week days will be spent getting to know the other volunteers while you eat, relax, play games, and enjoy the pool. On the weekends you will have more free time to go into town and enjoy Victoria Falls, including local restaurants (I recommend the Three Monkeys), souvenir shopping, and all the adrenalin tourism you could ask for (white water rafting and the gorge swing are a must)!
3) You want to make friends
The volunteers at Nakavango include individuals of all ages and nationalities. Have an open mind and invest in developing relationships in order to make the most of your time at Nakavango. Remember, you'll be eating, working, driving, talking, and exploring with these people!
The Best Month of my Life
Submitted by Guilia Piscitelli - University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) | September 19, 2017
I spent one month in Costa Rica doing the sea turtle conservation project and childcare project. Both were incredible experiences that opened my eyes and allowed me to gain a better understanding of what I want to do with my future. In addition to volunteering, I met some of the most incredible people who I got to live and travel with. Weekends were free, so I was able to explore all of Costa Rica. I cannot recommend this program enough. No matter what project you do, come prepared to work hard. You will get so much out of this program if you do so.
IVHQ in Hawaii
Submitted by Regan - university of hertfordshire | September 18, 2017
I chose to partake in a one-week volunteer program through IVHQ in Hawaii and the only bad thing was that I did not do the two-week option. The application was easy and simple with step-by-step instructions helping you along the way.
I had the most amazing week spent volunteering in Hawaii with the working days not being too long, thus allowing plenty of time to explore the island of Oahu and do more holiday type activities like surfing in Waikiki and kayaking etc.
The people I met whilst volunteering were all so nice and friendly making the experience even more enjoyable and will be people I stay in contact with for a long time. The staff (Katie) made the experience feel less like working and educated us as well as allowing us to enjoy ourselves too- helping us out whenever was necessary.
The accommodation was ideal for volunteers as it was very spacious and in a great location with unbelievable views of the mountains.
Overall, i would recommend this IVHQ programme to anybody that asks me about it as it will be the best week or two weeks of your life and all at a very god price!
Don't wait until tomorrow to live your dreams!!
Submitted by Scott - Glasgow Scotland | September 18, 2017
I was nervous before I started my trip as this was my volunteering experience along with my first trip outside of Europe however all I can say is WOW what an amazing experience!!!! There is so much to see and learn about the animals, the culture and the people that you will wish you were staying for even longer!! The people, the food, the accommodation and the activities out on the reserve along with the range of activities you can do at the weekend (I highly recommend the microlight flight over Vic Falls itself) made this without doubt one of the best experiences of my life and something I will cherish forever!