International Volunteer HQ Participant Reviews
Submitted by Yelim Kim - Carnegie Mellon University | July 21, 2017
I really enjoyed my time in Mérida. The staff were extremely supportive and did everything they can to make the volunteers feel comfortable with their living situation and placement.
While it is important that the volunteers are open towards new experiences, I think IVHQ can improve the program by giving more information to the volunteers before they arrive, such as age range of the children or what has been done in the past.
Overall, it has been an extremely rewarding time here in México and I would definitely recommend it anyone who is on the fence.
Submitted by A - New York | July 21, 2017
I have previously volunteered with ivhq before so was excited to experience it again. I Had a great time volunteering with ivhq in Mexico and really loved my placement! Both the kids and the ladies were really welcoming and I still felt comfortable even though I don't speak Spanish. Would be great to come back and see the kids one day!
Volunteer Childcare Placement in Cambodia
Submitted by Biljana Radoicic - Halls Gap | July 21, 2017
The overall experience was amazing. I felt like I was really immersed in the culture and I managed to make close friends with some locals there. The accommodation was great but the food was a bit bland. It was a family home so I respect that they have opened up their home to us. Maybe just a variety of food choices and have the ability to help cook our meals would be great.
Submitted by Mesa Sebree - Indiana University | July 20, 2017
This trip was definitely one for the books! I was initially pretty nervous since this was my first time out of country and I was alone, but this trip turned out to be everything I could ask for and more! Not only did we get to work directly with sea turtles every night but I met tons of amazing people and made some incredible memories at Playa Ostional, Costa Rica!
Submitted by Maria Clor | July 20, 2017
I loved the program and all volunteers! Very easy to form a community while traveling alone. I stayed with a host family and enjoyed it! At first I was nervous, I would be disconnected from the group not living at the Volunteer Inn, but that was not the case at all! I volunteered with the Teaching English and teaching abroad was such a cool experience- I LOVED it. The kids were amazing! If you come, just remember to drink lots and lots of water!
Program: Volunteer and Teach in Mexico
My Time In Costa Rica
Submitted by Jack - Primary School | July 20, 2017
In Costa Rica we were placed in Junquillal. We were right next to the beach at Verdi Azul with some very healthy food. Even when the showers were cold we still had fun. In morning work we go and clean up around Verdi Azul. Afternoon we help clean up the beach and other stuff to help baby see turtles and sometimes even dig them up and release them. Night patrol is late (and can be very hard). It lasts for three hours of walking with one break. In Costa Rica there will be a lot of rice with vegetables in them and beans. The most common sea turtle you will see during summer is the Olive Ridley. If a turtle laid it's eggs and you're not staying for 55 days or more you probably won't see them hatch. The IVHQ members and Verdi Azul members will be happy to answer all of your questions! I hope this tells you everything you want to know and have a great time!
How South Africa impacted my life in such a positive and encouraging way
Submitted by Kaitlin - Winnipeg | July 19, 2017
The 2 months I experienced in South Africa volunteering in the Sports Development Program impacted my life in such a positive way. It made me realize and open my eyes to learning and experiencing new things whether the things I found out were heart breaking or where filled with joy. The children I got to meet and got to know still stay in my heart to this day and will forever be remembered. Going to volunteer every day filled me with happiness and excitement, by playing games with the kids and teaching them to properly be apart of society was a rewarding feeling. I personally believe that I made an impact in these children's lives and I will continue from now on to give my time to people in need. I didn't know what to expect when first applying for this program, but all I can say is that it is life changing. I've grown as a person and I strongly believe that everyone should give it a chance to help someone in need. Also, when meeting the new volunteers I've made friendships that words cannot explain. I can truthfully say that I've made long life friends even though most of them live in all areas of the world. People who are thinking of volunteering abroad, don't think; do. It's a life changing experience and it's one thing you won't forget.
Submitted by Sarai F. - Butte College | July 19, 2017
Three weeks in Mexico was an unforgettable experience. Overall when I look back at my time here in Mexico, I am very thankful to have had this opportunity. The kids that I met at my job placement were some of the funniest and humble kids Id ever met. I really enjoyed being someone these kids could talk to and be themselves with. It was super hard saying goodbye and they truly helped me grow as a person! However, I wish the program would have been more clear since the begining on what age groups we would be working with. It would have been very helpful when choosing which materials to bring. My stay at the volunteer house was a good choice because it was really nice being able to meet other likeminded people. The people are what made this whole experience worthwhile! The stay at the house was good, but some nights felt extremely hot and uncomfortable. Despite the sleep situation, I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe walking around the streets. Mexico is a wonderful country and I really enjoyed being apart of something bigger than myself. I'm glad I choose this program because it introduced me to so many great people and left me with an overall amazing experience.
Everyone should volunteer abroad at least once
Submitted by Jessica DeOliveira - Belford | July 19, 2017
I just came back from a week long volunteer adventure with the medical program at IVHQ. I was in the village of Senya, about 3 hours outside Accra. I cannot say enough good things about this program. I had never traveled overseas before, and this was also my first time volunteering. I was alone and a little nervous about it, but IVHQ was so wonderful. The entire staff was so helpful and guided me along the way in preparing me before I left. Once I was in Ghana the local team took over and made sure I was well taken care of. I was always very safe and provided for. The staff checked in on the volunteers everyday, many times more than once a day, to make sure we were ok and to help us with whatever we needed. The volunteer house was clean and the meals were good. The clinic that I volunteered with was very welcoming with the volunteers and were very patient with us. They seemed to be happy that we were there and I felt like I was really helping them. Everything about my trip ran so smoothly and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I would recommend the IVHQ program to anyone who was thinking about taking this kind of adventure!
Construction in Bali - GREAT!
Submitted by Nick - University of Reading | July 19, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ubud, Bali, with IVHQ. Although only taking part in a 2 week stay, this experience exposed me to an entirely different culture and way of life, and enabled me to visit fantastic places and meet some great people. The orientation week prior to beginning the volunteering scheme was fascinating, I was able to go to some main attractions in the local area, as well as learn about the local culture, language, and food. This week was very well organised by the coordinators who all ensured each volunteer experienced as much as they could. My week of volunteering was doing construction and renovation for the community centre in Pejeng Kaja, the village in which we were based. The program was well organised, and the volunteers worked with a coordinator for the project as well as one local construction worker. Hard work was encouraged, and despite only being on site for one week, some fantastic progress was made. This volunteering opened by eyes to the tangible difference that can be made, and by doing construction in particular it was brilliant to know I could make a physical difference to the community, and give back to the people of the village. This whole experience, made possible by the brilliant organisation of IVHQ, has made me not only want to volunteer again, but to travel further afield post-university - it has given me an opportunity to experience and do something different from the monotonous activities back home - and made me more open-minded and aware of the different cultures and customs that exist around the world. If you are looking for a beautiful place to go, with genuinely humble and friendly locals, exotic attractions and a safe and warming environment whilst making a difference for the community, Ubud is fantastic, and with IVHQ you are in safe hands in terms of accommodation and organisation.