International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.3 / 10 after 291 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the trusted volunteer organization, providing safe, quality and extremely affordable volunteering placements in countries all over the world. Each year they place over 5000 volunteers abroad and have a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Argentina, Bali, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia - Bogota and Cartagena, Costa Rica, Ecuador, FijiGhana, Guatemala, India - Delhi & DharamsalaItalyPortugal, Spain, New ZealandKenya , Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, ThailandRomaniaUganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.

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My name is Viktor, and I have just completed a 2-week medical volunteer project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I found this experience so wonderful that I felt teary when the time came to leave Vietnam (My fiancée who completed the program together with me can attest to this!) IVHQ has been instrumental in ensuring an amazing experience for all of us volunteers. Their staff were very responsive and eager to help me and my fiancée with the logistics of flying from Canada to Vietnam, long before program start date. The IVHQ website was also a great tool that helped me prepare and stay organized in preparation for the volunteer program. All of the requirements needed to start volunteering in Vietnam were all in one place (i.e. Application fee, resume/CV upload, criminal record check upload, etc.) The site also contained an excellent and customized guide to prepare us for the country we were travelling to, including a basic language primer. Upon arrival to our site in Vietnam we were warmly greeted, and given clear and succinct instructions on the schedule of activities. Leah (one of the coordinators) lead our group of volunteers through a number of cultural activities with infectious enthusiasm and spirit. Her positive energy was so moving and powerful, it made a deep and lasting impact on my own disposition towards life. Our project was centered at an orthopedic hospital, the majority of patients were recovering from trauma and injuries related to moto/moped accidents. Khanh and Thanh - the 2 on-site coordinators were very friendly and experienced. They were our line of communication with the local medical staff, as we lacked proficiency in fluent Vietnamese. We did a wide range of activities at the hospital. These ranged from aiding the nurses with wound care, premixing IV/SC/IM medications, taking vital signs of all patients on the ward, to shadowing countless orthopedic surgeries and assisting the acupuncture doctors with IM B12 injections and removal of acupuncture needles. By the end of the 2 weeks, both me and my fiancée wished that we had more time to do a longer volunteering session. Unfortunately, we both had prior commitments to get back to back home. But the memories of all the new Vietnamese friends we've made live on - through the power of social media! To summarize, this IVHQ Medical program in Vietnam was a fantastic learning experience, that has transformed me in positive ways. Perhaps the most influential factor that I derived from this Vietnam experience, was derived from the patients at this orthopedic hospital. Being a witness to the strength with which the Viet people hold themselves during excruciating pain and traumatic injuries, has toughened me up and made me more resilient to dealing with difficult situations in my own life. This is not a goodbye, but a see you later Vietnam. I would definitely redo this program if given the chance.

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Posted: May 18, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: vkal88
Age:
26
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Posted: May 4, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: lirinco
Age:
36
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Posted: May 4, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: mlirinco
Age:
36
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Posted: April 7, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
7
Age:
26

Namaste!
There's so much to say about this program. First of all: I highly recommend it to first time travelers. If you're young, want to meet people, live with an awesome homestay family, and do some volunteer work at the same time- then IVHQ is for you.
I was lucky enough to spend six months in India working in one of the slum schools of Faridabad. It was a wild and magical experience. The school itself is disorganized, loud, and overwhelming at times. But, that's what makes it volunteer work a memory to last forever. These kids need you more than a highly functioning, well funded school. Here, you really get to know the children individually. Through laughter, the best Hindi you can muster, art, and cultural exchange you see the children for the beautiful beings they are. What I highly recommend to other volunteers is to do some basic research on teaching if you've had no prior experience. That made a difference for me when I started my first week of teaching. I did a lot of projects ranging from science, to math, to writing poetry. The thing with all of those topics is that it's still teaching English- even just talking to them is teaching them something.
As for my homestay family... well, that was the best part of the program. I really lucked out with the house I was placed in, and at the end of my six months I considered them to be my family. They took such good care of me. Always seeing to my needs and cooking me delicious food. The hardest part about leaving was saying goodbye to them.
India is forever part of my heart now and I already can't wait to go back.

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Posted: April 7, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Kat_h
Age:
19

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