International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Fully Verified What's this?
9.3 / 10 after 307 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.

Submit a review

I had a wonderful time living and volunteering in Lima. I had the greatest host family, so kind and caring, who had tons of extra rooms in their house and were able to house many volunteers--at one point, I lived with 17 other volunteers! It was great that way. It was fun and there were always other people to talk to and do things with. The volunteering was worthwhile and life-changing. We had a lot of choice in what we wanted to do. I liked how everything was flexible, so, at any time, people could take trips. For example, I went with a group to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Almost every volunteer I met did that at some point or another. Overall I had a great experience and would recommend the program 100%!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 26, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

i want to go to cusco, peru with IVHQ as well. i'm a doctor and wanted to find out if anyone or yourself knew about the medical placements there? thanks for your help.
My daughter is considering going to Lima for 2 weeks. She is 22 and wants to work with children. Would you be able to expand on your trip and how it went as far as safety. Were you given any contacts before you went as to any others joining you on the same trip?any info would be appreciated. Mary

Volunteer HQ are really well organized, affordable volunteer organization. I had reservations despite their good reputation and feedback I had seen, as there are many horror stories about. The program was really well run, the host family were lovely providing a nice place to come home to each day & I was well fed. The affiliated company that run the program out of San Jose kept us well informed with the orientation, were really supportive throughout my time there & they really show their appreciation of your time & effort in being there. I'd recommend IVHQ to anyone wanting to volunteer, as they are really affordable with their program fees but nothing is sub-standard! You have nothing to worry about. I'll consider doing another in the future also.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 9, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

From my experience this is often they do not know the host family until 1-2 weeks before the volunteer arrives due to the fact that where the new volunteer is placed depends on need and availability of placements and homestays. I was worried initially too but when I got there had a great time and can see why they couldn't give me the details 2-3 months out. Philippa
My son is going to Costa Rica with IVHQ and they seem to be very nice at Maximo Nivel. I do think it is strange that they will not give me the name and number of his host family. They say that I need to wait until he arrives. What do you think?
Carmen, My daughter is planning to spend a month in San Jose with IVHQ in a homestay and helping to teach english. Since we don't know alot about this organizaiton, I am a little concerned that she may show up at the airport there and be left stranded or have to stay somewhere unsafe in such a large city. It seems strange to me that she will have no idea where she is staying until she gets there. Did you feel safe when you were there, how about getting to work? Do you know if many of the other volunteers had as good a homestay as yours? Any specific tips for her? Is it likely she can meet another volunteer to do some sightseeing with on weekends? She is going by herself and will not know a sole. Thanks.

I have volunteered twice with IVHQ and would whole heartedly recommend them to anyone considering volunteering.
Not only are they incredibly helpful in your decision making process, always responding to emails within 24 hours, they genuinely take the time to ensure the programme is right for you, rather than pushing for the sell.
All the pre-registration and registration information is invaluable and gives you a real insight into what to expect from your project. This support is added to by knoweldgeable and genuine advisors who have visited the project and have impressive knowledge of what to expect.
Both projects I have completed have been great. (Huancayo in Peru in 2008 and Kenya in 2009). Kenya in particularly was extremely well organised with a robust orientation welcome meeting to outline the projects and comprehensive in country information. All pick ups were on time and people were extremely friendly and welcoming.
The actual projects are well selected to ensure your help is definitley needed and logistics including transport was well thought out.
Compared to several other volunteering organisations I have spoken to, IVHQ stand out a mile for their first class service, ethical prices and outstanding organisation skills.
Highly recommended and I am already planning the next trip with them!

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 20, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

what kind of volunteer work did you in peru?
That sounds wonderful. Just out of curiosity, what specific organization or program does IVHQ match you in Kenya? I'm just curious to see more details on safety of the organization in Kenya as well as if it matches my interests. Thanks for your help!!
It's good to hear all these positive reviews, as I'm planning on heading to rural Kenya for the teaching program in 1 month. Because you were just there, I'd love to connect with you more about your experiences, and what exactly you did there. Any insight/feedback/advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
A friend of mine is getting ready to go to Peru with the same organization. She is on the same trip you went on in 2008. Should I have any safety concerns? What are the health care facilities like in the area?

I have just returned from a 2 week(too short!) orphanage program in Kenya through IVHQ. From the start i found their service Great. All replies to email where within 24hrs and the volunteer handbook comprehensive. Answers most questions you may have.
I dealt with a local organisation once there who collected me on-time at the airport. They were very friendly/welcoming people.I felt that if something went wrong i would be looked after appropriately. I was placed at an orphanage in Kibera. The place was well staffed so i wished maybe i could have been of more practical use to them plus there were already other volunteers there. But the kids were magic and I spent time playing/talking and hanging out with them. In my 2nd week I sorted out a lot of donated clothing into age groups for the kids so they had some newer clothes to wear. The conditions are pretty tough in Kibera but the people you meet are wonderful!
I stayed at a house nearby, 15 min from the orphanage walking and i was very lucky. The woman who owned the house was very welcoming and very organised to house volunteers. We even had a mon-sun menu! And the food, mostly traditional african food was great. My stomach had never felt better. Yes there is no hot water, impossible to sleep in past 6am if a light sleeper, and you are pretty much covered in grit every time you leave the house.But you need to get over that in a day so you can enjoy a very unique experience!
The other volunteers were great. Some from US, UK, Australia(i'm an aussie), Canada and even Portugal. I'm 37. Ages ranging from 18-60! which is cool.
Overall i would recommend IVHQ. Service was good, very good value for money and everyone i met associated through to the local organisation, volunteers, home stay and of course the orphanage were a wonderful group of people.
I plan to volunteer again in 12 months and will be going through IVHQ. Hope this helps.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 19, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Hi I am very interested in doing this myself. If there are anything you would warn me about before I leave what would it be? Please email me at star2foley@hotmail.com Many thanks, Star
There is a group of grade 10-12 school kids wanting to go to kenya in February 2010. As a parent I am worried about the unrest, and if IVHQ have any kind of plan to get the people out of that country if anything should happen? I am also very concerned about the billets but it sounds like it is very organized in that respect. I am from Canada. Thanks for your comments, it definately has eased my mind a little.

The two months I spent in Kenya was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. IVHQ's program was very well run, with their partner organization in Kenya, MEAC, providing for my needs during my stay. All of the host families treated the volunteers as though they were a part of their own families. Also, while I was there, Daniel, the director of IVHQ, was very helpful from their home base in New Zealand, promptly answering any questions and concerns I had and dealing with their partner organization effectively. I would highly recommend IVHQ to anyone looking to volunteer abroad.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 9, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

Pages