International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.4 / 10 after 418 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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I went to Rio de Janeiro for two weeks with IVHQ. It was the best two weeks of my life so far. It was easy for me to adjust to the culture because I had spent two years studying Brazil, learning Portuguese and I also have some friends that live in Niterói and Florianópolis. They helped me figure out what do, where to go and how assimilate.

I felt right at home from the minute I got there. The other volunteers were amazing and they matched my excitement and enthusiasm. I will really miss them. The hostel was great and if I ever go back, I'll stay there again.

Brazil is not perfect at all and I saw this when I went to Gamboa, a favela, to teach group fitness classes. It was sad at times, but helping those people work out or simply smile and forget about their problems was an indescribable feeling. The staff at the fitness center was friendly and people really enjoyed having me there.

IVHQ was the only study abroad program I could afford and I would definitely travel with them again. If you are wondering about whether or not you should travel. Just go for it. It's worth it.

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Location:
Posted: June 7, 2019
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: MriahLeo
Age:
23

I recently spent two weeks in Auckland, New Zealand volunteering with sustainable coastlines through the IVHQ program. Traveling and volunteering abroad was amazing and I feel that I have gained so much from this experience. The other volunteers and I became fast friends and spent our evenings and weekend exploring New Zealand together. Some of the best places I visited include Hobbiton, Waiheke island and the Waitomo glowworm caves. The accommodations were comfortable, the meals provided to us were yummy and the work we did tending native plants on the Maori land and cleaning the beaches of New Zealand made a real positive impact. I would recommend that anyone interested in international volunteering and/or environmental volunteer work consider this program.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 7, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: s_zards
Age:
21

I went to Guatemala for one week to Volunteer in the child care program. It has been the BEST experience that I have had in my life, I was looking to travel but also to do something special with and meaningful, this trip had that and so much more. I love how everything was very organized and clear from the time I applied online, my arrival to Guatemala and until know after returning home. I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries and cities from the USA, learn from a new culture, and met amazing teachers in the daycare program. I cannot wait to go back and spend more time in Antigua through this program, I will definitely stay longer than a week there is so much to see and learn.
Thank you so much for this wonderful experience.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 6, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
30

My name is Marina and I am from Alberta, Canada. I traveled to Merida for one week to complete the special needs care project. It was my first time traveling solo and I was very nervous. However, IVHQ had such a streamlined process from start to finish and I felt safe and supported throughout my entire time in Mexico. Anytime I had a question I was always answered immediately. The fees are very affordable so it was perfect for a student like myself. The reason I went on this trip was to have a new travel opportunity but to also add valuable experience to my resume! The volunteer placement was so rewarding and worked out perfectly. It's a great set up because we volunteered in the mornings and had every afternoon and weekend to do excursions. Our program coordinator always had fun suggestions for things to do! This program is perfect for young solo travelers and I would suggest it to everyone!

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Location:
Posted: May 30, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

As a world traveler and Sustainability professional, passionate about protecting our environment, I have been looking for a way to start incorporating volunteer work with my travel. Volunteering with Reef CI at Tom Owens Caye, Belize was the perfect way to start! I researched many programs, but this one was perfect for me as Reef CI allowed me to volunteer for only a week (many volunteer programs require at least a 2-3-week minimum time commitment) and use and expand upon my diving skills. I enlisted through IVHQ, as I found they had the best price. Grace, my IVHQ contact, was extremely helpful before the trip to help me prepare. Her correspondence was always timely and IVHQ's enlisting process was very thorough - IVHQ wants to help you prepare for your best volunteer experience possible. In addition to Grace, I also worked with Anthony, my U.S. Reef CI contact, who also helped answer my many questions and sign me up for the Coral Reef Conservation and Fish Identification PADI Specialty courses I was wanting to take in order to get my SSI Advanced Diver certification while in Belize.

In Placencia, Belize I knew exactly what to expect and where to meet the Reef CI group for the boat ride to Tom Owens Caye. Upon arriving to the island on the first day, all volunteers pitched in to help carry supplies up to the main house. Sleeping assignments were then made. Assuming I would be much older than most in my group, I had requested in advance that I have a bungalow on the island to allow for some quiet time, and they completely accommodated me. Next there was a review for the new people while returning volunteers were diving, and all dive equipment was assigned for the week. Later, the new volunteers did an introductory dive followed by a delicious meal - just one of the many you'll have on the island. You'll eat very fresh food every day, including the lion fish you kill. The cooking staff also worked within my dietary restrictions by providing me gluten free meals!

You're given the daily island schedule prior to arriving in Belize, but the schedule is also posted in the main house, and the highly organized Reef CI staff follow it to a tee! I was so impressed with how they ran the program on the island, especially juggling with new and returning volunteers, volunteers just learning to dive and getting certified, to those who were working on their Advanced Diver certifications and/or taking PADI Specialty courses. This, of course, is on top of providing daily coral reef and Belizean marine life presentations and getting the volunteers in the water to partake in lion fish spearfishing, conch and lobster surveys, and coral reef and fish identifications. There was a lot to juggle and Willie, Luis, and Peter, and rest of the Reef CI staff, handled it very smoothly. And did I say friendly? The entire Reef CI staff were a pleasure to be with and fun to hang out with playing cards or backgammon.

The diving certainly did not disappoint. There was opportunity to see amazing marine biodiversity. If you’re not an experience diver, do not let this dissuade you from trying this trip. Where else can you get certified in such a coral reef setting, not to mention for a very reasonable price?

The island itself is well maintained. The palm trees were cleared out just enough to allow sun and plenty of shade. In down times, you could take a nap in a hammock or play volleyball. Or just keep your course work and dive log up to date. Unfortunately, there was no internet for the entire week. However, it was nice to be off the grid – it made it more relaxing. If you're looking for fancy accommodations, then this is not for you. However, if you're looking for comfortable lodgings, in a very relaxed, minimal setting (yes, you have to get used to minimal water shower usage since you are on an island), and a place to meet great people and make new friends while making a positive, environmental impact, then this IS the place for you. I would definitely recommend taking an eco-volunteer trip to Belize and do it through Reef CI. All in all, I was very impressed. I would go back for sure!

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Location:
Posted: May 20, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: gcorrie
Age:
49

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