New Zealand

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Jun 7, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I’m so stoked that Baxta, a work colleague, got me signed up for this programme. 2 years ago I knew the trip was going to be amazing but it’s done that and more. All the staff have been super friendly and easy going for us kiwis and we appreciate that passion for what you guys are doing on Pidwa. I’ll be back!

Program:
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Sep 25, 2018
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I regularly do volunteer projects overseas, with a focus on wildlife/conservation.
This project was the best I’ve done, and I’ve worked in Tonga, Indonesia, China, Thailand and this was my 4th trip to Africa. The framework was well set-up, the facilities way better than I’ve experienced before and it was ethically focused and not on income generated from the volunteers. I felt very appreciated, respected and included. The coordinators were outstanding and that can make or break it in my view. Their passion was contagious! Great organisation and a good blend of activities. I learned heaps! 10 out of 10! Makes it hard to consider doing anything else really! Lots of great sightings of wildlife, absolutely outstanding.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowUserReviews-g1209389-d1771470-r4140216...

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Sep 5, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Global Studies

Institute for Global Studies was a great choice to use for my internship. As an editorial intern for the premier Wellington, New Zealand Political Newspaper the primary focus of my job was covering the national elections in New Zealand and the United States. As a journalism student at Arizona State University, I was eager to understand the structure of a news organization in another country. The paper specializes in providing the public with news directly from the source — publishing press releases from various organizations. They also host live video and audio feeds of Parliament. While taping legislative hearings, I was struck by the intimacy of my access to New Zealand’s government. I also traveled extensively around the North and South islands. One cultural highlight was my stop at Rotorua, a town several hours north of Wellington. I visited a Maori village and learned about their historical way of life. These cultural explorations were equally important in rounding out my overall experience.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Oct 24, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

This review is for GVN's Be the Change Program (not listed in the box above.) I attended the program in Taupo, New Zealand in November, 2013. It was my first venture into the volunteer abroad arena, and was an ideal venue for me to get information and interract with with experienced volunteers. The week was life-changing for me.

GVN staff picked me up at my hotel as arranged through e-mail. There were 9 of us there as participants and 6 GVN staff. We lived as family in 2 houses with both staff and participants, which was a bonding experience. We shared cooking and cleaning responsibilities. I loved this format, finding that volunteers are an adaptable and throroughly interesting group to live with for a week. We were a diverse group, ranging in age from 20 to 67, of varying ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds. At the end of the week, I considered them all friends.

The purpose of this workshop was to both inform and motivate volunteers to pursue our own charitable projects at either a local or international level, or to feel confident in participating in existing projects. I came away both informed and motivated. I was most impressed with GVN staff's enthusiasm and dedication to their work.

Having previously attended both business and horse training workshops, I had a value comparison. Be the Change delivered what I considered to be good product for the price.

I have no criticism for the Be the Change Program. When I fail to find anything to criticize, I tend to be generous with my "stars". I will be going to Uganda in June as a follow-on to investigate how GVN distrubutes money they raise through participating in the global Eat So They Can fundraising campaign.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Apr 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

To be specific, this is a review for the Be The Change Program, as that is the only program through the Global Volunteer Network that I have participated in so far.

From the very beginning, my communications with the facilitators via email, from questions about the program itself, to finance and travel information, were handled promptly, efficiently and in a very warm and friendly manner, and this treatment carried well into the program and beyond. I was given a truly welcome and open environment to explore what was important to me, what change I wanted to see in the world, with constant feedback that was critical and constructive, understanding and encouraging.

Upon arriving, while I felt like I was partly on vacation because of how removed I was from my day to day life, the Be The Change staff was quick to rein in the focus, still providing a comforting environment, but also emphasizing a definite plan and curriculum. They asked us to trust in their plan and they made it wonderfully easy to do so. For the next 6 days, we made time for work, developing our own plans of change and really diving into the core of what we wanted out of the program and how we should best approach our own personal goals, from the general to the more specific. I always felt included in the teachings, as if they were fine tuned just for me as much as for anyone else.

The evenings were for relaxation and recreation, from small hikes to wonderful meals cooked in groups, creating a comfortable environment where we could take the needed time to let the workshops really sink in so as not to feel overwhelmed, and to be honest, the program was at times overwhelming, though never in a negative way. If I was ever overwhelmed, it was at the realizations of my own potential. That a simple, everyday kind of normal guy like me has what it takes to start something bigger than myself and make a change I want to see. To be surrounded by so many like minded people, all of whom are now friends, made it so much easier, the experience was very humbling. Real people making real change, it's that simple, and the Be The Change program and staff helped me build the skills, focus and confidence to be one of those real people, for real change.

If it sounds like I'm gushing, it's because, well, I am. I have nothing but praise for a program that took a guy like me, struggling with a vision, and helped guide me into someone with a specific plan, who knows he can make a difference. While I can't speak for everyone, I can say confidently that participating in the Be The Change Program has been one of the defining experiences of my life, I couldn't be more thankful, and if anyone is looking into the world of creating change, regardless of scope or direction, I couldn't recommend this program enough, it was simply amazing and inspirational.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: Jun 4, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

This inspiring week has lasted long after we arrived home.

If you have a goal or desire to be part of change whether social, environmental humanitarian or for wildlife and don't know where to begin, then "Be The Change" is an amazingly supportive environment where you can grow your idea and listen to other passionate people like yourself to feel confident that you can make a difference.

Everyone was at a different stage, some didn't know what they wanted to do but as the week rolled on with sessions on fundraising platforms, watching videos of people presenting their passion, how to deliver your idea and listening to guest speakers, pieces of the puzzle fell into place..

During the week, we all bonded like a special family and I hope one day we can all meet again. Thankfully I have caught up with two special people from our group here in Melbourne to continue our inspiration and motivation.

Being all together in a great location was a great way to come together with like minded people and yes there was down time in-between where we played badminton, visited eerie NZ steam pools, went out for dinner and most importantly got to know amazing people and facilitators from around the world.

Only thing was, once you came home that was the challenge. How to keep focused and keep the support going, We wrote 3 month 6 month goals which were delivered via email from our friendly supervisor. My challenge was to keep moving forward so I engaged the support of Business mentor back home to continue to move forward step by step.

Thank you to Be the Change Facilitators for a brilliant week, we couldn't have asked for more beautiful, friendly and supportive Team.

Program:
Location: New Zealand
Posted: May 27, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

GVN Be the Change, Taupo

A very warm welcome from GVN team when I arrived. I was then introduced to other participants who came from around the world. In a very short time I did not feel like a stranger at all.

The GVN team facilitated and delivered the programme very well - well organise and they are very knowledgable and experience. During the workshop there are some interactions, group discussions, activities and we are also given small tasks during the workshop. We had presentation close to the end of the programme. Also, we had guest speakers who added more flavour to the programme.

If you do not know what you would like to achieve out of the programme, but have a passion in social change, the GVN team can help you in many ways - they can provide you advice, guidance, help you brainstorm your unclear ideas to the possibilities where you would like to be and what you can do to achieve your goals or dreams.

When you finish the programme, GVN team never close their door - you are always welcome anytime if you need help from them.

Outside the workshop hours we had freedom to do anything we'd like to do - exercise, quiet time, etc. We also had opportunity to visit a few places, see the beauty of the nature. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, the one week programme is worth to attend for those who want to make a difference for the better.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: May 8, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

This program offers a rare opportunity for a diverse group of individuals to come together and openly share their ideas and dreams in an extremely supportive and nurturing environment.

It is basically a camp for adults, where the focus is on social change and personal passions, and during which a random group of socially like-minded individuals inevitably form very tight-knit relationships through a range of discussions, learning activities, excursions and everyday living experiences.

For me, this program far surpassed my expectations. I went into it thinking that I was going to learn some of the extra skills I needed to help transform my ideas/beliefs/hopes into a concrete and viable project. Instead, the program was far more focussed on networking: identifying the holes in my own skill-set then finding other individuals/groups etc to support me across these areas. (Which is SO much more effective!!) It is important to be aware though, that in this short time there isn't much chance to really enhance your skill-set. The program is more about identifying what you need and making plans for realising these needs once you leave the program.

I came to the program with a very clear picture of what I wanted to achieve (to help establish a school in Liberia). 'Be the Change' was invaluable in helping me to refine my plans through constructive criticism, networking and informative presentations across a range of areas, including marketing, fundraising and the use of social media.

The facilitators were outstanding- friendly, passionate, intelligent and inspiring individuals who openly relished the opportunity to meet and work with every single participant on developing their personal areas of interest and passion. It was impossible not to feel caught up in the supportive and euphoric atmosphere of 'being the change', however the support offered was both concrete and realistic.

It was an inspiring and unforgettable experience made all the richer by the combination of facilitators, guest speakers and fellow participants.

I think this program is ideal for people who want to make a difference in the world, but who feel overwhelmed by their ideas and feel ill-equipped to turn their dreams into reality. You do however need to be highly motivated and committed to making your change. The team at GVN are great on-going supports to turn to with questions as you move on with your ideas, but ultimately you must have the drive and determination to keep chipping away at your goals once you return home.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: May 8, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

I participated in the Be The Change program in Taupo, New Zealand in 2009 and it was a life changing experience.

The program is set up to empower those who want to make a difference in the world by giving them the tools and confidence to step out of their comfort zone and take action.

You come out of this experience knowing that one person can promote change and the GVN team is there to help you with your ideas and any obstacles you might encounter. Or, if you don't come with a specific goal in mind, they help you discover your passion and guide you as you explore possibilities.

The participants in our group came from more than 8 different countries and we became a family during the week. We not only learned together, we laughed and cried together (and especially inspired each other).

Throughout the week we learned the basics of what it takes to get your project off the ground, and how to advertise/promote your ideas using social media. We also had time for fun as we explored the local culture.

I left the workshop, not only inspired to "Be the Change" but as a changed person with friends from all corners of the world.

Since 2009, I have participated in Distribution Trips in Kenya (2011) and Peru (2012) and both experiences were equally rewarding.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: New Zealand
Posted: May 7, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

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