International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.3 / 10 after 257 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 & DharamsalaItaly, Kenya - Nairobi & Maasai, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, ThailandRomania, Uganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.

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I spent 6 weeks volunteering in China, working 2 weeks in a disability centre in Xi’an and the other 4, teaching in the city of Weinan.

David Zhou runs the program in China and I cannot stress enough how great he is as a program leader. Even before I arrived in China, David was always on hand to answer any questions or concerns that I had. This did not stop once I arrived either. Whether helping other volunteers to arrange post placement travel plans, recommending food to try, or helping us when we got lost, he always had time. As did his family. If you’re fortunate enough to stay at the home base in Xi’an, like I did for the first two weeks of my placement and every weekend thereafter, you’ll be welcomed with open arms from David and his family.

As you are pretty much given free reign in the placements, it can be difficult to know what to teach, what to include in lessons and how to get everyone involved. Whatever programme you opt for however, the support you will receive from the people around you is second to none, provided you’re not afraid to ask for help or guidance. The kids I worked with were extremely curious and sometimes a little shy, but all of them loved playing games and having fun. It was often a case of trial and error, but the kids enthusiasm and excitement at having you there definitely made teaching one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

It’s also quite difficult to sum up just how good the food in China is. Whether eating in the Muslim Quarter or dining at Jim’s (Ask David to take you), China knows how to turn ordinary food into something that’s unforgettable. It can however, take some getting used to. Food in the homestay is basic but lovely, and for the best Chinese dumplings in the whole of China, you need not leave the homestay.

All in all, I would certainly recommend the IVHQ China programme. It could be one of the most rewarding things you ever do!

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Location:
Posted: January 24, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Amy07
Age:
24

The four months that I spent volunteering in Madagascar through IVHQ were awesome. Coming into the program, my intention was to split my time equally between the Forest and Teaching projects. However in the end, I spent most of my time on the Community project (teaching and construction) for two reasons: 1) there was a constant need for more teachers and 2) I really loved the project. As a teacher, you get to spend a good amount of time off camp, which is nice because it allows you to get to know the locals and the area really well. The camp itself is beautiful and much better than I expected - especially considering the fact that it's located on an island in a third world country. Yet, its important to point out that there are a few drawbacks that come along with living on an island: 1) if you fall ill, you'll have to catch a 6:30 boat to Hellville and then get a tuk tuk/taxi to the hospital; 2) you have to be very conscious of your water/electricity usage because it comes from a reservoir/solar powered generator; and 3) there is limited access to various things you may need (toiletries, snacks, etc.) Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Madagascar! The staff, volunteers and most importantly the locals made my first volunteer experience incredible. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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Location:
Posted: December 29, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
22

I had one of the best experiences of my life volunteering with IVHQ in Cambodia! The information and help pre-departure from the IVHQ team was extremely helpful and made me feel very comfortable with the decision I had made to volunteer abroad! The team on the ground in Cambodia were so lovely and welcoming! The accommodation was also so nice, as were the meals. I felt like it was exceptional value for money and a very authentic experience! I loved the volunteering experience and was also made to feel very welcome by the Cambodian teachers I worked with. The children were amazing students and made me wish I could stay longer! I made life long friends with fellow IVHQ volunteers and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend volunteering with IVHQ to anyone!

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 6, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:

I had an amazing time in Cambodia, it was my first trip overseas and I was very nervous. Luckily for me the co ordinators were helpful and friendly and I felt completely supported before and during my month volunteering.
What an amazing, eye opening and humbling experience.
Thank you Cambodia and thank you Volunteer IHQ for an incredible, life changing month.

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 6, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
25

I am extremely disappointed in IVHQ. I paid $292 for absolutely nothing! Their website said it's refundable with zero mention of restrictions, etc. I tried to cancel within 48 hours. Buried on a different webpage are the terms that state only refundable if service is more than 60 days out. I complained that at least a high-level general communication of restrictions should be mentioned next to "refundable". Their response was too bad as you already clicked "Accept." It is sleazy especially for an organization that is for a good cause to communicate so poorly and basically scam a college student.

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 21, 2015
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
Age:
22

Comments

Hi Yasmin, we're so sorry that you had to cancel your trip. As discussed with you, we have offered you a fee credit so if you decide to re-book at anytime within the next 12 months, you can do so free of charge. All volunteers agree to our Terms and Conditions when they apply and these provide information about our refunds policy, however we appreciate your feedback and will have a look at how we can make that aspect of the Terms more obvious. Thanks, and all the best!

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