International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.3 / 10 after 268 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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Let me start by saying that I saved money for all my years at university to volunteer and it was all for nothing. Don't use your hard earned savings on this company! I have volunteered with another company and it was so much better!

I have lived in rural areas with very basic living and limited resources such as no electricity and have washed and bathed in rivers many times. I am not a newcomer to living like this, I am not a girly girl and I actually enjoy this natural pure simple kind of living very much.

Now, during all of these programs there were instances where I felt unsafe. Unsafe for my wellbeing and unsafe for my belongings.

In Guatemala I was followed by a man for a period of time (not exactly sure how long but he had some info on me) and he confronted me and would not let me leave for about an hour while he cornered me. I am not stupid and tried several techniques to leave. He made me very uncomfortable, asked me to go on dates with him several times and kissed my neck to my disgust. I shot him down at every point as well! Get the hint! While I and some friends walked in the streets we were verbally attacked by several people calling us 'fucking gringos' -telling us to return home. It should be noted I left Guate earlier than expected and changed to go to Costa which was not my original plan ( that's how bad it was, I don't even want to get started on the unsafe and unsanitary work environment).

I love Costa Rica and I hope to one day live there, I really do. I love the people, I love the heat PURA VIDA! On this program I had done a similar volunteer before close by. I enjoyed the program until the leading lady returned and that's where everything changed including the atmosphere and the way leaders behaved. She was the devil and I wasn't even introduced! I received a really bad concussion during my time there and she refused to show sympathy or take note of this. I continued patrol and work with headaches, blurred vision and confused speech until I contacted the head office to relay my unhappiness. I wanted to work but sometimes I wasn't feeling well obviously. Also during this time I missed a patrol, the leading lady was very upset with this and destroyed me publically during lunch, laughing in my face and threatening me that I will have to do more work.

Then came Peru. The best way to describe this is shithole. The man in our homestay smoked weed with volunteers and everyone was casual with drugs. I went to the jungle in buttfuck nowhere, 6 to 11 hours from anything. (6-11 hours because of possible and probable landslides and rain and mud and animals and breakdowns etc). Let it be know that the drive to the jungle can kill you, I feared for my life in all honesty. I'm serious. Once in the jungle I learnt that we had no leader. Our previous leader was just fired for inappropriate sexual behavior towards volunteers. I was in the jungle with a bunch of city kids and no leader. This guy's girlfriend was our chef who refused to show up sometimes as she was mad at volunteers for 'seducing' her boyfriend. The walks were dangerous, the bugs were worse, the shelter was open, the river where we bathed and washed our clothes was raging and there was no one of any competence to speak of. I was sick physically for real and sick of the situation. I left after two weeks. On my arrival back to the city no one seemed interested to transfer me or speak about my experience. I was later sexually assaulted and then robbed in two different incidents. I booked my flight back to my home country the second I had access to internet. Did I mention my phone got fucked ON THE WAY to the jungle and I had no phone for 3 weeks (not that it helps in the buttfuck jungle because there is no signal but still).

In conclusion I would like to say my experience in Costa was by far the best. I would go back and hopefully the leading lady has calmed down. The experience is a good one and the people are awesome. Maybe with a different company though.

Program:
Posted: December 8, 2016
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
5
By: ladynomad
Age:
23
Program:
Location:
Posted: December 1, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:

So the first I can say is that always apply for more weeks than the ones you real want to do. I will explain now what I am saying.
If you want meet a new culture, new realities and find out more of what our world has to give us you can definitely found that in India with IVHQ.
I applied for 2 months, I am leaving tomorrow and it looks like I was here 2 weeks. It was the best experience I have had in my life so far.
If you apply for India be ready, it will be an adventure. Nobody is prepared to come to India until you come but believe me, after this you are ready for everything (and you will never want to leave)!
So the program starts always on a Monday but I would advise you to arrive Saturday night or Sunday morning, don't worry that will always be someone to pick you up at the airport.
I stayed in a girls orphanage and it's incredible to live in the orphanage and learn girls habits and listen to their stories. It's a safe place with girls from 4 to 20-24 years and it's a unique experience.
My other month was about teaching in a slum school.You go to the school and you can choose the class you want to teach and what you want to teach, the students are incredible and will invite you for cricket! I stayed with THE BEST indian family you can have (so ask to stay at Mohit's and Chandni's house)!!
Apply to IVHQ India Delhi program, it will change your life forever!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 26, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
19

So the first I can say is that always apply for more weeks than the ones you real want to do. I will explain now what I am saying.
If you want meet a new culture, new realities and find out more of what our world has to give us you can definitely found that in India with IVHQ.
I applied for 2 months, I am leaving tomorrow and it looks like I was here 2 weeks. It was the best experience I have had in my life so far.
If you apply for India be ready, it will be an adventure. Nobody is prepared to come to India until you come but believe me, after this you are ready for everything (and you will never want to leave)!
So the program starts always on a Monday but I would advise you to arrive Saturday night or Sunday morning, don't worry that will always be someone to pick you up at the airport.
I stayed in a girls orphanage and it's incredible to live in the orphanage and learn girls habits and listen to their stories. It's a safe place with girls from 4 to 20-24 years and it's a unique experience.
My other month was about teaching in a slum school.You go to the school and you can choose the class you want to teach and what you want to teach, the students are incredible and will invite you for cricket! I stayed with THE BEST indian family you can have (so ask to stay at Mohit's and Chandni's house)!!
Apply to IVHQ India Delhi program, it will change your life forever!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 26, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
19

I spent 6 weeks volunteering with the Slum Teaching program in India and it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. From the beginning to the very end you are supported and looked after. I was so nervous arriving in India alone but once I was met by the IVHQ staff at the airport all my worries disappeared. Definitely do the week long orientation, you get to see so much of India plus you will establish life long friendships with the other volunteers during this week. It also helps you to immerse yourself in the Indian culture so you won't be faced with culture shock once you start volunteering! The Hindi language lessons are fun and you'll learn the basics to make communication a little easier with the kids.
The kids at the school are so amazing! They are kind, caring, funny and sweet and despite not having much they always have a smile on their faces. They are eager to learn and it is so rewarding working with them. They will probably teach you as much as you will teach them!
A great feature of this program is having your afternoons and weekends to explore India. I did trips away every weekend and managed to see so much of this beautiful country in my spare time.
The host family you stay with are so welcoming and will help you with anything you need- directions, advice, translating, booking weekends away, nothing is too much for them. You really feel like part of the family and now I have a second home in India.
This really is a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend this program to anyone wanting to make a difference while being fully immersed in the Indian culture. Come with an open mind and treasure every moment!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 11, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Charmaine
Age:
28

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