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.
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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
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, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, India - Delhi & Dharamsala, Italy, Kenya - Nairobi & Maasai, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Romania, Uganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.
There is a typhoid in the camp by Nosy Be. The staff did nothing about it. The toilets and showers were disgusting. The staff were indifferent to the health risks that they subjected their volunteers to. The head office in New Zealand after showing initial concern denied the outbreak of typhoid in the camp and refused to communicate any further. I strongly recommend that no one risks booking any volunteering trip with this company.
This program was everything I could've hoped for and more. My only regret is that I could not stay longer. The home was in an authentic area south of Delhi, within a short walk to our placement and the metro station. Everything was so smooth and convenient, I really think it was worth every penny. While it always seems counter intuitive to pay to volunteer, the service and convenience you get with this program, combined with the awesome experience, make this so worth it. The school was awesome. The kids were so sweet, they got us all gifts on our last day. Very touching and a truly memorable experience. So glad I got to take part in this. Great host family, I always felt welcome and it felt like my home. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
IVHQ is a great program, especially the New Delhi program. The program was highly recommended by a friend of mine who did their placement in Peru. I lived with an awesome families while i was volunteering, like many of my other fellow friends who volunteered in the Delhi program. The food was amazing (Chandni is an amazing cook), they took in consideration what people liked and disliked, as well as, switching up the menu items quite frequently. My family did everything they could to make me feel comfortable from tinkering with the air conditions to even trying to fix my laptop! They would even go out of there way to pick us up late at night when we couldn't get a taxi. I honestly felt a part of the family. The actually program itself is well structured and when problems do arise the program director and staff are very willing to help you have the best time volunteering as possible! I have only positives to say about the program.
My volunteer experience was better than I could have ever anticipated. IVHQ works with you from beginning to end to ensure that you are not only prepared but happy, comfortable, and adapting well in country. Before my departure, the main staff were always eager to answer my questions to their fullest capability and ease my nerves. Once I landed in India, the staff was waiting for me at the airport to take me to the volunteer house for orientation. Every person and host i encountered was friendly and welcoming. It made the culture shock bearable and the new experiences exciting!
You are constantly in touch with IVHQ staff. By the time I went to my home stay I was already well connected with the staff and they continued to stop by every project twice a week. You always have someone to ask questions to, to help with any problems, or simply to feel connected and not alone in a new place.
Besides their mentoring, everything about my placement and experience was just simply fantastic. I taught a school where I fell in love with the kids, was constantly welcomed with open arms by the other teachers, and met so many different people from different places.
If anybody wants to volunteer overseas IVHQ is the absolute best option and best deal for your money! It's the cheapest and most amazing program out there. :)
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