A year or so ago, I spent a lot of time researching different volunteer abroad organizations and came across International Volunteer HQ. The founder of IVHQ, Dan Radcliffe (not Harry Potter Dan Radcliffe, even though it would have been awesome if it had been him), was someone who didn’t entirely know what he wanted to do with his life and spent some time in Kenya volunteering. After his volunteer experience he realized how much it cost him to volunteer abroad, and started coming up with an organization that allowed people to volunteer abroad at an affordable rate. IVHQ was officially launched on July 26, 2007, and now has volunteer programs in 30 countries throughout the world. These programs range from childcare, teaching, medical and health, environmental/conservation, wildlife/animal care, construction and renovation, sports, special needs care, and quiet a few others.
Merida, Mexico – Environmental Research
Fiji – Sports Education
Bali, Indonesia – Turtle Conservation
Your payment costs for the volunteer programs covers housing, food, and airport pick-up. Some of the programs have extra costs, for example the construction program has an added fee each week of your stay to pay for supervision and supplies on the project. There is a registration fee on top of the program fee, but the daily average of the registration fee and the program fee is around $50 a day for a two-week stay (depending on the location). This is pretty cheap considering it covers all your meals and rooming, and the daily average cost goes down even more depending on the length of your stay. Some countries are more expensive to volunteer in than others, but even these programs are not too badly priced and would probably cost about the same if not less if you were to vacation there on your own.
Each program also has an orientation, where you learn some basic language skills, some countries have local cooking classes, art classes, etc. to give you a feel for that culture, and there are also group excursions to local areas in the city you’re volunteering in. During the volunteer placement, you work during the day and have nights and weekends off to explore and be touristy.
I’m super excited for all of the countries I am going to be volunteering in and can’t wait to find out even more information on what my job placements will be at the program dates get closer!
*All photos are from International Volunteer HQ