- How do I know that IVHQ is a legitimate international volunteer placement organization?
- Why volunteer with IVHQ?
- Why volunteer abroad?
- Why pay to volunteer?
- Why are the IVHQ fees so much more affordable than other volunteering organizations?
- How do I volunteer with IVHQ?
- Can we volunteer as a group?
- Can I volunteer with a friend or partner?
- I have a child who is under 18 and wishes to volunteer. Can they?
- Do I need specific skills or qualifications to volunteer?
- Can I donate money through IVHQ to developing countries?
- Can people from outside of New Zealand volunteer with IVHQ?
- Which countries do volunteers come from?
- Will I be working with other volunteers?
- Is travel insurance included in the program costs?
- How far in advance should I apply and register?
- Do I require a visa to travel to the host country I wish to volunteer in?
- Will IVHQ provide a reference or act as a referee for me once I finish volunteering?
- What are the accommodation and meals like?
- What vaccinations will I require?
- Do I need to be able to speak the local language?
- Can IVHQ help with fundraising?
- Can I take time out from volunteering to go sightseeing?
How do I know that IVHQ is a legitimate international volunteer placement organization?
International Volunteer HQ is a registered New Zealand organization and our incorporation number is 1936998. We are also registered and verified by a number of international volunteer travel portals. Furthermore we also have the IVHQ Facebook Group, that has thousands of past, present and future volunteers that you can network with, as well as the IVHQ Facebook Page. If you wish to talk to a staff member from IVHQ feel free to ring us anytime on +64 (0) 67587949 or email us and we will call you. If you wish to travel and visit us, you can as well.
Why volunteer with IVHQ?
IVHQ was set up to provide affordable, high quality and flexible volunteering projects for people wishing to volunteer abroad. The organization is built on ten strong foundations that we try to provide every volunteer with – AFFORDABILITY, FLEXIBILITY, QUALITY, SUPPORT, SAFETY, FRIENDSHIP, NEED, LOYALTY, EXPERIENCE and ENJOYMENT. Click here to read more about why you should volunteer with IVHQ!
Volunteering is based on the concept of giving through the donation of your time, your skills, your energy and often just simply your presence to help others in need. However, while volunteers have a tremendous effect on the people they work with, you will very rarely find a volunteer who feels they have given more than they have received. The lessons and benefits that a volunteer receives while volunteering are endless and can include increased self-confidence and social awareness, development of life skills, personal growth, friendship and building of independence. Furthermore, volunteering can help to enhance career prospects. Not only do volunteers increase their skill base, work experience and international contacts through volunteering, employees often look favorably upon those that are willing to go outside of their comfort zone and give up their time to assist others.
As a volunteer you are giving up your time and your skills to help those in need, therefore many people fail to see why they should also have to pay to volunteer. The program fees you pay go directly to an organization in the country you will be volunteering in and are used to pay for expenses associated with your stay such as food, accommodation, airport pickups, orientation and staff salaries to ensure your volunteering stay in the host country goes as smoothly as possible. All our partner organizations are funded almost entirely by volunteer fees and therefore in order for the program to continue it is imperative we charge volunteers for their board, meals and airport pickups. While in the perfect world, these costs would be funded by a large NGO such as UNICEF, every organization has priorities and cannot be everywhere at once. To see exactly what you receive for your fees click here.
Yes. International Volunteer HQ accepts group booking and can even organise special projects and discount rates, please email us to find out more about a specific country. You can read more about IVHQ group volunteering trips on our special group volunteering page.
Yes. International Volunteer HQ can ensure you are placed in the same accommodation and project as a friend or partner. All we ask is that when you apply you make a note on the application form with your friend's name stating you wish to be placed together.
If a person is under 18 and wishes to volunteer abroad by themselves then the short answer is no. However, if they are volunteering as part of a group (with adult minders) or with a family, guardian or parent/caregiver (18 or over) then this is fine. All we ask is that when they apply they note on their form the name of the person they are volunteering with (and their minder also does this on their form), so we can ensure they are placed together and our staff also know they are eligible to volunteer on our program.
Generally the only requirement for volunteers is to be fluent in English. However, in most of the medical and health placements, volunteers must be qualified or training in a relevant medical field (documentation be presented to partner organization on arrival in host country).
IVHQ is focused solely on providing the most affordable, quality and flexible volunteering opportunities available and therefore we try to stay away from playing the role of intermediary in donations. If you are about to volunteer you will find many worthy causes when you arrive in your host country that you can donate the money to directly. If you are not volunteering a very worthwhile charitable organization that always needs more funding is KCC School in Kenya. Donate directly to them by clicking on the link to their website.
Yes, although IVHQ is based in New Zealand, we are an international volunteer placement organization and therefore accommodate people from all nationalities. 99% of our volunteer travelers come from outside New Zealand.
Volunteers come from a variety of countries (we have between 3000 and 6000 volunteers annually) but we find the majority come from countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Ireland, France and Japan.
Some of our programs are flexible and if you wish to be placed by yourself you can, however in most cases you will be working and living with other volunteers.
In order to keep costs as low as possible for the volunteer we do not include travel insurance in our fees as we have found that generally volunteers can acquire it cheaper by getting it privately. Travel insurance is compulsory to volunteer abroad on an IVHQ volunteer program. While IVHQ does everything it can to ensure your trip abroad, goes smoothly and is a fantastic, memorable experience, it is very wise to ensure you have adequate travel insurance should you fall sick, bags go missing or something is stolen.
International Volunteer HQ has therefore partnered with World Nomads travel insurance to ensure volunteers have access to the best insurance deals designed specifically with volunteer travelers in mind. World Nomads are recommended by highly regarded travel experts Lonely Planet and are underwritten by insurance giants Allianz, IHI, BCS Insurance Group, BUPA, Mondial Assistance and Millstream. This insurance covers medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, personal belongings and personal liability. World Nomads quotes are extremely competitive and they are one of the only insurance companies that allow travelers to claim whilst travelling or extend their policy if they decide to stay longer. To get more information (and an easy no obligation free quote) on travel insurance with our recommended partner - click here.
We do not have a deadline for applications and registrations but our advice is to apply and register as soon as you have your dates set. This allows you to be linked up to an IVHQ program coordinator who will help you prepare for your trip abroad. Your program coordinator will initially send you a MASSIVE information booklet (normally around 55 pages long) and also put you in contact with our local in country staff. They are also on hand to get extra information from you that we require and answer any questions you may have before your departure. By applying and registering early, you also ensure you do not miss out on a spot. Placements are limited and due to our super low prices, in busy times our programs do reach capacity and potential volunteers have to be turned away.
Every situation is different and depends on the country you are travelling to and your home nationality, however in the large majority of cases you will have to get some type of visa. More information is provided on this when you sign up to our program.
Yes, your IVHQ volunteer travel consultant will provide you with a reference on completion of your volunteering stint. Furthermore, they are usually more than happy to act as a referee after consultation with our partner organization in your host country.
These vary from country to country. For more information on this click on the specific country you wish to volunteer in from the programs page.
Generally the only vaccination REQUIRED is Yellow Fever when you volunteer in Africa, however we will send you a list of recommended immunizations when you sign up to your particular program.
The answer to this varies from country to country but for the most part is no. Only on some of our Latin American programs do you require some Spanish or Portuguese (at varying levels for different programs). For all other programs, the only language you require is English. In a lot of cases our partner organization will provide you with a basic language course to assist you in your day to day activities and you will pick up a lot of phrases and terms over your volunteering period. It is always great to be able to converse in the local language!
Yes. IVHQ has an exclusive partnership with a fundraising company which allows IVHQ volunteers access to professional fundraising services, if volunteers need assistance raising the money for their trip. Click here to start fundraising for your volunteer trip abroad! We also have the IVHQ A - Z of Fundraising which you can request from your program coordinator, free of charge. Furthermore, we can also provide you with a verification letter that verifies you are volunteering and gives potential donors some information about what you are doing to help you raise money.
Yes! We believe it is extremely important to "soak up" as much of a country as you can while you are there. Volunteer travellers will often spend thousands of dollars on their airfares and while we believe our trips are the most authentic way to experience a country (living and working with local people), tourist activities and in country travel will only enhance your experience. Our partner organizations are very flexible and often encourage you to take time out from volunteer work to travel and explore your host country. Our partner organizations also have partner tourist organizations and contacts to make this easier for you.
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