Are you planning a service trip abroad for 2023 or 2024? To make your planning easier, we’ve created this helpful guide with International Volunteer HQ’s top 7 service trip programs abroad!
What is a volunteer service trip?
A volunteer service trip abroad with IVHQ enables you to make meaningful contributions to community projects in the areas of education, healthcare, construction, childcare, community development, conservation, social enterprise, volunteering with animals, wildlife conservation and more.
Service trips are purpose-driven experiences that enable you to grow as a person while making a genuine difference with your travel. IVHQ trips are built around visiting a community to devote a dedciated period of time to a specific cause. These experiences are brought to life by the unforgettable moments that come from meaningful volunteer work, cultural exchange and service learning. By immersing yourself in another culture and getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll inevitably change your world view and help make an impact on worthy communities.
Top 7 Volunteer Service Trips for 2023 & 2024
- Africa - South Africa, Ghana & Kenya
- India - New Delhi Medical & Healthcare Volunteer Programs
- Italy - Rome NGO & Community Outreach Volunteer Program
- Guatemala - Sea Turtle Conservation & Sustainable Eco Agriculture
- Argentina - Beunos Aires Childcare & Community Development Volunteer Programs
- Romania - Teaching Volunteer Program
- Peru - Cusco Healthcare Volunteer Program
If you want to take a gap year, you should really consider volunteering abroad. It is such a rewarding feeling when you can make a difference while travelling the world. - IVHQ volunteer Miguel Lopes van Uden
Why volunteer with IVHQ?
IVHQ is a pioneer of affordable and sustainable volunteer travel. Operating in more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific. IVHQ enables volunteers to make meaningful contributions to community projects in the areas of education, construction and renovation, childcare, conservation, wildlife and animal care, community development and social enterprise.
Since 2007, IVHQ has supported more than 131,000 volunteers to spend over 8 million hours supporting community projects abroad. Before departure, all IVHQ volunteers recieve outstanding support services and guidance from a dedicated program manager.
You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house with like-minded, impact-focused travellers from around the world.
Gap Year Service Trips
If you’re currently in college, planning a gap year, or if you’re a teen thinking about travelling abroad - embarking on a service trip is an adventure that will help a good cause and change the way you see the world.
As an IVHQ volunteer, you’ll be fully immersed in your host community and able to see the benefits of your work through the eyes of locals. It’s an opportunity to take your learning outside of the classroom and gain real world experience in a global setting. Some volunteers are also able to gain course credit towards a qualification through a volunteer trip with IVHQ.
How much do service trips cost?
International Volunteer HQ offers affordable service trips in the form of fully-hosted volunteer abroad programs. Volunteers are able to gain practical experience on a wide range of projects, in more than 50 destinations around the world. You can choose to participate on our service trip programs for durations ranging from 1-24 weeks with affordable volunteer fees from only AU$32 per day including accommodation.
Why should you take a volunteer service trip?
Embarking on a service trip abroad lets you see the difference you can make by providing hands-on support to worthy communities. It provides practical experience in a number of disciplines, such as teaching, construction or providing much needed support for the elderly.
Many lessons are best learnt in practice - that may be using a teaching technique successfully, helping to construct a building or spending one-on-one time helping to care for the elderly. This is precisely why service learning is such a powerful way of absorbing knowledge and gaining experience. It shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for theoretical learning; service learning is an excellent supplement to textbook studies.
For students entering the workforce, there are huge benefits in being able to show practical experience. However, without a chance to get that experience, it can be a trap that’s difficult to escape. By taking service learning opportunities abroad, that important practical experience can be gained to make a résumé stand out from the rest. What’s more, the initiative to go on a service trip abroad shows drive, creativity and a willingness to learn that is attractive to employers.
Some volunteer programs might have pre-requisites that you at a certain level of study. For example, students wanting to go on many medical volunteer projects need to show relevant skills and qualifications in order to be accepted. This helps to ensure suitabiliy and a good fit for the volunteer and the community.
International Volunteer HQ specialises in providing quality Service Trips Abroad. If you are travelling with a group our dedicated groups team can create specialised itineraries and specially tailored group packages.
7 Top Service Trips Abroad for 2023 & 2024
Service trips in Africa IVHQ has been offering service trips in Africa for over 12 years. There are several meaniningful projects in 9 African countries to choose from, including service trips in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya. A service trip to Africa is a meaningful way to contribute to an appreciative community, get out of your comfort zone and explore this vibrant continent.
Medical volunteering in India Based in Delhi, the biggest city in India, volunteers can work in either local hospitals or slum clinics. Both involve working in under-resourced healthcare environments alongside local professionals. Volunteering in local hospitals involves more shadowing and observational duties, while volunteering in slum clinics is more hands-on and fast-paced. Both options provide valuable learning opportunities and first-hand experience working alongside respected physicians. This project is available for medical students at any level, in a range of specialities, including nursing and physical therapy.
NGO Support project in Italy NGOs in Italy operate in a wide range of fields, but all face similar challenges in terms of resources and having enough hands on deck to get things done. Based in Rome, volunteers gain valuable insight into day-to-day life working in an NGO and taking part in campaigns, workshops, marketing and research.
Conservation volunteering in Guatemala Guatemala has two choices available for conservation projects, including Sea Turtle Conservation and a unique Eco-Agriculture Conservation project.
The Sea Turtle Conservation project in Guatemala is an excellent opportunity for volunteers interested in getting stuck in and providing hands-on assistance to help protect the endangered local sea turtle population, build nests and create hatcheries.
The Turtle Conservation project is perfect for those willing to roll up their sleeves to help protect endangered sea turtles and help with nest protection programs. It involves predator protection, building hatcheries, beach cleaning and all manner of duties involved in helping to increase the local turtle population.
The Eco-Agriculture Conservation project places volunteers in either a coffee or macadamia nut farm, assisting local farmers with day-to-day tasks. Farming efforts target sustainable means of production and work varies depending on the time of year. This is a fantastic opportunity to work at the coal face of unique agriculture projects with experienced locals to guide and educate you.
Childcare project in Argentina - Buenos Aires This is an ideal project for those interested in childcare to help where they’re sorely needed. Volunteers are placed in local soup kitchens, working with vulnerable children and providing them a safe place to be during the day. Activities can include sports, arts and crafts and songs. Volunteers also help to provide meals for up to 45 children and teenagers at a time.
Teaching project in Romania Romania provides a well structured teaching environment for volunteers, who are placed in schools helping educate students between six to 16 years-old. You’ll volunteer alongside a local teacher and support English language tuition, as well as provide assistance in other parts of the school curriculum. This offers an authentic teaching experience .
Special Needs Care project in Peru - Cusco Those interested in caring for the elderly or children living with disabilities can provide valuable assistance in the city of Cusco in Peru. Working in care centres, volunteers help with all aspects of personal care for those who need it. This is both rewarding and practical work, providing the opportunity to volunteer in a hands-on capacity in a unique setting among the Peruvian Andes.
How can service trips benefit the community?
Regardless of where in the world you decide to travel, you can rest assured that you will be making a meaningful contribution. When you choose to volunteer abroad with IVHQ you can be sure your efforts are appreciated and you will leave a lasting impact. There are clear benefits that a volunteer service trip provides, for both the community and the volunteer donating their time and effort.
There is a broad variety of important volunteer work available in the communities that IVHQ supports. Volunteers are able to help support the disabled, teach disadvantaged children, assist local farmers in pioneering sustainable agriculture, or help promote wildlife conservation efforts. Some of the work that volunteers provide is often aspirational in nature, which can often be overlooked in the local day-to-day life. Without service trip volunteers to help, this kind of work would simply not be done.
Members of these communities also benefit through cross-cultural exchange. Exposure to different cultures and beliefs helps both volunteers and locals to enhance their appreciation for the world, challenge themselves with a foreign approach to life and have a gain a better appreciation for the way others live.
IVHQ volunteers also help contribute to local communities through volunteer fees. Volunteers pay a program fee which covers food, accommodation, supervision and a pick-up from the airport. This money enables the program to run and goes into the local community to help support community projects.
It’s for reasons like these that IVHQ is a big believer in the power of meaningful travel experiences. Since 2007, IVHQ volunteers have contributed approximately 858 years of volunteer labor abroad and more than US$87 million in Program Fees which have gone directly to local communities. And, more than 131,000 volunteers have become more open-minded, expanded their purpose and uncovered their place in the world through volunteering abroad with IVHQ.
Service Learning for Extra Course Credit
Many of IVHQ’s programs provide experience relevant to a number of majors and career fields. Students on an IVHQ volunteer service program may also obtain additional course credit towards their qualification.
IVHQ’s specialist Campus Support team works directly with colleges and universities to ensure a volunteer’s program is relevant to their study and requirements for service learning course credit are met.
This article shares just a snapshot of the many volunteer trips IVHQ has available to those interested in using service trips as a way of furthering themselves and giving back to a community in need. For more information, search IVHQ projects and find a destination that works for you.