As IVHQ’s Groups Manager, I often get asked to talk about the benefits of volunteering abroad as a groupand how IVHQ makes it easy to arrange and manage an international group trip.
I’ll typically share the many benefits, including building skills, improving teamwork, exploring a study area and gaining fieldwork experience, and I’ll emphasize that IVHQ is perfectly placed to create customized itineraries for groups that are also meaningful and make long term contributions to community projects abroad.
Group volunteer travel shouldn’t be considered daunting, or too difficult to organize for large groups - at IVHQ we aim to make this process as smooth as possible.
Keep reading to discover the top 5 ways that IVHQ makes volunteering abroad as group easy.
We can customize a program just for you
While IVHQ already offers plenty of destinations and projects to choose from, sometimes you can’t quite find the perfect fit without a few small tweaks. For example, your group may want to volunteer in Romania, but you only have 1 week between semesters and the standard dates available don’t work with your schedule. 1 week programs and alternate start date options are offered exclusively to IVHQ groups of 10 or more students, which really opens up your options!
We can make your trip affordable
IVHQ is big on affordability and we strive to offer fair and transparent fees. For groups traveling with IVHQ, we are able to arrange additional tours, cultural activities and airport drop-offs at discounted rates. As we are aware of your group size in advance, we’ll work with our local team to find great tour deals so that you can secure these activities prior to departure. All costs are clearly broken down for you, so you know exactly where your money is going.
We’ll make sure your trip is hassle-free
Do certain members of your group want to do different projects, yet still be accommodated together in the evenings? No problem! Take the IVHQ Spain program as an example, your group members could be split between Teaching, After School Support and Special Needs Support, so you can all take part in a project that interests you during the day, and then in the evenings, you can all be accommodated together in the central hostel. There is no need to miss out on the project you want just because you’re traveling in a group.
We can orgainze team based projects
As cheesy as it sounds, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. How great would it be to assist in a food rescue project in Lisbon, Portugal with a bunch of friends or colleagues? On this project, you work as a collective unit to collect unused food from local restaurants and cafes, and then redistribute it to those in need. This is also an evening project, meaning you have plenty of time during the day for language lessons, online university classes from back home or exploring the city.
We can even work with youth groups
If you are under 18 years of age, yet still want to volunteer as part of a group, this is certainly possible. As long as someone in your group is 18 years or older and is willing to take responsibility for you while abroad, you can be considered for volunteering abroad as part of a group. We have supported many high school and youth volunteer groups to join our programs and we believe the opportunity should be available to all future IVHQers, regardless of what stage in life they’re in.
Learn more about volunteering as a group or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
_ - Kirsty Jamieson, IVHQ Groups Manager _