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How Much Does It Cost To Volunteer Abroad?

How much does it cost to volunteer abroad?

At IVHQ, we’re committed to providing affordable and transparent volunteer fees and we understand that many of our volunteers are on a tight budget - this is a key factor that sets us apart from other volunteer travel providers.

While our volunteers know we’re the most affordable and trusted provider, they also want to know what additional costs they need to budget for when volunteering abroad. The truth is that these additional costs are no different from what you would usually need to budget for when traveling overseas.

Even though IVHQ’s volunteer abroad programs are fully-hosted experiences that include accommodation, meals, airport pickup, 24/7 in-country support and much more, our Program Fees start at just $180 for 1 week. Other volunteer abroad providers charge a lot more. IVHQ was founded on a model of affordability and transparency so our volunteers know where their fees are going.

Let’s break down the cost of volunteering abroad with IVHQ for you, so you know exactly what to budget for your trip…

Registration Fee & Program Fee

IVHQers pay two fees to volunteer abroad with us - a Registration Fee and a Program Fee.

You are required to pay a Registration Fee of $299 to secure your place on your chosen IVHQ program. This also unlocks your full MyIVHQ account, giving you access to pre-departure tools, guides and training, as well as dedicated support from your Program Manager. There are three Registration Fee options to choose from, which give you the freedom to choose the level of flexibility that is best suited to your budget and travel plans.

Your Program Fee covers the organization and cost of all your in-country essentials while you’re volunteering abroad. This fee is calculated based on your chosen volunteer project + destination + your chosen duration. Your Program Fee covers your airport pick-up, orientation, meals, accommodation and 24/7 in-country support from the local team.

With IVHQ’s flexible booking policy, you can book your volunteer program with confidence - knowing that you can easily make changes to your booking later, for free.

Visas + entry requirements

Before considering travel visas, make sure your passport does not expire within 6 months beyond the date you plan to depart from your chosen destination. This will avoid any surprise costs involved with last minute passport orders (or getting turned away at the airport because your passport is out of date).

You can use our handy travel tool to check the visa requirements of the country you are planning to travel to, the latest Covid-19 border restrictions and any associated cost for entry. Keep in mind that visa requirements depend on your nationality and if you need any assistance in researching visa costs before applying to volunteer with IVHQ, simply get in touch with our friendly team.

Flights

While you’ve already found the world’s largest range of affordable volunteer programs, finding the best flight deals can require a little further research. The good news is that while flights tend to represent the biggest cost for international volunteers, they also present the biggest opportunity to cut costs if you play your cards right. With years of extensive volunteer travel experience behind us, International Volunteer HQ makes booking flights easy and affordable for our volunteers.

We’ve partnered with one of the world’s leading travel booking sites, StudentUniverse, to offer discounted humanitarian flights to IVHQ volunteers traveling to any of our 50+ program destinations.

With 20+ years of experience, StudentUniverse works with more than 200 global airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Qatar Airways and more to give you exclusive flight discounts that can’t be found anywhere else.

Travel Insurance

Most of the time your volunteer trip abroad will go smoothly, but sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and things go wrong. That’s why travel insurance is compulsory for all IVHQ volunteers.

Volunteering includes a wide range of activities that standard travel insurance or medical insurance policies might not cover, including:

  • Volunteering work abroad (e.g. teaching, childcare, animal care)
  • Emergency medical transport and repatriation
  • Trip cancellation or interruption costs
  • Loss, theft or accidental damage to your bags, tech, travel documents, and gear
  • Adventure excursions (e.g scuba diving, hiking, surfing, bungee jumping)

More than 60% of IVHQ volunteers choose the specialized volunteer travel insurance that we have arranged through World Nomads for their trip. That’s because it’s affordable, customizable and covers everything you need, from 24/7 emergency assistance and trip cancellation to Covid-19 cover for US residents.

Vaccinations

The cost of vaccinations is something all travelers may need to budget for, whether you’re a volunteer, leisure or business traveler. The only vaccination required by law is Yellow Fever for those traveling through infected areas, however travel medicine professionals suggest that you shouldn’t leave without Hepatitis A and B and an updated Typhoid immunization. As soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you’ll gain access to your Program Guide which provides you with a list of recommended vaccinations, customized to the location you are traveling to, and it’s then up to you to visit your travel doctor to discuss which vaccinations you should get using our list as a guide. The costs differ between the type of vaccination and the clinic providing the service, so when calling your local clinic, you will need to enquire about the cost of booking an appointment with the travel doctor, as well as the cost of the vaccinations that have been recommended to you (keeping in mind that some may require boosters).

Background Check

It’s mandatory for all volunteers to present a criminal background check to IVHQ before beginning an IVHQ volunteer program. The cost of obtaining a background check can vary depending on your country of origin and most volunteers pay between US$20 and US$80 for a check.

Spending Money

IVHQ provides weekly budget recommendations for you to consider on top of your Program Fee - the costs you should be budgeting for vary depending on your chosen program and can include transport, drinking water and snacks/additional meals. The important thing to remember is that every IVHQ program is unique and while you won’t need to budget for some costs in one country, you may need to factor these costs in for another. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions around budgeting for your program, as we’ll be more than happy to help! It’s equally important to keep some budget set aside for your weekend travel opportunities. Many IVHQ programs offer incredible add-on opportunities to make the most of your free time - your dedicated Program Manager can guide you on the different options and costs as well as adding these to your itinerary so you can tick these off your Bucket List.

To see where in the world you can volunteer abroad affordably with IVHQ, see our range of volunteer programs.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!