If you’re a first-time international volunteer, knowing how to volunteer abroad can be a tad overwhelming - we know, we’ve been there! The good news is, International Volunteer HQ takes the overwhelmingness out of the equation.
At IVHQ, we simplify the process of volunteering abroad and support you every step of the way. And we make it affordable too. That’s why thousands of volunteers choose to volunteer abroad with IVHQ every year. So how do you volunteer abroad with IVHQ? Here are five simple steps to set you in the right direction…
1. Choose a Project and Destination
IVHQ makes it simple to customize a volunteer program that works for you, while allowing you to make a valuable contribution to community projects in need of volunteer assistance. Aligning your skills and work experience with an area that you’re passionate about supporting will help you to determine which destinations will be the best fit for you. With IVHQ, you have the opportunity to choose from a diverse range of projects, including Teaching, Community Development, NGO Support, Healthcare, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Sports Development, Turtle Conservation and Wildlife Conservation - see the full range of volunteer opportunities here. If you’re stuck and need some support in choosing a project, take our Which volunteer project are you best suited to? quiz for inspiraton. Once you have a project in mind, you can begin narrowing down your destination options based on the type of projects available in each destination.
2. Choose a Date and Duration
We understand that not everyone has the opportunity to break from work or study for months on end, and our programs have been developed to allow volunteers to contribute to important community-driven projects for periods ranging from 1 week to 6 months. When considering when you can start a program, make sure you allow enough time to obtain a criminal background check (mandatory for all IVHQ volunteers), visas and vaccinations (where relevant).
Once you have decided on a project and destination, and confirmed your travel dates, you’re ready to apply - all you need is 5 minutes and internet access. Complete your online application form here and within 48 hours of submitting an application, your IVHQ Program Manager will be in touch to acknowledge your application and explain the next steps for becoming a registered IVHQ volunteer. We recommend applying at least 3 months in advance to allow adequate time for preparation and to ensure you don’t miss out on a spot on your chosen program.
When considering how to volunteer abroad, ensuring you are well prepared is one of the most important steps. To begin the preparation process, make sure you’ve confirmed you spot on an IVHQ program by paying your registration fee. You’ll then be granted access to our interactive preparation tools within your MyIVHQ account, which includes our interactive volunteer training modules. Each module provides a series of interactive scenarios designed to build an understanding of important aspects of volunteering that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. Your Program Manager will also be available to offer ongoing support and answer any questions that pop up during the preparation process. Be prepared to work hard, to learn, and make a valuable contribution while embracing a new country and culture.
Now it’s time to set off on your IVHQ adventure with the confidence that you’ll be greeted at the airport by a friendly member of IVHQ’s local team. You’ll then be transported to your accommodation, where you’ll be living alongside a group of other international volunteers (who will soon become your weekend travel buddies). Don’t forget to phone home to let them know you’ve arrived safely and get ready to settle in to a new community and culture. Our local team will take you through a program orientation and introduce you to your volunteering placement - they’re committed to ensuring you are well supported throughout your volunteer program. Enjoy!
If you have any questions about how to volunteer with International Volunteer HQ, you can contact the team here.