Summer Volunteer Abroad Programs
The summer break provides the perfect opportunity to explore and enrich this enticing world we live in. Instead of soaking up the sun rays at home this summer, have you considered one of IVHQ’s summer volunteer abroad programs? These programs allow you to contribute to important social and environmental projects during the week, and hit the beach in destinations like Fiji, Brazil, Bali and Colombia during your weekends! Get out there and utilize summer the best way possible, as a volunteer abroad.
So, where should you volunteer abroad next summer? Here are our team’s top 5 summer volunteer abroad recommendations:
Madagascar is one of those countries that really excites me when I hear it mentioned. Not only is it the fourth largest country in the world, it is full of weird and wonderful creatures that are endemic to Madagascar. The biggest selling point for me is that there is the opportunity to volunteer on a marine conservation program. Diving is one of my favorite summer activities and being there you are able to dive in the crystal clear water off the coast of Nosy Komba. Imagine after a satisfying day of volunteering, being able to perch yourself in a hammock overlooking the Mozambique Channel in the setting sun.
I spent my trip working in the Marine conservation program and it was such an experience. The staff is so helpful and work so hard to make sure every volunteer has the best experience in Madagascar. One of my favorite things was falling asleep listening to the ocean. So peaceful and calming. Katherine Krouse, 21 (IVHQ Volunteer in Madagascar)
Spanish flair mixed with long white sand beaches. Cartagena provides a true summer experience to travelers and volunteers. The sun provides the heat while the breeze provides the comfort to allow you to be fine walking along the street, teaching the children or swim in the Caribbean. The volunteer house is only 10 minutes from the beach to allow volunteers ample opportunity to make the most of the summer life style. This life style continues into the wee hours of the morning where the Spanish flair comes into its own, with dancing on the street with music provided by local artist dotted on every corner.
Teaching English to pregnant teens and teen mothers was especially life changing. Building relationships with and teaching these young women was empowering for me and them. There are many opportunities in Cartagena for volunteering. It is a beautiful city with much to enjoy but also has a lot of areas where help is needed. This combination creates an awesome place to spend time and visit but also volunteer Leslie Polster, 23 (IVHQ Volunteer in Colombia Cartagena)
Putting Morocco in my ‘Top 5’ is my summer volunteer program curve ball. While there are plenty of reasons to visit Morocco, from beaches lining both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts to the High Atlas Mountains, my reason for choosing Morocco in summer is the IVHQ Ramadan project. In the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims worldwide observe this month of fasting from dawn until sunset. Traveling abroad for me is all about embracing new experiences and Ramadan is a religious festival that is right up my alley. If you are looking for a program where you can really immerse yourself in a program, this one is for you.
The Ramadan Program was an unbelievable experience. It gave me a chance to learn a lot about a culture I thought I knew about, but now I realize how much more I learned having spent time in Morocco. Although being there during Ramadan was not easy, I recommend it to anyone. I feel like I did not only volunteer, but that in a way I became Moroccan for two weeks. Volunteering was incredible. Clara Simon, 19 (IVHQ Volunteer in Morocco)
Summer doesn’t need to be all about golden beaches and being by the sea. When the temperatures increase, I often like to do the same with my elevation and head into the mountains. Dharamsala is at an average elevation of 1457m, nestled in the Kangra valley it offers expansive views of the Himalayas. Slop on the sunscreen, slap on the hat and head to one of the many trekking options that Dharamsala is famous for.
Teaching in Bir was an amazing experience. The children were friendly and eager to learn. The scenery and people in Bir are incredible. The other optional activities are Yoga in the afternoon (highly recommend) and English conversation at night. The English conversation is where some of the older monks come to practice one on one English with you. You probably learn more from them than they do from us, but I think it’s beneficial for both parties. Christopher Rhodes, 26 (IVHQ Volunteer in India Dharamsala)
Bula! I am on Fiji time. ‘Fiji time’ is a cliché for good reason in Fiji. The people of Fiji live and treat life in a relaxed manner, with nothing ever being worthwhile to stress about. It is an archipelago of islands that boasts some of the best beaches in the world, balmy water, top surf breaks, however the real reason that Fiji rounds out my top 5 is the people. Without a doubt, Fijians win the world’s friendliest people on Earth award hands down. Fiji is really the perfect summer abroad getaway.
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