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Top Schoolies Volunteer Programs 2019

Find the best Schoolies Volunteer Programs for 2019

Updated for 2019 Schoolies Trips

There’s simply no better way to celebrate Schoolies and the end of high school than volunteering overseas. You’ll be travelling to exotic countries with endless adventure possibilities, while also giving back to communities that value your support (and giving your CV an extra boost in the eyes of your future employers).

Schoolies doesn’t have to be spent at home in Australia - by seeking out an alternative schoolies trip, you’re able to have a unique overseas experience with like-minded volunteers, making memories to last a lifetime. You’ll be one of hundreds of high school leavers who travel overseas to volunteer with IVHQ during Schoolies each year.

Whether you want to travel solo or with a group of mates, IVHQ provides an affordable and meaningful way to make the most of your Schoolies break.

Here are IVHQ’s top alternative Schoolies volunteer programs for 2019, along with key information including program dates, fees, inclusions and inspiration for awesome weekend adventures…

Alternative Schoolies in Bali

When many people think of Schoolies, they think of the Gold Coast or Byron Bay, but volunteering in Bali for Schoolies gives you the opportunity to upgrade your beach experience and one-up your schoolmates. While you’ll be volunteering in the inland cultural hub of Ubud (or on the island of Nusa Penida if you’re a Turtle Conservation volunteer), there are plenty of opportunities to get in the mix of the white sand beaches and clear waters during your free time.

You’ll find the Balinese people incredibly welcoming and grateful for your support on community-driven projects, whether you’re volunteering in Teaching, Kindergarten, Health Education, Environmental Education, or participating in IVHQ’s popular Construction and Renovation or Turtle Conservation projects. There’s also the option to go beyond the standard one week Schoolies trip and volunteer for up to 12 weeks, ensuring you can make the most of the time you have available.

A IVHQ volunteer teacher in Bali during Schoolies

What you need to know for schoolies in Bali:

  • Start your volunteer program on the 18th or 25th of November or 2nd of December 2019
  • Travel time from Melbourne: 5hrs 59mins, Brisbane: 6hrs 4mins, Sydney: 6hrs 15mins
  • Around 50% of volunteers in Bali during Schoolies are aged between 18 and 20
  • Join a volunteer program for one week or extend your Schoolies break for up to 12 weeks!
  • Program fees start from $460AUD and include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 on-demand support in Bali

What you *have* to do in your free time:

Jump on a speedboat to the island of Lombok, which is well-known among travellers for the remarkable Gili Islands. Spend your weekends on the white sandy beaches of Gili Meno, snorkel with turtles and join a yoga class on Gili Air, and earn your scuba diving licence or party the night away on Gili Trawangan. For those looking for adventure, try tackling the mighty Gunung Rinjani, which towers 3,000 metres into the clouds, luring trekkers to its chilly summit.

Bali weekend adventures for IVHQ volunteers during Schoolies

Alternative Schoolies in Cambodia

Cambodia is a popular destination for volunteer travellers, with really affordable program fees starting from $250AUD per week (for a minimum duration of two weeks). While not a typical Schoolies break destination, here you can contribute to important and rewarding community projects such as Teaching English, Childcare, Medical, Special Needs Care, Computer Support or Working with NGOs, and really achieve something with your end of school celebrations. Make the most of your free time and the adventures at your doorstep, including exploring the world-renowned temples of Angkor Wat.

Volunteer in Cambodia with IVHQ during Schoolies

What you need to know for schoolies in Cambodia:

  • Start your volunteer program on the 18th of November or 2nd of December 2019
  • Travel time from Melbourne: 9hrs 12mins, Brisbane: 9hrs, Sydney: 9hrs 13 mins
  • Around 40% of volunteers during Schoolies are aged between 18 and 20
  • Join a volunteer program for two weeks or extend your Schoolies break for up to 24 weeks!
  • Program fees start from $250AUD and include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 on-demand support in Cambodia

What you *have* to do in your free time:

Take an affordable five hour bus ride from Phnom Penh and find yourself kicking back on the beaches of Sihanoukville, scuba diving in glistening clear waters, feasting on local seafood and getting amongst the vibrant nightlife. Or, take your adventures further by visiting one of the more isolated surrounding islands.

The temples of Siem Reap are also a big draw card for Schoolies volunteers. Journey through this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site to discover dozens of temple ruins, including the magnificent Angkor Wat. If you’re up for an early start, show up at sunrise for the best photo-taking opportunities. Siem Reap also doubles as an ideal base for a weekend - roam through the Old Market, grab a drink down Pub Street or take a boat tour through the Chong Kneas Floating Village.

Exploring Cambodia as an IVHQ volunteer during Schoolies

Alternative Schoolies in Nepal

Nepal is a popular choice for Australian volunteers on Schoolies trips, as you’re able to travel far from home (but not too far) at an affordable price. As a volunteer in Nepal, you’ll be based in one of four locations; either Kathmandu, Chitwan, Chitlang or Pokhara.

Each destination is unique and offers meaningful ways to contribute to Nepalese communities, while there’s a wide range of project options in Teaching English, Childcare, Sustainable Agriculture, Medical Elective, Women’s Education, Special Needs Care and Construction and Renovation. Nepal offers a truly unique overseas Schoolies experience, far from the hustle and bustle, all with a tranquil mountainous back-drop.

Become an IVHQ volunteer in Nepal during Schoolies 2019

What you need to know for Schoolies in Nepal:

  • Start your volunteer program on the 18th of November or 2nd of December 2019
  • Travel time from Melbourne: 12hrs 22mins, Brisbane: 12hrs 16mins, Sydney 12hrs 36mins
  • Around 50% of volunteers during Schoolies are aged between 18 and 20
  • Join a volunteer program for one week or extend your Schoolies break for up to 12 weeks!
  • Program fees start from $350AUD and include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 on-demand support in Nepal

What you *have* to do during your free time:

Take a trip to Chitwan National Park, stay in a jungle resort and experience the many adventure activities on offer. Some highlights of the jungle safari include a responsible elephant safari, jungle walk, canoe trip, day treks and dancing with the locals from the Tharu tribe.

Travelling through Nepal as an IVHQ volunteer during Schoolies

Alternative Schoolies in Fiji

If you love being immersed in new cultures and are prepared to discover a home away from home, you’ll love volunteering in Fiji during Schoolies. From Monday to Friday, contribute to meaningful volunteer projects in Suva, including Teaching and Sports Education, Kindergarten or Construction and Renovation, and save your weekend for exploring the beauty of the islands and their white sand beaches. You’ll also have the chance to learn the local customs and traditions during a two-day orientation hosted by IVHQ’s local team.

Volunteer teachers in Fiji with IVHQ during schoolies

What you need to know for Schoolies in Fiji:

  • Start your volunteer program on the 18th or 25th of November or 2nd of December 2019
  • Travel time from Melbourne: 5hrs 18mins, Brisbane: 3hrs 56mins, Sydney 4hrs 28mins
  • Around 50% of volunteers in Fiji during Schoolies are aged between 18 and 20
  • Join a volunteer program for one week or extend your Schoolies break for up to 12 weeks!
  • Program fees start from $530AUD and include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 on-demand support in Fiji

What you *have* to do during your free time:

For volunteers interested in travelling on the weekends, there are endless destinations and activities to choose from, including the Pacific Harbour and Coral Coast, relaxing on the white sand beaches of Mamanucas or diving with manta rays in the Yasawas. Venture into the highlands of the mainland for scenic walks, explore local markets and soak up the magic of the friendly Fijians.

Exploring the islands of Fiji as an IVHQ volunteer during schoolies

Alternative Schoolies in Vietnam

With a top-rated volunteer program in Ho Chi Minh City, volunteering in Vietnam is a fantastic way to spend your alternative Schoolies trip. Ho Chi Minh is a bustling city that will fill all your desires for food, culture and nightlife. Take your pick from a range of rewarding and affordable volunteer projects in Teaching English, Kindergarten, Special Needs Care, Medical and Food Outreach.

Ho Chi Minh is also a great place to base yourself for awesome weekend adventures further afield, with world-class beaches, Mekong Delta river cruises, mountain hikes and the famous Ha Long Bay all popular with tourists. Your Schoolies in Vietnam could be the biggest adventure of your life!

IVHQ Food Outreach project volunteer in Vietnam

What you need to know for Schoolies in Vietnam:

  • Start your volunteer program on the 18th or 25th of November or 2nd of December 2019
  • Travel time from Melbourne: 8hrs 50mins, Sydney: 9hrs, Brisbane: 8hrs 39mins
  • Around 40% of volunteers during Schoolies are aged between 18 and 20
  • Join a volunteer program for one week or extend your Schoolies break for up to 24 weeks!
  • Program fees start from $390AUD and include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 on-demand support in Vietnam

What you *have* to do during your free time:

For volunteers based in Ho Chi Minh, a short flight is all it takes to visit Ha Long Bay. Boasting thousands of limestone karsts and isles of various sizes and shapes along the 120 kilometre coastline of Bai Chay Beach, it’s no wonder that Ha Long Bay ranks among one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.

You should also add a trip to Sapa to your weekend list - a little village perched on a hillside valley, tucked away in north-west Vietnam. If you’re into hiking, this is the place for you! Otherwise, take a five hour bus trip from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne Bay. There are plenty of reasonably priced tourist resorts to be found here, but the place still retains its local charm! The beaches are a haven for surfers, kite surfers and wind surfers alike, but if relaxing on a beach with a book and watching the people go by is more your thing, you’ll be in your element at Mui Ne!

Exploring the streets of Vietnam as an IVHQ volunteer during schoolies

This is just the beginning of finding the best place for your overseas Schoolies trip. If you want to check out more options, consider an alternative Schoolies break in the Philippines, China, Laos, Sri Lanka, India or Thailand. Or, for those looking at getting further away from home and heading to South America, Africa, the Middle East or Europe, check out all IVHQ’s 50+ destinations. If you want a bit more inspiration, take this take this interactive quiz to get matched perfectly to a volunteer destination that suits you.

Don’t stay at home for Schoolies 2019. Get away, have an adventure and make a difference!

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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!