Updated for 2019 volunteer trips
Volunteering in Asia is the ideal way to travel to and give back, without breaking the bank. You can volunteer in Asia at any time of the year with International Volunteer HQ and our affordable Asia volunteer programs are available in 10 different destinations, including six Southeast Asia volunteer programs. The programs are based in Bali, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
As a volunteer in Asia with IVHQ, your time abroad will be a worthwhile and rewarding experience for both you, and the community that you will be immersed in. You will play a hands-on role in supporting community projects that are driven by the long-term goals of your host community. Volunteering in Asia also offers a unique insight into authentic cultural experiences, inspiring traditions, and unmatched hospitality.
Volunteer in Bali - Ubud
White sand beaches, cascading rice paddies, lush scenery and a bounty of activities - what’s not to love about beautiful Bali! If you want an action packed volunteer experience, to volunteer in Asia short term during a semester break, as part of an Asia gap year or career break, or to slow down and enjoy the pristine beaches - the IVHQ Bali - Ubud program will work! Even if you are coming alone or bringing your entire family - Bali is a fit! The project choices are plentiful - with Teaching, Construction and Renovation, Turtle Conservation, Environmental Education, Healthcare Education and Kindergarten placements on offer. The Program is based in the cultural center of Ubud, except if you opt for the Turtle Conservation project, in which case you’ll be based on the island of Nusa Penida and have a stunning beach as your backyard. With Bali being one of IVHQ’s most popular programs you’ll become fast friends with all other like minded volunteers! Then in your spare time, you can easily island-hop over to the remarkable Gili Islands or knock off an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to the Komodo Islands!
My time in Bali was truly an unforgettable experience! They have the most beautiful culture and are the sweetest most welcoming people. The local team go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and like family. Madison Helms
Volunteer in Bali - Lovina
If you want a truly unique Balinese experience and to get off the beaten track, then the Lovina program is made for you. While located on the coast, Lovina is the polar opposite of its well-known counterpart Kuta, in the south west of Bali. You’ll leave Lovina knowing you’ve experienced a rare insight into rural Balinese life and had an empowering impact on the people, community, and environment you’ve come to know and love. The tranquil beachside setting and knowledgeable local team, make it a volunteer program well suited to young travelers, as well as families or older adventurers who want to kick back and quickly become part of the local community. If you are looking for a destination to unwind in while making a positive impact, then the Bali - Lovina program is the place for you.
Volunteer in Indonesia
Looking for family volunteer abroad opportunities? Look no further than the IVHQ Indonesia program. Based on Simeulue Island off the west coast of Sumatra this unique program gives parents and children the chance to work together while being immersed in the local culture. Families supporting a range of conservation activities to help preserve the ecosystems and species on the island, meaning the work can easily be adapted to your family and the age of your children to ensure it’s a worthwhile experience for everyone. With bird surveys and even the possibility to work on turtle patrols - your kids will be engaged and inspired by volunteering. Happy kids mean happy parents and a dream meaningful holiday abroad.
Volunteer in Thailand
Want the real Thai cultural experience? IVHQ volunteers on the Thailand program experience nothing less. The program is based in the Hill Tribe region of Chiang Rai. This northernmost province of Thailand is renowned for its beautiful mountain scenery and historic sites. Volunteers support Teaching English, Outdoor Work or Childcare projects within the community. Physical labor is the aim of the game on the Outdoor Work project, as volunteers work on a variety of different hands-on tasks, including developing community gardens, making bricks, and repairing roads throughout the Hill Tribe communities. Teaching volunteers have the opportunity to develop the English language skills of local school children and adults from these Hill Tribes communities. During the weekends you’ll be spoilt for choice with activity options including the stunning ‘Wat Rong Khun’ aka the ‘White Temple’. The morning and night bazaar is a great place to get lost (and grab yourself a bargain!) while tackling a trek should top your bucket list with stunning scenery to explore in the mountainous terrain of Northern Thailand!
My homestay had a breathtakingly beautiful view, it was like heaven. This program works well and is well designed and supported for volunteers. Thanks for all the good work! Fangqin Chen
Volunteer in Cambodia
Right in the heart and heat of Asia, you’ll find a country with some of the friendliest communities you’ve ever come across! Be prepared to be swept up by the Khmer charm while experiencing Cambodia. Volunteers on the IVHQ Cambodia program can be placed in the intriguing cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, or the Cambodian provinces of Pursat and Kampong Speu. With so many project options to choose from it’s the perfect destination for everyone. You can opt for Teaching English, Special Needs Care, Childcare, Computer Support and Working with NGOs. Cambodia is known as the ‘land of smiles’ and you won’t be short of a smile when you discover how far your dollar will go here. Traveling to Cambodia with IVHQ means you’ll pay as little as US$360 for a 2-week program. Not to mention making the most of your free time isn’t going to cost you the earth - whether you’re sampling the Khmer cuisine, exploring the local markets or tuk-tuking around the city center.
My five weeks in Cambodia were the best weeks of my life. The other volunteers became my family while I was there. The kids I worked with had the biggest hearts and changed my life more than I ever expected. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Isabelle Pace
Volunteer in China
IVHQers are based in the ancient Chinese city of Xi’an - one of the four great ancient capital cities (along with Rome, Athens, and Cairo)! That alone is enough reason to visit! With a history of over 3,100 years, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Not to mention the city is home to the world famous Terracotta Warriors. Definitely, a must-visit! Volunteers on the IVHQ China program can work on the Teaching English Project or Special Needs Care. China is a vast country so once you’ve traversed the sights of Xi’an there is plenty to see further afield. Also have we mentioned dumplings and noodles? The cuisine is mouth watering and something we are sure you’ll happily overindulge in!
My volunteer experience in China was the best 8 weeks of my life. I completely fell in love with the kids at our Special Needs Centre in Xi’an (Jing Jie Niao). With only a small group of 8 children most of the time, I really had the opportunity to understand each of the kids and their likes and dislikes - which formulated a bond I can’t put into words! Alicia Crossley
Volunteer in India - Kerala
The latest program in IVHQ’s offerings in India, the IVHQ India - Kerala program has six diverse volunteer projects to choose from. Based in a popular tourist spot, the Kerala region is famous for small boutiques, colonial buildings, excellent regional cuisine and its unique Chinese fishing nets! Volunteers live in the the Indian port city of Kochi, found on the south-west coast of India. Kochi boasts plenty of activities for volunteers to fill an IVHQ weekend including a visit to the hillside tea region of Munnar, a cruise on the backwaters, or a stay in surf and yoga retreats along the coast. During the week volunteers are kept busy contributing to meaningful volunteer projects including Dentistry, Medical, Women’s Education, Specials Needs Care and Kindergarten projects.
Volunteer in India - Delhi
India has captured the heart of many an explorer. It has a depth of history, culture, architecture and delicious food to boot! The IVHQ India - Delhi program has four projects: you can help children without access to education on the Slum Teaching project, you can give back in the classroom on the Teaching English project, or provide assistance to local staff at one of our Childcare placements. If you’re a university student seeking medical or nursing experience, you can volunteer on our Health project. The IVHQ India - Delhi program is located in Delhi, although the majority of placements are located in the city of Faridabad. The optional orientation week also gives first-time travelers to India the chance to learn more about the Indian culture, undertake language lessons, watch a Bollywood movie in a local theater, and visit the ever-famous Taj Mahal! Delhi is an extensive city where something is always happening. Not to mention once you are in India you can live on the cheap, meaning you can make your hard earned dollars go further! Your weekends in India will never be dull with trips to Rajasthan, trekking journeys, and visits to nearby temples and waterfalls.
I made so many like-minded friends that I’m sure will last a lifetime and my experience in my placement in a slum school in outer Delhi I cannot even begin to describe; it was profound and undeniably changed my outlook on life. Isabella Maher
Volunteer in India - Dharamsala
If monks and monasteries sound like something you’d like to experience then the India - Dharamsala program will be right up your alley! Volunteer placements are located in Naddi and Rait, small communities close to popular hilltop Tibetan communities and the Buddhist monasteries of McLeod Ganj. There are five meaningful projects: contibute towards community-led sustainable farming initiatives working on the Eco-Agriculture Conservation project or engage local community members in practices and treatments that will be beneficial for their long-term health and wellbeing on the Healthcare Outreach volunteer project. Once in Dharamsala volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Dharamsala or other areas in India, such as Amritsar, McLeod Ganj, or Andretta.
The monastery was incredible and teaching has been beyond rewarding. The monks are absolutely brilliant and want to learn. The home stay was incredible. I have never been treated with such gracious open arms. Macy Helm
Volunteer in Laos
While neighboring countries Thailand and Vietnam have long been on the travel radar, Laos is on the up! The IVHQ Laos program is based in Honkau Village just outside of the capital city, Vientiane. The five-day volunteer orientation immerses you in the local culture and customs, plus it’s a great way to meet fellow volunteers and potential travel buddies! Laos is a brilliant place to set off from after you volunteer so you get more travel under your belt and tick off places like Myanmar and Cambodia! During your time in Laos, you can volunteer on Teaching English, Childcare and Construction and Renovation projects. If you’re short on time you can just dip your feet and get a small taste of volunteering in Laos on a special 1 week program.
The IVHQ volunteer program and Laos itself made the trip so much more than just another trip, to be able to give back to the world with amazing volunteers/friends was just an unforgettable journey and an extraordinary experience. Byrant Cheng
Volunteering in Nepal
Volunteering in Nepal with IVHQ has it all - and with a peaceful outlook! Volunteers are placed in four main areas within Nepal. You can barrel through the traffic clogged streets of Kathmandu, or experience life on the fertile plains of Chitwan, breathe in the crisp mountain air in Chitlang or encounter the hustle of the popular tourist destination of Pokhara. IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects in Nepal, including Teaching English, Childcare and Medical Elective. Obviously, you’ll also have to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Don’t worry you don’t have to be Mt Everest fit - you can find trekking trips to cater for all fitness levels, time spans and budgets. Also if you’re short on time you can experience a taste of volunteering on a special 1-week program.
I believe that our interactions with the children were a testament to the value of the project. I feel like I have really grown after volunteering, especially since I was traveling alone for the first time in my life. Celeste Tan
Volunteer in the Philippines
Want a volunteer destination where you have more than 7,000 islands at your doorstep? The Philippines is a hidden gem waiting to be explored! When volunteering in the Philippines with IVHQ, you will be based in the Aborlan District, often considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Volunteers can work on Kindergarten, Teaching, Construction and Renovation, or Environmental projects. So if you are wanting to get off the beaten track and immerse yourself in a culture than the Philippines project is perfect for you! On the Island of Palawan, you can treat yourself to swimming, snorkeling, diving or chill under a waterfall - and that is just on one Island! Imagine the wonders waiting for you, and you can do it without needing to spend up large! Budget airlines make island-hopping within the Philippines, or to nearby countries cheap and easy.
This experience really opened my eyes and my heart, made me appreciate and tolerate different people, culture, and way of living. I will definitely come back to the Philippines one day! Greta Puodziunaite
Volunteer in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the ultimate volunteer destination. With an abundance of wildlife, national parks, beaches, historical sites and no shortage of tourism activities there is always something to keep you busy. The people are friendly, traveling around is easy, the food is tasty and it’s incredibly affordable making it an all-round destination and great for solo travelers. You’ll quickly feel right at home and like you never want to leave. Volunteers on the IVHQ Sri Lanka program are either located in the sacred city of Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, or within the Wasgamuwa National Park. Volunteers can choose from Teaching, Special Needs Care, Rural Community Development, Childcare, Medical, Elderly Care, Temple Renovation and Wild Elephant Conservation. With an affordable and an accessible rail network, weekend trips are easily arranged and volunteers may choose to participate in a mountain hike, go whale watching or explore a local tea plantation.
Every experience in life helps you develop as a person, and this is no exception! I think that traveling, in general, widens a person’s perspective and worldview, but volunteering while traveling does so much more! It puts into perspective what is really important in this world, and helps ground you as a person. Renne Ashton
Volunteer in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh
Ancient pagodas and towering skyscrapers, ramshackle markets and urban malls - Ho Chi Minh is a captivating city of contrasts. As an IVHQ volunteer in Vietnam, you will have the chance to experience the culture, history, incredible food, characteristic scenery of Vietnam, and will be sure to make marvelous memories! Enthusiasm and a caring nature will be well rewarded on the Teaching English, Special Needs/Childcare, Medical or Food Outreach projects. You’ll be accommodated in a dormitory with fellow volunteers so there are plenty of opportunities to make lasting friendships and find travel buddies. This is the ideal destination for volunteers looking to join a program with a good mix of work and play. From a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a Mekong Delta boat ride, a weekend to the world renowned beaches of Phu Quoc Island, it’s a country that has a lot to offer volunteers!
I absolutely loved that I was able to go to all the volunteer areas on offer. IVHQ weekends were amazing! And the local staff were the best!! Shelley Hume