There’s no need to wait until you’re 18 to volunteer abroad - International Volunteer HQ specializes in offering safe and affordable high school volunteer abroad opportunities. Over 20% of our volunteers are under 20 and are currently volunteering throughout Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and Pacific.
IVHQ hosts volunteers under 18 years old on nearly all our volunteer programs, provided volunteers in this age range are accompanied by a parent, guardian or friend who will already be 18 or older at the start of their program. You just need to let us know when you apply that you’ll be volunteering with a friend or relative over 18, and they’ll need to apply too.
High School Volunteer Abroad Groups
IVHQ specializes in providing affordable, safe and responsible high school volunteer abroad programs for those under the age of 18. These types of volunteer groups can include:
- High school groups
- Youth groups
- Peer groups
- Family groups
- Clubs and societies
With dedicated Volunteer Managers, IVHQ can specifically tailor a customized program for you and your volunteer group. Your program can range in duration from 1 to 24 weeks and includes volunteer placement, transport, accommodation, tourist activities and ensuring you have continual volunteer support throughout the process, from start to finish.
At IVHQ, our aim is to immerse you and your group within a new community and culture to contribute to sustainable development projects. We will ensure that you all will have a rewarding, life-changing experience that the entire group can be proud of.
Typically, high school volunteer abroad groups travel with teachers or parents who act as guardians for the entirety of the program. IVHQ organizes the group to work together on the volunteer project during the day and ensures you are accommodated together in the evening. IVHQ can also organize group tourist activities and cultural learning opportunities for you in your free time. Or course, these trips can be catered to any requirements.
IVHQ staff were very helpful and forthcoming. I was able to get a complete picture over the course of the months that preceded the group trip. Every question asked was answered to completion and promptly. Once we got in-country, the local team was wonderful. The work they do is inspiring. They were very welcoming and forthcoming, we couldn’t have found a better organization to complete our volunteer work. They exceeded all expectations, as they were organized, prompt, and open to ideas and suggestions. We had a great time working with them Madison Bangert (Group Leader, Guatemala)
It is perfectly understandable that you or your parents may have questions around the safety of volunteering abroad and we are in communication with parents every day who want to feel confident that their children will be well looked after when participating on an IVHQ volunteer program. IVHQ places thousands of volunteers on our programs around the world each year and we are committed to ensuring our programs are reliable and responsible. Here is what we do to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe trip:
- In-country teams : IVHQ partners with local volunteer organizations in each program location and our partner organizations are responsible for providing 24/7 support to our volunteers throughout the duration of their volunteer program. IVHQ has a careful selection process in choosing our partner organizations. Every program that IVHQ offers has been personally inspected by IVHQ staff. We have experienced the programs first-hand, we have vetted the local teams and provided comprehensive IVHQ program management training, so our local teams are well equipped to provide effective volunteer programs and take care of you in country.
- Airport pick-ups : Our local teams meet our volunteers as soon as they arrive to the program location. If arriving by plane, our local teams track flights so even if a flight is delayed, they’ll be there to collect you when you land, ready and waiting in the arrivals hall. If arriving overland (let’s say you’re traveling in the country before your volunteer work starts), our local partners will make alternate arrangements for your pick-up so they can meet you when you’re ready to begin.
- Volunteer accommodation : Volunteers are accommodated with other volunteers in a safe community near your volunteer placement. Our accommodation providers have been hosting international guests for many, many years and are well versed in catering for different dietary requirements and understanding that you’re new to the country! They love hosting international volunteers for the cultural exchange it can bring, so you can be sure you’ll be looked after. Plus, our placements and accommodation locations are continually monitored by our staff to ensure our volunteers are happy and well cared for.
- 24/7 support : Our local teams are on hand 24/7 to provide assistance on any matter, from the application process right through to the completion of your volunteer program.
- Emergency support: Our local teams are available 24/7 and should a volunteer require medical attention while on an IVHQ program, our local team will accompany the volunteer to the nearest clinic or hospital to ensure adequate care is received.
Planning our volunteer experience with IVHQ was exceptionally easy and before we knew it, we were all arriving on site in Quito, Ecuador! With IVHQ, we never had anything to worry about! Volunteering in Ecuador through IVHQ was a highly meaningful and even life changing experience for each of our 27 volunteers. Our students were able to actually make an impact in another part of the world, and our volunteers were so moved by the experience that many are planning on returning to Ecuador through IVHQ once again! Amanda Leslie (Group Leader, Ecuador)
High School Volunteer Abroad Trip Examples
Peru - Cusco
Volunteers in Cusco can spend a few weeks on a meaningful volunteer project, and then explore the world famous Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley in a week-long action-packed Mini Adventure!
Potential outline for a 2 week trip:
- 2 weeks volunteering on a Childcare project
- 1 week volunteering on our Childcare, Teaching English, Construction and Renovation, or Special Needs project (it’s your choice)
- 1 week touring – Cusco City Tour, 2 day Machu Picchu tour, Sacred Valley Tour & Puno & Lake Titicaca 3 Islands Tour
- Or if you’ve got less than 2 weeks, you can arrange to volunteer for 1 week, and then explore Machu Picchu in a 1 or 2 day weekend adventure before heading back for class.
Volunteers can travel between Delhi and Dharamasala experiencing both locations, giving back through volunteering then spending time touring through world famous locations such as the Taj Mahal.
Potential outline for a 2 week trip:
- 2 day sight-seeing tour of Delhi (Old and New)
- Group bus to Dharamasala
- 1 week volunteering on the Teaching English project, teaching English to monks in nearby monasteries
- Return bus to Delhi
- Taj Mahal and Red Fort Tour
Volunteer groups can plan their volunteer trip to contribute to the local community during their weeks, and then make the most of the their weekends and free time to see the Big 5 on Safari, and maybe even hike Mt Kilimanjaro at the end of your stay!
Potential outline for a 3 week trip:
- Arrival and city tour of Arusha, where our local team are based
- 1st week of volunteering on either our Teaching or Childcare projects
- 3 or 4 day safari over the weekend
- 2nd week of volunteering on either our Teaching or Childcare projects
- 6 day hike of Mt Kilimanjaro
These are just a few examples of the amazing trips that are available for volunteers groups to take advantage of. You can also tailor your own, as there are over 40 locations to choose from and a myriad of projects to join! The world is at your fingertips and you’re about to get started on exploring it all! Why not start by volunteering and getting to know a country from the inside out?