Your step-by-step guide to volunteering abroad with IVHQ
International Volunteer HQ makes it easy and affordable to volunteer abroad in over 50 destinations around the world.
We’re here for you from start to finish, so here’s an overview of what you can expect from us - and what you need to do next to join our global community of volunteer travelers.
Follow these simple steps to apply and secure your place to volunteer abroad with the world’s most trusted volunteer travel organization.
Here’s how easy it is:
1. Design + apply for your program
Choose your destination + project:
You can compare our affordable program prices here – these cover your accommodation, meals and other in-country expenses, and therefore vary by program and duration.
If you would like help selecting the perfect program or a combination of programs, our Volunteer Travel Specialists are available to help you plan your dream trip based on your budget, schedule and the causes you care about. If you’re planning a group trip, we have a dedicated Volunteer Groups Team who can customize an itinerary for you.
Apply for your chosen destination + project:
As soon as you know where you’d like to volunteer and which project you want to join, you need to apply online. We recommend applying as soon as possible so we can check availability, as many of our projects have limited capacity.
It’s free to apply, only takes a few minutes, and there’s no commitment needed at this stage.
If you’re not quite set on your destination, project or travel dates, that’s no problem! You can always make changes to your application at a later date, free of charge.
Get matched with your Program Manager:
Once you’ve submitted your application, our team will make sure you meet the criteria for the destination and project you have applied for. This may take up to two working days.
You will then get matched with your dedicated IVHQ Program Manager, who will reach out to you personally and guide you through the next steps.
Your Program Manager will be on-hand throughout your journey to answer any questions, help you plan your trip and ensure your program meets your goals and expectations.
2. Register + secure your place
Secure your place to volunteer with IVHQ:
Registering early is smart to ensure you don’t miss out on a place when the program fills up. You can choose from a range of flexible registration fees that include options for a refund should you need to cancel your trip.
Once you’ve registered, your money is protected thanks to our flexible booking policy. You can easily make changes to your booking up to 14 days before your start date, free of charge.
Gain exclusive access to your preparation tools:
Once you’ve paid your registration fee to secure your place, your MyIVHQ account will be upgraded, giving you exclusive early access to our preparation materials. These include:
- Interactive pre-departure volunteer training, including modules on getting prepared, safety, understanding different cultures and being a responsible volunteer.
- Your Volunteer Guide and Preparation Checklist, which outlines what to expect from your program and how to prepare.
- Pre-departure support from your IVHQ Program Manager who will take care of the planning for your program to make sure it all goes smoothly.
- Convenient add-ons available exclusively to registered volunteers, including weekend excursions, language lessons and other inspiring adventures.
- Our local team from your chosen program will reach out to welcome you. They will be supporting you for the duration of your volunteer program and guiding the impact you deliver to your host community. They will also let you know of any pre-arrival requirements related to Covid-19, such as getting a test.
3. Prepare + pay your program fee
Get help planning your trip + pay your program fee:
In the lead up to your trip, your Program Manager will be on-hand to help you with logistics such as booking insurance, organizing flights and packing smartly. They can also help you craft an epic itinerary around your volunteering, including booking add-on excursions, language courses, extra nights accommodation and other incredible travel experiences.
Embark on your volunteer adventure:
The best part – you’re off!
You may feel nervous embarking on this journey if it’s all new to you, but that’s totally normal. Remember that 58% of our volunteers arrive solo, yet all volunteers return home with meaningful friendships from all over the globe.
4. Receive unrivalled support from start to finish
Arriving + settling in to your program:
When you arrive at your volunteering destination, you’ll be met at the airport by a member of our local team who will take you to your volunteer accommodation, introduce you to your fellow volunteers and give you some time to settle in.
All IVHQ volunteers complete an in-country Program Orientation, which includes a detailed briefing about the program and its objectives, as well as guidance around using transport, accessing nearby amenities, free time activities and identifying any risks that are specific to your location.
Support + safety during your program:
Our local teams are available 24-hours a day to provide direct support and you will be given contact details for these team members so they can be reached quickly and easily. Your wellbeing is always our highest priority, and local teams are taking additional health and safety measures during Covid-19 to ensure you feel comfortable and safe at all times.
The local team regularly checks in with volunteers to ensure everything is going well and your IVHQ Program Manager will also be accessible via email or phone if you have any questions or concerns.
By volunteering with IVHQ, you’ll have the chance to give back to the communities that host you, experience their cultures in a more authentic way and leave behind a lasting impact.
We support you beyond your program as you become part of our global community for life. You’ll receive an International Volunteer Certificate, which is an excellent addition to resumes, job and college applications and we are happy to also provide references for these.
We invite all members of our community to share photos or videos about their IVHQ experiences to provide valuable insights for future volunteers.
Here are a few ways to get involved: