All volunteer programs offered by International Volunteer HQ are fully-hosted experiences. Your entire in-country experience as an international volunteer is organized for you by our knowledgeable local teams, making it the most affordable, convenient and hassle-free way to volunteer abroad.
What does IVHQ’s Program Fee cover?
Your Program Fee covers the organization and cost of all your in-country essentials while you’re volunteering abroad. This fee is calculated based on your chosen volunteer project + destination + your chosen duration. This cost can vary depending on the project you’ve chosen, for example Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica does not cost the same as Childcare in Costa Rica because these projects require different materials, resources and logistics to continue running sustainably. You can browse our Program Fee pricing here.
Every IVHQ program also attracts a Registration Fee, which secures your place on the program and covers the cost of the extensive pre-departure support and resources provided to you by IVHQ.
How does the Program Fee support your host community?
Our experienced in-country teams are made up of local people who select small businesses and local organizations to provide you with quality services throughout your program. Therefore, your Program Fee:
- Creates more job opportunities within the local community
- Ensures local people remain in long term employment
- Feeds directly into the local economy to support communities that have been financially impacted by Covid-19
- Helps keep volunteer projects running sustainably so they can meet their long term goals
IVHQ is an incredible organisation that truly goes the extra mile for every volunteer. They not only arranged my entire trip, from flights and accommodation to travel insurance and assistance with visas; they also provided me with the guidance, resources, tips and training a first-time traveller like me needed. Even once I was in Nepal, any queries or concerns I had were promptly addressed, and I always felt like I could contact a local member of the team if I needed. IVHQ is my number one recommendation, they have been absolutely fantastic and wonderfully supportive during every stage of the process! IVHQer Claire, Nepal 2020
What to expect from your fully-hosted volunteer experience with IVHQ:
We know how overwhelming it can be when you arrive in a new country on your own, don’t speak the local language and aren’t able to use your cellphone. That’s why all IVHQ programs begin with a member of the local team picking you up from an agreed meeting point. For the majority of programs, you will be met at the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation, introduced to your fellow volunteers and given time to settle in.
In nearly all cases, your Program Fee includes airport pickup - and if not, you’ll be picked up from an agreed meeting point (you can find details on this in your Program Guide). When you’ve finished your program, we can also arrange a convenient and affordable airport dropoff for you with our trusted providers at a good price.
In-country program orientation
We know it can take a little time to ease into your new surroundings and get used to the change in culture. That’s why we provide an in-country Program Orientation for all volunteers.
This is covered by the cost of your Program Fee and enables you to get recommendations for free time activities, guidance around using transport and accessing nearby amenities as well as identifying any risks that are specific to the area.
This is usually a full or half day and includes a detailed briefing about the program and its objectives from an experienced member of the local team who knows the area well.
It’s important to us that all volunteers join a project where they can make a personal impact and contribute towards long term goals.
Your volunteer placement has been carefully selected by our local team, as they know the area and community where your program is situated inside out. These teams are in the best position to identify where volunteer support is most needed and to align volunteers with appropriate community-driven projects.
All local teams are trained by IVHQ and work closely with our team of Program Managers to ensure projects are running effectively and delivering the intended impact. As a certified B Corporation, we are committed to reviewing our social and environmental impact and continually optimizing our processes and practices.
I saw first hand the time and commitment that the local team puts into the volunteer experience. Whether it was organizing transportation for volunteers, adapting to changes at a placement, or making sure volunteers had everything they needed at the accommodation, the local team made sure all needs were met. In all these ways, you come to feel you are part of the team’s community - and the local community as well. All the preparation in the world can’t prepare you for how wonderful a feeling that is! IVHQer Corinne, Romania
We understand the importance of having a safe and comfortable place to come back to at the end of a day’s volunteering. We also know that the atmosphere of your ‘home away from home’ can set the scene for the rest of your experience.
Accommodation is covered by the cost of your Program Fee for the duration of your IVHQ program and is carefully selected by our local teams. We regularly visit to ensure it is clean, comfortable and safe.
- Most programs have a volunteer house with dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, or in some cases a hostel.
- Many programs offer homestays with a local family, which is a truly authentic way to experience the local culture.
- Numerous IVHQ programs also offer accommodation upgrades to either a private room, a hotel close to the volunteer accommodation, or in the case of Bali, a private villa. These come at an affordable additional cost.
- Some conservation programs, such as Zanzibar and Victoria Falls, may include a few nights accommodation in rustic wilderness camps.
One of the greatest ways to explore a new culture and country is to eat like the locals - but it can be hard to know what to try without the knowledge of someone who lives in the area. To make things easy for you, your Program Fee covers the cost of your main meals*, which in most cases are cooked by an in-house chef.
Because we choose to partner with local people, your chef will usually be cooking food typical to the country you are staying in. This is an authentic way to get a taste of the wonderful flavors of the region and immerse yourself fully in the local culture.
Most programs will include options for vegan, veggie, gluten free and other diets - but it’s always worth noting any dietary requirements in your application so we can make sure the program caters to your needs beforehand. Check out the best programs for volunteers with plant-based diets here.
The number of meals provided varies from program to program. Some programs cover breakfast, lunch and dinner, while others cover just your evening meal or breakfast.
This experience is life changing. IVHQ is safe, reliable and they care about their volunteers’ safety. During orientation, you will most likely receive a list of word translations that will help you navigate the country. IVHQ will be there every step of the way as they check on you during your program, making them an excellent choice for placement and support. Not only will your life change for the better but you will build relationships with the community that will last forever. IVHQer Donna, Tanzania 2020
24/7 in-country support
The safety and wellbeing of IVHQ volunteers is, and will always be, our top priority. 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. This is covered by the cost of your Program Fee and ensures that you are safe, comfortable and enjoying your experience for the duration of your program.
Our local teams are also taking additional health and safety measures during Covid-19. They regularly check 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.
Discounts on add-on activities and tours
We want to make sure you get the most out of your volunteer adventure in a hassle-free and convenient way. That’s why your Program Fee gives you exclusive access to discounted IVHQ add-on activities and tours, in destinations where we offer them. These are booked and organized for you by your Program Manager and the local team.
In the lead up to your trip, your Program Manager will be on-hand to help you craft an epic itinerary around your volunteering, including booking add-on excursions, language courses, extra nights accommodation and other incredible travel experiences. They can also help you with logistics such as booking insurance, organizing flights and packing smartly.