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Senior Volunteers

Senior Volunteer Overseas with IVHQ

While the majority of IVHQ volunteers are aged between 18 and 25 years, we are hosting a growing number of older volunteers on our programs abroad - with our oldest volunteer being 82 years!

How many senior IVHQ volunteers are there?

Every year we send thousands of volunteers abroad and around 15 percent of these volunteers are aged 30 years and older.

We also specialize in hosting parents who wish to volunteer abroad with children. See our Volunteer Abroad with your Family page for more information.

Senior IVHQ volunteers teach english volunteer abroad with International Volunteer HQ

Which programs are best for senior volunteers?

All IVHQ programs are open to volunteers of all ages (18 years and over) and we receive fantastic feedback from our senior volunteers who enjoy the opportunity to work alongside international volunteers, sharing their desire to assist a community in need and gain an authentic cultural experience through living and working with local people.

Depending on where you choose to volunteer, you can be accommodated in a homestay with a local family or a dormitory-style volunteer house. Some of our older volunteers prefer the option to stay in a homestay and we have a number of programs that offer homestay accommodation for volunteers, including ArgentinaCambodiaCosta RicaEcuadorGuatemalaIndiaKenyaKenya - MaasaiMoroccoNepalPeru - CuscoPeru - Lima and Tanzania. Our Bali program also offers an accommodation upgrade option, where you can request to be accommodated in a private room at an additional cost.

If you wish to volunteer on one of these programs and be placed in a homestay, please note your preference in the ‘Comments’ section when you apply online and our local staff will do their best to accommodate your preference.

mature IVHQ volunteers best volunteer abroad programs with Internation Volunteer HQ

What do others say about the experience?

"IVHQ is a wonderful gift to anyone of any age who wants to travel, have unbelievable adventures and live with local people to really experience another culture and way of life! When I was young I was able to travel often because my father was a travel agent and believed in the importance of seeing the world. I am delighted to say that I am now 65 years old and have gone on four IVHQ trips that have changed my life!

A few years ago I realized that I was not getting any younger and there was still a lot of the world I wanted to see. I started exploring ways to travel that were more interesting than the usual expensive, sanitized tourist trips. I discovered volunteer vacations but was still put off because they seemed so expensive. Then I discovered the website for IVHQ and my life has not been the same since!

I immediately contacted them to learn more about the programs they offered and then in October, 2009, I made my first IVHQ trip to India. I spent one week in New Delhi for orientation and then two weeks in a small rural village where I taught English to little children. I was hooked!! I met the most wonderful people – my two host families, the other volunteers from all over the world and the children and families I taught!! One of my fellow volunteers was also a senior citizen from North Ireland. But even the young volunteers accepted us as fellow adventurers.

The next year I couldn't wait to do this again and so I went to Kenya in August 2010 to again teach English to children. This time I sent a few days in Nairobi for orientation and then went with other volunteers to live with a Maasai family. In India I saw the Taj Mahal and many Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim monuments. In Kenya I lived with a family without electricity and running water and again had the most wonderful time possible. I along with other volunteers taught at a school and helped at an orphanage. Our home was below the Rift mountains and giraffes wandered around.  I also went on a safari with other volunteers as a side trip I will always cherish.

So what can top India and Kenya!!? In May 2011 I again went on another IVHQ program to teach English. This time I went to Cusco, Peru with a side trip of a trek to the incomparable Machu Picchu! I again taught English to children and lived in a volunteer home with several other volunteers from Canada, Japan, UK, Australia,and the US. The trek of 4 days to Machu Picchu was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done and it was great!! By the way, the food in all my placements was excellent!

Finally, last year I had another 3 week adventure with IVHQ in Morocco! This time after teaching children in two different schools, I took a week long trip around the country with one of our local contacts in Rabat, Morocco. Again the people I lived with, worked with, stayed with and  the volunteers from all over have enriched my life beyond my wildest hopes.

The programs are designed so that a volunteer has many options regarding what kind of work to do, how long to stay, different living arrangements, etc. Each one of my experiences has been so fulfilling and inspiring that I strongly recommend contacting IVHQ about joining up. I’m thinking this year of going to Cambodia to do another IVHQ program!! Come join me!" 

- Susan Erdman, 65 years (India/Kenya/Peru/Morocco)

Senior volunteer reviews with International Volunteer HQ 

"My life has been enriched by my first experience as a volunteer through IVHQ - and now I am in Vietnam doing the same for 4 weeks. I highly recommend people of my age - that is the mature people to take up the challenge. Favourite moments would be interacting with this new culture on all levels and the beautiful gentle nature of the Cambodian people. It is not so much of what I gave by volunteering but how great the gift I received by being there. It has been life changing."

- Anne O'Keefe, 63 years (Childcare/Orphanage Work, Cambodia)

"My project in Mcleod Ganj was perfect in every way, seriously. It was exactly what I wanted, and had been promised, working with young Tibetan refugees, who needed my help, my time and my love. I know I was appreciated, and I feel my time was completely worthwhile, as the five members of permanent staff would never be able to handle 30 plus children from 8 months to 2 and half years old, without extra volunteer help. Our help was crucial to the smooth running of the nursery. My accommodation for two months was exceptional, the young Tibetan family welcomed me like family."

- Debra Cooper, 53 years (Childcare, India - Dharamsala)

"The whole experience has been such a positive one that I am sometimes overwhelmed with gratitude. All the local staff are extremely professional and yet approachable and available. My home-stay situation offers many opportunities for conversation and we are well fed and cared for. My placement is run by the most sincere skilled couple that I am inspired by them daily. And then there are the children... The volunteers here are a grand bunch people and it delights me to be in the company of like-minded people, even if I am on the older end of the stick."

- Deborah Bowers, 59 years (Orphanage Work, Tanzania)

"I have been a medical volunteer before and this experience was different in exactly the ways I wanted. I knew that in order to volunteer as a nurse outside of an organized mission I would have to give up some things, but I also knew I would gain others. With IVHQ, I did not get to practice nursing at the level that I would have if I had gone on a mission. However, I did get to participate in the culture, work alongside local practitioners, negotiate the city, and be a Peruana for a week. The IVHQ staff member also steered me to the program that would still allow me to do more than shadowing someone. I wish I could have stayed longer, but we all do what we can! Overall, it was a tremendous experience and I am so grateful for all the support I received."

- Holly Knight, 52 years (Medical Volunteer, Cusco - Peru)

Senior IVHQ volunteer reviews India International Volunteer HQ

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