PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Day to Day Life

    10

How South Africa impacted my life in such a positive and encouraging way

The 2 months I experienced in South Africa volunteering in the Sports Development Program impacted my life in such a positive way. It made me realize and open my eyes to learning and experiencing new things whether the things I found out were heart breaking or where filled with joy. The children I got to meet and got to know still stay in my heart to this day and will forever be remembered. Going to volunteer every day filled me with happiness and excitement, by playing games with the kids and teaching them to properly be apart of society was a rewarding feeling. I personally believe that I made an impact in these children's lives and I will continue from now on to give my time to people in need. I didn't know what to expect when first applying for this program, but all I can say is that it is life changing. I've grown as a person and I strongly believe that everyone should give it a chance to help someone in need. Also, when meeting the new volunteers I've made friendships that words cannot explain. I can truthfully say that I've made long life friends even though most of them live in all areas of the world. People who are thinking of volunteering abroad, don't think; do. It's a life changing experience and it's one thing you won't forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Ghana gold program

Volunteering with IVHQ was one of the best experiences i've ever had. Throughout my whole journey, i felt safe and in good hands while traveling on my own for the first time. The local team there is absolutely incredible, including Evans, Edward, and all the others there to guide volunteers through their journey. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to experience a beautiful part of Africa with wonderful people!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Tarquy sonqo - spreading love, Peru

The experience I had teaching abroad is one that I will absolutely never forget. Not knowing too much Peru before choosing my program, I dove right into one of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to live and work in Lima, teaching English to children in Pachacutec, an impoverished part of Lima where the kids are so happy and grateful just to be around you. While I taught English to these kids, they taught me so much more community, strength, and happiness - and Spanish! My time volunteering with IVHQ was the most rewarding, and I will urge more people to volunteer abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Medical placement in Senya

Went for 4 weeks and had an amazing time. Most rewarding was the malaria outreach program we did on the last weekend. We had to do a lot of fundraising for it and so it would have been better to know these outreaches are volunteer funded before we left home to make raising money easier. That said, we were also told multiple times it is an optional extra and there's no need to worry if you don't do one.
Had a great bunch of fellow volunteer - exuberant and committed. Also just a point of note for any males going volunteering here, you will be vastly outnumbered by female volunteers so expect the local children to be demanding of your time for football!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ Volunteering Round 2!

Earlier this year I volunteered with IVHQ in their construction program for 3 weeks in Cusco, Peru. That was one of the best experiences I have ever had and felt that no future volunteer trip would be able to top it. Then, I signed up for my second opportunity with IVHQ in their Costa Rica Construction program for 4 weeks. I was taken back with both my project and the people I worked with and how amazing of an experience it was.

From my very first day on my construction project, I began to actually see the difference I was making, not just physically with the office we were building, but also with our interactions with the local people. It was clear how excited and thankful they were to have us there, improving their community. I ended up staying on the construction program a total of 3 weeks until the project was finished and was so proud of everyone who dedicated their time and efforts.

I was so thrilled with my time so far in Costa Rica that I made the decision to extend my trip by an extra week and participate in the Turtle Conservation program. I could not be happier with my decision to extend my trip and have made so many fantastic memories on the turtle project.

IVHQ, as always, was there every step of the way and gave me the support and help I needed throughout my entire volunteer process. I want to thank Clover and Lachlan especially for all their hard work and kindness while helping me before, during and even after my adventure when I arrived safely home.

My time in Costa Rica has been phenomenal, from the food to the people to the actual projects, my experience couldn't have been better. Thank you so much IVHQ and I cannot wait to start many other adventures with this organization in the future!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A new world

Volunteering in Costa Rica was one of the most influential experiences of my life thus far. Everything from being forced to adapt to a new culture and language on the fly to being afforded the chance to make a difference in the lives of others was unforgettable. Everyone in Costa Rica was welcoming and appreciative of the effort made on the part of the volunteers to learn their culture. Meeting other volunteers from around the world was also very enriching.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lifetime change

I feel forever changed by my volunteer experience in Costa Rica within the two weeks I spent doing childcare. I got so attached to all the kids and the teachers, my host family too made me feel like I was one of there own. I was so immersed in the Costa Rican Culture it was an amazing experience. I wish I would have gone longer. It was truly life changing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Living and learning in Lima

I had been looking for a way to travel abroad affordably and safely (as I was going alone) and my volunteer placement in Lima, Peru was the perfect solution. With help from the IVHQ team and the volunteer team in Lima, I was able to get immersed into Peru, its culture and language while meeting many amazing people. The lower cost of the program made it possible to go on weekend excursions around Lima and to Cusco without going over my planned budget. I learned a lot more Spanish in my placement as well as getting around in Peru. I would definitely recommend and go on this trip again!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The trip of a lifetime

I spent two amazing months in the Tanzanian program volunteering in childcare and teaching. The only way I can describe my experience in Africa was simply it was the trip of a life time. I found out IVHQ online and liaised via phone with Will McBride multiple times. As it was my first time travelling alone I had plenty of questions which he was always happy to answer. The support and preparation that IVHQ offered was so valuable in getting me ready for my adventure to Africa. Upon arriving into Tanzania TVE collected me from the airport and gave me the run down of what to expect for the upcoming days. Understandably I felt overwhelmed but that soon changed as fellow volunteers, co-coordinators and other TVE staff had me feeling at home in no time. My experience at my placements were heart-warming, humbling and something I will cherish for life. I loved being apart of something amazing and being able to give to such deserving little people. Aside from my volunteering I loved having the opportunity to travel throughout Tanzania and see what it was all . I went on a four day safari, visited Zanzibar and went to the Moshi Hot Springs. People always ask what my favourite part of Africa was....It was the people. My kids I taught, the locals which became great friends and fellow volunteers which became family. They say "People don't take trips, trips take people" and this is the only way I can sum up my 8 weeks in Tanzania. I'm already hanging out for my next adventure. I couldn't recommend IVHQ, TVE & the Tanzanian program highly enough.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ Ghana

To Kaila and the IVHQ team,

My daughter Anna and I are now flying back to the U.S. after experiencing Ghana and the Silver program for a week. We have NOTHING but good things to say. It was a wonderful and transformative journey for us.

There were no real surprises on the logistics side as we felt very prepared. The information outlined in all of your email and website documentation was pretty much a spot-on match to our actual experience. As detailed, the Ghana team received us from the airport, the orientation meeting occurred as planned, our program placement was as advertised, and the IVHQ Ghana personnel was precisely as listed. So job well done and a special thanks to you, Kaila, who I called repeatedly, if not incessantly, prior to the trip to confirm various details. You were very patient and professional.

The Ghana crew of Eddie, Benedict, Elvis, Nancy, and Evans were a dream team. I know of no balls dropped for the duration we were there. Everyone was very attentive, friendly, accommodating, and accessible for our entire trip. I do want to recognize Evans, who was hands-down the MVP of our trip. The guy went over and above to make sure everything happened, and happened well. He organized the Cape Coast weekend, and it was flawless. He worked tirelessly, to ensure that all the objectives of the volunteers and ministry were met. Evans is special.

Mr. and Mrs. Nwodobeh, Patrick and “Ma” Pat, were also a pleasure to serve. Their hearts are so big and their motives are so obviously pure; it was an honor to be in their home and serve in their significant ministry. I will be maintaining with them, as to how I can continue supporting various projects of the Savior Children Foundation from the states. I also formed some relationships with other volunteers and we committed to synergize our efforts to maintain forward movement with Savior. It is easy to see, that their entire Silver staff works very hard to create stability and opportunity for their students, and then to accommodate their volunteers so well, is simply remarkable. IVHQ has made a great selection in the Nwodobeh’s and their ministry.

Again, thank you for what IVHQ does…I am a fan and will spread the word with a full-throated recommendation.

Sincerely,
Gregg Kennard
Atlanta, GA

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

Turtle conservation on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

The organization I volunteered with, ASTOP, was amazing! I fully intend to return and volunteer with them again next year. I was totally immersed in the local culture, attending birthday parties and weddings, and I learnt so much the local wildlife. I was fortunate enough to see twelve leatherback turtles during my two week stay, and I am so happy to have been a part of their protection and conservation. The staff and locals were all so kind and I have made lasting friendships with many of them! I also made great friends with the other volunteers and will continue to keep in touch with them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

IVHQ Mexico

It was my first time volunteering and also my first time travelling outside of Europe! So I was pretty nervous but still felt well prepared due to all the information IVHQ provides you with beforehand.
Once in Mexico it soon turned out to be the time of my life! The placement is in a beautiful colonial city with lots of free events and activities to choose from. The people from IVHQ and the volunteer house were super nice and cared for everything you could ask for. Even when we planned weekend activities we could always message them and ask which would be the best way to get from A to B or any other thing we might be insecure .
I participated in the animal care program and it was incredible to see how they really needed and appreciated my help and how the animals soon started to become more comfortable with humans after I spent some time with them! I feel like my work really made a difference for the cats and dogs since I had the time to comfort them and give them the love and attention they needed but usually wouldn't get due to a lack of time and people helping at the shelter.

All in all, I am very glad I decided to participate since I feel like living in a foreign culture for some time really enables you to see things from a different perspective. I learned a lot and my time here is definitely something i will always look back to! I met so many nice people and experienced so many beautiful moments! That is just something you won't forget!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Ghana

I spent 14 weeks in Ghana. Since this was my first time traveling this far from home alone and for this long I was a little nervous. Evans, one of the local staff made me super comfortable and was really helpful. He was always free to talk, or answer questions you had. My volunteer experience went just as well. The locals are super nice and want to get to know you and welcome you. On the weekends, we would travel to different parts of Ghana. If I could, I would do it all over again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Three weeks in Ghana

We were greeted in Acra by our tour guide, Evans, who stayed with us and took care of us throughout the trip. We are forever grateful for his help in making this a smoothly run trip. Further, the program used our time well, being both efficient and punctual. Overall, a life-changing experience that was made even better by the seamless, well-managed and well-organized program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Healthcare

I was able to volunteer in an assisted living facility and interact with patients on a personal level. The people were so kind and even though there was a language barrier we managed around it and had a wonderful experience.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 30, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Hi Kyra, We are so glad that you had a wonderful experience volunteering in Costa Rica. Thanks for being an IVHQ volunteer!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

Cusco preschool

I loved my homestay and Peru in general. I loved the people I got the opportunity to connect with and the child that I got to meet and give attention to. It was an incredibly experience and I can't wait to do something like this again.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 25, 2017 at 10:03 PM

    Hi Alexandria, We are so happy to hear that you loved Peru! Thanks for your great review and for being an awesome volunteer.
    Andrea – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

2 amazing months in Tanzania

I had the most incredible time in Tanzania with the IVHQ team. The volunteer house, staff and placements were above my expectations. I met some amazing people, local and from all over the world. I never felt unsafe and I believe their programmes really benefit the community, are sustainable and well supported. I would definitely return to do another programme and would recommend IVHQ to any family or friends who are considering volunteering. Tanzania is a beautiful place with so much to do and see, you are sure to fall in love with it and it's people!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 25, 2017 at 9:48 PM

    Hi Emma,
    Thanks for your great review. We are so glad to hear that you had an incredible time on the program in Tanzania and found the placements to be sustainable and well supported. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
    Will – IVHQ Tanzania Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My time in Bali

Volunteering in Bali has been one of the best and most rewarding things I've ever experienced. I believe that getting to see Bali for the first time through IVHQ was the best way to really experience the Balinese culture. For me it went beyond just being a tourist, but orientation week and volunteering helped me really appreciate the Balinese lifestyle, in a way that I wouldn't have been able to without it. I got to know the locals and the other volunteers in my house to the point that they became more than friends, they became family. I absolutely fell in love with all the kids in my class, which was why the last day was so hard for me. On our daily walks to the canteen and the rice fields house, we interacted so much with the locals that I began to look forward to our daily banter more and more. I know without a doubt that I would do this program again in a heartbeat, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to do this, even if it is just once in my life. It is time that I will never forget, and I hope to have the chance to experience it again.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 25, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    Hi Jackline,
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful review. It sounds like you had an incredible and rewarding time on the program in Bali – and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Thanks for being a lovely volunteer and we hope you will be able to join us again in the future.
    Brigitte – IVHQ Bali Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

"you can change the world with love"

I travelled to Cartagena, Colombia for two weeks in April 2017, and I volunteered at a rehab facility for youth, focusing on sports development. My time in Colombia was short but so rewarding! I volunteered at two different rehab facilities and the age ranges of the youth were 13-18 years old. The majority of the time I spend playing fútbol, as this is a favorite past time in Colombia. I knew I had to be a role model for the youth as many of them are underprivileged and need to love and support that they may not receive at home. Playing sports was a huge impact on the youth as it’s an amazing way to focus on a healthy lifestyle. My top tips for future volunteers are to go into with an open mind and open heart! I suggest learning Spanish when travelling to Cartagena because many of the youth just want someone to talk to and look up to. As I only volunteered for two weeks, I knew I had to make the most of my time volunteering and encourage the youth. My experience volunteering abroad made me so grateful for each and everything in my life, and to never take anything for granted! My time I spent in Cartagena was eye-opening and when I arrived home it was a culture shock, knowing I have everything I have ever wanted or needed right at my finger tips. Working with children is very difficult as you can become attached to them, therefore, making the goodbye even harder. Although, I find volunteering with children is so rewarding and you can really change the world with love! #justgo

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 25, 2017 at 9:28 PM

    Hi Erica, Thanks for sharing a little your rewarding and eye-opening time in Cartagena! We are so glad that you saw the value in the projects and the impact they have on the youth at these placements. Thanks for making the most of your time volunteering and for encouraging others to do the same.
    Clover – IVHQ Colombia Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I left a part of my heart in Costa Rica

I can not say enough good the IVHQ program in Costa Rica. Before leaving on my trip I had all these visions how I was going to help the people of Costa Rica during my medical program... but in reality I they helped me and taught me so much more than I gave to them. The people of CR are so welcoming to visitors and have the kindest hearts. The local team is wonderful and are always willing to help with anything you may need. I could write on and on how great the program was, but if I had to sum my trip up in 3 points they would be:

1. Don't be afraid to travel alone, many people do, as a volunteer I met people from all over the world. You will truly meet some beautiful souls who want to make a positive impact on the world!

2. Be open to new things. There are so many opportunities to try new things while volunteering abroad, from foods to activities, and traditions to clothing. The best way to immerse yourself in the culture is to try everything!

3. However long you plan to stay will still not be long enough. There is so much to do and so many things to see. Volunteering abroad really gives you the "inside look" at these countries rather than the tourist view. You get opportunities to work along side, interact with, and learn from the locals. On the weekends you are free to go and tour the country. I am already planning my next trip to Costa Rica... and I will be staying for MUCH longer this time!

Go experience Costa Rica... you will not regret it!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 21, 2017 at 9:33 PM

    Hi Jamie, Thanks for your beautiful review! It is awesome to hear that you felt welcomed and supported, met like-minded individuals from all over the world, and immersed yourself in the culture while volunteering in Costa Rica. Thanks for your excellent tips for future volunteers and for being a great IVHQer! We would love to have you back.
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ to see the world!

My experience with IVHQ in Cusco, Peru was both fulfilling and rewarding. Every detail from beginning to end was well coordinated through IVHQ and the local team onsite. Their help and support lessened so many of the typical stressors and anxieties of traveling in a foreign country, especially with a language barrier. Being able to participate in a project that directly impacts the local community made me feel good my travels and really provided for a full cultural immersion. I can't wait to volunteer with IVHQ in another country!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 21, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    Hi Marcelle, Thanks for sharing. It is awesome to hear that your experience in Cusco was fulfilling and rewarding - we are happy to have helped facilitate this for you. We would love to have you join us again soon!
    Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The experience that changed me forever

Ghana was simply the best 4 weeks of my life. Don't hesitate. Don't be scared. Just make the decision to go and you will challenge yourself like no other way, and you will learn everything. GO!!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 18, 2017 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Stephen, We are stoked to hear that your time in Ghana was “simply the best”. Thanks for encouraging others to join IVHQ!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The time of my life

When I thought volunteering I was never expected something like this.
The project really, but really, changed my life, changed the way I think, changed the way I look at things and changed me.
It's the moments that you share, the laughs all day, the kids that smile when you're arriving, the kids that cry when you're leaving. It's all love, help, share.
I have never experienced thing like that before.
Already excited to come back.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 11, 2017 at 8:22 PM

    Hi Nitsan, Thanks for sharing! It is inspiring to hear of how the program in Fiji changed your outlook on life. It has been a pleasure to have you join us and we can’t wait to have you back!
    Clover – IVHQ Fiji Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Falling for Victoria Falls

I think we all have our own reasons for going abroad, but the one thing we all have in common is that we got there and we're doing something together. That common goal allowed me to befriend people from a million different parts of the world. (The fact that we were all loud and insane individuals that fed off each other probably helped a bit too.) Not only did this program allow me to engage with people I can now call incredible good friends, but the physical labor was rewarding as well. Yes there was a lot of sweat involved, and you feel empty if you go somewhere without your shovel. Some learned how to do wonders with a pick-axe and others cursed out invasive species with words I cannot repeat. Some became jungle gyms for the primary school kids to climb on and others loved for dessert Mondays. Me? I was all of the above. We motivated each other like no tomorrow and bonded over experiences that no one else truly understands unless they've lived it. Victoria Falls is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people, especially at Nakavango. And some would argue there's a few...beautiful people at Shoestrings, the bar in town, but I'll let you decide for yourselves on that one. It wasn't one thing that made the program what it was for me. It was a bit of everything--the accommodations, the people, the food (oh my god the food), excursions in town, bungee jumping, working alongside zebras, seeing rhinos, tracking elephants, game drives, fixing roads, planting trees, and seeing the progress you've made a long the way. It was the late nights and the early mornings. Laughing at the each other and the staff of Nakavango endlessly. It's the best kind of work I can imagine, and I hope to one day see everyone again and the place that I left a little piece of me behind in.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 11, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Hi Courtney, Thanks for your awesome review of the Victoria Falls program! It sounds like you were surrounded by an outgoing and inspiring group of people. We are always so happy to hear the connections and friendships formed while on our volunteer programs. Also, your picture of the Zebra is adorable! Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
    Claire – IVHQ Victoria Falls Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Madagascar Memories Last a Lifetime

My visit in Madagascar was absolutely phenomenal! I started out doing the Forest Conservation program with IVHQ there, but then switched to the Teaching Program because I felt I would serve the community best in this capacity for my relatively short 2 week stay on the island. Further, I am a licensed teacher back in America and indeed felt the teaching spirit calling to me much more than the forest conservation one there in Madagascar. Hence, I switched and it was the best decision I made there. The local staff were completely understanding and helpful in this, and needless to say I absolutely loved it! I taught English to all ranges of students from kindergartners in Ampangorina village on Nosy Komba to older adult students in Hellville city on Nosy Be. I grew quite close to several of my students in Nosy Komba and even had them write me goodbye notes in a book I made before I left.

The accommodations on camp were quite nice considering the fact that we were in the middle of serious forest and wildlife in Madagascar. I enjoyed sleeping in my Treehouse hut with my fellow hut mates and honestly made good friends on this trip from our volunteer bunch. I enjoyed getting to know people from other parts of the world and learning their languages and culture.

I truly enjoyed every part of this trip so it is hard to choose favorite moments, but here are some. One of them was definitely my weekend trip to the gorgeous island of Nosy Iranja. Simply viewing the sunset on that beach there was breathtaking. Walking across the sand bar that connects the 2 land masses of Nosy Iranja was awesome! Another one of my favorite moments was teaching my students each day. I loved singing songs in Malagasy with my younger students at the church school in Ampangorina. A spectacular moment of my trip was visiting Lemur Park and having the Lemurs hop on my back while I fed them bananas! I also got to hold a Boa Constrictor snake, which was nothing short of amazing. One last favorite moment was eating at a local highly-rated restaurant called Christian's, where Chef Christian made the most delicious meal for a group of us. The food was fantastic!

Luckily, I did not get seriously injured or sick on this trip (as some do because you do a lot of walking over large rocks, climbing, and digestions of potentially uncommon foods & drinks no matter what program you are in), as some volunteers do. I also was very cautious and any cut or bruise I got I treated immediately and effectively. If you do this, and follow safety procedures, you really have practically nothing to worry .

Overall, this trip was extremely memorable and life-changing. I am so grateful that I was able to do this and I truly feel that I made a positive impact in the communities where I taught in Madagascar. I definitely plan to return to Madagascar in my lifetime and hopefully visit my students again! I also plan to volunteer with IVHQ in another part of the globe in the near future.

Remember: The memories that you make in Madagascar will last you a lifetime, and more.

-Hannah Bonecutter

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 10, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Hi Hannah, Thanks for sharing! We are thrilled to hear that you had a phenomenal time in Madagascar and loved working on the Teaching project. We’ve enjoyed reading your favorite moments and we know others will too. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we can’t wait to see where you choose to volunteer next!
    Claire – IVHQ Madagascar Program Manager