Is International Volunteer HQ Legitimate?

An international volunteer organization that provides quality programs at affordable prices sounds too good to be true, right? The kiwis of New Zealand created such an organization: International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)! With thousands of volunteers joining annually and no middle men involved, IVHQ lives up to its mission while impacting lives for the better. IVHQ works with local organizations, and because many programs are in developing countries, the fees reflect the low cost of living as well.

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Ready to get your travel on and change lives with International Volunteer HQ? Before you do so, you’ll probably want to find out if if IVHQ is legit!

Plus, the numbers don’t lie. IVHQ offers programs in more than 40 destinations around the world, has more than 3,500 reviews on independent review sites, has hosted more than 100,000 volunteers, and has provided quality services for more than 10 years. Bonus: Applying for a program with IVHQ is free! Many international volunteer portals, such as, have verified IVHQ. So, is International Volunteer HQ legitimate? Well, GoAbroad will give you the scoop on what makes International Volunteer HQ legit!

Why we know Volunteer HQ is legit

1. Modern website

Take a look at their “sweet as” website, mate! IVHQ provides transparent details about all of their programs and fees. From IVHQ’s history, to services, to community networks with IVHQ reviews, you’ll find a vast amount of organized and clear information. You can easily navigate to any of their program offerings on every continent that provides details about the location, duration, orientation, requirements, application requirements, and more. The best part? All of the beautiful photographs that will inspire you to help others and make a difference!

2. Active social media channels

IVHQ has established social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. IVHQ provides lots of support, tips, advice, promotions, event details, news, and inspiration via the social media channels. Nearly 200,000 people follow IVHQ on Facebook and more than 10,000 follow IVHQ on Twitter! Hundreds of thousands of volunteers share their reviews, stories, pictures, and plans, so you can connect with others and join the community.

3. Real people

IVHQ is only a message away via phone call, chat, or email with a detailed “contact us” page to get all of your Qs answered promptly from a real person on their website. You can also get through to a real person through their social media channels if you have any questions. IVHQ is there to help you throughout the entire application process — before you arrive, 24/7 support during your program duration, and after you return to your home country.

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Plus, since IVHQ is such a popular organization, you’ll have loads of real life volunteers accompanying (and befriending) you.

Also, IVHQ provides a page where you can meet the team! You can see everyone who works there, their title, their professional picture, and information about them. The staff assess local teams and provides them with extensive training to ensure high quality programs. The primary staff of the IVHQ team is to ensure that the local partner organizations and volunteer placements are a good match.

4. Reviews

If the numbers, website, and affordable fees haven’t won you over, take a peek at the reviews of IVHQ! The reviews written by alumni volunteers can help you get an idea of what the program will be like in the country, what kinds of things you’ll do there for the program and for fun, and how IVHQ will support you through the process.

5. Thousands of volunteers have written International Volunteer HQ reviews on

Many of them have shared their stories about their fears and doubts, and about how their volunteer experience abroad changed their lives. The overall rating for IVHQ on is a stunning 9.54! Here’s a few noteworthy experiences that illustrate why IVHQ is legit:

I volunteered in Nepal – Kathmandu for the Women’s Education program for 2 weeks during March. The local team was very helpful, and I enjoyed my host family experience and had a lovely time getting to know them! My placement and the food were above my expectations. I had an amazing volunteering experience at the school and got to meet many inspiring women who are eager to learn, which allowed me to learn and grow as well.” — Hala Mezher – Lebanon.

I spent a total of 5 weeks volunteering in Cusco, Peru through IVHQ. The application process was easy and straightforward. I felt supported through my application, preparation, and time in country. IVHQ was great about answering all of my questions and ensuring I was prepared for my trip.” — Sydney Lara – United States

“Volunteering in Fiji through IVHQ was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever. I had the opportunity to work with a kindergarten class, which was a unique experience. At the beginning of the program I was super nervous as I had never travelled overseas alone before, but IVHQ assisted me every step of the way. The program was well organised, the accommodation was great and the food was amazing. 100% would recommend.” — Anita Arber – Australia

6. Recognitions

Not only are the IVHQ reviews great, but so are the recognitions! Many international travel portals have verified IVHQ quite well by their own standards. GoAbroad also named IVHQ as the “Top Volunteer Abroad Organization” of 2018, and IVHQ is also recognized by the Certified B Organization. With over 221 programs listed on, IVHQ is also quite popular among volunteers.

Quick tips for becoming an IVHQ volunteer abroad

Two pairs of feet standing near a “passion led us here” sign
Passion led you here, but now it’s time to decide where it will lead next. Decide where to make a difference and nail down a project to work on with IVHQ.

First, pick a cause that’s meaningful for you! Get into gear for tramping (hiking) with wildlife projects in New Zealand, change into your traje de baño (swimsuit) for marine conservation in Costa Rica, or teach at a chuo (school) in Kenya. From children, to the elderly, to animals and habitats, IVHQ provides a plethora of choices for volunteering abroad!

Many of the causes will help you gain vital life skills or professional skills, create global connections, enhance your personal development, and learn more about a different culture. You can also volunteer with a group, a partner, or a friend. Even those from ages 16-18 can volunteer without an adult and those under 16 can volunteer with an adult in some programs.

Second, what are you waiting for?! IVHQ recommends applying for your program and country of choice as soon as possible to secure a placement. The summer time is usually quite popular for volunteer programs, but short-term programs are available throughout the year. After you apply, you’ll then have access to a MyIVHQ portal, and you’ll be connected with an IVHQ Program Manager to help you throughout the entire process and answer any questions.

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TICK TOCK! Now that you know IVHQ is legit, there’s no time to waste—apply ASAP to make sure you don’t miss out!

Third, pay for the registration fee and program fee. A plethora of previous IVHQ volunteers rave about the affordability in International Volunteer HQ reviews! The IVHQ pricing model consists of two fees:

    • The registration fee is $299, and it’s the same for every program! The fee holds your place in the program and helps with operating costs, marketing costs, travel inspections, administration costs, and more. The cost also goes toward the IVHQ fund, which helps provide education, support people with disabilities, and address environmental needs.
    • The program fee varies by country, program, duration, and other factors. The fee covers in-country costs for meals, project donations, accommodation, transportation, administrative costs, and more. The fee is due 4 weeks before the program start date and goes toward the local teams before you arrive.
    • Extra extra, read all about it! If you want to sign up for another program or subsequent program after completing an IVHQ program, you’ll receive a 10% Registration Fee discount!

Last but not least, sign up for a FundMyTravel account to fundraise like a boss! A FundMyTravel account can help you cover additional transportation costs, administrative fees, fun trips, and medical necessities.  Plenty of previous travelers have shared their success stories with implementing FundMyTravel, so you can do it too!  

FundMyTravel was made by travelers for travelers, and provides tips and tricks to help you rally support successfully. You can get as creative as you like with incentives to build momentum, engage more with your audience, and connect with extended networks. Create your FundMyTravel account, spread the word with friends and family via social media and emails, and pad that piggy bank, baby.

International Volunteer HQ is legit

A group of hands in a circle painted with a red heart
Is International Volunteer HQ legitimate? All signs point to YES. So get out there and get going on your volunteering adventure!

What makes International Volunteer HQ legit? IVHQ provides a modern website with detailed information, has received amazing recognitions, has thousands of international volunteer HQ reviews, and provides loads of support. You’ll also join an established community of volunteers, and you’ll make a difference, experience a new culture, and boost your resume. Plus, GoAbroad gives IVHQ two thumbs up and a stamp of approval!

IVHQ may have affordable fees to cover a variety of services, but you want to try more dishes, travel to more places, and take language classes, right?! Don’t let finances hold you back or get you down. Implement a FundMyTravel account to help you cover any additional travel and administrative costs, so you can eat more gelato guilt-free, Glen Coco! It’s as easy as 1,2, 3. Pick a program, fundraise with FundMyTravel, and change your life volunteering abroad.  

Make a FundMyTravel Account & Raise Money for an IVHQ Volunteer Program ASAP

Sydney LutzThis article was written by Sydney Lutz. Growing up as an “army brat,” Sydney could not help but develop a thirst for traveling. She has visited all 50 states as well as England, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia. Sydney graduated with a master’s degree in public communication and technology in Colorado, and taught abroad for a year in Quito, Ecuador. Her favorite things to do include studying Spanish, practicing yoga, and travel writing.

Comments (3)

It depends on what program. I volunteered in Cartagena, Colombia and it was a scam. There was no structure, meals were supposed to be provided and there were many times they were missed, the house we stayed in would be inexplicably locked and we would be stuck with nowhere to go in a dangerous part of town. I could go on. It’s a business just like anything else. They want your money and they take advantage of inexperienced young adults.

My daughter travelled to Lovina, Bali and the program shut down two weeks in due to COVID. We had to scramble to find her a flight home ASAP (at our own expense). We paid for 8 weeks of volunteering and she was only there for 2 weeks. When we follwed up with the program manager she said the fees had been paid to the local partner and to follow up with them. They do not reply to any messages. Do NOT beleive that your money will be safe if you register for these programs and they need to shut down again or thing change due to COVID. They have no control once your fees have been paid to the host volunteer company!!!

Great information on this organization. Thank you

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