Greatest IVHQ Selfies Of 2014

From a handful of #IVHQ selfies shared via Instagram (and by a handful, I mean thousands), we've hand picked a few of the greatest selfies of 2014.

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10 Things I Learnt As A Volunteer in Colombia

Having volunteered at home in London for many years, British volunteer Danny Chalkley decided to combine his passion for travel, culture and helping others by becoming a volunteer in Colombia. After 4 weeks abroad, Danny shares his story and the lessons he learnt from Cartagena...

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A Senior’s Take on Volunteering Abroad

Aged 71, IVHQ volunteer Michael Small didn't let age become a barrier as he pursued a dream of volunteering abroad and reliving his days as a teacher. Follow Michael's journey as he travels to volunteer in Cambodia...

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Volunteer in Asia Road Trip

Combining two of his greatest passions - Asia and road tripping - IVHQ's Reeve Barnett shares how to make the most of your time as a volunteer in Asia. Consider yourself warned, his passion may be somewhat contagious...

Road trip.

What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear "road trip"?

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Volunteering in Africa - What You're Missing Out On

Thinking of volunteering in Africa? Find out what you're missing out on...

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10 Rookie Mistakes International Volunteers Make

Having traveled extensively myself, and now working in the volunteer travel world, I have a fairly good grasp on the mistakes that travelers and volunteers make, so I've pulled together this list so you can avoid making the same ones...

- Dan Sharp (IVHQ Volunteer Coordinator)

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Volunteering in South America - This is Argentina

What's it like volunteering in South America? IVHQ volunteer Megan explains...

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How One Volunteer In Tanzania Became A Hero To A Family Of Eight

In 2011, after deciding not to attend University, I found myself working in a restaurant in Brighton, a city in the South of the UK. One day whilst working, I started chatting to a girl with bright pink hair, her name was Lulu. Lulu had just finished a three month volunteering stint in Tanzania.

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Volunteering Abroad Lessons: Where I Went Wrong Traveling In Asia

I've always been fascinated by Asia, and never been disappointed on every visit to the continent. Like all travelers that have had the opportunity to visit or volunteer in Asia, I have had my fair share of stories and learnt a few lessons.

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Volunteering Abroad In South Africa As Told By Alyssa Ramos

California's Alyssa Ramos joined IVHQ this year and while volunteering abroad in South Africa, Alyssa blogged about her experience as a first-time volunteer teacher (and surf instructor on the IVHQ Surf Outreach project). The following are excerpts from Alyssa's blog to offer a unique look into the life of an IVHQer in Cape Town...

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Life After Volunteering Abroad

It's always a pleasure hearing from our IVHQ volunteers and learning how their lives have changed after volunteering abroad.

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A Look Into Your Volunteer Experience in Ghana

Ghana, Africa is fast becoming one of the world's most popular volunteer destinations as travelers search for a volunteer experience abroad, and it’s easy to see why...

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How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint When Traveling

Think reducing your carbon footprint when traveling can't be fun? It could be more fun than you think!

To help our volunteers be more carbon conscious travelers, we've pulled together this list of simple tips for reducing your carbon footprint when traveling...

 

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Volunteering In Cambodia - Catching The Cambodia Bug

IVHQ staff regularly travel to visit our volunteer overseas programs to meet with local staff and volunteers, visit volunteer placements and ensure our programs are operating to a high standard. I recently visited our volunteer overseas program in Cambodia, and found I walked away having caught the Cambodia bug…

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Questions All Volunteers Want Answered When They Volunteer Abroad

The team at IVHQ literally answers thousands of questions every week around how to volunteer abroad - whether it be via email or telephone, we encourage IVHQ volunteers to throw all their questions our way, to ensure they're well prepared for the journey ahead!

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World Festivals Worth Traveling For

With volunteer abroad programs in over 25 countries around the world, IVHQ volunteers find themselves in the midst of many of the world's most loved festivals!

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Flying Tips - Your Guide To The Perfect Flight

As a volunteer abroad, you share at least one experience with every other volunteer… Air travel.

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10 Facepalm Moments To Avoid In Travel

We all learn from our mistakes, but sometimes it's easier to learn the mistakes of others, so you can spare yourself a facepalm!

To save you from slipping into the facepalm zone, I'm sharing some of the most facepalm-worthy moments I've experienced and witnessed in travel mode...

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Most Instagrammed Volunteer Overseas Destinations

Here at International Volunteer HQ, we love coming to work each day, knowing we're helping people of all ages and nationalities travel the world affordably, while making contributions to developing communities.

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Volunteer Abroad Reviews For Parents By Parents

Do you have (or are you) a parent looking for feedback from parents of past IVHQ volunteers...?

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5 Volunteers Who Will Inspire You To Volunteer Abroad

We love hearing and sharing stories of international volunteers achieving amazing things on IVHQ volunteer abroad programs, so much so that International Volunteer HQ is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 IVHQ

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Behind the Scenes with Volunteers in South America

Summing up her visits to our Ecuador and Colombia volunteer abroad programs, IVHQ’s Lydia takes us behind the scenes…

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10 Conservation Volunteer Opportunities

To celebrate June 5th AKA World Environment Day, we're sharing 10 Conservation Volunteer Opportunities offered through International Volunteer HQ!

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10 Reasons Volunteers Choose Cambodia

With IVHQ's growing list of volunteer program destinations, the decision of where to go can become difficult! To help, we've listed 10 reasons why IVHQers choose to volunteer in Cambodia!

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What Should iPack?

When you volunteer overseas, what technology should come with you?

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Tips For Being A Valuable Volunteer

Everyone who volunteers abroad with IVHQ wants to make a difference and do some good. That goal is equal parts admirable and inspiring, and I’m constantly amazed by the passion and authentic drive that our volunteers have to make a positive contribution to a community. But it’s not easy.

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10 Reasons Volunteers Love Tanzania

Tanzania is rich in culture and a favorite volunteer abroad destination for IVHQ Volunteers. While this list could've had 101 reasons, we've narrowed it down to the Top 10 thanks to suggestions from IVHQ volunteers in Tanzania.

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10 Signs You're The Perfect IVHQ Volunteer

Do you fit the bill?

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18 Places You Need To Visit While You're Young

The best part about this list is you can visit all of these places during your weekends while volunteering overseas with IVHQ!

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Greatest IVHQ Selfies Of 2014

With or without a selfie stick, our IVHQ volunteers have mastered the art of the one-handed capture. (Helps when you're working with the likes of Victoria Falls or the Taj Mahal as your backdrop)!

From a handful of #IVHQ selfies shared via Instagram (and by a handful, I mean thousands), we've hand picked a few of the greatest selfies of 2014...

 

On the job on our Wildlife Conservation project in Victoria Falls...

 

A photo posted by James Bitmead (@jamesbitmead) on

 

Watch your back!

 

A photo posted by MEF (@stefimefmef) on

 

You too...

 

A photo posted by chaddie_ (@chaddie_) on

 

Group selfie(s) with IVHQers in Zambia!

 

A photo posted by Bailey Bystry (@socallmebaileyy) on 

 

Andrea and co talking shop in Costa Rica...

 

A photo posted by Andrea. (@andreacalm) on 

 

When in Delhi...

 

A photo posted by Kristen Dubois (@kdubisrad) on 

 

Capturing the colors of India's Diwali Festival - selfie style!

 

A photo posted by ☮ (@j3ssila) on

 

Chilling with the locals in South Africa...

 

A photo posted by Britt Borja (@brittbee_) on

 

Marine Conservation volunteers drafting off the back of turtles...

 

A photo posted by Connor Parry (@connor636) on

 

Who wore it better?

 

A photo posted by Bailey Bystry (@socallmebaileyy) on

 

To see more selfies from IVHQers in over 30 different destinations around the world, see yourself over to Instagram and search for #IVHQ!

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10 Things I Learnt As A Volunteer in Colombia

Having volunteered at home in London for many years, British volunteer Danny Chalkley decided to combine his passion for travel, culture and helping others by becoming a volunteer in Colombia. After 4 weeks abroad, Danny shares his story and the lessons he learnt from Cartagena...

This summer I headed to South America to volunteer in Colombia. Like too many people, ignorance limited my knowledge of Colombia to coffee, drugs and associated violence, salsa and Gabriel García Márquez, in that order. Plus, thanks to Brasil 2014, I knew Colombia play fantastic football.

My base for the summer was Colombia’s fifth largest city, Cartagena, located on the Caribbean coast. Founded in 1533 by the Spanish, today the city has 900,000 inhabitants but is still dominated by its colonial past. I volunteered with neglected and deprived young people, teaching english and sports across 5 projects. Much of my time was spent in one of Cartagena’s poorest districts, the infamous Nelson Mandela Barrio. After six wonderful weeks, spent volunteering and working with amazing people and living with the locals, I took my final dawn run on the beach and said my sad farewells. It was an truly inspiring, life enhancing and sometimes shocking experience.

But what did I learn about Colombia from my time as a volunteer in Cartagena?

1. Colombia is still a developing country with many poor and needy people living in conditions which are unimaginable to most Westerners and who possess literally less than nothing. Mercifully, there are many good hearted volunteers willing to donate time to help. Volunteers, that are welcomed and very much appreciated by Colombians.

2. Despite Colombia’s reputation, it’s a safe and very welcoming country for travellers. At no point did I feel unsafe.

3. Colombia is a beautiful country and becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination as perceptions change.

4. Colombians are super friendly and helpful.

5. Colombia is a football crazy nation with men, women and children proudly wearing the national team shirt like a uniform.

6. Colombians LOVE music and dancing. It’s everywhere !

7. Colombians are hard working and a nation of natural entrepreneurs.

8. By western standards, the infrastructure is poor and often non existent. Colombians just get on with it.

9. And about myself? Well, I discovered that I enjoy teaching. And my Spanish is not too bad.

10. I totally LOVE Colombia and will be back !

 

Read more from Danny at his blog, or follow in his footsteps and volunteer in Colombia.

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A Senior’s Take on Volunteering Abroad

Aged 71, IVHQ volunteer Michael Small didn't let age become a barrier as he pursued a dream of volunteering abroad and reliving his days as a teacher. Follow Michael's journey as he travels to volunteer in Cambodia...

‘Don’t leave it too late,’ my sister said, showing me her enchanting display of photographs of Angkor Wat on her ipad.  Her words touched a raw spot with me, a seasoned procrastinator.  For many years I had longed to stay at Siem Reap and spend a week marvelling at the temples.  But having retired and no longer earning an income, I had become reluctant to travel overseas.  So with my sister’s warning ringing in my ears, I searched the internet for voluntary teaching positions.  Several organizations were listed, but the most appealing was IVHQ.  The tone of its website was warmly encouraging, the choice of programmes was impressive and the organization was based in New Zealand, a reassuring sign.

 

 

A photo posted by @ivhq on

 

I applied to teach English in Cambodia for four weeks.  At seventy-one, I anticipated being rejected, even though I am fit.  ‘You’re brave,’ was a common reaction in my startled Over-55s village.  Or ‘How generous!’  However, I was simply concerned with doing something useful, being of service.  Although I had been a secondary school teacher for forty years, I still had doubts about whether I should or could make a comeback.  As a senior citizen, I feared my voice wouldn’t project and that I’d be measured against much younger and very enthusiastic volunteers.  And whether I could strike the right note with primary school children.

My fears were allayed on the first day of teaching.  Tiny tots of five and six jumped into our arms and clung on to us as if we were old friends.  Once inside our classroom – I was paired with a nineteen year old who’d never taught before – I immediately felt at ease:  the old physical gestures and tricks of teaching returned and I enjoyed hamming up pronunciation practice and acting out new vocabulary that thrilled the youngsters.  The most touching situation came when I was asked my age.  Anxiously I counted in tens on my fingers, but the children hugged me even harder, such was their respect for us oldies.

 

 

A photo posted by @ivhq on

 

I knew from the prospectus that songs and games would be a welcome asset, but singing wasn’t one of my skills, especially as the children loved chanting oral drills as loudly as possible, such as counting numbers 1 to 100 or the alphabet.  So I sang ABC to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ as softly as possible, nervous that I couldn’t remember the last line.  To my surprise, the children joined in with angelic softness half-way through.  I phased myself out as they finished with their own tag.  A very moving moment.

 

 

A photo posted by Ashleigh (@aannastasiamh) on

 

The chance to visit Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields as well as riding an elephant in a wilderness jungle gave me the opportunity to familiarise myself with the country and the people of Cambodia.  Soon after, I signed up for a month’s teaching in the Himalayas.  ‘Aren’t you worried about getting sick?’ friends asked.  No, I was more concerned about running out of time to experience another culture and about removing myself from my comfort zone in Australia.

I have also just returned from India, teaching young Tibetan monks for four weeks, a remarkable experience and am currently considering a third placement in South America.

If you're inspired by Michael's story, visit the IVHQ website for details on becoming a mature IVHQ volunteer abroad.

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