Best Volunteer Programs by Daniella bULLO

With the hundreds of volunteer programs out there, it's difficult to find one that is reliable, fits your needs, and, for some, cost efficient. Whether you’re a student, or you’re taking a gap year, or you’re a professional or a career break traveler, you’re guaranteed to find a volunteer placement, language immersion opportunity, or hands-on internship through these following programs below. Here are some of the best abroad programs you want to know about.

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Global Vision International (GVI)

Founded in 1997 by Richard Walton, Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GVI will allow you to explore the world, and meet new friends all while making a difference in the world.

GVI offers over 150 different volunteer programs in 25 countries. Some of these programs range from wildlife conservation, to teaching/education, to construction, and beyond, so you're sure to find a program that fits your needs.

GVI makes a huge emphasis on volunteer safety, which makes it very appealing to first-time international volunteers, and teens/high schoolers/ those taking gap years. Their projects start from one week and can last up to one year.

Prices fluctuate with the amount of weeks you choose to stay there. For 1-2 weeks in the program, prices tend to be in the late $1,000's and early $2,000. Or if you're interested in interning, GVI will help pay for some of your expenses.

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Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel is a family-owned organization that was founded in 2003. They own and operate four locally-based educational institutes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, which include: Spanish immersion, Volunteer Abroad, Service Learning, International Internships, TEFL Certification, Semester Abroad, High School Abroad, and many other programs. Maximo Nivel programs are internationally accredited, and university credit is available for most programs.

Maximo Nivel gap year programs get you involved and provide some of the best travel and learning experiences in the world. It offers several pre-planned gap year itineraries. Their suggested itineraries are very flexible, so you can pick and choose to create a personalized program.

Maximo Nivel offers high quality and affordable volunteer programs. For a 1-2 week travel, prices can be anywhere from $500 to $935. Like any other program, prices fluctuate with the amount of time you want to stay.

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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Founded in 2007 by Dan Radcliffe, IVHQ offers over 150 affordable volunteer trips to 30+ countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. IVHQ has placed over 65,000 abroad since 2007, and is one of the world's most trusted and experienced volunteer travel provider.

IVHQ has various projects that range anywhere from medical and health, to arts and music, to sports, and many more, so you're sure to find a project that fits your needs and interests. IVHQ will help prepare volunteers for their trips abroad through on-going email and telephone correspondence and all registered volunteers gain access to a series of online volunteer training modules, developed exclusively for IVHQ volunteers, so you're sure to feel secure at all times.

IVHQ focuses on providing affordable, high-quality and safe volunteer travel experiences. Programs last from one week to 24 weeks, and can start at $180 for two weeks. IVHQ are able to ensure affordable prices by working directly with local organizations in developing countries, where the cost of living is relatively low.

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