ISV
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  1. Applications Now Being Accepted for May-August 2017 Departures! Apply Now
  2. Applications Now Being Accepted for May-August 2017 Departures! Apply Now

ISV Mission Statement

ISV's mission is to support sustainable development initiatives around the world through life-changing student volunteer and responsible adventure travel programs designed to positively change our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens.

Is being an ISV Project Leader one of the best jobs on the planet? We think so. It’s also a challenging role to lead and mentor a group of volunteers for two weeks at a time while liaising with ISV’s local project partner to deliver a safe, meaningful, educational and fun volunteer project. Our Project Leaders tell us it’s one of the most fulfilling opportunities a leader can ever have; and many of our leaders keep coming back to work with us season after season! ISV Project leaders are expected to be extremely knowledgeable about sustainable development issues and their host country. They are hired to be motivators who will inspire ISV volunteers with their passion and work ethic. They also have to be extremely approachable and kind, outgoing and fun, and highly professional group leaders. We’ve proud to say, ISV’s leaders really are the best! Please read about their diversity of backgrounds below.

(My Project Leader) Jacki was heavily involved with us while working and not working. She inspired me to work harder, learn more and overall inspired me to be a better person. Jackie was absolutely incredible! I couldn't have asked for a better leader. She really cared about us learning, growing and having fun. I wish every volunteer had the opportunity to work with Jackie. She truly touched my life!

Samantha Macleod SUNY Brockport


My Leader was so fun, friendly, passionate and knowledgeable! She was great fun to be around and her enthusiasm and passion for conversation was inspiring.

Casey Taylor University of Edinburgh


My project leader ’Sert' was amazing. He went above and beyond to make our experience fully organised and memorable, I could not imagine anyone better. He was also a great teacher and friend. Also a very hard worker, he was fully involved in the activities.

Mariana Ortiz Universidad Iberoamericana


Kay is the best project leader possible. She is approachable, caring, kind, knowledgable and worked very hard to keep us safe and on task. Kay clearly informed us about our tasks and what she expected of us. Also encouraged questions.

Jazmin Moyer Ohlone College

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Australia

Bridget  Mattingley

Bridget Mattingley

Melbourne, Australia

Growing up, I was lucky to spend my childhood camping and exploring Australia’s coasts and mountains. In 2013 I completed my Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science, majoring in Conservation Biology & Ecology together with Australian Indigenous Cultural Studies. I’m interested in the ways that the environment, strong communities and wellness interact, and believe a healthy planet and ecosystems are so important for our own health. I enjoy a good adventure, running, cooking, yoga, scuba diving, skiing (yes we do have snow in Australia!) and challenging myself to think in new ways. From hiking in Patagonia, to scuba diving in Indonesia and exploring the jungles of northeast India, I love to be outdoors and meet new people, explore new cultures, foods, languages and landscapes. I believe in the mantra that ‘everyone has something to teach us’. From Tassie’s stunning blue seas and mountain caps, swimming with turtles off the unexplored western coast to Australia’s red center – Australia’s rich cultures and landscapes continues to surprise me. One of my favorite adventures still has to be waking up under the clear stars on the Cape Levesque coast north of Broome (Western Australia) – an important nursery ground for humpback whales – it’s spectacular. I’m excited to lead with ISV in my first project year, and hopefully inspire and give some of you the confidence to continue learning and travelling! Read More

Adrian  Balharrie (Harry or Bhaz)

Adrian Balharrie (Harry or Bhaz)

Ballarat, Australia

Growing up on a small farm in central Victoria, I follow one of my biggest interests: the outdoors. This led to studying a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management. After my study I worked in a range of jobs while traveling Australia and Europe finally finding a great role as a Project Fire Fighter in 2011. The job gave me a chance to work in some of Victoria’s most amazing bush land ranging from State Forests to National Parks. During my time away from the role I have enjoyed traveling and adventuring around Australia and New Zealand.  In 2013 I lived and worked in the Australian Alps at a small outdoor education camp and I currently work in a planning team for the Victorian Environmental Department. I look forward to getting out of the office and share my experience and knowledge with group of eager ISV volunteers.  Read More

Holly James

Holly James

Melbourne, Australia

I was an artist and a yoga teacher before I went back to university to study forest ecology. I’m interested in all the ways that humans interact with the natural world and I like to think about these interactions across evolutionary timescales. I believe in the principle of mutual benefits (what’s good for the earth is good for us), so it’s no surprise to me that science is beginning to show us that planting trees is good for our mental health!  I’ve hiked across the West Macdonnell Ranges in the center of Australia, walked through the burning savannahs of Arnhem Land in the far North, and sat at the southern tip of Tasmania and gazed out into the Southern Ocean. Australia is an extraordinary and ancient land steeped in rich Indigenous culture, and I can’t wait to share it with you.  Read More

Alexandra (Alex) Comino

Alexandra (Alex) Comino

Sydney, Australia

I was born and raised in Sydney, but have always spent a lot of time on our family farm down the South Coast of New South Wales, getting out in nature as often as possible. I completed my undergraduate degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology in 2011, and am now half way through a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Ecotourism. I love to travel, and began my journey with ISV back in 2009 when I went to Thailand as a volunteer. I have since travelled extensively across Australia, the UK, Southern and Eastern Europe and most recently the Himalayas! I have been a part of the ISV team family for almost 2 years and I’m really excited about getting to know the volunteers that come over this year, and sharing my experience about conservation and sustainability practices with them. I also hope to see our visitors catch the “travel bug” and see them leave as conscientious travellers, equipped with responsible tourism tools to continue exploring the world around them! Read More

Carla  Meers

Carla Meers

Brisbane, Australia

After finishing my honours year of my degree in Marine Biology and Ecology at UQ, it was time to reward myself with an adventure! I set off on an ISV trip to South Africa and Swaziland, a life-changing experience in conservation and culture that inspired me to work for ISV as a Project Leader since 2013. Between ISV seasons, I keep busy by working in scientific research and environmental consulting labs, and my job as a wildlife catcher, keeping with my passion for conservation and research. I am always planning my next trip, and when I travel I love to SCUBA dive- my favourite dive spot to date being in the Machalilla National Park off the coast of Ecuador. In the future I hope to work with ISV on more Australian coastal projects where I can continue to educate volunteers on conservation and the marine environment. Read More

Jaclyn (Jacki) Smith

Jaclyn (Jacki) Smith

Adelaide, Australia

I am extremely passionate about conservation and sustainable development, and particularly about empowering people to become actively involved in protecting our environment and natural resources. Since completing my PhD, which focused on Behavioural Ecology, at Flinders University (Adelaide) I have undertaken a variety of roles that combine my passion for animals and the environment with my love of travel - 40 countries and counting!! I volunteered for one year in Indonesia for a bird conservation organisation, an experience that allowed me to work with local communities and gain a first-hand appreciation of the biodiversity conservation issues that are present in developing countries. Most recently I worked for a not-for profit organisation in Queensland that focused on engaging the local community to become proactive in protecting the marine life and aquatic environment of the beautiful Whitsunday Islands by removing marine debris and caring for sick and injured marine turtles. My favourite adventure was my first trip to Madagascar to undertake fieldwork in 2004. This was also my first time out of Australia and everything was so completely different to what I was used to at home. It was the most unbelievable experience, and my travel addiction definitely started here! Read More

Meg  Cossar

Meg Cossar

Brisbane, Australia

My passion is experiential education and I try to live up to Ghandi's words "be the change you wish to see in the world". My love for the outdoors and transformative experiences have seen me hiking through the bush with teenagers at an off-grid school camp, delivering art site talks beside Traditional Owners in Kakadu National Park, cycle touring around the state of Victoria delivering a sustainability message, volunteering abroad to revegetate major watersheds in the Philippines, leading intercultural immersion trips in the Fijian Highlands and teaching kundalini yoga. I look forward to sharing an ISV adventure with you soon.  Read More

Kristy McAlpine

Kristy McAlpine

Melbourne, Australia

I am an environmental scientist – zoologist, with Honors in freshwater ecology (2009), and have recently submitted my Master’s thesis on elephant welfare at Melbourne Zoo. I also love to travel! After my undergrad degree, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I travelled around the world to South America, Europe, and through Africa, after which I worked within my university in the School of Biological Sciences, and then became an environmental consultant for a couple of years before my most recent 2 year masters by research degree. My first trip overseas (2007) was with ISV as a volunteer too! I went to Costa Rica for the sea turtle conservation project. It was amazing! I have also volunteered in Thailand on an elephant behavior project, where I lived within a remote local village. I was married in December 2014, and went on my second trip to India for our honeymoon. I love to spend time in the outdoors and I am particularly passionate about wildlife. I also love to keep healthy and active, practice yoga, spend time with my friends and family, travel, read and connect with people! I love learning about the environment, animals and natural health remedies. I’m really excited about meeting the ISV volunteers, having a great time outdoors and helping to conserve the environment! Read More

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie Martin

New South Wales, Australia

I have a genuine passion and appreciation for the natural environment; I endeavor to be immersed in it, learn about it and optimistically, use my knowledge and skills to help preserve the environment for the future. I have a degree in environmental science and a practical qualification in conservation and land management. I have been fortunate enough to have a very rewarding professional career so far, I’ve worked as an environmental consultant, environmental educator, national parks discovery ranger and now… ISV project leader!! I’m also a wildlife enthusiast and I volunteer with native animal rescue groups. I was once like you! During uni, I took part in an ISV conservation volunteer project. My project was in Costa Rica and I found this to be one of the most rewarding experiences during my time as a student, which I believe instigated my enthusiasm and passion for volunteering and travel. Hopefully it will do the same for you! I love being outdoors. My hobbies and interests are keenly tied to the outdoors, whether it is hiking, canyoning, trail running, scuba diving or climbing. I would say that I am mildly fanatical about mountain biking! As an ISV project leader, I’m really excited to meet likeminded people with a passion for the environment, and to hear all your life stories about how you have developed an interest in conservation and protecting the environment. I hope I can encourage and support you in some way along your journey.  Read More

Lana Austin

Lana Austin

Citizen of the world (currently in Sydney, Australia)

I have a Masters in Wildlife Conservation, and I work as a ‘traveling ecologist’. I love my job because I get to travel the world, see amazing things and meet amazing people. Normally I work with birds, but any kind of conservation work will do. This is my second season with ISV and I love helping volunteers realize that they can achieve anything! I love to do yoga, find an adventure every day, and eat good food! I’m passionate about sharing with people the joy of traveling and the things that it can teach you. As an ISV Project Leader, I’m really excited about seeing the positive changes in every volunteer after just two weeks on project makes me so happy! I can’t wait to see it again this season.  Read More

Manuel ¨Malo¨  Ramirez

Manuel ¨Malo¨ Ramirez

Alajuela, Costa Rica

I am a Costa Rican Anthropologist and Tour Guide who loves to share my knowledge about local culture and Natural History with visitors eager to learn about my home country. I spend my time as a freelance Tour Guide, Cultural Advisor, ISV Group Leader, and also volunteering for several social and environmental organizations. I began leading ISV projects in 2004. I am a passionate naturalist and have been involved in several Anthropological and Archaeological studies across Costa Rica. As a traveler, I'm interested in expanding tolerance and understanding among people from different cultures, which can easily be achieved through intercultural exchange. Also I enjoy mountain biking, swimming, hiking, and dancing salsa during my spare time. So far I have backpacked intensively through 25 countries in search of ancient ruins, authentic cultural expressions, World Heritage Sites, landscapes and Latin Clubs where I try to learn some new salsa moves. After leading 67 volunteer groups, I have realized that sharing my enthusiasm about the Latin-American cultural diversity with students is one of my greatest pleasures.  I bring that devotion with me on every project or community, and I'm always happy to support local community initiatives and wildlife preservation. Read More

Esteban  Rojas

Esteban Rojas

Jacó, Costa Rica

Ever since I left my home in 2006 to get my degree in  Ecological Tourism, I have been traveling around my country and experiencing all kinds of ecosystems that Costa Rica has to show. As I became more and more interested in conservation issues I also understood that community and people are really important for acheiving sustainability in development. My first experience with volunteering was hosting volunteers in my home when I was in high school but what really showed me the power and importance of volunteering was when I volunteered myself in a fresh water turtle project in France in 2009. Since that moment I have worked as a host organization and project leader for volunteer organizations. In 2011, I worked as a tour guide in Costa Rica and in 2012 I started working for ISV. I really love to be involved with conservation organizations, and birdwatching and biking are a couple of my favourite things to do. What I really love about volunteering and working with ISV is that there is no doubt that it changes people´s lives in a very positive way while making a difference. Read More

Florence  Wen

Florence Wen

USA/Costa Rica

After traveling to Costa Rica for the first time in 2010, I fell in love with Latin American culture and learned the importance of all the diverse ecosystems in the tropics. At that moment, I decided to dedicate my life to learning about and protecting the endangered wildlife in Latin America. I graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with honors in Biology and Public Relations. Since graduating, I have worked in several conservation projects in Latin America including several sea turtle projects and an internship at a primate rehabilitation sanctuary. I love traveling, learning about different cultures, and trying new cuisines. I am passionate about wildlife conservation and plan on returning to graduate school to obtain a degree in conservation biology. As an ISV Project Leader, I am most excited about working with other young people in meaningful projects and hopefully inspiring them to think about the impacts that we make on this earth and how we can help protect it. Read More

Mauricio (

Mauricio ("Maui") Luna

Cartago, Costa Rica

I was raised on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, which is culturally and biologically a very diverse place! My first volunteer experience was with sea turtles as a University student; since then I have led service-learning and field trips for more than 10 years. My formal education is diverse (B.A. in International Affairs, Diploma in Education, and M.Sc. in Environmental Studies). One of my favorite things to do is to explore different countries and cultures, which have taken me to far away places in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. One of my favorite adventures ever was to hitchhike around New Zealand while meeting the ‘locals’ and going with the flow! I also enjoy reading, mountain hiking, and surfing. During the ISV projects I’m looking forward to learning something new every day and getting to know each of the participants! Read More

Pablo  Riba

Pablo Riba

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I'm a tico (Costa Rican) and live in the Osa Peninsula, a little bio-paradise in the south corner of Costa Rica. I moved to here when I was 22 years old, when I started my career as a tropical field biologist, and I have carried out my MSc and currently my PhD in this same place. This has been the biggest adventure in my life. Besides being a researcher and coordinator for Proyecto Carey, I have taught study abroad programs in Costa Rica about tropical biology for high school and university students. I love outdoor life, listening to instrumental music, reading National Geographic magazine, learning about construction and alternative ways of living.  Tropical trees, spider monkeys, toucans and agoutis are my favorite tropical organisms. The most important thing I've learned from being an ISV project leader is that when a group of people is organized for a cause, little individual actions together can really have a great impact!! Read More

Andrey  Castillo MacCarthy

Andrey Castillo MacCarthy

Limón, Costa Rica/Texas, USA.

I am from Costa Rica, but I currently live in College Station, TX while my wife finishes her PhD. I am quick in learning foreign languages, I like to learn new things, and I am very good in hands on projects, which has helped me a great deal in my work as a conservation professional and naturalist in Costa Rica protecting sea turtles and working with people from all over the world. I love to be outdoors and I love nature, and everything worthwhile I have done so far in my life had something to do with it. My greatest adventure so far was when I moved to Germany for 1.5 years and studied German there which allowed me to be fluent. Read More

Danyi (

Danyi ("Dan-jee") Prieto

Bogotá, Colombia

When I was 10, I learned why plants have flowers and that is when I knew I wanted to study biology. At 18 I went to Costa Rica to study at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and completed a B.Sc. in Tropical Biology with honors. My professional experience has since been related to outdoors educational programs with young people. In 2013, I travelled by land and sea from Costa Rica to Colombia and led excursions for elementary and high school students in the Amazon, the Caribbean and the Andes. I love to read classic novels and science books, I also enjoy all sorts of instrumental music and I think bugs are the most interesting animals in the whole world! The most important thing I’ve learned from being an ISV Project Leader (on more than 20 projects!) is that our actions can have a huge impact on one another and, most importantly, that we all can choose what kind of impact we want to make. Read More

Pedro   de la Cruz

Pedro de la Cruz

Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic

I am a former professional baseball (MLB) player with a degree in psychology. I am a teacher and work in community development programs mentoring youth in school. In addition, I am trained to lead small and large discussion groups. I have travelled to the United States and Cuba for work and to run development projects.  I love to read. My favorite adventure in my life was when I signed with a major league baseball club. As an ISV Project Leader I am really excited about the opportunity to continue making a difference in my home country. Also, I love ISV because they are very organized and their main priority is safety.    Read More

Tanya  Badía

Tanya Badía

La Vega, Dominican Republic

I have been a lawyer in the Dominican Republic since 2006. I love travel, music, movies and books.  My favorite soccer team is Manchester United and conversations go well with pretty much everything you do.  I enjoy working with groups of people that are trying to understand their place in this world and how to impact that/those around them in a positive way- and I have been doing that for several years now.  I believe the best part of giving is that it doesn’t have to be material: happiness, joy, stories, knowledge are wonderful gifts. Everywhere we go we should try to share these things.  Let others learn from us and allow ourselves to learn from others, be amazed by what the world has to offer.  This is just wonderful! Read More

Courtney Fowles

Courtney Fowles

Cape Town, South Africa

I grew up in many different places in South Africa, igniting a love of a travel whilst opening my eyes to the vast needs of communities across the country. Little did I know when I was growing up that these two things would come to mean so much to me! I left High School to study drama in University where I dabbled in Psychology, quite quickly psychology became my second major as I found its relevance in everything I did, and do today. After I completed my degree it was time for an adventure and I packed all my belongings in a backpack and headed to South East Asia. Settling in Vietnam I became a teacher and then embarked on a solo travel that landed me in Nepal doing community development work with the Himalayas at my doorstep. I returned to South Africa , rich in travels, and did my Honours degree in Psychology with special interest in community development, environmental psychology and counselling. With my goals aligning so well with that of ISV, I can now put my knowledge and skills to practice! Read More

Kieran Whitley

Kieran Whitley

Somerset West, South Africa

I graduated from Stellenbosch University with a degree in Social Work and have a passion to help those in need, particularly children. When I am not working for ISV, I work for a small school as a Social Worker.  One of the main reasons I completed my studies in Social Work was to become involved in community development projects. I love working at a grass roots level and connecting, sharing and learning from others. When I am not working I am lost in the mountains or away camping, I love the outdoors and explore across Southern Africa as much as I can.   I can’t wait to share the ISV experience with you and create a more active and aware global community. Read More

Kelly (Kel)  Gower

Kelly (Kel) Gower

Cape Town, South Africa

I am out-going person who loves socialising and having lots of laughs through tremendously fun experiences that I have been privileged to have.  I have been passionate about nature conservation since I was young and I completed a BSc Honours in Botany at Rhodes University as a result. During my time at University I gained a lot of experience in the field and in the classroom, taking part in numerous volunteer programs for animals, children and families. I have been a swimming teacher for some time, loving every moment of the rewards of it. I’ve lived in London for a year and have travelled Asia, Europe, America and Africa experiencing and learning from all the various cultures. One of the greatest adventures of my life was 2 months work as manager at Lake Malawi, Venice Beach. I love to be outdoors and learn about nature and how we are a part of it. Therefore I love to preserve and conserve nature whilst satisfying the needs of people in a community. I also think that it is compulsory to educate these necessities in order to be sustainable, hence my love for education as well as learning from people. Read More

Leticia  Martinez (Leti/Let)

Leticia Martinez (Leti/Let)

Spain/South Africa

I'm a Spanish biologist with a passion for endangered species and nature conservation, currently living in South Africa. Five years ago, I had my first opportunity to come to this beautiful country and study reproduction of white rhinos in their natural habitat. After completing my research, I finished my PhD with the Complutense University of Madrid in 2013. I love any kind of outdoor activity and travelling but there is something unique about the African bush that makes me want to stay here...! The world is in need of more conscious, active, sustainable citizens and that is what I would like to achieve as a project leader through this awesome experience with ISV. Read More

Courtney Moxely

Courtney Moxely

Cape Town, South Africa

I am an early-career conservationist with a research background in both ecology and genetics. In choosing these two vastly different fields, I have gained experience with dung beetles in the African bush and with DNA of baboon parasites in a molecular lab. My main aim in exploring these two disciplines has been to add fresh perspective and to apply a broad range of skills in overcoming conservation issues in South Africa and worldwide. Human impact on biodiversity and the role that the youth can play in reducing these effects are topics that I am particularly passionate about. I am also interested in science communication and using art to create awareness around urgent topics in conservation and to promote sustainable living. I strongly believe that knowledge is power and I look forward to sharing my experience and inspiring young minds that are eager to learn and make a difference around the world. Read More

Kirsty Venter

Kirsty Venter

I have had the privilege of growing up in some of the most amazing areas in South Africa. Spending the majority of my time in game reserves and on farms meant that I quickly developed a great love for the outdoors and wildlife. These are passions that have stuck with me throughout my life.  When I ended up with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Entomology I followed in my father’s footsteps and developed into an avid conservationist.  The great years spent at university lead to me making incredible friends as well as head on some amazing adventures! One of my favourite adventures was travelling around Southern and Eastern Africa for 6 weeks on local transport. This trip fuelled my love for Africa, culture and simplistic natural beauty.  I carried on to complete my Honours degree in African Vertebrate Biodiversity allowing me to extend my skill as a conservationist and teach me to think critically about real issues we are facing during our lifetime. On leaving university I went on to dabble in agricultural entomology before heading to Mauritius to do a study on dolphins and whales.  I discovered that my love for the bush was only rivalled by that of the sea. Leaving the great tropical waters of Mauritius I headed to the icy cold seas of Antarctica and the great expansiveness of the southern ocean. Here I got to work with the giants of our world, blue whales. My whole life has been one epic adventure hopefully with many more to follow! The next adventure starts with ISV. Read More

Laura  Patterson

Laura Patterson

Te Anau, New Zealand

Kia ora! In the summer months I work as a Conservation Ranger for the Department of Conservation, in the South Island of NZ. My background is in health and community development (Bachelor of Health Science and Master Philosophy, Development Studies) and I'm excited by the link between our personal health, community wellbeing, and the environment. I've spent around 10 years in various countries involved in community development and humanitarian relief work, so I understand what it's like to travel and experience new countries. With New Zealand being made up of islands, there's such a diverse landscape here. I’m keen to explore the outdoors with ISV students this year and to make a difference for conservation here in NZ! Read More

Jo Guest

Jo Guest

Wanaka, New Zealand

Adventuring in the outdoors and connecting with people rocks my world. I originally hail from Edinburgh, Scotland with a BSc in Zoology, a Post Graduate degree in teaching and a curiosity for the unknown. I have been part of the community in Wanaka, New Zealand for the past 14 years making the most of all New Zealand has to offer.  My work and play has blended, while I spend time teaching in classrooms and the outdoors, running women’s MTB and backcountry skills clinics and more recently in volunteer management for events.  I’m a big fan of good food and books, bikes and powder snow, small waves and native plants. Read More

Morgan  Coleman

Morgan Coleman

Christchurch, New Zealand

Kia ora! 2016 will be my 4th great year project leading for ISV. I have travelled extensively, and particularly enjoy mountain biking and photography. While principally employed by a leading ecological research organisation, ISV provides a fantastic opportunity to mix the benefits of my environmental knowledge with leading and mentoring small groups of international students. As my wife hails from Florida, we are proud to call the USA our second home.  I have been involved in a voluntary capacity in such diverse fields as monitoring sea turtle populations in the tropics to carrying out penguin surveys in Antarctica. Currently however, my two kids keep me quite busy enough! Read More

Nick Baigent

Nick Baigent

Auckland, New Zealand

I’m looking forward to being your Project Leader while you are in Aotearoa, New Zealand. I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and have travelled throughout the country and the world. I have recently finished my studies in Political Science at the University of Auckland gaining my BA Honours last year. I will be continuing to study later this year taking part in a Master's programme at the University of Glasgow. Beyond this I have worked in numerous roles for the Department of Conservation here in New Zealand. In 2013, I volunteered with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) based in Flagstaff, Arizona for five months. I have led hikes in the Canadian Rockies and planted trees throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Lastly, I have also worked as an English language teacher in the Republic of Georgia in 2011. I am an avid hiker and am enthusiastic about the outdoors. I look forward to meeting all of you guys.  Read More

Valerie Bianchi

Valerie Bianchi

Ragland, New Zealand

Growing up with the good fortune of having a relationship with the outdoors has shaped my life. I spent my childhood in the forest and along the coast of Massachusetts where I developed a love for the environment, adventuring in the outdoors, and pumpkin pie. After finishing my BFA and working for the National Park Service and the Appalachian Mountain Club, I began to slowly move west. Along the way I taught outdoor education and kept watch as a Marine Mammal Observer on offshore vessels. I arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand intending to stay for three months, five and a half years ago. Over that time I have worked for a number of environmental organizations such as the Department of Conservation, reduced my plastic consumption, and submitted my Master's thesis in Environmental Education. I am grateful for the things I have learned from the people and from this amazing country. I hope that through sharing my knowledge and passion about the environment and sustainability with ISV participants, I can give back to New Zealand and participate in increasing people’s environmental practices globally. Read More

Thailand

Mu Pattarapong

Mu Pattarapong

Bangkok, Thailand

My name is Pattarapong Chaowai or Mu as a nickname (pronounce it like when you say music) and I am originally from Lampang. Over the years, I’ve done many different things as I want to gain as much life experience as possible. Ranging from cleaning horse stables and selling fruit, to teaching underprivileged children at school, I cherish each experience as they allowed me to gain deeper insights into how I relate to the world.  Before joining ISV as Project Leader, I worked in the field related to development, environment, migration, and volunteerism with government agencies, international organizations, diplomatic mission and research projects. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations major from Thammasat University, Thailand. Furthermore, I completed courses in sustainable consumption for environmental sustainability, climate change and migration, and a fellowship program on US legislative process and local governance. Personally, I love to paint or sketch picturesque landscapes and I also enjoy trekking and traveling around the world.  Read More

 Ice  Kiattichai

Ice Kiattichai

Maesai, Thailand

I earned my bachelor's degree in Mass Communication and Technology at Rhamkhamhaeng University in Bangkok. During my studies I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering including an opportunity that was fundraising for children with disabilities and homeless individuals. During my volunteering I developed a keen passion for helping groups who are less fortunate. I am passionate about volunteerism because of my personal relationship with Buddhism which holds the belief that when "you give something to others, you shall expect great things in return." In my free time I enjoy pursuing photography and taking photographs of the beauty in nature. My favorite destination was Krabi, in the South of Thailand. It was exciting to see the ocean, as my hometown is so far away. Snorkeling and visiting temples was exciting and had breathtaking views. Being a part of the ISV program has been highly rewarding and enlightening and  has enabled me to teach English to students who live in remote areas as well as lead volunteers and teach them about culture in Thailand.  As for me, I have learned many new things that I have never experienced before and have opened my eyes in my daily life. Read More

Miss Parussaya  Hoysang (Jane)

Miss Parussaya Hoysang (Jane)

Nakhonsawan, Northern Thailand

I graduated from Chiang Mai University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations). My Master's Degree is in Management, Majoring in Entrepreneurship. During high school, I got a scholarship to travel and study in Denmark as an exchange student for a year and I was the Thailand Representative for the Environmental Camp in South Africa for 2 weeks. During University I was always a student volunteer and I attended the World Lake Conference for Students in Japan for 2 weeks sponsored by UNICEF. I have worked for many organizations in the past 15 years including UNICEF Thailand and also UNDP Asia-Pacific. I have travelled around Europe, South East Asia and South Africa for work and exploring new cultures. My hobbies are traveling net-working and photography. I can understand Danish and can communicate in basic French, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese. I love to work in multi-cultural environments because it's a good way to understand people. I'm excited about being your Project Leader to hopefully encourage you to have a life-changing experience through all the activities while having fun and the greatest time ever!! Read More

Kitiya  Pinmaneenopparat (Kay)

Kitiya Pinmaneenopparat (Kay)

Bangkok, Thailand

I was born and raised in Bangkok as the youngest of 4 children. Growing up with my family I learned to embrace my culture and a passion for giving back to the people of Thailand. I graduated from Bangkok University International College, with a Business English Major. After I graduated, I worked as an executive for my family business in real estate and then came to a place where I wanted to find a challenging job to fulfill my dream and passion. For the past two years I have been working with Peace Corps Thailand as a Language Integration Facilitator. I learned so many skills to be a good leader and facilitator. In my free time I enjoy traveling, playing badminton and basketball, spending time with family and friends and cooking. Meditation and camping with my family is also very special to me. What I love to do is learn something new every day. Eat and try new cuisine from different restaurants with my sister. Read and educate myself on new material that will support the work I do. As an ISV project leader, I'm really excited about beginning this experience and journey with participants like you! This unique opportunity will allow us to see Thailand in a way unlike any other! Read More

Yutthakrit  Chalermthai (Nat)

Yutthakrit Chalermthai (Nat)

Nakhon Si Thammarat, Southern Thailand

I am personally passionate about social development and environmental conservation. I studied International Relations and Political Science because I wanted to see the world in a bigger picture-  the global scale along with the individual scale and also be able to relate these components to creating sustainable development. I have studied in America for one year. I was also a science teacher for disadvantaged school children for two years where most of the kids came from broken families. I love working as a volunteer just to create some changes in my community. I am really good at building relationships, personal coaching, teaching, and creating a learning environment for people around me and also myself. As an ISV Project Leader, I’m really excited about the impacts that we are going make for people in the community and exchanging knowledge among volunteers and local hosts. Read More

Tao Kritsana

Tao Kritsana

I have a bachelor degree in English and literature. During university, I was a team member in a volunteer club for four years. Volunteering is a great way to meet friends, accept all our differences, respect on another and making memories together. I was born in a city called Surin, a land of elephants and a very dry region of Thailand. This region has a variety of ethnic groups with cultures and traditions steeped in religion.  In 2011, I travelled to Brisbane, Australia on a work and holiday visa for one year to gain more life experience. Recently, I have been working in Hospitality and Catering Training Center (HCTC), as a community development manager to recruit new students from border areas and mountain sites as well as providing them guidelines of hospitality through my past experience. I have met people from countries around the world and I understand basic Khmer language and Korean. I enjoy cooking, playing badminton, local dancing and meditation. I love exploring the outdoors, travelling with meaning, also adjusting myself to somewhere I’m not used to. As an ISV project leader, I can’ wait to see you in Thailand. Read More

Topsi Wansiri

Topsi Wansiri

Phuket, Thailand

I have a mixed background of economics and environment from Thailand, New Zealand and Germany. I used to work for Greenpeace as an action coordinator where I conducted trainings for volunteers both in Thailand and abroad. Being an activist for more than 15 years, I am familiar with different environmental and social issues both at national and international levels, and keen to make positive contribution wherever and whenever I can. Additional to ISV, I'm also currently living my passion andworking as a freelance PADI dive instructor and marine researcher based in Phuket. As a Buddhist, I do believe in Karma and cultivate compassion to boost happiness. I often travel to discover myself, explore the world diversity, and exchange ideas. This is my first season leading project for ISV and I'm really excited to share this journey with each one of youand this experience will not only broaden your perspective but will also broaden mine. It is going to be a life-changing experience for all of us! Read More

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