Travelling overseas can be a little overwhelming for some people. ISV takes away the stress of planning an overseas trip as we organize everything for you. Our in-country office staff have found you the best adventure activities in the country, and our projects are all carefully managed to ensure you have nothing less than a life changing experience.
ISV also gives you incredible support and preparation for your trip so you enjoy your experience and feel safe and supported at all times.
All ISV countries will offer you an incredible experience, the hard part is choosing where to travel. Our advice it to think about what experience you may want – do you want cultural experience completely different to your own, or something similar?
What type of work would you like to get involved in – conservation based or community based? ISV offices have experienced program advisors on hand to answer questions you may have about your ISV trip, what to expect and to help you to prepare in the months leading up to your departure date. Many of our staff have travelled on an ISV program and you are welcome to contact us at any time if you need some help.
You do not need to know your host country preference to apply to the ISV program. Most volunteers apply first, and then research their host country afterwards. The important thing is to get your application in as soon as possible as we have limited space on each departure date.
When you first apply to travel with ISV, you will submit an application form. This may be at your college/university/high school, or may be online. You will receive confirmation your application has been received and within a week we will advise you if you have been accepted on to the program.
Details on the next step are mailed to you. You will need to confirm your place on the ISV program by submitting your Program Agreement and non-refundable deposit (you may do this online or by mail).
About 1 week after we process your deposit and Program Agreement, we will send you your host country allocation and departure date (by email and mail).
We will also send you an ISV handbook, which provides you with everything you need to do leading up to your trip including how to apply for a passport (if you don’t have a current one), travel insurance, visa information, flight information, vaccinations and health, sponsorship and fundraising and deadlines for sending documentation to the office.
If you need assistance with finances, you should start fundraising as soon as possible to allow you enough time to gather your funds. ISV’s fundraising package has heaps of great ideas used by past volunteers, as well as template letters to send to sponsors, samples newspaper articles and donation cards.
We also encourage participants to join the ISV Facebook and our Online Community blog page where you can connect with other travellers on your departure date. Many students also use our Online community to write blogs/journals asking for fundraising support.
To make sure you are 100% prepared for your trip, we will email you a series of newsletters leading up to your departure and your host country Program Director write features on their country including information on the information you should know such as: type of food you can expect while travelling in their country, weather, what to expect when travelling away from home etc.
Information on how to sign up for group flights, optional activity packages for your adventure tour and excursions will be emailed to you separately in the lead up to your trip. Around 30 days prior to departure you will receive your volunteer project allocation.
This outlines the tasks your group will be undertaking and the details of the project and the community in which you will be volunteering. The ISV travel manual specific to your host country is also sent to you at this time, which provides recommended packing information, tour itinerary and valuable information about travelling responsibly in your host country.
By now you will already have made friends with many of the people you’ll be travelling with, and should have everything ready to go – passports, vaccinations (if needed), copies of your travel itinerary (so your parents know where you are), your blog set up so you can keep a journal about your experience and of course – your luggage and clothes ready.
All you need to do is meet your fellow ISV travellers at the airport and get on your flight.
ISV staff will be waiting for you at your destination airport and will transport you and your group to your project for your orientation, training and the beginning of one amazing adventure.