Travelling overseas can be a little overwhelming for some people. ISV takes away the stress of planning an overseas trip as our dedicated student care team help you every step of the way. ISV provides pre-departure information ranging from group flights to travel, medical and cancellation insurance, safety, vaccinations, visas and passports, packing, and much more. You can also be confident that the programs we operate are of the highest standards as our in-country office program staff work year-round to identify, assess and manage the various components of our projects and tours so that you will have nothing less than a life changing experience.
ISV also gives you incredible support during your trip, from the time you leave until your program finishes, so you enjoy your experience and feel safe and supported at all times.
All ISV countries will offer you an incredible experience; the hardest part is choosing where to volunteer and travel.
Some questions you may wish to ask yourself include: what type of volunteer project are you most passionate about? What degree of cultural immersion are you looking for? Which country’s adventure tour itinerary excites you most? What is your budget?
The good news is that 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 in order to apply to the ISV program. Most volunteers apply first, and then research their host country afterwards, prior to submitting their deposit and Program Agreement. The important thing is to get your application in as soon as possible to get the ball rolling, 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).
After you have paid your program deposit and Participant Agreement, ISV will provide you with the 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, fundraising, deadlines for sending documentation to the office, and much more! There are also online resources that we’ll provide and we’ll get you connected with other ISV participants travelling to your host country on your departure date.
If you need help with finances, you should start fundraising as soon as possible to allow you enough time to gather your funds. ISV’s fundraising package has tons of great ideas used by past volunteers, as well as a template letter to send to potential supporters, sample newspaper articles and "support me" cards.
We also encourage participants to follow ISV on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and other social media channels.
We’ll also email you a series of newsletters leading up to your departure with a number of features on your host country and what to expect on your ISV program.
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. Approximately 55 days prior to departure you will receive your volunteer project placement.
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 friends/family know where you are), etc.
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.