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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.


  1. ISV is the world’s highest rated volunteer program by over 35,000 student participants with an average rating of 4.85 out of 5.
  2. 33 Members of the U.S. Senate/Congress serve on ISV’s Board of Reference as endorsement of the on-going volunteer efforts that ISV students accomplish globally.
  3. ISV is certified by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to distribute the President’s Volunteer Service Award with a congratulatory letter signed by President Barack Obama.
  4. ISV was named as one of the “Top Ten Volunteer Organizations” by the US Center for Citizens Diplomacy in conjunction with the US State Department.
  5. In View with Larry King documentary aired on the Discovery Channel to demonstrate how ISV is leading the student volunteer, education and travel industry.
  6. ISV has had more than 35,000 student participants on the ISV program across six continents from 2002 through 2016.
  7. University course and internship credit awarded to thousands of ISV students by 350 universities worldwide.
  8. ISV has partnered with over 150 volunteer organizations (Government, academic institutions, private and grass roots organizations/NGOs) globally (including organizations like the Peace Corps, UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity and Conservation Volunteers Australia).
  9. ISV student teams have contributed over 3 million hours of volunteer efforts in Education, Sustainable Development and Conservation initiatives around the world
  10. 2011 Award presented to ISV for the “Outstanding Volunteer Project” by the World Youth and Student Travel Confederation (WYSTC).
  11. ISV’s International Program Director, Narelle Webber, receives international recognition as a featured conference speaker and volunteer trainer worldwide.
  12. ISV Founder and International Director, Randy Sykes, is elected to serve on the Board of Directors for World Youth and Student Travel Confederation Work Abroad Board.
  13. 2012 Randy Sykes receives the first ever “Youth First International Award” in “Honor of his many years of Commitment, Dedication and Continued Support of Student and Youth Travel” by the SYTA Youth Foundation at the WYSTC Conference.
  14. ISV is the perfect balance of a) life-changing volunteer work and b) adrenaline-filled and responsible adventure travel, providing participants the opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the country to which they are traveling.

How We Choose Projects

ISV works in close collaboration with grassroots organizations, local communities and researchers to offer the highest quality projects that are safe, meaningful, sustainable and achievable. ISV also strives to ensure that projects are fun and educational so you have a great time and learn from your experience. All of our projects are developed around the specific goals and priorities of our partners and host communities.

Our Adventure Tours

The ISV adventure tour is an opportunity to explore your host country on a completely different level than that of a volunteer. It is the perfect complement to the volunteer project as you will see and do more in two weeks than most people dream of in a lifetime. Highlights include exhilarating adrenaline activities that will challenge you, natural wonders that will inspire you, and cultural events that will awaken your senses.

Safety First

We never compromise on safety! All ISV programs adhere to our Global Risk Management Plan, including 24/7 in-country support, strict safety standards and site inspection of all projects and adventure tour activities, as well as first aid-certified staff.

In-Country Support

There are ISV staff with local knowledge, expertise and language skills based in each of our host countries who offer logistical and emergency support to ISV leaders and volunteers, and assistance when and where it is needed. Whether it’s illness, missed flights, or lost luggage, ISV has staff on hand to get you back on track.

Our Project Leaders

All our Project Leaders are professionally trained by ISV and bring a wealth of education and experience to enrich your program. Many of our leadership staff have advanced degrees in related fields and all are first aid-certified. Your project leaders will guide you through your volunteer tasks, act as a link between you and your host community, and help to broaden your understanding of the country where you are volunteering.

Our Tour Leaders

ISV has the best Tour Leaders on the planet! Our guides are highly trained and experienced in outdoor leadership and recreation, are first aid-certified, and have extensive local knowledge so you can learn even more about the amazing things you see and do along the way.

Educational Emphasis

All ISV programs are designed to be inspirational and educational. We ensure that you return home from your trip with a greater understanding of the issues affecting your host country, and how we can all impact our world on a global and local level. Group discussions with your peers and keeping a daily journal allow you to dig deeper and reflect on the issues you encounter. Thousands of ISV volunteers have earned university credit for their participation in our programs, and all volunteers gain an appreciation for responsible travel and sustainability.

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