International Volunteer HQ – The Trusted Volunteer Organization for Gap Year Travellers.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) provides volunteering placements in over 18 countries around the world. Based on the concept that volunteer travel should be affordable, IVHQ has established itself as one of the world’s leading volunteer organizations. In the past 4 years they have sent over 14,000 volunteers abroad on their programs and with program fees starting from only US$180 it is no surprise that thousands of students are choosing IVHQ as their organization to volunteer abroad with on their gap year.
An exciting new documentary discussing the impact of 'Gap Year' volunteers in Ghana has been released online by independent production company Ya Basta Films. Using a range of contributions from academics, local workers and volunteers, the impact of this kind of volunteering is assessed in order to try and answer the questions, what is the impact? and who really benefits?
If you have ever volunteered in a developing country, or are considering doing so for a gap year, I recommend watching this film in its entirety.
Associated Press article Paying for a post-high school gap year need not deplete the college savings.
Eileen AJ Connelly writes "The growing popularity of taking a gap year has generated much attention about the cost. Prepackaged programs promising life-altering experiences are replacing the old model of backpacking across Europe. Programs can charge $30,000 or more. But it’s possible to get the benefits of time off without digging into savings, if you have a plan."
My Carpe Diem Testimonial
by Dannielle, 21
I took a semester off from college in February 2008 and went to Central America for three months. I traveled in a group of 8 students and two leaders. We studied Spanish at two Spanish schools, volunteered within the communities that we lived in, and spent time discovering more about ourselves. I was coming into my second year at College, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt lost and confused about my future and about who I was. I wanted to go to another country and not only learn about a new culture, but learn more about myself, and how fortunate I was living in Canada.
A June 5th article in the Pittsburgh Gazette, titled The Gap Year: More students broaden their experience of the world, by Mackenzie Carpenter, points out what I think is a very important development for the gap year movement within the U.S.: The gap year is starting to take hold with more and more students across the socioeconomic spectrum in the United States.
There was a time when taking a year out was reserved for a select group of kids from well to do families, but that isn’t the case any longer, as affordable gap year options are becoming more prevalent, and students are working to pay for their own gap years, and finding options that pay them!
Jeff joined the Up with People program based out of Denver, Colorado, on a six month multicultural education program in 2007 traveling to seven countries and twenty cities learning global citizenship and gaining in depth cross-cultural understanding. Jeff says of his gap year experience, "I learned more about the world than I ever could have learned reading a book." Jeff's story below is an exceptional testimony about the personal impact and benefits of international travel and cultural immersion as part of a structured gap year experience before college. See link to Up with People at end of article.
The Journey of a Lifetime
Jeff is a senior at Tufts University in Boston, Mass. Jeff's Gap Year experience included Spanish language study, homestay with an Argentine family, and a volunteer work experience teaching children.
For the first half of my junior year I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Butler University’s Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA-Butler). I had always been really interested in Latin America, and had been studying Spanish since I was about 14 years old; so, when I began thinking about places to study abroad Argentina seemed like the perfect match.