International volunteer organization to recruit students

Volunteering in an orphanage or animal conservation park is a typical part of the itinerary for those traveling with International Student Volunteers, Inc. 

‘It gives students such an insight into the struggles of people that you wouldn’t normally hear about,’ said Rhys Davies, an international campus representative for ISV. ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to come and do some volunteer work.’

Representatives from ISV, a nonprofit volunteer organization, will speak with Syracuse University students about volunteer opportunities abroad Thursday. ISV sends more than 4,000 students from more than 800 universities abroad each year for one month of volunteer work and outdoor activities.

The meetings will be held in Room 304A in Schine Student Center and will start at 9:20 a.m., running every half-hour until 6 p.m. Davies and Cara Cioni, a national recruiter, will host information sessions about the program and how to get involved.  

ISV was founded in 1983, when it started sending students to Australia. The organization has now sent 18,000 students abroad to seven different areas, including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Eastern Europe. A trip to South Africa was added this year.  

‘You return to wherever you are from, knowing that you have done something really significant,’ Davies said.

ISV has spots for approximately 50 students for each country, Davies said. The application process is very competitive, especially for the more popular travel destinations, such as Australia and Costa Rica. Students can pick up the one-page application at any of Thursday’s meetings. 

During the first two weeks of the trip, students participate in the volunteer work of their choice, with a focus on either conservation or community development. Options include working at orphanages, schools, animal conservation parks and several other organizations. In the second half of the trip, students have the chance to mountain bike, white water raft, repel off mountains and explore local cities.

ISV has approximately 50 or 60 SU alumni from the past few years and has trained two SU students as representatives to talk to others about the opportunities the trip has to offer. 

Daniel Crockenberg, a senior and one of the student representatives, traveled to Australia with ISV. He worked at Wild Mountains Trust to build an ecological restoration center and also white water rafted, explored the Great Barrier Reef and rolled down a 200-foot sand dune. 

‘You’re constantly doing things and seeing all sorts of new things,’ said Crockenberg.  

Other students have helped preserve environmentally threatened species, such as the kiwi bird and the kangaroo, Davies said.

‘It’s one of those experiences that’s pretty hard to describe,’ Crockenberg said. ‘When you look at the stars at night, they just don’t look the same here.’


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