Volunteer Testimonials


Check out what HI USA's volunteers from across the country had to say about their experiences:

Sharrod F., HI New York City Volunteer

HI USA Volunteer, Sharrod Fredericks

It's like being an Ambassador for New York City. I get to share my experiences and knowledge of the city while learning about different parts of the world. I would encourage others to volunteer at HI USA, because you will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and a chance to engage with like-minded people that like to travel. The hostel atmosphere will spark the travel bug inside you.


Stephanie Y. – Travel Scholarship Committee Volunteer

HI USA Volunteer, Stephanie Young

I love the people I get to meet while volunteering! It's such a great experience engaging with travelers from all over the world and getting to know them better. Plus, it's not often you can gain experience learning to communicate with people from 8 different cultures in the same conversation and work towards a common goal. I especially loved my experience being a part of the Explore the World Travel Scholarships program this year and helping people achieve their dreams and make an impact on the world. I hope to be involved again next year!


Karen M. – HI Boston Volunteer

HI USA Volunteer, Karen Morales

I love all the amazing open-minded people I've met like my fellow volunteers in Boston and the international hostellers. I have gained better leadership skills, and interpersonal skills and connections. A special experience I remember was two summers ago when several other Boston volunteers and I took a trip to the HI Eastham hostel on Cape Cod to help close it for the end of the season. On this trip, I grew close with my fellow HI volunteers as well as our community engagement coordinator, Michael. I also learned so much about HI and it's history and how it was once a global coalition and after unification, broke off into national groups. The director of the Eastham hostel, Donnie, had been working in HI hostels for a long time and taught us all about it. Her and her husband, Mike, were incredibly welcoming and after we did all the work to clean out the hostel, we were able to explore the cape and enjoy the beach. Unfortunately, Donnie passed away shortly after but I'll always remember her great stories and wonderful attitude that encapsulates the hosteling experience.


Keith T. – HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Volunteer

HI USA Volunteer, Keith Tang

I have been volunteering at Hostelelling International in Santa Monica, California for over three years.  I live an hour away from the hostel, but it's worth the drive. I love meeting new people (especially from other cultures) and traveling.  When I travel, I often stay at hostels and meet new friends.  I wanted to find a way to meet new people from different countries when I was not traveling so I found the closest HI hostel to me and the rest was history.  I started by hosting a Pub Crawl every Wednesday night.  It was a great opportunity for the guests to meet up and talk. It was super successful, so I started a Sunday night Pub Crawl.  I am grateful to everyone I spoke with because through their eyes I learned to appreciate my own city of Los Angeles.  Through my volunteer experience, I have made various friends from all over the world.  I had the opportunity to meet up with them in their own countries and some had returned to California.

Derek S. – HI Chicago Volunteer

HI USA Volunteer, Derek Shimec

Volunteering with HI USA has been a tremendous experience. I love that every day is a new adventure with new faces. Since I began volunteering, I have met travelers and friends from all around the globe. Some may be quickly passing through with only a brief moment to see the popular sights, while others are may be entering a new phase of their lives or have more time to spare. In addition to the guests, the other HI USA volunteers I have met all have a passion for sharing their knowledge of the city and culture with others. Even though everyone comes from different backgrounds, the guests and volunteers at HI USA are part of a global community. Since I began volunteering at HI USA, I have made new lifelong friends that I would otherwise have never met.