GVI

GVI

GVI has engaged over 35,000 participants, set up 600 community partnerships, and currently runs hundreds of programs in five continents worldwide, and we’re proud to say that most of our participants describe their experience with us as ‘life changing’. 

Founded in 1998, GVI runs programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each operated by our own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs as well as the objectives of our local partners. We welcome participants from all over the world and help facilitate their development into global citizens. This is how we achieve our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

All our projects are centered around making a positive impact. An experience with GVI is one that creates positive change and inspires students to continue making a difference with a deeper sense of global engagement.

We are driven to provide a sustainable, positive impact, alongside both our local project participants and our global partners. Using the UNSDGs as a framework, each project has long, mid and short-term objectives that are defined with each local partner. By working within these parameters, we ensure we are making the biggest difference possible, for all parties involved.

Our commitment to running high-quality sustainable development and experiential education programs has earned us recognition from numerous organizations such as Panthera, Save The Children, WWF, PADI, and the Seychelles National Parks Authority. The work of our staff and participants is also regularly featured in reputable international and regional publications such as National Geographic, CNN, The Independent, and The Sunday Times.

So, come join us in creating a lasting impact for all parties involved, in becoming global citizens, and in having a truly life changing experience! 

 

Contact Info

Tel: +44 (0) 1727 250250

Address : 1 Emperor Way, Exeter Business Park Exeter, Devon, EX1 3QS, UK

Contact / Enquiry

GVI Reviews

Life Changing Experience

In January/February 2020, I was fortunate to go on a GVI volunteer program in The Seychelles. It was at their Mahe base doing marine research.
Having no similar previous experience with diving and volunteering on this scale, I was a little nervous regarding the whole affair. However, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. This is thanks to GVI and their staff. The whole time there, I felt safe and appreciated for my efforts. I met some wonderful people from around the world and contributed a positive environmental impact.
I highly recommend GVI and I can’t wait for my next program which will be at their new base in Belize where I’ll be doing some more marine research.

By: Dennis Rivet
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 0

GVI Outstanding Organisation!

I started my journey with GVI in Limpopo, South Africa as a Wildlife Conservation Intern. To say the experience blew my mind is an understatement. Safety, accountability and meaningful impact is of utmost importance to GVI. They value all volunteers, ensuring they gain experience and enjoyment during the time they spend on the project.
I returned back to Limpopo another two times and have now been to 5 of their bases, including Cape Town, Nepal, Fiji and Greece. Each base is different and unique in it's own way and brings with it beautiful cultural experiences.
From Conservation to Education, Health to Women's Empowerment, there is definitely something for everyone no matter what your age.
Furthermore, GVI has allowed me to successfully change my career from Nursing to Community Development/Engagement. I continue to volunteer in my spare time in animal conservation, using the unique skills I gained whilst in South Africa.
I highly recommend GVI to anyone that has ever thought of volunteering. Not only will you make a meaningful impact, but you will leave with memories of a lifetime and amazing new friends from all around the world.

By: Tracy Tervoort
Nationality: Australian
Age: 0

GVI Virtual Insternship

Last year (in 2020), I was looking for opportunities to learn and have some experience with Wildlife Conservation. I found GVI from a simple Google search and saw that they have virtual opportunities. I immediately signed up for a 4-week long internship and I do not regret. I was positively impressed with how they were able to put a program together in such short notice (due to COVID) and it was amazing. I had to opportunity to learn and work with their Jaguar conservation in Costa Rica, we had meaningful discussions about conservation and sustainability, and even got to work on our resumés and professional skills. I am looking forward to booking an in-site trip with them for next year.

By: Vittoria Queiroz
Nationality: Brazilian
Age: 0

Marine Conservation - amazing project!

I‘ve been participating in the marine conservation project in Fiji for two months and I enjoyed every single day! The island where the project is located is very small but a real paradise. The dive sites around it are very beautiful as well; during the project you will have plenty of time to see how great they are because there is at least one dive per day for everybody!. I‘m very glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of the GVI community and the great important work they are doing. And I’m especially grateful for all the amazing people I met there and who made my experience a very funny, unique and unforgettable one. Sometimes, it can be a long day on base but the knowing that you are actually making a difference is worth every effort!
I can only recommend this project to everybody who likes to dive (or is interested to learn it as I did) and want’s to save the world (or at least a very beautiful part of it😉)

By: Pauline Balk
Nationality: german
Age: 0

Amazing experience

My name is Stephanie and I am a biology major. I did the wildlife conservation program in Limpopo South Africa and it was the most amazing experience ever! The logistics of traveling solo are so tedious; however, once you arrive on base it’s all worth it. I completed the 4 week program and my only regret is not staying longer. If you’re an intern, do the longer program, you will have more time to learn many species and complete more tasks. I also did a virtual career internship with a partner on Fregate Island in the Seychelles and I feel like I gained so much experience. I had to research methodologies for conducting a beetle survey, so I learned a lot about conservation and research. All the staff members on base were nice and helpful, and my peers were full of life. We spent 8 hours a day in the South African bush conducting research. The early mornings are definitely worth it as we watched the colorful morning sky. We tracked cheetahs and recorded any activity from other animals such as elephants, lions, and buffalo. After we gathered our data we had to input it into the database using excel. My favorite times during my internship were when we spent time in the community. We spent time with small toddlers and middle school girls and boys. I also loved going to town because I got see the locals and I got to eat delicious foods! Overall, it was a great learning experience and I learned to live with minimal luxuries. I would 1000 percent do this over again as this experience solidified my passion for conservation! I went to South Africa for the wildlife, but I left with a love for the community and conservation. My heart will forever be in South Africa!

By: Stephanie Lomeli
Nationality: United States
Age: 0

Gvi Ghana

Truly the most amazing experience I have ever had. Originally going for 2 weeks and ended up staying for a whole of 10. I was teaching and fell absolutely in love with the kids, the people , the culture, the food and the country as a whole. Everyday volunteering was so exciting and there was never a dull moment, there is such a sense of family with GVI and I would recommend to anyone.

By: Aimee
Nationality: Irish
Age: 0

GVI Phang Nga

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with GVI! I volunteered in July 2019 and had the most amazing experience teaching English; I made many great friendships and contacts for future jobs/opportunities in the humanitarian sector! This was my second GVI volunteer programme and they have both been very well organised. The people are always lovely and the food is always great. Volunteering with GVI always makes a considerable difference to people’s lives and they are very consistant in upholding sound ethical values. I give GVI 4 stars for my Phang Nga experience as I think the accommodation could do with slight improvements especially during the summer months when it’s very hot and there are quite a few insects. There also could have been slightly more activities on arrival to make everyone get to know each other quicker. But apart from that, I had the best time.

By: Kayley
Nationality: British
Age: 0

GVI Ghana - Incredible Experience

I came to GVI Ghana for two weeks in April, 4 months later I am still here! I have fallen in love with the country and the people in our community. The Ghana base is absolutely incredible with amazing facilities, staff and the director Matt is fantastic. Cannot recommend GVI Ghana enough, it has truly impacted my life forever!

By: Clodagh
Nationality: Irish
Age: 0

An Eye-Opening Experience

I’ll forever remember the day I sat in front of my computer screen having just received the confirmation from GVI that I had booked a six-week short-term internship in Thailand. A place so foreign and with a language I could not speak, but with a program I was highly passionate about and a sense of absolute wonder that drew me in.
Then, I was not a complete stranger to Thailand. Just last year I came as a tourist in mid-March, and I loved it so much that it was the first location to come to mind when I took that step to volunteer for the first time. Coastal Conservation meant we’d be by the sea in Ban Nam Khem, and with the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, it was the perfect time and place to help out. Not only did our duties focus on labor-intensive activities, but GVI also involves the local community as well in many ways which are great to see.
The first two weeks were jam-packed with activities and first-time training sessions. We started with one of the most important roles we had as conservationists, and that meant a twice-a-week trip to the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Scrubbing dirty tanks, treating turtles, and morphology examinations were all part of our normal routine. If any of the turtles had serious infections, we would apply an antiseptic that we’d quickly adopted the nickname “purple” for its vibrant color and its ability to stain our clothes and hands. Getting hands-on with the turtles really made it feel like we ourselves were making a difference in these turtles’ lives. I came to really root for them, having scrubbed their tanks myself and cared for each of them by hand! It left me with a satisfying feeling of a job well done when we finish and we were able to see the difference in the conditions of the tanks and the health of the turtles.
Another part of our week always consisted of a village/beach clean in the nearby area. We would head out with gloves and empty rice bags, and pick up as much of what we could in the time we had. We would record what we picked up and by the time it was over, it was quite stunning at the sheer amount we collectively picked up. Sometimes the locals would pass by and give a thumbs up or a bow, and on occasions would even help out a little! Those little signs of appreciation were not only confirmation that we were doing well, but that we were being integrated just a little bit more into the locals’ society and culture.
Bird watches were a bit hard to get into at first, especially since they were always at six-thirty in the morning (ouch). With some time and a little effort, however, I actually found it fun and interesting, especially when you get lucky enough to spot an elusive racket-tail or kingfisher. The staff’s genuine interest and passion for it definitely swayed me to try it out and really made it enjoyable. Friday projects were fun as well, being able to get everyone at the base to work on the same activity, whether it be a massive lake clean or a community project.
Weekends were where we could explore and unwind after a week of hard work. Being able to go just about anywhere was absolutely amazing and is what truly made coming out here to Thailand so exciting. In 5 weekends we were to pack 9 different places we’ve been to and explored, and in each, we have made amazing and crazy memories to last with some awesome and beautiful people. Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang, and Patong were definitely up there on my list! It turned the connections we had from just normal fellow volunteers to friendships that would last a lifetime, and it made it all the better back at base when we would look back at our pictures and laugh at the crazy amounts of fun we had.
It was an eye-opening experience coming out here with GVI in Phang Nga. It taught me more than just facts, statistics, routines, and labor. It showed me how to look at things through different lenses, to experience things from a different perspective, and how to take initiative in being the cause. But above all else: it showed me how to enjoy it all while making a real difference. GVI, you were one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Because after all, what more can you ask for from an excellent volunteer program than some great friends and some memories for life?

By: Kevin Alexander Blandon
Nationality: USA
Age: 0

Amazing experience at Jalova

What can I say about Jalova?
I'm writing this review after 2 years away from Jalova and I still think about my time there as one of my favourite life experiences.
It's hard to some it up it a brief review but I can say going away from civilisation to a beautiful part of the world and to make an incredible impact for the better is one of the things many people should strive for. From meeting completely different people from around the world to learning about many types of birds, reptiles, amphibians was an incredibly great experience. Makes me want to study again and learn as much as I can.

Hoping to head back to Jalova or another experience with GVI as I enjoyed it so much. Here's for next time!

By: Joshua Nyul
Nationality: British
Age: 0

GVI Jalova Costa Rica

I was a 6 weeks volunteer in Jalova, Costa Rica in 2019.  It was my first experience as a volunteer and I had a really good time ! I learned so much about conservation and wildlife species 🐆🐢🕊 The staff members were very friendly, passionate, always around and happy to help.

The interns and volunteers were very nice and devoted. The base was beautiful within the jungle and just next to the beach ! We did many incredible surveys walking along the beach at night and day, walking through the forest or even on boats!

I'm looking forward to my next trip with GVI and I definitely recommend to anyone 😊

By: Monq
Nationality: French
Age: 0

GVI Greece

I had an amazing time in Greece this summer!! Every day I got to do something that was inspiring and good for the environment and animals. I got to see and measure turtles, protect their nests, and take part in beach cleanups. Overall, I had a great time and I can’t wait to become a GVI volunteer again next summer!

By: Jenna
Nationality: American
Age: 0

GVI Phang Nga project

It was an enjoyable time, I got to help out the community with various volunteering activities and at the same time experience the Thai culture, I will never forget this amazing trip. In addition to the trip, I also met a few inspiring tutors and also fantastic volunteers from all over the world, it’s cool.

By: Andy
Nationality: Chinese
Age: 17

Incredible experience and way to give back!

I volunteered in the community development program in Silana, Fiji. We worked on different constructional projects, teaching, environmental and community projects. The people of Silana are incredibly welcoming and you will feel like you are leaving Family when you have to go.
Volunteers have their own area and actually have flushing toilets and running water! Only tough part about accommodations is rats are a real problem so you have to be diligent in keeping your bure free of anything flavored (even my chapstick got eaten). We were provided 3 meals a day (mostly vegetarian) and you get a lot of evenings and weekends as free time. Highly recommend!!!

By: Lauren Lofts
Nationality: USA
Age: 29

Experience of a Lifetime

I volunteered on the GVI Chiang Mai program in May this year. It was an incredible experience. I was volunteering to help to reintroduce elephants into the wild by collecting data to prove that elephants health and well being is better in the forest than in the tourist camps. It was tough at times as sometimes the treks were very steep and quite long but always worth it to see the elephants living in their natural habitat.
As well as taking data with the elephants there were opportunities to teach English both at the local school as well as to the villagers which was extremely rewarding. My homestay family were wonderful, made me feel very welcome as well as cooking me delicious meals. The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming as well as supportive and I met amazing other volunteers and interns too! Would highly recommend this program!

By: Sophie
Nationality: British
Age: 25

GVI Laos | Luang Prabang

It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone. I think especially a long-term stay is impactful. You meet a lot of great people and you will be able to laugh a lot. The students loved the education program and that made it very enjoyable for us volunteers. I would go to Laos with GVI anytime again.

By: Katharina
Nationality: German
Age: 25

Community Development in South Africa

I had a fantastic time in South Africa, coordinating a holiday sports programme at the local primary school and doing construction in a local crèche. It feels great knowing I took part in such an amazing project, and managed to make a difference in the community as well as leaving something permanent behind. My time in Cape Town has taught me so much about myself and has allowed me to take part in activities I never thought I was capable of. I've loved working in the community and making a change, and I've had so much fun along the way. I'd thoroughly recommend GVI Cape Town, and I'd love to go on another GVI programme and help even more!

By: Isla O’Neill
Nationality: Scottish
Age: 17

I went to teach, but it is I who learned.

I booked with excitement but I landed in Laos with a little bit of nerves. However, they were all calmed the second I met the staff and fellow volunteers. We were situated nicely in what felt like the centre of Luang Prabang. The stay was clean and the food delicious. But thats not why I am so thrilled to have taken part in this GVI programme. I was a Woman Empowerment Volunteer and I was aware that I would be teaching English to classes filled with eager young women. I was not aware that they would be the ones inspiring me to this day. The sheer desire they all had to grow and learn astonished me. I left Laos heart-broken for every student has with them a piece. They will continue to inspire me as I hope I did for them. I am already looking for time to book my return because I would be willing to fly back just for their smiles!

By: Alison
Nationality: American
Age: 21

My second home, GVI, Phang Nga, Thailand!

Being my first time travelling alone, I was slightly homesick when I first arrived at the GVI base in Phang Nga, Thailand, especially knowing I was there for 3 months. However, the staff at base were amazing and very knowledgeable on the issues that we were setting out to combat. I particularly liked working with Rachel and Rhodri, who are members of the conservation staff. Being a part of the conservation team meant conducting beach cleans, teaching environmental issues to the local children, taking part in jungle expeditions to set up camera traps to learn more about the endangered Pangolin, collecting data on coral reef systems and bird species and working with sea turtles in a sanctuary before their release back to the wild (This involved cleaning their living facilities, bathing and applying medicine if necessary, creating and designing enrichment toys to encourage behaviours that would develop in the wild and collecting data that would be beneficial to research on the species).
All of these amazing things that I have had the opportunity to take part in with GVI have helped develop my character, as well as skills in team work, confidence, data collection and communication, which have huge benefits in employability.
During my time at GVI Phang Nga, I was very lucky to meet many like-minded people who I spent all my time with, we would spend the week volunteering and the weekends travelling as much of Southern Thailand possible. This was made far easier with the fantastic recommendations from staff.
I am extremely grateful for this experience and would recommend volunteering with GVI Phang Nga to anyone. It was the quickest three months of my life, time flies by when you’re having fun.

If you’d like to check out photos from my trip, have a look at my Instagram - Gemmaaar182

By: Gemma Williams
Nationality: Welsh
Age: 23

Teaching English to monks in Laos

I’ve been twice in Laos with GVI to teach English to monks and children. It was one of the best experience of my life! I learned how to teach and how to speak in front a lot of people. I also improved a lot my English ( what an accomplishment for à French speaker!)
But definitely the best part is the people. I’ve never seen people that kind, relax, funny and happy. A part from that the staff is really nice and helpful.
I’ve already booked my summer in Laos and I know it won’t be the last time.

By: Fanny
Nationality: Swiss
Age: 21

Teaching english to Monks and Novices in Laos

It was the best experience of my life ! I would recommend to anyone to volunteer with GVI. The project exceeded all my expectations.
I met so many wonderful people, I'm really thankful for everything this project brought me.

By: Lou
Nationality: Suisse
Age: 21

Chiang Mai Elephant Project

The country, the people, the volunteers, the villagers and of course the elephants, changed my life! Will never forget it! I will have to return for a visit at some point again!

By: Fauve chapman
Nationality: Irish
Age: 32

Silana (Fiji), I want to do it all again!

After nearly 10 years in London I decided to take a break from corporate life in order to give back to the wider community.
This was an awesome experience to develop skills in sustainable infrastructure 💚 ♻ 🌏
> Projects involved stimulating discussion for women’s empowerment / income generation, building recycling stations and developing community workshops.
> My primary school Maori was a huge asset, allowing me to form deep connections within the community.
> What really made it special, was being so openly welcomed into Silana and surrounding Dawasamu villages, complete with an adopted family to really feel part of the community.

I can’t wait to go back some day!!!

By: Anna
Nationality: British / NZ
Age: 34

Best experience yet!!!

I had the best time, with some of the most wonderful people I've been lucky enough to meet. Everyone on the trip was quite alot younger than me but that didn't matter. I had a blast and learnt so much. It really has made me understand alot more about my natural environment and what I'd liek to do with my career / life.

I would highly recommend GVI, whilst they were not the best for communication prior to the trip, on camp and during the volunteering experience, I could not fault them!!!

Sign up.... NOW!!!

By: Gemma
Nationality: British
Age: 28

GVI Volunteer Veterinary Project in Mexico

Although it's been nearly two years since I've done this project, I remember vividly what it was like: inspiring. I'll keep it short, but feel free to DM me if you want details. I would absolutely do it again, no second guessing. I enjoyed GVI so much that I booked another volunteer experience with them and plan to do more. Great company.

By: Calyca Greenwald
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 23

Indescribable

Karongwe and Seychelles were unique and beautiful experiences

By: Ethan Carroll
Nationality: British
Age: 21

Elephant Reintroduction Program - Northern Thailand

Completing an internship on the Elephant Reintroduction programme is one of my proudest achievements to date. It was a complete honour to have had the chance to experience the real authentic Thai culture, whilst living with my host family and being immersed into the community.
It was always a pleasure to hike and see the elephants every day, and completely mesmerizing to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
There was always plenty of activities to get involved in on a daily basis, and I learnt more than I anticipated. The friends I made from around the world, during my time on project, I shall remember for the rest of my life. The elephants, mahouts (elephant keepers), villagers, staff and volunteers made my experience unforgettable and I am so thankful to have participated in the project.

By: Victoria
Nationality: United Kingdom
Age: 22

It meant the world to me

I was a participant of the GVI curieuse base involving monitoring and recording turtle and shark activities in the Seychelles. My experience was one that was life changing and helped me grow as a person and rewarded me with confidence, friends for life, new interests and opportunities but most importantly for me, a unique once in a life time experience.
GVI were great at communication before my trip and helped me with any issues I may have had before leaving for the island. We were greeted with open arms when arriving at the camp and on the whole we were all treated equally and with respect.
The accommodation to begin with was a slight shock as although I was told it would be basic, there were no pictures of camp so I went in blind. However once you get into a routine the place feels like home and looking back I miss every second of my experience.

I hope to do another GVI voluntary program this year and can’t wait to see what the future brings. I thoroughly recommend anyone and everyone to partake in a GVI programme as you will gain a life long spectacular experience that you can’t ever forget.

By: Inken
Nationality: British
Age: 21

GVI Huay Pakoot Elephant Conservation Project

This program was a life changer. I am a zoology major wanting to focus in wildlife conservation, so naturally this program seemed perfect. You spend every weekday morning hiking through the forests of Thailand following elephants and collecting data on them to help assist GVI in their conservation research, where they are trying to re-establish captive elephants back into a natural setting. Not only do you get to work with the herd of semi-wild elephants, but you get to experience the life of villagers in the small village of Hauy Pakoot. Living in a homestay, learning the native language, teaching school children English, and eating authentic Thaifood everyday. This is something that you really can't experience anywhere else. 10/10 would recommend to any animal lover, nature enthusiast, or anyone looking for an adventure. I would not recommend it to anyone who does not enjoy getting a little dirty, or roughing it (you sleep on a small pad on the ground, the bathrooms are a squat toilet and a cold bucket shower, and there are no sinks to wash your hands except at the GVI base), as well as anyone who doesn't like Thai food, the village is very isolated so there isn't a variety of options for food. If you don't like rice, eggs, or other basic Thai food you won't have other options for meals (however, they do a very good job at accommodating for food allergies, vegetarians/vegans, and changing spice levels).

By: Baylee Goodwin
Nationality: USA
Age: 21

GVI Seychelles

So I went to the Seychelles. To be exact I went to Cap Ternay. It is about 20 minutes by boat to Beau vallon, a little city with lots of expensive restaurants and hotels. Our base was nothing like this.
Old Beds, five people in a room, cold water, really basic bit still really good food.

Would I've rather bin in Beau Vallon?
Hell no!
There is no better place than Cap Ternay. It's our little cute Base in the middle of the jungle just 300m away from the most beautiful beach in the world.

What did I do there?
I went diving and I went diving and....
....I went diving and then I went diving again. Sometimes we ate something or learned our corals, fishs, and inverts. And we had fun a lot of fun.

In conclusion it were basically the best two months in my life.
It was a life changing experience and I would recommend it to anyone!

By: Jonah Klaus
Nationality: German
Age: 20

GVI Fiji

Amazing experience both with people and project.

By: Jack
Nationality: American
Age: 19

Thailande (chiang mai)

This project exceeded all my expectations!
The elephants are just gorgeous and you do not get tired of watching them.
The villagers and the volunteer form a big family and it's hard to say good bye!

By: Laura
Nationality: French
Age: 18

Seychelles marine expedition

I decided to take part in one of GVI’s marine expeditions a while back in 2011 to help me gain experience for a future career. And what better a place to do it than in the Seychelles! I cannot recommend the company and the expedition I done enough (scuba diving coral reef research). It hands down has been the best experience of my life! Met so many nice people and became so close as your spending so much time with them. The diving was amazing and learnt so much on corals, diving and the marine life around the islands. I even completed 2 extra diving courses taking me up to rescue diver which I hadn’t considered until I started the GVI expedition. If anyone is considering applying for an expedition and might be unsure as they may be doing it alone or have never travelled a far distance on their own before then I have this advice.... DO IT! It will be the best thing you wil ever do :)

By: Nicola Murray
Nationality: Scottish
Age: 30

my volunteer time

I was on the Gvi under 18s program like a staff member in Costa Rica these last summer. Was a very big surprise been there, because I've got the opportunity to share a couple of weeks with a group of under 18s persons. We spend a time laughing and learning about the natural life, the animal behavior and the specialities on the Costa Rican wildlife.
We've got the opportunity, this touch my heart, to save a seaturttle from a hanging rope on her leg. This was a very big moment on the second summer camp.
We spend time counting species, on the El Tortuguero national Park and the final results was amazing. I never been part of something so big like that and I realized about the important to make something little for make the difference...
This experience definitely make me a better person and change a lot of things on my inside. Have this opportunity is something for been thankful my hole life!

By: Raúl Chapa Zamacona
Nationality: mexican
Age: 42

Nature Conservation in the Seychelles

I had the best experience volunteering through GVI. I worked for a month, on a tiny island in the Seychelles, helping to conserve the nature there. It was primarily focused around protecting an endangered of sea turtle - a highlight of mine was helping the hatchlings make their way to the sea. Some days were tough but it was an incredibly rewarding experience! I would highly recommend this programme!

By: Kerry
Nationality: British
Age: 27

GVI Projects

I was a volunteer with GVI in Nepal in 2014, and then Thailand and Laos in 2016. All of the projects were incredibly unique experiences, and I would recommend each one of them! Volunteering with GVI is a great way to go abroad, especially if you are new to this type of travel.

By: Chelsea
Nationality: United States
Age: 27

Island conservation Seychelles

An experience second to none. Learned to scuba dive which opened up a whole new world and had plenty of opportunity to snorkel and experience the amazing diversity of creatures both in the sea & on land. The staff were brilliant and ran an organised but friendly operation. All in all this is a highly recommended experience & not to be missed.

By: Amanda
Nationality: British
Age: 56

Unbelievable Opportunities

I volunteered in 3 GVI hubs: Cape Town South Africa, Limpopo South Africa, and Chiang Mai Thailand. The opportunity to work and live in normally inaccessible communities is priceless and unforgettable. There are very few other volunteer organizations, vacation packages, or other tours that offer the opportunity to so closely experience and impact environments like Thailand's Karen village and Limpopo's compound in the middle of the bush.

That being said, the volunteer accommodations warned to be "limited" are indeed VERY insufficient. In the Cape Town hub, only 1 meal was provided each day, despite the 3 meals advertised. Volunteers had to hope for dinner leftovers in order to have a meal to eat for breakfast and lunch. Both of the other hubs also had insufficient food for at least one meal, and none of these hubs had trustworthy or available WiFi to communicate back home. The good news is, the majority of the money you pay for the program goes back into the program, however, it is rather expensive to volunteer, and better accommodations should be offered for the price you must pay.

I hope that doesn't turn people away from volunteering with GVI. The experiences are worth the price and the discomfort. However, I warn volunteers to prepare for these accommodations, and have sufficient funds (MUCH more than GVI's recommended amount!) to supplement food and other comforts.

By: Kelley
Nationality: U.S.A.
Age: 24

CHIANG MAI ELEPHANT PROJECT

I am currently a volunteer at the Chiang Mai elephant project and everything has been amazing, staff is vey welcoming as well as the villager

By: Renata
Nationality: Mexican
Age: 21

Mind changing experience

I had the time of my life in Fiji. Not just the people and the culture, the whole package and all the emotions you go through makes this a very unique experience. Even it's now some time ago, i still miss teaching in school, saying bula to everyone and waking up on that stunning island. If you have the chance to be a part of GVI, please go!

By: Anonymous
Nationality: German
Age: 20

Costa Rica - wildlife conservation

I have always wanted to travel and volunteer but never had the opportunity. Never having been abroad or travelled by myself before taking part in an organised under 18s volunteering trip sounded ideal and this is something my parents agreed with. I can safely say it was the best experience of my life so far and I can't wait to do it again! It gave me an amazing new insight into new aspects of life and provided amazing opportunities you could not get anywhere else. I am an aspiring photographer and Costa Rica was a perfect setting, with the views and animals, to hone my skills further. It was so well planned out making sure that we got to experience everything awsome. I definitely recommend it and I'm sure an other gvi trips will be just as brilliant. I will definitely be continuing my travel and trying out more gvi trips.

By: Ella
Nationality: British
Age: 17

Fiji Marine Conversation

Fiji was one of the best Things in Life i could do after finishing school. Learned Diving in tropical water and found Out interesting Things about the Marine Life. The locals are really the friendliest people in earth. 5 Stars from Germany. That was a real adventure.

By: Eric
Nationality: German
Age: 23

AMAZING EXPERIENCE WITH AMAZING PEOPLE!

I had such an incredible time at GVI South Africa ! Broke my heart to leave. Came away with so much knowledge of the bush and got to experience some INCREDIBLE wildlife sightings!

By: Laura
Nationality: New Zealand
Age: 26

Gvi Costa Rica Teaching english

I volunteered in Quepos , Costa Rics teaching English . I sadly only booked it for 3 weeks and if I could go back I would make it a year it was honestly the most fulfilling and best expierence I've ever had . What more could you want than being able to travel and see a beautiful country but also get to help and teach others who may or may not have it good as we do. Teaching English is defiantly a great way to do that and I would highly recommned it to anyone who has interest in teaching English if not there is also a childcare programme where you get to play and interact with children . I still got the opportunity to do the childcare once a week too which was amazing

By: Carla blackman
Nationality: Irish
Age: 22

Tough but rewarding

I worked in one of the GVI hubs for 9 months. If you are looking to work in international development on small scale, in the field, with volunteers, then GVI is an incredibly good organization for it. GVI is the most sustainable organization I have worked for and sustainability in the projects they take out is the number one priority. The health and safety standards are incredibly high as well. And progression within GVI is very prosperous. However, be prepared to give a lot more than you expect to the organization; especially time, dedication and money.

By: Anonymous
Nationality: British
Age: 24

Great time in Kerala

nice and welcoming staff, had a great time

By: Anna
Nationality: Iceland
Age: 19

Mexico Community Projects

I was lucky to get the National Scholarship in the community projects, it was an amazing experience i helped the community teaching them English while I got some great certifications, in my 12 weeks got TEFL and EFR certificates, I meet great people from different nationalities and open the gate for me to work in this amazing organization, I moved to Playa as scholar and then I got hired By GVI Mexico as field staff, from a staff perspective I saw how much we impact other lives and how we contribute to the conservation of the environment.

By: Alejandro Vazquez
Nationality: Mexican
Age: 33

GVI builds character and your career.

I interned with GVI at the age of 21 in Costa Rica and have been working with the company ever since! I have worked as field staff in the countries of Greece and India as well. It has been a fantastic opportunity and I know will pay off as I continue to build and develop as a person and in my career!

By: Alyssa K.
Nationality: United States
Age: 23

Gvi Greece

After spending 6 weeks doing an internship doing sea turtle conservation in Greece, I can safely say it was the most amazing experience of my life, the staff, the volenterrs and the turtles, Made my time here!

I would encourage anyone to join and volunteer!

By: Imy
Nationality: English
Age: 19

Marine Conservation in Mexico

If you are interested in coral and/or fish species (and learning or improving your SCUBA diving skills), then consider going to Pez Maya. I spent two months at this location, early in 2017. However, if you can, avoid travelling through the United States! The immigration process is the pits; even the American volunteers I met at Pez Maya agreed!

Although the base is very basic (there is no running water and neither does it have mains electricity), it is a paradise. The base is located on a beach, facing east over the Caribbean Sea! [Search "Pez Maya" in Google Maps and you'll see.]

Beds are double-height bunk beds and the accommodation is mixed. Some people might disapprove, it works very well.

Weekends are usually free, and most volunteers travel to either Tulum or Playa de Carmen, although there are other places to visit.

Would I go back? Yes!

By: Martin
Nationality: British
Age: 50

Character-building experiences with four GVI projects

I started as a volunteer in GVI South Africa at 18, before doing the Fiji spinner dolphin project a few months later. I came back to GVI as unpaid staff in Costa Rica during my degree, and I consider this made me who I am today, as well as kick-starting my career in conservation. GVI took me on again as paid staff in Greece that summer. I look back fondly at all the time I spent working with them.

By: Raphael
Nationality: British
Age: 21

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