Everything you need to know about the GVI Digital Open Days 2020

    Article by Zaytoen Domingo

    Zaytoen Domingo

    Posted: April 29, 2020

    Following the success of our last online event, we’re back for another Global Digital Open Day! This time joined by different experts and past GVI volunteers to answer your questions and talk about their experiences. 

    Are you interested in a career in conservation and keen to make an impact that matters? A GVI program could be for you! Come geared with any questions and we’ll do our best to give you the answers.

    Don’t miss out, join us on Saturday 9 May 2020 at 16:00 GMT for this exciting Global Digital Open Day. All you need to do is sign up and we’ll do the rest and email you the event link.



    Find out why you should go, what to expect, and how to make the most of it.

    Deciding to volunteer abroad is a leap – but it doesn’t have to be taken blindly. 

    You have the opportunity to learn more about GVI, and what it’s really like to volunteer abroad at our upcoming Manchester Open Day, on Sunday 29 March, and our London Open Days on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April 2020.

    Open Days are free and fun. They’re a great place to learn more about how to make the world a better place. 

    Come and listen to multiple presentations about volunteering with GVI, and also take the opportunity to chat with both GVI staff and ambassadors (former volunteers) who can provide first-hand feedback about their experiences.

    If you’re thinking about attending either event, we’ve rounded up all the information you need to know to make the most of it.


    1) You can attend presentations on topics like turning conservation into a career

    We’ll have presentations throughout the day with information about GVI, our ethics, and our programs in marine and wildlife conservation, and community development. We’ll also have presentations from alumni who will be talking about their GVI experiences and sharing some photos too. It will give you a better overview of our goals and sustainable development work across the globe.

    You’ll also be able to engage with program alumni from each of our bases, and GVI staff from the UK and central support in Cape Town. 

    Overseeing the event is our Global Outreach Manager Amanda Stone, UK Outreach Manager Brooklyn Norton, and Enrolment Managers Sandy Enstrom and Tristan Fautley.


    2) Spend some time with our staff

    GVI staff are bubbling over with experience in working with participants from all over the world. They can fill you in on what GVI is all about, point you towards your perfect project, and even ease your pre-program jitters.

    Get to know GVI

    Spend some time with Amanda, our global outreach manager who joined our team a little under a year ago.

    Bringing with her a wealth of experience in both operations, marketing and working with remote teams. Amanda oversees and supports the regional outreach managers. She is also the brains behind finding new and exciting ways to share GVI with the world.

    Link up with Brooklyn who began her GVI journey five years ago, and has since been on six trips with GVI. Brooklyn quit her job, packed her bags, and set off on a volunteer experience spending two months on an environmental conservation project in Seychelles. Since then, Brooklyn has spent time working in Cape Town in the support team, as well as working in Nepal on the under 18 projects, volunteering in Ghana and most recently Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Brooklyn currently leads the UK Outreach Team; supporting, empowering and co-ordinating all of GVI’s UK-based ambassadors as well as organising Open Days and events. Brooklyn has also inspired her father to volunteer in Laos and become a GVI ambassador too! 


    Dot the i’s and cross the t’s

    And if you’re looking for even more detail then you’d best stop in with Tristan and Sandy, two of GVI’s enrolment managers.

    Tristan’s ability to connect with people from all over the world makes his role an easy one.  And a day at work sees him sharing stories, and helping people tick off their to-do list in preparation for their trip. He regards his move to GVI as one of the best decisions of his life. 

    Sandy’s work days are designed to assist people in making their dreams a reality by finding the right program for their personal and career development goals. She gets a thrill in knowing that for many of these participants, their lives will be changed forever by this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

    And Sandy’s hard work has paid off. During 2019, she enrolled participants whose program durations amounted to over 15 years’ worth of volunteer work that made an impact in the world!

    These are just some of the staff that are part of what makes GVI stand out. And, since our staff are sourced from all over the world, having them all in one place for a face-to face is really an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.


    3) You can get £100 off your deposit if paid on the day

    If you’ve already been thinking about signing up for one of GVI’s programs, this discount might help you hop off of the fence. 

    By attending an Open Day, you qualify for a reduced deposit of only £100 (if paid on the day) to secure your spot! 

    You also qualify for £100 off your total program fee, and have the option to pay off your program in instalments leading up to your trip. 

    This can set your mind at ease about paying off your program, and help you to focus on the exciting activities ahead.


    4) You can chat with former volunteers to find out what it’s really like to volunteer with GVI

    Former volunteers will be coming along to both the London and Manchester Open Days as ambassadors. They have all been on programs with GVI before, and loved their experiences so much that they chose to stay involved. At the GVI Open Days you could chat to ambassadors from each hub.

    Our ambassadors have a wealth of experience and are happy to answer all of your questions about life as a volunteer.

    They’ll be able to give you advice on how to choose the right program for you, what to expect once on your trip, and can testify as to how your volunteering journey might impact you on both a personal and professional level.

    “My advice for anyone joining a GVI program would be to go with an open mind, and to expect the unexpected,” advises GVI ambassador Niamh.



    “You will be amazed and inspired by the experiences that you will walk away with. I love travelling to new and exciting countries and I wanted to go somewhere where I could learn to scuba dive, which is what I did in Mexico, [while learning] more about the environment and biodiversity of the planet.”

    Fellow ambassador, Dave, echoes these sentiments. “My advice to anybody who is thinking about having a new adventure and experience of different cultures, is to look into GVI and see the amazing projects they have to offer,” he said.

    “Although I had no experience in teaching English, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of volunteering. I have learned that patience is key to working with the students and to slow my delivery down. This benefited me on my return to England.”  

    5) The open day is free


    At the London and Manchester Open Days you can expect to connect with lots of people and hear more about our projects, and the impact they have on volunteers.

    All Open Days are free and open to everyone. The day is very informal and you can drop in any time you want, or stay the whole day. You could even pop in, leave to get some lunch or shop, and come back! 

    Keen to come along? Now let’s take a look at how you can make the most of the event.

    Ask lots of questions

    This is an excellent opportunity to witness firsthand how diverse and passionate our volunteers are. Feel free to talk to our ambassadors and find out more about their experiences.

    By networking with people who have been on our projects you will be equipped to find the project which is the best fit for you. We will also have our flight partner STA travel there on the day to help you book your flights and answer logistical questions.

    We recommend taking a look at our programs in advance and going with a few questions in mind. This will help you make the most of the opportunity.



    Some questions you could ask might be:

    • Which program did you choose and why?
    • What is the most important thing you learned from your experience?
    • Why do you recommend GVI?
    • What’s your best memory from your volunteer program?

    Check out a presentation

    Try to catch a presentation. We promise you’ll find them interesting, and you might just discover something new. This is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the kinds of work being done to address some of the biggest challenges in the world today. 


    Chat with other attendees

    You’re not limited to talking to GVI staff. Strike up conversations with other potential volunteers and you might meet a future travel buddy.

    Bring friends or family

    Our London and Manchester Open Days are open to all ages and are completely free for everyone. 

    Why not bring someone with you? It can be less intimidating when you have a friend with you. The event might just convince them to go a step further and join you on your volunteering trip.

    We can even help you convince your parents that volunteering is going to be beneficial for you.  


    Sign up to make an impact

    The London Open Days take place on Saturday 4 April, and Sunday 5 April 2020, between 11:00 and 15:30, at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA. The nearest station is Holloway Road, a five-minute walk from the venue. You can get there by hopping on the Piccadilly line. If you are unsure about your commute, you can give the venue a call at 020 7697 4000. 

    The Manchester Open Day takes place on 29 March 2020, between 11:00 and 15:30, at Malmaison, 1–3 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 3AQ.

    The nearest station is Picadilly (Stop EQ) is a one-minute walk from the venue. If you are unsure please call the venue on 0161 641 1883 who will be happy to help with directions.

    Please note that all in-person open days have been replaced with virtual ones. Let us know you’re interested by signing up for our online Global Digital Open Day. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. We hope to see you there.   


    By Zaytoen Domingo

    Zaytoen Domingo is a content writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently enrolled in the Masters program in English at the University of the Western Cape. After graduating with an Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing, Zaytoen completed a skills-development program for writers and became an alum of the GVI Writing Academy.