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How you can embrace travel and become more of a global citizen

Article by Zaytoen Domingo

Zaytoen Domingo

Posted: July 25, 2019

With GVI you can travel the world while making an impact. All of our programs offer the chance to be part of a global community and create positive change. 

Being a global citizen means embracing the adventures of travelling while being responsible and respectful. It’s about understanding the wider world and your place in it, while having fun at the same time. 

You can develop your global citizenship by exploring other cultures in an ethical and mindful way. But you don’t have to do this solo. GVI encourages you to become part of an international network of people all making positive change and developing as global citizens.

We’ve outlined nine ways in which travel with GVI helps you become a global citizen.

1) Travel with a purpose


Volunteering or interning with GVI provides a purpose to your travel adventure.  Whether you choose a program for one week or a year, you will make a contribution. All our programs are designed to create a sustainable and positive impact with local communities. 

Our 2019 Impact and Ethics Report outlines exactly how we are working towards and achieving this across the world.

2) Develop personal skills

Whether it’s teaching children in Peru or being involved in wildlife conservation in South Africa, you will become more proactive, creative, and flexible. This happens while you develop global citizen skills like problem-solving and decision-making, which can really boost your CV for future employers.


3) Know you’re making a sustainable and positive impact

Being a global citizen is about working together to help end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. But, how can we do that? 

Each GVI program is designed to achieve high-quality local impact, while contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) globally. 

With GVI, you will learn about far-reaching issues, such as inequality, sanitation and clean energy. It’s this sense of contribution and collaboration that develops our sense of responsibility and global citizenship.

4) Enjoy travelling slowly and mindfully


As a volunteer or intern with GVI, you will live as part of a community. This embedded experience with people local to the areas you’re volunteering in, charities, non-profits or governmental organisations, allows time and space for you to learn about and understand their priorities. 

Being a global citizen means making time for conversation, sharing cultural traditions and beliefs, and understanding the personal needs of people and communities. It’s through these deeper relationships that we can create a higher degree of collaboration and a longer-term impact.

5) Travel ethically


A global citizen travels with respect and compassion for the community and environment. GVI allows you to galvanise this respect. Each project, led by its community, allows you to work alongside people in their own environment, towards mutually beneficial long-term goals. 

Initiatives, such as the National Scholarship Programme (NSP), which enables and funds local nationals from communities where GVI collaborates to participate in our programs and receive training to further their career opportunities, provide this reassurance. By joining a community-led project, you are helping to increase local capacity, while having a travel adventure.

6) Share the benefits of being part of a team


Being a global citizen means working together to achieve goals. Travelling as part of a team is, simply, fun! 

You might join a passionate dive team surveying the coral reef in Seychelles, or a dedicated healthcare team in Cambodia conducting preventative workshops. These positive relationships, cross-cultural communication and experiences are hugely enjoyable, but also help us educate each other about our global responsibilities.

7) Choose how you want to make an impact

With a choice of around 150 programs in 15 different countries, you can decide where you want to travel and how you want to contribute to positive development across the world. 



GVI provides volunteer opportunities with a focus on wildlife, marine conservation, women’s empowerment, teaching, animal welfare, healthcare, sports, construction and early childhood development. 

Work with local communities in Fiji, volunteer with Buddhist monks in Laos, or contribute to sea turtle conservation in Thailand. Find a program and allow the variety of opportunities to inspire the global citizen in you.

8) Use your travel to lead others in global citizenship


You might spark your passion for travel as a volunteer, and then go on to develop the skills and experience to become a team leader of a GVI international expedition

You’ll be sharing your enjoyment of adventure and global engagement with others, helping them to develop as global citizens.

Once you’ve finished volunteering, you can join the GVI Alumni program and become part of a wider community of global citizens. The program encourages you to contribute to GVI’s mission in your home country by becoming an ambassador, returning to a volunteer base, fundraising, or even working for GVI.

9) Be inspired to continue making a difference


You’ve travelled. You’ve made friends. You’ve collected unforgettable memories. You’re now on your way to being a global citizen with an awareness and understanding of the wider world. 

But, it doesn’t stop there. 

Part of being a global citizen is continuing your travels and spreading your values and beliefs. As you move through the world, embrace that deeper sense of sense of global engagement, and decide where your next adventure will be. 

Make your application today to enhance your global citizenship and contribute towards positive development in the world.

Emily Shelton is an intern at the GVI Writing Academy. The Writing Academy is a skills-development program that pairs development editors with budding travel writers. Learn more about the program here

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.
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