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A GVI career internship will give you a leg up into your career as a conservation or sustainable development practitioner. Career internships are best suited to participants who are looking to gain additional experience collaborating on impactful initiatives with our global partners.

GVI Career Internships

Develop industry-specific skills and enhance your employability with GVI’s global career internships. Taking part in a career internship with GVI will keep you a step ahead of the rest in the conservation and sustainable development industries. 

GVI is an award-winning organisation, so when you join an international internship program with us, you can be sure that you’ll be involved in a project that’ll make a real impact, and look great on your CV.

You can choose to join our in-field career internship programs for a period of 4 to 24 weeks, with start dates occurring every 2 weeks. You’ll also receive extensive pre-program training including: 

GVI offers career internships across many different focus areas including marine conservation, wildlife conservation, community development, women’s empowerment, global public health and business and micro-enterprise development.

Marine conservation 

Are you the type of person who needs to know the name of every underwater species that you spotted while scuba diving during your last island vacation? Do you want to find out how to minimise the effects of global warming on marine life? Or maybe your dream is to become a top marine biologist?

Well, this type of GVI international internship program could be a perfect career move for you.

Join GVI’s marine conservation internships and contribute to protecting the most vulnerable marine species while you gain professional industry experience that’ll help you pursue a career in marine biology, oceanology or conservation. 

You could work with partners to analyse data to determine whether changes in ocean temperatures could affect the behaviours of marine species. Or write a report on the threat that unsustainable fishing practices could pose to biodiversity.

In addition to your virtual partner project-work, you could take part in efforts to minimise marine plastic pollution or learn about the effects of climate change through data collection and surveys. 

You could also be involved in spreading awareness to local people, tourists and tourism companies on the importance of responsible and ethical ocean tourism.

All GVI marine conservation career interns can be confident that they’ll be a part of programs that make a real impact. This is because all of our marine conservation internships are aligned to the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 14: Life Below Water, and related global goals. 

Wildlife conservation

Want to spend your days collecting data on endangered rhinos, spotting giraffes as they stroll across the sun-drenched South African savannah, or tracking jaguars in the lush rainforests of Jalova? Maybe you’re passionate about building up a bigger database of knowledge on the Asian elephant population in Chiang Mai?

Well, you’re in luck because GVI offers international wildlife conservation career internships that’ll provide you with once-in-a-lifetime experiences like these, all while equipping you with skills and experience to catapult your conservation career success.

So whether you’re after a long-term career in wildlife conservation, or just want an opportunity to make an impact in the wildlife industry right now – our career internships will provide you with practical experiences that’ll positively impact your future employability.

You can choose to become a wildlife conservation intern with GVI in: 

In all of these locations you’ll also work on virtual projects with external partners. You might be responsible for collecting data and creating a report that looks at how climate change affects wildlife. Or, you could design a social media plan with the aim of generating funding for wildlife conservation organisations.

Community development

If you’re looking to have a more varied and holistic career internship experience, GVI has many opportunities in community development that you can choose from. 

From teaching children and adults, to collaborating on empowerment initiatives with community members and career interns in other locations, you can choose to join a GVI community development internship in Costa Rica, Laos, Mexico, Nepal and Thailand.

Women’s empowerment 

We may have come a long way in advancing women’s rights across the globe, but even today, women and girls still face a massive uphill climb to access the same resources and opportunities as men.

When you decide to become an intern on one of GVI’s women empowerment projects, you’ll partner with local women to advance gender equality in all corners of the globe. 

GVI programs are community-led, so we can learn directly from women in the communities we work with to find out what their empowerment needs are. As an intern, you could be involved in helping women empower themselves through:

  • educational workshops

  • health care education like first aid, women’s health and nutrition workshops

  • social enterprise and income initiatives. 

Not only will you help loosen the grip that gender inequality has on communities, but you’ll also gain hands-on experience and leadership skills, immerse yourself in local languages and cultures, and contribute towards your university qualification or future career. 

GVI offers international women’s empowerment career internships in Laos and Nepal.

Global public health

GVI offers global health internships to help communities empower themselves with the information and hygiene habits they need to avoid preventable illnesses. 

Our career interns conduct water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) workshops with children to improve overall hygiene practices. We also offer workshops to teach adults on nutrition habits to prevent illnesses like malnutrition, obesity and diabetes.

You’ll also work on project work with a number of external partners, either locally or virtually. You might report on the effects of contaminated water using the data collected from a local organisation. Or, you might work with local organisations to identify training gaps for community health workers, and propose ways to upskill these professionals.  

It’s important to note that GVI doesn’t offer any hands-on or diagnostic medical career internships in any of our locations. We abide by the principle of primum non nocere or “first do no harm”, and do not endorse untrained or unlicensed individuals carrying out medical work.

Whether most of your project work is in person, or virtual, you’ll receive real-world experience and gain a contextual understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of development practitioners who are focused on public health. You’ll work with real organisations, both locally and globally, to analyse and promote sustainable approaches to health care, and work towards providing accessible healthcare services for all.

Business and micro-enterprise development

Calling all business students and graduates! Do you want to use your leadership skills to help local business owners empower themselves and their communities? 

You can, with GVI’s business and micro-enterprise development internships – all while you travel to a new international location and gain important experience and skills that’ll help you enhance your own employability.

During this international internship program, you’ll work on educational workshops on micro-enterprise business skills, business training initiatives and mentoring small business owners.

Where can I go on a career internship? 

So, you’ve made the decision to head off on a career internship abroad, but aren’t sure exactly where you can go? 

GVI offers a broad range of career internship experiences in several of our international internship destinations. Our programs provide you with a unique opportunity to live abroad and gain valuable hands-on work experience in multiple countries. 

Not only will you be able to learn about and advance projects in your chosen location, you’ll collaborate with other career interns and remote partners all around the globe. 

GVI offers a variety of career internships in the following locations: 

Some questions to ask when you join one of GVI’s research internships


Your career internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term GVI field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • pre-program training

  • three GVI online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond

  • training on GVI’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus

  • practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts

  • a remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance

  • a project with a partner

  • a professional reference upon successfully completing your internship

  • a LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship

  • access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development

  • preference on opportunities to work for GVI

  • a six month minimum job guarantee.

You’ll also get the opportunity to gain insight into how projects are implemented in a variety of our career internship locations, when you meet and collaborate virtually with other career interns, and partners, across our locations around the world. Not to mention the unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences.

How old do I need to be to join a career internship?

You need to be 18+ years old to complete one of GVI’s career internships.

How long are GVI’s career internships?

We offer flexible duration options so that you can find the right fit for the goals you would like to achieve from your internship. Our on-the-ground career internships run between 4 and 24 weeks, depending on the practical work you would like to take part in at the GVI base, as well as the type of virtual project work you would like to be involved in with our international partners.

How do I know which career internship will fit my career focus?

Your enrolment manager will guide you through choosing the program that best suits your chosen career field. We have hundreds of programs and focus topics for you to consider. To speak to us, submit a call back request and we will call you, otherwise you can contact us directly.

How safe is it to join a career internship during COVID-19?

GVI takes the health and well-being of all our participants and staff very seriously. We regularly revise and update our comprehensive Health and Safety policy and have strict COVID-19 protocols in place on the ground. 

We stay informed by following updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We also follow travel advice from the UK, US and Australian governments, and are guided by health advice from local governments in the locations we operate in, to provide you with the safest way to travel.

Can I apply for a bursary to pay for my career internship?

GVI does not provide any academic bursaries for our programs, but you are welcome to apply for independent financial aid such as student loans to cover the program fees. This is because the fees from our programs provide important funding to sustain our projects on the ground.

GVI may award a scholarship to high-performing participants on a program, or allow a participant to stay on their program for a longer duration at no extra charge.


Throughout your internship, you’ll be completing one project every four weeks that helps an international organisation solve an actual problem. Since we work with real partners, real, valuable projects will be assigned to you. This means that the types of projects you could work on will vary. We aim to match you as closely as possible with an organisation and a task that aligns with your personal career goals. We estimate you will spend an additional 5-10 hours per week working on your virtual project, alongside your work in the field.


During the course of your Career Internship, you will complete a project that solves a problem for a real organisation and be able to add it to enhance your resume and discuss the project with employers. You will also get a certificate and a LinkedIn reference from your virtual internship supervisor as a testimony to your accomplishments and the skills you developed.





Career Internship Structure

Career internships offer a blend of on-the-ground practical field work and real virtual projects. Complete your on-location internship program whilst simultaneously completing a virtual project digitally at your own pace for a real organisation.

Core Internship
A hands-on, practical internship on one of our global bases.
Virtual Internship
A real, virtual project completed for a GVI partner.

Previous Virtual Projects

Work remotely with partners in the development space to complete real-life, virtual projects.


Mahe, Seychelles


Analyse statistical data to determine whether changes in water temperature may act as an environmental cue for certain behaviours such as reproduction in marine species. The findings can then be used to predict future behaviour as ocean temperatures rise.

Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust

Limpopo, South Africa


Collate data a from a number of camera traps set up by the EWT Hooded Vulture Project. Analyse the photos, recording observations such as the number of vulture nests, identifying features and behaviour of the critically endangered Hooded Vulture.

Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) Hooded Vulture Project

Cape Town, South Africa


Write a proposal to plant and maintain a vegetable garden in a community where food scarcity is a main concern. Research varieties of plants that would thrive in local conditions and include cooking instructions and recipes, taking into account available resources.

Ocean Pledges Restaurant Programme
Jessica Culbert
March 2021
 Wildlife Conservation Virtual Internship

“I was working on a project to analyze camera traps of pangolins. Through this research I organized the photos and created a research paper which will be used for further research by GVI. This was a very rewarding experience […]. This internship gave a good insight on what a job in wildlife conservation is like and I am excited to further my career.”

Jessica Culbert
March 2021
 Wildlife Conservation Virtual Internship

“I was working on a project to analyze camera traps of pangolins. Through this research I organized the photos and created a research paper which will be used for further research by GVI. This was a very rewarding experience […]. This internship gave a good insight on what a job in wildlife conservation is like and I am excited to further my career.”

Rose Little
January 2019
 Mexico Marine Conservation Internship

“I also had the opportunity to participate and run weekly beach cleans helping to remove ocean trash and report the data to the Ocean Conservancy. We also helped our partners at CRIAP with their goal of coral reef restoration. We worked with micro fragments of coral […] This experience has made me rethink what I would like to do as a career”

Rose Little
January 2019
 Mexico Marine Conservation Internship

“I also had the opportunity to participate and run weekly beach cleans helping to remove ocean trash and report the data to the Ocean Conservancy. We also helped our partners at CRIAP with their goal of coral reef restoration. We worked with micro fragments of coral […] This experience has made me rethink what I would like to do as a career”

What's Included



Choose a Career Internship