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Indian Ocean Marine Conservation and PADI Divemaster Internship

Develop your scuba skills in the Seychelles and Thailand, and train for your Divemaster on this amazing internship

Program Code: SCMH0336N

Program Information

Get your PADI Divemaster qualification and boost your scuba or marine conservation career when you join a scuba diving and marine conservation internship in the endless turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, on Mahe Island and then southern Thailand. Undergo an extensive training programme and gain in-depth knowledge into the marine ecosystem, then put this knowledge to work when you join a team to compile crucial research on tropical coral reefs and fish species.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Travel to the stunning waters of the Indian Ocean and train to earn your Dive Master while contributing to vital marine research projects.

This internship begins on GVI’s Seychelles marine conservation expedition where for 12 weeks you will advance your scuba diving skills amongst the incredible coral reefs, undertaking intensive training and developing an impressive knowledge of the underwater environment, putting this knowledge into practise as you undertake research of the reef system.

All internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.



On successful completion of the expedition phase, you will proceed to a work placement at a dive centre on Thailand's coast, as you work towards your PADI Divemaster qualification. This exciting opportunity will provide practical experience in the dive industry as you assist with daily operations.

Scuba Diving Requirements

You will spend the majority of your time on this internship scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent before you start the internship. GVI will supply you with all the training you need to be certified up to PADI Divemaster training as well as with additional diving courses.

After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in Thailand, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Field work positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.

Program Details

Select a Start Date

  • 2019
  • 2020

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Select Add-Ons

+ $30
 

Life On Base

Our GVI base is located in the small fishing village of Ban Nam Khem, about one and half hours from Phuket airport, and about half an hour from the tourism resort town of Khao Lak. The village offers participants the chance to experience living in a real Thai community, tucked away from the usual busy hotspots. The base is only a ten minute walk from the beach and a fifteen minute walk from the centre of the village where you can find little markets and street food vendors. Our participants share the home, including a space to learn or relax, with GVI staff and other participants from all around the world. On the weekends you can explore the numerous stunning beaches, islands, caves, and national forests for which the Phang Nga region is well-known.

Accommodation Tour

ACCOMMODATION

Rooms are shared with a maximum of 6 participants per room. Each room has a bathroom with showers and flushing toilets.

MEALS

This program gives participants the opportunity to experience authentic Southern Thai cuisine, while still having the chance to share some of their own favourite meals from back home. Breakfasts might include toast, cereal, and, of course, a wide arrange of Thailand’s tropical fruit. On some days participants can prepare eggs and pancakes. From Sunday to Thursday night lunches and dinners are prepared by local chefs,  and on the weekends, participants can prepare their own meals.

COMMUNICATION

Wifi is available on base but bear in mind it might not be as reliable as you might be use to back home.

TRANSPORTATION

We will provide transportation to your project location, ensuring you arrive promptly to take part in your project work.

CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE DRESS AND BEHAVIOUR

When on project and in the local town participants will be expected to wear modest clothing and behave in ways in keeping with Thai customs.

CLIMATE

Thailand has a famously tropical climate, the perfect weather in which to enjoy Thailand’s many beaches. There are two main seasons, the dry and the wet season, although it is warm and humid most days of the year. The dry season runs from November to April, which is why Thailand is a great place to visit for December, and the wet season from May to October.

*Thailand has a lovely tropical climate which can make physical exertion tiring for those from cooler regions who are not yet use to the Thai climate. While on the project be sure to pace yourself for the first few days while you acclimate to tropical living.

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Live Updates

Follow GVI Volunteer-In-Mahe's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
GVISeychellesMahe

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 

Meet The Team - Senior Field Management

Chris Mason-Parker

Regional Director for the Seychelles and Greece
This is Chris. He is GVI’s Regional Director for both the Seychelles and Greece. He joined GVI over ten years ago, starting our as a Science Officer based in Mexico. After this he transferred to the Seychelles.

Chris has had an interesting and varied upbring. He is from the UK, heis half French, but grew up in Hong Kong. These early years of Chris’s life is what fueled his passion for travel.

Jim

Program Manager

Introducing you to Jim, the Program Manager at GVI’s base in Mahe, Seychelles. He has been in the Seychelles with GVI for two years now. Before this, Jim was the Base Manager at GVI’s Mexico base for three epic years.


Jim is originally from the UK, where he studied Environmental Science at the University of Leeds. Jim enjoys his life, which involves working around the world in locations he describes as “paradise”.

An awesome fact about Jim is that prior to joining GVI, he was very into his athletics. He could run the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds. Pretty impressive stuff.

Meet The Team - In-Country Staff

Andy

Science Coordinator

This is Andy. She is originally from Mexico, where she studied a degree in Biology. She is the Science Coordinator at GVI base in Mahe, Seychelles and has worked in other places around the world with GVI before this.


Interestingly enough, Andy used to be a fencer before her journey with GVI began. This allowed her to travel around the world with her sword!

Katie

Science Officer

Say hey to Katie. Katie is one of GVI’s Science Officers at the base in Mahe, Seychelles. Katie began her journey with GVI as a volunteer. She then became a Scholar and is now part of the full time staffing team.


Katies has a degree in Animal Welfare and completed a Masters in Ecology. After doing this she spent time working as an Ecological Consultant, until she found GVI.

A fun fact about Katie is she is a keen mountaineer and has climbed over 6000 meter high on a trek!

Nico

Science Officer

Meet Nico, who is from Germany. He is based at our Mahe base in the Seychelles, and is a Science Officer. He previously studied at Bangor University in North Wales. Here he undertook a degree in biology and zoology. While at university, Nico used to play American football.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.


Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.


Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.


Healthy corals are key to the health of our planet. They help fish populations regenerate themselves providing shelter for young fish, they assist in removing excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, and protect living spaces near the shore from damage by waves and storms.


In 1998 a massive coral bleaching event decimated many coral reefs around the globe, including the reefs surrounding the inner granitic islands of the Seychelles. Coral bleaching occurs when rising water temperatures cause the algae that live on corals to detach themselves from their hosts. Algae is the main food source for corals and helps to maintain the structure of the corals. Warm waters are the result of climate change caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Efforts to monitor the recovery of reefs in the Seychelles were initiated after the 1998 event. This began with a 3 year project, named the Shoals of Capricorn, which extensively monitored the entire inner islands. The Seychelles Centre for Marine Research & Technology, SCMRT, was set up at this time to continue the work, and to aid the Seychelles National Parks Authority, SNPA, with the management of the marine parks. After the Shoals of Capricorn project the monitoring was then taken over by Reef Care International.


In addition to the high seasonal sea temperatures, the coral reefs around the Seychelles, face numerous other threats such as population pressure, poaching, and sustainable tourism, all of which are challenging to quantify without a solid, scientific basis. In order to effectively manage and conserve the reef, a continuous monitoring program is necessary to build up a comprehensive picture of the ecological health of the reef.


Coral and Fish Surveys

We established our project in the Seychelles in 2004 with the aim of aiding SNPA. At over 20 sites across the North-West coast of Mahe, GVI staff and participants use the protocols of Reef Care International in order to survey the reefs noting the health of existing coral, evidence of new young coral growing on the reef, as well as fish species present and their numbers. Data on coral recovery, as well as fish abundance and diversity is passed on to the SNPA to assist with their management decisions, which might include updates to policies, expanding currently protected areas, or protecting additional areas. In addition, participants use a different coral monitoring technique, to provide data to CoralWatch, a worldwide coral monitoring methodology, based in Queensland University, Australia, which aims to monitor coral bleaching and recovery events around the globe.


Commercial Marine Species Surveys

Unsustainable fishing is also a threat to the health of the Seychellois marine life. In addition this also affects the wellbeing of the local community, because many rely on fish for daily sustenance, and the growth of the local economy, because seafood from the Seychelles is sold to international visitors to the islands and consumers abroad. Its underwater treasures are also the reason why many visit every year, bringing capital into the country. We assist Seychelles Fishing Authority, SFA with monitoring commonly harvested species like octopus, lobster, and sea cucumber populations.


Marine Megafauna Sightings

Incidental sightings of marine megafauna like tiger sharks and manta rays, occur frequently during dives, and this information is noted and passed on to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System or OBIS Seamap, an online database designed to keep track of various larger marine species around the world.  


Marine Plastic Pollution Cleanups

Ocean floor clean up dives are also regularly conducted as part of the Dive Against Debris or DAD initiative. The data about marine plastics collected is sent on to Project AWARE an organisation established to monitor the abundance and diversity of marine debris around the world.


Environmental Education

Environmental education is also an important part of our GVI Mahe program. The  main aim of this program is to get locals involved in discussions around issues affecting their marine environment.


The main United Nations Sustainable Development Goal we work on at GVI Mahe is  #14, Life Below Water.


Our Partners In Mahe

Project Objectives

 


GVI Mahe, Seychelles Long-term Objectives:


1. Provide a long-term and consistent collection of data, assessing the overall health and development of the reef system in Northern Mahe on behalf of the Seychelles National Parks Authority, SNPA, to be used for regional coastal marine management and international understanding of changing reef systems.


2. Increase the scientific output and awareness of the project through publication of findings.


3. Continue to support the International School of Seychelles by providing their students with environmental education with a strong focus on marine ecosystems and their inhabitants.


4. Increase in-country capacity by providing training in environmental education and training to local communities and by offering placement opportunities for students.


5. Continue to minimise our environmental impact at Cap Ternay and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst participants and visitors.


Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.


Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.


For All GVI Participants

Welcome Presentation

Introduction to GVI as a whole and the work in your specific location. Learn about the short, mid, and long-term objectives of the sustainable development projects at your base, which United Nations Development Goals they impact most directly, and which local partners we work with.


Health and Safety Training

Learn about the Emergency Action Plans in place at your base, the full Risk Assessment, and best practices for personal safety.


Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.


For All Participants at Mahe

Introduction to Thai Culture

A Thai culture presentation to help you understand more about important cultural details, and to make you feel more comfortable with any cultural differences you may encounter.


Introduction to Thai Language

Learn some basic Thai words and phrases which will help you integrate further into the village community.


The Importance of Responsible Tourism in Thailand

This presentation highlights the environmental issues caused by tourism to Thailand and helps volunteers make responsible decisions when deciding whether or not to engage in a wildlife encounter.


Exploration

Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.


Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.


Weekend Trips

Krabi Province

The province is a treasure trove for intrepid travellers, from the crystal clear Emerald Pond to the epic 1,237-step climb up to the Buddha image and stunning views at the Tiger Temple Cave to the enchanted scenery and pools of Than Bok Khorani National Park. Experience the island life on one of the many Andaman islands in the region known for their dazzling marine life as well as their stunning terrestrial beauty.


Phuket Island and City

Phuket is a tourism hotspot, popular as much for its spectacular beaches, diving, and surfing sites, as it is for it’s cafes, boutiques, and hotels. You can also visit The Big Buddha, a massive statue of white marble, nearly 50 metres, depicting the Buddha in a seated position. Trips from Phuket to many of the surrounding islands like Ko Yao Yai, are widely available and popular.


Island Hopping

The Similan and Surin Island groups are both protected Marine National Parks. They are home to several diving and snorkelling spots renowned worldwide, but can only be visited during November and March, the Thai dry season. If you are looking for an island to visit year round, why not explore the Phi Phi islands, famous for its Viking Cave, a dramatic limestone cliff formation featuring rock painting of boats.


Beaches

Explore some of the top beach destinations around the world like Railay beach.


Khao Lak

This is a very popular tourist spot close by, with beautiful, seemingly endless beaches, so many dining options you will be spoilt for choice and hundreds of spas offering massages and treatments at reasonable rates. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels, Khao Lak offers you the chance to spoil yourself for a few days, whether you are on a budget or looking to splurge a little.


Khao Sok National Park

This National Park is a 740km² rainforest reserve home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia, the largest flowers in the world. In the middle of the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, at least 160-million-year old, lies Cheow Larn Lake. Here you can trek through the jungle, you could kayak through estuaries cutting through 200 meter foliaged limestone cliffs, mangrove channels and tidal lagoons while keeping your eyes open for local wildlife, or swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot. kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, choose a day trip, or an overnight stays in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a floating bungalow.


Further Travels

Phang Nga Bay

You can also explore the warm turquoise waters and limestone cliffs of Phang Nga by speedboat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village. can also explore the warm turquoise waters and limestone cliffs of Phang Nga by speedboat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village.


Mu Koh Chang National Park

This protected marine park covers an a huge area including over 50 islands. Visit the jungle island of Koh Chang to snorkel or scuba dive off the coast and experience the unique marine life.


Koh Tao Island

Turtle island is an excellent destination for relaxing on the beach, snorkeling and scuba diving.


Khao Yai National Park

Explore the picturesque waterfalls of Khao Yai in central Thailand. Here you can spot unique Thai wildlife like gibbon monkeys.


Nan Province

Explore the many natural sites of Nan, bordering Laos, like Doi Phu Kha National Park and Si Nan National Park. It is the perfect area to experience the dense natural forests Northern Thailand is known for.


Ayuthaya

Travel to the city complex ruins of Ayuthaya to learn more about Thailand’s heritage. This spectacular, but now abandoned city use to be the medieval capital of Siam.


Chiang Mai

Set in the verdant mountainsides of Northern Thailand, the golden city of Chiang Mai, is a breathtaking sight to behold. Visit historic temples and hunt for treasures at local markets.


Bangkok

There is a reason why the capital of Thailand is one of the most visited sites in the country. Featuring gorgeous temples, the spectacular grand palace, and many excellent shopping opportunities, including the famous floating market, it is a location you simply have to explore while on your trip to Thailand.


Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Festivals

February: Magha Puja is an important Buddhist holiday during which people make offerings at temples around the country.


April to May: Thailand’s New Year, also known as Songkran is on celebrated during April every year. It is a very family-centered holiday, and many travel to their home where they honour older members of their extended families. They also wash statues of the Buddha to represent dismissing the past and stepping freshly cleaned into the new year. Usually in April but also in May Thai people also celebrate Buddha’s birthday.


July to October: In July, many Buddhists celebrate Asalha Puja, which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon to his disciples. This starts the annual three month retreat of the monks known as Vassa. The retreat ends with a celebration known as Wan Ok Phansa.


November: Loi Krathong, the festival of a thousand lights, is celebrated in November. Thousands of lanterns are set out on rivers and lake around the country. It is a spectacular site that draws many international visitors each year.


Spirituality and Religion

Most of the Thai people subscribe to Theravada Buddhism. There are many local Buddhist sites in the region of Phang Nga that you can visit to learn more about Buddhist customs. Travel to Wat Suwan Khuha to see the reclining Buddha or Wat Rat Upatham to see a massive painted statue of Kuan Yin and that of the Buddha rising out of the lush green countryside.


Dancing

The fluid movements and opulent gilded costumes of Thai traditional dancing are recognisable worldwide. Learn about the six types of Thai classical dance, watch a performance, or maybe even attend a class where you can learn some traditional movements.


Cooking

Thai cooking is famous the world over for its fragrant, tangy flavours. Learn how to cook some of these authentic Southern Thai dishes on your stay in Phang Nga.


Phang Nga

Phang Nga is a pocket of paradise in southern Thailand known for its amazing limestone rock formations, pristine beaches and rich culture. It’s many beaches and islands offer many opportunities for spotting unique marine and terrestrial species. The community here is also very traditional which means that immersing yourself fully in traditional Thai culture is also possible.


Languages

The Thai language is incredibly complex. It is tonal which means and there are 5 tones altogether which means you can say the same word 5 different ways and it may mean 5 different things. Learn more about Thai by mastering some basic conversational phrases and practices with locals throughout Phang Nga.


Thailand

Thailand is home to many threatened species like the Asian elephant, several species of sea turtle, sunda pangolin, the Asian Black Bear, the Malayan Sun Bear, and gibbon monkeys. Its many coastlines and islands mean that there are plenty of areas for unique coastal and island life to flourish. Underwater, corals thrive and the area is often visited by manta rays and tiger sharks.


The Thai culture is very closely tied to Buddhist beliefs and practices. Respect for others and those in authority are ingrained in Thai culture, as is emotional restraint. Family is at the center of most people’s lives and they are dedicated to practicing family values and compassion. The Thai Royal family are also highly respected in Thailand and a key part of national culture.


Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Community work workshop
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • Final evaluation from your mentor
  • First Aid & CPR training and certification
  • Leading biological surveys course
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • National Park fees and permits
  • PADI Advanced Open Water
  • PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
  • PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master certifications (not including PADI professional fees)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Use of O2 equipment workshop
  • Weekly evaluation with your mentor
  • Welcome meeting
  • Work placement (if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship)

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • Food during work placement
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • PADI Open Water
  • Personal dive kit, e.g. mask, fins, wetsuit, timer etc.
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Transport to work placements
  • Visa costs (where necessary)