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.
"Training was good and I was confident in what I was doing when I started monitoring, the best aspects of the program were the diving, meeting people and also being able to live with limited resources."
What's Not Included
Life on the Internship
Your First 12 Weeks
During your expedition phase, you will live at our base on Mahe Island, one of two GVI bases in the Seychelles. Depending on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct underwater surveys after completion of your training.
Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education sessions, depending on local and project needs at the time. The days are rounded off with an evening debrief, followed by dinner and time to relax, take in a beautiful sunset and share stories.
During your work placement you will be with selected dive centres off Thailand's Indian Ocean coast. While working, you will assist in the daily running of the dive centre, logistics, handling clients, crewing on the dive boats and assisting in the water. On completion, you will be able to gain a number of different qualifications that could serve as a career starting point.
Accommodation on base in the Seychelles will be basic but comfortable in dormitory style rooms, while sharing duties such as cooking and cleaning with your fellow volunteers.
Accommodation during your placement will vary depending on the dive center, but is likely to be shared rooms with self-catering or within the center itself.
What's Not Included
On the expedition, our research team works on behalf of the Seychelles government and local NGOs, undertaking marine surveys, including coral reef monitoring and research that targets coral and reef fish species and research on turtle breeding areas. You should also expect to be involved with the local community, supporting environmental education lessons.
In Thailand you will work towards your PADI Divemaster qualification while gaining practical experience of the diving industry in a local dive shop. The skills and knowledge gained during your time in the Seychelles will help you to become a safe and environmentally aware diving professional.
Roles and tasks over the course of the internship will vary; from, undertaking reef surveys, collecting science data and preparing dive equipment on the expedition; to developing your scuba skills to achieve your Divemaster qualification and assisting in the preparation and maintenance of dive kit on your placement.
How this project makes a difference:
With substantial contributions from our partners, we are the leading marine data collection organisation in the Seychelles.
Much of this data is used by other organisations in the Seychelles. For example, the Seychelles government relies on this data to show an accurate picture of the overall health of the local coral reefs when setting and creating new management policies.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your programme. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Seychelles and Thailand!
With 115 islands in the Seychelles group stretching over 800 miles, the possibilities of exploring this tropical paradise are endless. The inner-islands, situated closer to Mahe are easily accessible by fast ferry. Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity and Sister, to name a few, all have their own unique charms with hotels and guest houses within most people’s price range.
On the weekends many volunteers head to Beau Vallon Bay for a well-earned break. The bay is the main tourist area of Mahe with a lovely long beach, hotels and guest houses, shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. The dive shops in the area offer many options for all diving needs.
Most people would agree that sitting at The Coral Strand Hotel bar with a cool drink and watching the sun set behind Silhouette Island is an experience not to be missed. Volunteers may have the opportunity to visit the islands of Praslin and La Digue. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai (a world heritage site) thought by early explorers to be the original “Garden of Eden”, that is the home of the famous Coco de Mer palm tree that produces the huge double nut famous for its provocative shape. La Digue is the picture perfect tropical island, small and intimate with quaint guest houses and arguably the most beautiful beach in the world – Anse Source d’Argent.
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, the smallest capital city in the world. Volunteers often visit to catch up at internet cafes, do a little shopping, or visit the market to soak up the local atmosphere.
Public transport is cheap and frequent and all parts of Mahe can be explored easily by catching a bus. Many volunteers spend happy times bouncing around the island roads on buses taking in the beautiful scenery whilst enjoying the company of locals going about their daily business.
Thailand is a country with a whole range of fantastic places that you could visit. Take advantage of the amazing sites and scenery the Andaman region of Thailand has to offer. There are endless opportunities to visit islands, beaches, parks and caves and many can be done on weekends. While on the ground, we are here to help so make sure to ask our field staff to assist you with planning trips.
Krabi 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 Khoranee National Park to the shopping and late night bars of Ao Nang to the chilled out beaches of Koh Lanta Island to the parties of Phi Phi, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed – the options are truly endless!
The Similan and Surin Island groups, both under the protection of their Marine National Park status, are home to some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the region. You can take a day trip, stay on a live aboard boat or even stay overnight on the islands themselves.
Phuket Island, about 90mins south of Khao Lak and renowned for its colourful nightlife is also a great stop-off for divers and snorkelers, but if you’re not the diving type you can explore Phang Nga Bay by speed-boat 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. Phuket is also very popular with surfers, playing host to annual surfing competitions, though there is a great ‘secret spot’ near Khao Lak… if you’re interested GVI staff will show you the way!
Meet Molly, our hard working country director for both Thailand and Laos. Over seeing operations in two countries is no easy task but Molly is more than capable.
She started volunteering and travelling at a young age, working in soup kitchens, with AmeriCorps, at animal shelters, as a Big Sister with Big Brother Big Sisters of America and as a Guardian ad Litem. She studied family development and psychology and loves to dance.
Her goal is to visit one country for every year she is alive. The most unusual place she has travelled to is Uzbekistan, on a trip beginning in Europe and ending in Southeast Asia. This is where she fell in love with Laos which began her journey with GVI. She started working for GVI back in 2012 and she is now based in Thailand. GVI has hubs all around the world and she has been lucky enough to visit the hubs in Nepal, Thailand, Laos and the office in South Africa.
Conservation project coordinator
Meet Katie, our brilliant conservation project coordinator in Phang Nga, Thailand. She is experienced in environmental education, working within zoos and outreach programmes in the UK, teaching a huge range, from pre-school children through to university students.
From a young age she travelled to many unique and culturally diverse places with her family.
During her short term internship with GVI, at Jalova Biological Research Station, she developed and advanced her surveying, research and project development skills whilst working in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
Her must bring travel item is her trusty camera; "There is not a day that goes by where I don't encounter a moment that I want to capture, especially when exploring the worlds natural beauty."
Meet Dora, our insightful base manager in Phang Nga, Thailand. She has spent much of her life traveling, studying and volunteering all over the world. She grew up in China but felt the need to explore the world. She's lived in many different countries such as Egypt, Japan and the Phillippines,saying that she's not one to stay in one place for very long. She's also explored most of Europe an the west of the USA.
She has a BA in international relations focusing on the continents of Africa and Asia. She's also a certified, open water NAU diver.
Her favourite thing about working for GVI is how every day is different and how meeting so many new people has taught her so much about herself. She's a real life traveller and we're lucky to have her on board.
Meet Karissa, our vibrant country expert for our Cape Town and Thailand, Phang Nga, hubs. She loves travelling and has had her fair share of travelling too. Her first solo travel was to New Zealand to work as an Au Pair, followed by Fiji for over a year. She then travelled to Thailand, where she met her South African partner and worked as an English Teacher at a public High School.
Karissa is TEFL qualified and has first-hand experience of working abroad. What first attracted her to join GVI? “The amazing volunteer projects and stunning locations across the world.”
She moved to Cape Town in November 2015 from her home country, the USA, and is loving every minute of being able to call South Africa her new home!
Caroline Van Der Does De Willebois
Service Learning Manager Thailand
A conservationist and adventurer at heart with a passion for sustainable development and marine conservation. Caroline has a Master's degree in International Development and past experience working with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, educational marine conservation with the Marine Megafauna Foundation in Mozambique, and dive instructing in Thailand.
Caroline believes that GVI's combination of conservation and community development projects helps us to reach a true and sustainable impact in the field.
Her travels have taken her all over the world, but she is grateful to have returned to Thailand to join the GVI family and support and train others to have the best possible Service Learning experience!
Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”
When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”
What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”