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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
New Program! GVI's Business Internships in Cape Town have just launched. Find out more here.
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INTERNATIONAL SERVICE LEARNING

What is service-learning?

Service-learning is defined as a form of experiential education undertaken in partnership with community members and organizations. It integrates “academic material, relevant service activities, and critical reflection in a reciprocal [co-created] partnership that engages students, faculty/staff, and community members to achieve academic, civic, and personal [growth] learning objectives as well as to advance public purposes” (Bringle & Clayton, 2012, p. 105). Students, faculty, and community members all serve as co-educators, co-learners, co-servers, and co-generators of knowledge and practice.

An international service-learning program with GVI focuses resources and efforts on working with communities to help them make a difference in their own situations and working with students to help them make a difference in their own lives and those of others through guided critical reflection to generate learning before, during, and after participation in our programs.

Volunteering vs interning vs service-learning

Service-learning is not the same as international volunteerism / community service or as an internship. Community service is generally, undertaken for communities, positioning the volunteer as richer in resources or expertise than those who are, in turn, understood as needing their help. International internships generally occur in communities (off-campus) and focus on student development of professional skills and occur in communities. Service-learning, on the other hand, emphasizes working with, not just in a community.

How service-learning contributes to our mission

As we approach our 20th anniversary, we are re-examining how we can best meet our mission: To build a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

The drive to fulfill this mission has led us to continue focusing our resources and efforts on working with communities to help them make a difference in their own situations, alongside local partners such as Save the Children (Mexico), Panthera (Costa Rica), The Red Cross, PADI, WWF (Mexico), Project AWARE, and the National Parks of South Africa, Seychelles, Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica, among others. However, we are also focused on working with students to help them make a difference in their own lives, and those of others, through guided critical reflection and evaluation to generate learning before, during, and after participation in our programs.

GVI has always been a mission-led organization, aiming to create exponential change as our alumni, community partners, faculty, and staff use the knowledge and skills they gain as they work and learn together to create further positive change long after the end of a course.

See here, for details on our service-learning curriculum.

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GVI BROCHURES

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Hear from students & educators!

Or, to read more testimonials from educators and students from institutions such as Duke University, Endicott College, Stelly’s School and Ohio State University, view our group testimonials.

Choose an Academic Discipline

Chat to us about tailoring your course for your faculty or academic needs!

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Students will contribute to solutions for some of the most pressing issues facing conservation, and environmental sustainability. Projects are especially suited to biology, conservation or environmental science majors, and programs can be tailored based on desired learning outcomes and skill development.

Education

Students will engage in a range of initiatives with partner organizations around the world. Our projects seek to bridge economic and social divides that exist in communities due to a lack of access to high quality education, and are suited for education majors or individuals who are interested in a career in teaching, education administration, or nonprofit management.

Global Health

Students will discuss critical global health issues and contribute towards viable solutions. Our projects are especially suited to healthcare majors, and programs can be tailored based on desired learning outcomes and skill development. Students will work alongside local citizens on a healthcare project that will serve long-term community needs.

Marine Biology

Students will contribute to solutions for some of the most pressing issues facing ocean conservation and environmental sustainability, alongside an international team and local community members on a long-term, sustainable project. Our projects are especially suited to marine biology or oceanography majors, and programs can be tailored to desired learning outcomes.

Social Enterprise

Students will engage in a range of initiatives with partner organizations that incorporate microfinance and income-generation. Our projects seek to bridge economic and social divides that exist in these communities due to a lack of access to training or resources, and are suited for business majors or individuals who are interested in a career in business administration or nonprofit management.

Sports Education & Management

GVI specializes in providing service-learning programs to student athletes. Having partnered with several NCAA Division I Athletic Departments, GVI has helped student athletes utilize and deepen their knowledge of teamwork, nutrition, and coaching among other skills. GVI service-learning sports projects are suited for groups of athletes or for individuals interested in a career focused on nutrition and exercise, leadership, and/or coaching.

Sustainable Agriculture

Students will partner with communities to promote sustainable agriculture and farming for the health and well-being of local citizens. Students interested in environmental studies professions will join GVI staff and partners to discuss critical issues in environmental care and maintenance, and will contribute to projects that work towards sustainable solutions. View PDF now.

Women & Gender Studies

Students will engage in a range of gender equality training and education initiatives. Our projects seek to bridge social and gender divides that exist in communities due to a previous lack of access to education and training, and are suited for students interested in a career in leadership, gender equality, community-building, or nonprofit administration/management.

Our Service Learning Programs

Please note that these are examples of the types programs that we can run for you and your students, and can be tailored to offer you service learning programs for high school students or college students.

Africa, Limpopo, South Africa
Join our service learning program in Limpopo, South Africa and gain insight into both wildlife research techniques and conservation activities. Live at a remote research base within the game reserve turning the natural environment into a rich landscape of educational opportunity.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education
Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
Join our community development program in Cape Town, South Africa’s surrounding township areas. Work alongside local partners to improve infrastructure and the general learning environment for local communities while completing course work structured around specific learning objectives. Experience an educational journey outside of the classroom walls.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Social Enterprise, Sport, Sustainable Agriculture, Women's Empowerment
Africa, Mahe and Curieuse, Seychelles
Join an expedition team working on critical marine conservation projects alongside local partners in the pristine islands of the Seychelles.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Marine Biology
Asia, Nepal, Pokhara
Participate in a service learning program in the fascinating country of Nepal. Contribute to sustainable development projects connected to ongoing earthquake relief efforts. Gain intercultural competency while engaging in educational activities connected to Nepali culture and daily service activities.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Women's Empowerment
Costa Rica, Latin America, Manuel Antonio
Join our service learning program in Quepos, Costa Rica. Students can contribute to sustainable long-term community projects while completing supplemental educational assignments, and gaining a deeper understanding of international development, global citizenship, and intercultural competency.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Social Enterprise, Sport, Sustainable Agriculture, Women's Empowerment
Asia, India, Kerala
Our service learning program in Kerala, India combines community development work with a comprehensive educational curriculum. Students will teach sports in the community, spend afternoons building an eco-garden or eco-toilet or get their hands dirty with a local partner-led construction project.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Sport, Sustainable Agriculture, Women's Empowerment
Asia, Phang Nga, Thailand
Discover service learning in Phang Nga province, Thailand. Contribute to the education of the local community by improving their non-formal education center, under the direction of local partners. Develop personal and career focused skills by completing connected educational assignments, all part of a comprehensive curriculum.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Sport, Sustainable Agriculture, Women's Empowerment
Latin America, Mexico, Yucatan
Discover service learning in Mexico's charming city of Playa del Carmen. Contribute to the education of the local community by helping to improve the community’s non-formal education center alongside local partners. Develop students' personal and career focused skills by completing connected educational assignments, all part of a comprehensive curriculum.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Global Health, Sport, Women's Empowerment
Asia, Laos, Luang Prabang
Increase the quality and access to education for Buddhist Novice Monks and local lay students, (both children and young adults) alongside local partners. Help to enable increased future employment opportunities and improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and communities.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Women's Empowerment
Australasia, Fiji, Fiji Islands
Discover service learning in Fiji and contribute to need-based community development projects in surrounding areas, alongside local partners. All our projects primarily improve the general infrastructure and learning environments with the local community.
Academic Discipline
Education, Global Health, Social Enterprise, Sport, Sustainable Agriculture, Women's Empowerment
Latin America, Mexico, Yucatan
Dive into a marine conservation program on Mexico’s Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest reef in the world. Learn about coral and fish identification strategies, environmental issues facing the area, and earn your PADI diving qualification in order to better study the reefs.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Marine Biology
Costa Rica, Jalova, Latin America
Live on a remote research station while partaking in our conservation focused service learning course. Learn about rainforest ecosystems while assisting with turtle, jaguar, bird, and forest conservation projects. Complete educational assignments which complement the on the ground experience.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Marine Biology
Asia, Phang Nga, Thailand
Jump into terrestrial conservation efforts in Phang Nga province, Thailand. Learn about the biodiversity of the surrounding environment, contribute towards essential biodiversity studies, and help at a local turtle rehabilitation center, alongside the direction of local partners.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Marine Biology
Africa, Mahe and Curieuse, Seychelles
Join a GVI environmental service learning program in Seychelles and gain a better understanding of the local ecosystem and preserving its biodiversity, alongside local partners such as the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA).
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education
Europe, Giannitsochori, Greece
Join a GVI environmental science service learning program in Greece and gain a better understanding of the local ecosystem, turtle conservation and preserving its biodiversity, alongside our local partners.
Academic Discipline
Biological and Environmental Sciences, Education, Marine Biology
Scholarships

Claim a Scholarship worth £200 / $400 if you book by 15 November 2017

Scholarships available on all internships and Under18 programs. Join a GVI program and improve your employability and transferable skills!


Claim your GVI Scholarship here!