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Testimonial from

I chose to do an internship with GVI because I had just finished a phase of my life back home and needed to start a new one. I had a fresh Bachelor’s degree in hand and had just left behind a comforting part time job when I decided to do something more adventurous yet somehow still sensible. I wanted to travel, gain life experiences but still take the steps towards a finding a career and decided that an internship, opposed to just volunteering, would fulfil these goals for me. This internship gave me more opportunities to achieve my personal and professional goals in more ways than I had expected. This internship is located in a place with picturesque beaches, very close to traditional colonial cities and extraordinary wildlife which has allowed me to explore and see some amazing sights. Included in this internship is 40 hours of Spanish lessons; I was being a bit too opportunistic when I decided to set my goal of being able to speak Spanish by the end of my time here. 4 months in, I have been able to understand and speak (very slowly still) in Spanish! This internship has helped by motivating me to learn as I was around the children and people of the community who I wanted to communicate with. At the end I was forcing myself, very happily I might add, just so I can get to know these wonderful people better. The nature of the volunteer system has allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people from very different backgrounds, places, cultures and from a wide range of age groups. This is a great way to meet people with very different personalities but with the same collective ideals for this project. Professionally, I have been given more training, presentations, time, support and opportunities to practice than I ever imagined. I like the fact that even though it is meant to be practical based learning, I was still given adequate presentations and training to help me be consistent to the GVI standard. I also would not have been able to feel comfortable yet pushed to strive for better if it weren’t for the support I received from staff from the logistical side of things or just to chat; it helped me stay sane in the sometimes whirlwind of the project. I feel this GVI internship for me personally, has created new paths and opportunities for my future more than developing myself to be more employable. In this time, I’ve been able to practice my people skills as often as I breathe; improving my communication skills and making connections with people daily. Working closely with the field staff member, I am able to observe, step by step, the different ways of managing, supervising and solving problems. After my Leadership Course and work placement, I have been able to employ my own ways and practice what I have learnt. This project is still very new, so being an intern here developed my flexibility and I’ve been able to take more initiative. As well as this, the nature of the project motivated me to have excellent time management and being completely organised. The most important lesson this internship has taught me is that being willing to learn and to stay motivated is essential no matter what phase of career development you’re in. I would recommend this internship it as it did develop me professionally and personally. I have learnt a lot about myself; my strengths, my weaknesses and my approach. I have been able to be creative, responsible, empathetic and successful. I have been able to set goals which I never thought I would be able to do in this program. I have been able to work closely with people who I feel have opened my eyes and inspire me to be better. I have had the opportunity to become a difference in the lives of people who I would have never had met if it weren’t for this program.