Global Vision International (GVI)

Not Verified What's this?
9 / 10 after 201 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.gviusa.com/

Submit a review

I volunteered to do construction work in Kerala, India during the summer of 2016. It was one of the best experiences of my life, so good that i was only home a month before i had booked another two trips with GVI again! My first week was spent renovating the outside area of a school for children with special needs, an extremely rewarding experience. In the evenings there was always an activity for us today since this was the under 18's group, such as martial arts or indian cooking classes. My second week was spent in the district of wayanad hiking through the mountains getting to see the most beautiful views and camping in the evenings. My time in India certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone but with the fantastic support from the staff and my fellow volunteers whom i am still in contact with, the thought of being so far from home wasn't so bad.

If you're looking for an under 18's trip this is definitely the one i'd go on!

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 7, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
18

Completing an internship on the Elephant Reintroduction programme is one of my proudest achievements to date. It was a complete honour to have had the chance to experience the real authentic Thai culture, whilst living with my host family and being immersed into the community.
It was always a pleasure to hike and see the elephants every day, and completely mesmerizing to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
There was always plenty of activities to get involved in on a daily basis, and I learnt more than I anticipated. The friends I made from around the world, during my time on project, I shall remember for the rest of my life. The elephants, mahouts (elephant keepers), villagers, staff and volunteers made my experience unforgettable and I am so thankful to have participated in the project.

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 20, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

I completed the Marine and Wildlife Conservation program in Phang Nga, Thailand. GVI offers extensive support both prior to and during your program including pre-departure information, airport pick up and information about the local area.

The staff on base are amazing in not only helping us integrate into our program but also understand how our time contributes to the development of the community. They are very knowledgeable of the local culture and anthropological narratives that have shaped the community. They provided us with both Thai language and culture courses, to alleviate the stresses of adapting to a new country and integrating smoothly into the community.
The staff supported us beyond the program. When I fell ill, a staff member helped us organise transport to the hospital as we couldn’t speak Thai. In addition, they helped us plan our short holidays and encouraged us to explore different parts of Thailand when we had days off.

We were even allowed to join in with other programs to get the most out of our experience. Thus even though I was in the conservation program, I joined the teaching and community teams in their orphanage visits and English classes.

The living conditions were modest, which is expected when you are volunteering at a developing country. Living in a village among villagers helped me appreciate the program and its contribution more and learn more about the locals.

Overall I highly recommend GVI and their volunteer programs.

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 5, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

I did the GVI internship on April last year. For that I spent 3 months on a game reserve and another 3 months in a work place.
First thing you should know: game reserves are, above everything else, a business. There's no truly wild place in South Africa. Being the property of someone and a profitable business, it must be managed. I would say the reserve is like a zoo without cages.
For that, we need to give way to the tourists satying at the lodges, going on game drives. As I said, the reserve is a business, and a lot of wrong decisions can be made, not regarding the well being of the wildlife. What we in our time in GVI is locating everyday the lions and the semi-imprinted cheetah (which sometimes you will get out of the vehicle and go into the block to locate her on foot). We take basic data as behaviour, location and wheater conditions and type it at the computer back at base. Only the volunteer responsible for data on that specific drive will do it, though. Other activities during drive include operating the telemetry equipment, doing vehicle check before drive, operating the spotlight on the way back to base when it's already dark.
We collect data on other animals we might come across, like rhinos, elephants, buffalos, hyenas, etc. But these we do not track, so it's not the priority to locate first, coming across them only by chance or if we have time left after finding the "key" animals.
Sometimes volunteers will do other tasks such as reserve work by cleaning the roads, educational bush walks, base work (which is a rotation of volunteers to look after the base - cooking, cleaning - during the day).
As an intern, you will have some extra activities that the common volunteers don't. That would be basically for your education about the bush and conservation through game reserves. You will have a few lectures and will have to do some assignments. You will have a mentor to talk about your goals. And you will learn about tracks, birds and trees. But most of your knowledge, will come from your own effort. There as several books available at base and staff members willing to answer your questions. But if you don't commit yourself with your self education, you won't learn as much as you could.
There's three bathrooms, two of them with shower (not the best of showers, but at least there's hot water). Currently there are three dorms for volunteers. Most of the matress are very old and used and you will sleep on bunk beds. It's something you can get used to quickly, sleep in a room full of people and later on you can even miss it. Most of volunteers go to bed early, before 9, as we need to get up before the sun rise. The meals are prepared by the volunteers in charge, a pre made menu that can be adjusted to any diet requirements.

My second part of the program was spent in CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) based on Durban. Even if I had all the help from GVI to get there, with tips of flights, places to stay and transport, I had to deal with the costs.
CROW has nothing to do with GVI except the booking, so I won't give the feedback of my time there here. But I got there thanks to GVI. When calculating the fee for volunteering at CROW, through GVI the value is around 4 to 5 times more. So if you're interested, I recommend booking directly with CROW and not any travel or volunteering agency.

The cost for internship or volunteering with GVI is very high. There are plenty of game reserves that take volunteers for much less. Of course I can only talk about my experience with GVI, and in general I'm really thankful that it started a 2 year journey through South Africa. In the end was definetely worth it. I will always remember my time at the reserve and cherish deeply as one of the greatest moments of my life.

I recommend this program for whoever wants to do a safari in South Africa and take good pictures while making friends and getting closer to the environment. Is a much better way to know the wildlife and also to keep yourself busy during a trip. You will have an amazing experience. It just wouldn't be my first option for an educational internship.

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 24, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
1
By: freo j
Age:
26

On the first day we were met by the GVI staff members and treated to a delicious breakfast of local fruits. Before long, we were on our way across the lush, green island to the small village of Silana. Our arrival was eagerly anticipated by the other GVI volunteers, who welcomed us with smiles and lunch!
Our first Sunday was spent in church and getting to know our Fijian families. A traditional Fijian meal was prepared and we were supplied with pillows and told to ‘take a nap’ for the afternoon, happily following the local custom that no work can be done on a Sunday.
The following weeks involved getting to know our class at school. The level of spoken and written English varied dramatically throughout the class but all the children were keen to learn and practice, particularly if that involved gossiping about other class members or volunteers! I was struck by the enthusiasm of the children in my class – something that I never experienced whilst I was at school. They had dreams of being doctors or teachers in order to help out their community, but most of all, they wanted to travel.
My experience in Silana was one of the most treasured moments of my life. The village was so welcoming, always ready to teach you Fijian or inviting you into their house for dinner. The evenings were spent drinking kava in the community hall or watching exceptional performances of the Meke – a traditional Fijian dance.
Almost as soon as we arrived it was time to leave. The morning came for us to leave and the women of the village came to say goodbye in the traditional way – through song. By the time the stunning harmonies of Isa Lei had come to an end there wasn’t a dry eye getting in the van to leave.
I know I speak for all the volunteers when I say that being in Silana was a truly special experience and that we would all do anything to go back. Four weeks was definitely not long enough and I would thoroughly recommend this program to anyone and everyone!

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 10, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8
Age:
19

Pages