If you had only one piece of advice for students looking to do an
internship or volunteer experience abroad, what would it be?
Research what you want to get out of your experience; qualifications, experience etc., then you will be better prepared to ask the right questions when speaking to representatives of the different programs and will be able to make an informed decision based on the facts. By researching all options you will be in a better position to pick the correct internship/volunteer experience that is the right one for you. Also, carefully check what is included and what the fees of the program cover and then be sure that you read all of the information that's included on the website!
Tell us a little bit about how you went about finding an opportunity
(volunteer or internship) abroad and how you decided that Global Vision International was the best choice for you.
I read alot of different websites, I narrowed down where I wanted to go, the type of volunteer work I wanted to do, and what I wanted to achieve by volunteering abroad.
I wanted to do marine conservation, someplace where I'd never been before, and the more remote the better. I wanted to get more dive qualifications and a BTEC in biological survey techniques, so the Seychelles Dive Master Internship was the obvious choice for me. I checked on the GVI careers abroad website and noticed that you could do an internship in the UK office and earn over the the course of 6 months one of the GVI run expeditions.
I felt GVI was the best choice for me because their website impressed me, they'd been established for a long time and they have developed good relationships with the partners that they work with. In addition, they have a commitment to sustainability and I know that the majority of the money you pay goes right back in to running the projects.
Please discuss a little bit about your experience as a GVI intern or
I started out as an intern in GVI's head office in the UK. It was an amazing experience meeting likeminded people and learning about all of GVI's projects, expeditions and internships while also day dreaming that hopefully some day I'd be able to participate as well. I have now moved to Cape Town with GVI, and I still love it, and I'm still in touch with all of the people that I had met at the very start, although now we are spread out all over the world.
Do you think your GVI volunteer experience abroad will have a positive
impact on your job search or career options? How?
I think GVI's volunteer experience gives you an oppertunity to challenge yourself, to explore, and discover the world we live in. These experiences raise volunteer awareness and make participants of the program better global citzens. All the knowledge, skills and confidence that are picked up along the way are transferable, and important assets when job hunting. They show a dedication to making a difference, a passion for what you do, and show that volunteers have the ability and fortitude to persevere through new and challenging circumstances. Not to mention that you can add BTECs in Biological survey techniques, and teamleading to many of GVI expeditions and, at least one of these, is included in the overall price if you participate in one of the internships. In addition, another skill you can gain includes learning Spanish if you decide to volunteer in South or Central America.
Would you recommend this program to your friends?