GVI Gap Year Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★☆☆☆☆

“GVI Thailand is a nightmare wrapped in a ripoff”

Written on: 20/11/2012 by Ajarn7 (1 review written)

GVI Thailand--what a crock. The first lie is that the reason it's so expensive is because they give 70% of the fee to the community. Not even remotely true. The living conditions are deplorable, the staff are underpaid, the food is detestable--and all GVI have to say about it is "you're sacrificing to save the planet." BS! They let anyone on who's check clears the bank with no screening process--or at least when the screening process turns up drug addicts and criminals, they let them on the… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Phoenix Projects Guatamala teaching intern-ship (GVI)”

Written on: 30/07/2012

After paying over 3,500 pounds and dedicating six months of my life to this project, The least I was expecting was a warm welcome.however the pick up staff did not speak a word of English and the project leader was too busy shopping to come greet us on time. Over the first two weeks communication did not improve, I felt uncomfortable in such a dangerous country and phone lines where never answered. Another shocker for me was that once in the country they told me I would be volunteering in… Read Full Review

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Pippajacks's Comment

Written on: 07/04/2013

Hi there, I'm a journalist looking into the overseas volunteering sector and I'd be really interested to chat to you some more about your experience in Guatemala. Would you have a minute to email me on pjacks@ttgdigital.com so I can contact you? I'm Pippa and work at TTG Magazine.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Conservation Internship in Kenya NOT !”

Written on: 16/04/2012

Recently got back from the GVI program in Kenya and although I met some likeminded people. I was not impressed with the overall set up of the work. The staff seemed to be more into each other then they were interested in the work which was disorganised or none existent. I would NOT recommend this project to anyone… Read Full Review

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Pippajacks's Comment

Written on: 07/04/2013

Hi there, I'm a journalist looking into the overseas volunteering sector and I'd be really interested to chat to you some more about your experience in Kenya. Would you have a minute to email me on pjacks@ttgdigital.com so I can contact you? www.ttgdigital.com

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Pippajacks's Comment

Written on: 07/04/2013

Hi there, I'm a journalist looking into the overseas volunteering sector and I'd be really interested to chat to you some more about your experience in Thailand. Would you have a minute to email me on pjacks@ttgdigital.com so I can contact you? I'm Pippa and work at TTG Magazine.

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★★★★★

“Teaching Program, Fiji”

Written on: 23/01/2012 by Alharris1992 (1 review written)

I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to go to Fiji to Volunteer. It had been a year since I volunteered in Mongolia and I felt this instinct inside me that said go. After plenty of research I decided to go with Global Vision International. A month later I was jumping of the boat and onto the beautiful white sandy beach of Tovuto Base, Fiji. After meeting 20 or so of the other volunteers I was set up ready for my first day at Ratu Melli school. We arrived at the schools assembly and… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“There are better ways to help the turtles”

Written on: 19/12/2011

I completed a six month internship with GVI in Costa Rica in 2010 and I have to admit that I was angry with them when I left. A year later and my feelings are somewhat mixed. I felt compelled to write this review because I feel that at least with respect to the Costa Rica program they are misleading people and taking their money whilst hiding behind the banner of being a “volunteer organization”. People deserve to know exactly what they are being sold. That being said I did have an amazing… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Life in the Mountains”

Written on: 30/11/2011 by samantha.alwyn (1 review written)

I decided to apply for GVI whilst taking my gap year. It was the best decision I have ever made. The location is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen and the villagers match! They are so welcoming and helpful even when the language barrier get in the way. All the staff and volunteers where amazing people that I hope to know for the rest of my life. A normal day would consist of walking with the elephants as well as doing a community project, whether it be teaching English or planting… Read Full Review

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Guest's Response to samantha.alwyn's Review

Written on: 08/05/2012

Hi I realise this was written a while ago and I don't know if you'll check it, but i'm about to book an internship on this programme and was wondering if you could offer any advice? Are there any bad points I should know about?
Thanks,
Phoebe

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★☆☆☆☆

“Kenya 6 month conservation internship”

Written on: 26/10/2011

I was meant to be staying in Kenya for 6 months on a GVI internship, but left after just 2 weeks when I realised what a sham it was. As I want to get into the field of conservation as a career, the GVI internship seemed perfect for people like me with no previous conservation experience. After just a few days I realised that not all is as it seems with GVI - they are very good at saying all the right things ('not for profit' etc), but when questioned specifically about their conservation work… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Ikhayalethemba Village, An experience of a Lifetime”

Written on: 24/10/2011 by macintya (1 review written)

I spent two weeks in South Africa at this Orphanage. I learned so much about who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing. I learned to appreciate what I have in my life and what I am able to offer my children. The children living at Ikhayalethemba Village were wild, sweet, loving, hungry, funny, playful. They are too young to understand the opportunity education can provide them, so it took alot of creativity to get them to learn English without it feeling like "school". "Who let the… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Volunteer in an Orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa”

Written on: 17/10/2011 by jwilson19 (1 review written)

I have just got home from 4 amazing weeks in South Africa where I was doing the Volunteer at an Orphanage programme, based in Fish Hoek. It was the most incredible experience I have ever had and if I could fly back I would do so in a heartbeat. The women who donate their homes and entire lives to helping those children are absaloutely amazing, inspiring people whom I feel proud to have met and worked with. The children themselves are all incredible little bundles of joy who have the ability to… Read Full Review

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Guest's Response to jwilson19's Review

Written on: 07/03/2012

Hi! i'm going to SA this august and was wondering what i do when it comes to the visa? do i need one and do you know roughly how much it is? also how many people were there on the project with you? xx

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Zcarter's Response to jwilson19's Review

Written on: 06/07/2012

Hi,
I am hoping to go to Cape Town, South Africa to work in an orphange in September.
I am just wondering what is the safety like? I have heard crime levels are high!!

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Jwilson19's Response to jwilson19's Review

Written on: 08/03/2012

Hiya, I'm not sure about Visa as it was a bit weird when we went so may have changed. When I went GVI sent you a load of documents to produce at Passport Control and they stamped your passport with a temporary Visa or something but some people had problems so you might want to check with GVI. The first 2 weeks we had 2 full houses - 8 in mine and 10 or 12 in the other house and the next 2 weeks there were 6 in our house and about 8 in the other house. There will probably be the maximum amount when you go as it's Summer holidays. Ahh I'm so jealous, you will have an amazing time! x

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★★★★★

“GVI Volunteering in Luang Prabang, Laos”

Written on: 12/10/2011 by esthiwaldmeier (1 review written)

In August 2011, I spent four truly incredible and adventurous weeks on GVI’s ‘Teaching English to Buddhist Novice Monks and Local Communities’ program in Luang Prabang, Laos. I had never been to Laos beforehand, so I spent an extra week prior to the program in which I got to see the country’s Capital, Vientiane, and Luang Prabang, the town where I would spend the following couple of weeks. I most definitely recommend travelling to your future destination at least three or four days… Read Full Review

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Guest's Response to esthiwaldmeier's Review

Written on: 28/05/2012

Hi esthiwaldmeier

So glad I came upon your post as I have read so many mixed reviews about volunteering with GVI and I really want to do this project in the near future! So you definitely feel that this trip was well worth your money and time? Some other reviewers say that when they got to their project they did not really undertake the volunteering promised and it became more of a glorified sightseeing trip. But you can state that you actually spent most of your days teaching the monks english? Was the place where you boarded fine in terms of running water and privacy? Any extra advice you can offer would be wonderful!!Thanks.

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Esthiwaldmeier's Response to esthiwaldmeier's Review

Written on: 29/05/2012

Dear Guest!

I'm glad you felt that my review was helpful- and to reassure you that I truly believe in this project in Luang Prabang - I am returning there this summer!
I think this answers your question: Yes, I really do believe that it is worth my money and time. And no I truly never felt that it was a glorified sightseeing trip - all the volunteers taught at different schools everyday - I usually taught at 3, sometimes 4 different schools a day. With all the lesson planning, it does take most of the time of the day, but there's enough time to relax, bike, have great food and do some sightseeing too. I felt that it was a great mix after having settled in. But don't expect to teach novices only - GVI works with a number of other schools too - but really, teaching novices or "normal" children doesn't make much of a difference - apart from a few restrictions when teaching in the temple. And since there's a lot of closing, opening and re-opening of schools, schedules can change quickly.
As I've heard, GVI has moved back to Cold River guesthouse, where I didn't stay last time because it was closed for renovation. But I heard that it's very nice - better than the one we stayed in last time, and that was fine. We all had private bedrooms and bathrooms - it is basic, but there's running water (though not always hot, but you don't really need that with the weather anyway), western-style toilets, ceiling fans and okay-beds. And if you're really unhappy with your accomodation, you can always talk to the field staff, they're very understanding!
Hope this helps you!
Esthi Waldmeier

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★★★★★

“GVI Marine Conservation Seychelles”

Written on: 04/10/2011 by MarieDale (1 review written)

Where to begin?! It was by far one of the greatest things i've ever done in my life! Living on a remote tropical island, 4 degrees south of the equator, diving everyday and spending time with new friends is just pure bliss. I decided to do the GVI expedition as I am studying Marine Biology at University and i thought it'd be amazing experience, and a perfect way to spend my summer before i started Uni. I was right. GVI made the whole trip worthwhile. The staff members are all proffessional, fun… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“GVI Internship In Marine Conservation Programs, Seychelles”

Written on: 03/10/2011 by hollyurq (1 review written)

After I graduated high school in May, I wanted to do something constructive during my nine months before Australian universities started. Going to Seychelles with GVI for the Internship in Marine Conservation Programs was exactly what I was looking for. Going there was an Amazing experience, with a capital A. I learnt so much about myself – whether I really wanted to be a marine scientist in the future, how well I could manage on my own (it was my first overseas trip without parents or my… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“GVI Fiji project / rainwater harvesting system...”

Written on: 30/09/2011 by MarcosFerreira (1 review written)

I've have recently returned from the Yasawas, in Fiji, where I worked for 4 weeks in the GVI rainwater harvesting system construction project. Collecting fresh water is a priority there and GVI, in partnership with the Yasawa Trust Foundation, is already making a strong impact in people's everyday life. Thank you Dan, thank you Leti, I am looking forward to go back… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“My Amazing Time in Kenya”

Written on: 28/09/2011 by jojojo777 (1 review written)

I just spent an amazing 5 weeks in Kenya on the combined Community and Conservation expedition. This was an amazing experience and I would totally recommend it to anyone. The only thing I would say is that 5 weeks just flies by! The first week was spent in the forest, surveying primates, birds and butterflies and generally helping to conserve the forest. The second week we focused on the local community - teaching in the local schools which was an awesome experience - the children were so… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Volunteer Holiday in Kenya ... AMAZING!”

Written on: 15/09/2011 by jm467 (1 review written)

I have just visited Kenya doing a construction project through GVI. I had the most amazing time and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone! We built a 15ft x 35ft storage building for animal skins and hides which will help generate an income for the community we were living with. The community were very welcoming and it was interesting to see how different their lives are to ones we lead at home. Simple things such as head torches and cameras, they were fascinated with. On a typical day we… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Rainforest Conservation Internship in the ecuadorian...”

Written on: 31/08/2011 by anja_r (1 review written)

I have lived in a few different places already and worked with many people. But only living and working in the rainforest for 6 month made me realise what life is all about. I was on a well paved career path but constantly looking for another challenge, constantly questioning my work as an architect. Finally I had enough after a year of hard work it was time for me to start volunteering. There is a lot on the internet and it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do and how. When I… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Costa Rica Turtle Conservation Program”

Written on: 01/08/2011 by tmadrigal25 (1 review written)

I volunteered on the GVI Costa Rica Sea Turtle program in mid-June of this year (2011). The experience completely blew me away. Everything I saw and did was more than I ever expected. It was amazing to meet people from all over the world and work together with them to study and promote the conservation of sea turtles. We would walk the beach at night looking for nesting sea turtles. If we came across one, we would count the eggs as they were being laid, mark the location of the nest, and… Read Full Review

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Elgringo's Response to tmadrigal25's Review

Written on: 01/02/2012

Good for you for helping the turtles. However I would urge people who want to do likewise to book directly with a proper conservation body and not use GVI who put making money above helping the environment. The turtle work they do in Costa Rica is not run by them. GVI volunteers are used as manpower by the STC (sea turtle conservancy), please book with them directly or any of the other not for profit organizations if you want to help turtles in Costa Rice. GVI's presence at the base in Tortuguero is questionable at best. It is more of a holiday camp than a research station. Their surveys are not scientific. Their staff are mostly past volunteers and high school graduates and the data they collect has not been used to better the environment in Costa Rica in any way. The constant beach patrols, compost heaps and light and noise pollution can only be harming the local environment.

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★★★★☆

“Community Development in Ecuador”

Written on: 30/07/2011 by vixtoole (1 review written)

I was extremely impressed with GVI's approach to volunteering. I saw that the staff on our team cared deeply about our project and the children, as well as making sure that we had an excellent time ourselves. The Ecuador project was very well organised, and i was able to be completely informed before I left home. We had an amazing time working with the children in a beautiful location. The Spanish lessons were brilliant, one on one teaching enabled us to get the absolute most out of the hours… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Hands-on work in Tsavo with rural communities”

Written on: 27/07/2011 by Jan86 (1 review written)

In June 2011 I decided to go ahead and participate in a GVI project in Kenya and involve the students of St. Stephen's School in Rome, where I currently am a 1st year History teacher, sports coach and service/environmental coordinator. I spent two weeks with GVI in the Tsavo/Taveta region working with communities of former poachers who had put aside their poaching past to follow more sustainable livelihoods and assist the KWS and the WSPA in protecting the incredibly rich biodiversity of the… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Gordon's Bay Orphanage Project, South Africa”

Written on: 25/07/2011 by Hannah2306 (1 review written)

I had an amazing time in Gordon's Bay, South Africa! I worked two weeks at the nursery and two weeks at the orphanage. The children at both locations are absolutely incredible. I fell in love with them all and will never forget them. The entire experience was nothing like what I had expected, yet is irreplaceable. The coordinators and staff are so wonderful and I met some truly awesome fellow volunteers from all over the world. Working and living with them was so great and I don't think I… Read Full Review

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