GoBeyond British Virgin Islands: Preserving Paradise

This program has been paused and is currently not being offered. View more programs from GoBeyond Student Travel.

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About

Leave the land and sea even better than you found it, dedicating over 100 hours to protecting and conserving the BVI. While tagging sea turtles with the Association of Reef Keepers, cleaning and restoring the environment with the BVI National Parks Trust, and creating wholesome activities for school children, you’ll be living aboard a 46-foot catamaran in some of the best conditions you could ask for. While we focus primarily on service, this journey is packed full of life-changing excursions, from The Baths to the legendary Norman Island caves.

Highlights
  • Tag Sea Turtles
  • Live Aboard A 46-foot Sailing Catamaran
  • Learn To Sail
  • Earn Up To 100 Service Hours
  • 17-21 Day Programs

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.63 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 87.5%
  • 7-8 rating 12.5%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 9.9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Dara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GoBeyond BVI 2012

I was a GoBeyond student right before my sophomore year of high school, and to this day, it's still one of the most transformative several weeks I've been fortunate to experience. Living aboard a catamaran in the beautiful British Virgin Islands and waking up to the sound of small waves against the boat is hard to beat... And when coupled with actual marine research and genuine humanitarian service projects, the experience becomes so much more than just "fun" (though it was definitely a blast!). Students have the opportunity to travel away from home, live in a unique (and sometimes challenging) environment, meet a group of people that practically becomes family, learn new hard and soft skills, and serve local communities in meaningful ways. Though I was only 15, I remember coming back from the summer and my grandma commenting on changes she had noticed in me -- new compassion and care for others. I'm thankful for GoBeyond staff and fellow students alike, and I couldn't recommend the program more highly!

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Hayley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gobeyond Preserving Paradise

This trip was absolutely incredible and will forever hold a place in my heart. I love every single thing about GoBeyond and can't thank this trip enough for helping me become more independent, brave, confident, and environmentally aware! I did the preserving paradise trip twice and could not have had more fun! The trip was educational, exciting, challenging and so worth it!! The staff onboard are sweet, caring, smart and it is really clear they love what they are doing. Every day you do something different and the relationships you form in those 3 weeks are so special and different from any friendship you have back home. GoBeyond truly changed the way I think about the world and even myself and I 100% recommend signing up!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Honestly I was most nervous about using boat bathrooms! However, everyone was nervous at first and we pretty much much all made jokes about it. In the end, bathroom situation was NOT bad at all!
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Chase
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Preserving Paradise-The life changing trip

My experience was absolutely life changing. This trip Truly taught me who i am. It taught me so much about friendship. My leadership skills developed so much during this trip. the people around me supported me through everything, i met some of my best friends for life now. The staff exceeded all expectations i had. My captains name was BZ. She became someone who I look up to. She taught me so much about sailing but the most important thing she taught me was that you should always be yourself no matter what. The other staff was also amazing, they all made very good connections with everyone. The trip itself was some of the most fun i have ever had. We helped the community and everything we did was so fulfilling. I believe that if you are interested in stepping outside your comfort zone and you are willing to work hard then this trip is for you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to you future travelers is to be yourself when you get there, no one knows who you are so you have the ability to be you. Also bring lots of athletic shorts.
Default avatar
Mika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GO BEYOND!!

Go Beyond was the best possible thing I could dedicate 17 days of my summer to. I was able to do many things I would have never been able to do otherwise. From meeting some incredible people (including staff) to interacting with the environment to disconnecting from the virtual world, I learned some crucial lessons and had so much fun doing it. While I initially signed up to complete my volunteer hour requirement for high school, by the end of the trip that was the very last thing on my mind. I learned basic sailing skills, how to wakeboard, and so much more. I met some friends that, despite the distance between our homes, I will never stop talking to. All the students had day-to-day responsibilities that kept us busy and made us rely on one another. All in all, I would recommend this trip to any high schooler looking for an amazing experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish I would have signed up for the three-week option!
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Natalie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Experience!

Originally, I signed up for this trip with a friend looking for a fun community service trip. Her sister came a previous year and raved about how life-changing it was. I was skeptical. I didn't believe two weeks could impact a person that much. I was so wrong. I went on this trip with no expectations and a limited idea of what we were actually doing. I left the trip with a new sense of confidence and a new understanding of myself. I met amazing people who I still keep in touch with. The staff was amazing and supportive every step of the way. Not only did I learn a lot about myself, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons. On the boat, we all had our own responsibilities including cooking, cleaning, or sailing. I had an amazing experience on this boat and left feeling like a better version of myself. I recommend this trip to anyone and everyone. I had never been on a boat before this trip and left feeling confident in my sailing techniques. This was truly a life-changing experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for anyone going on this trip is to take advantage of every moment. Wake up early to watch the sunrise. Take a moment to watch the sunset on the water. Enjoy every pretty view. Take a good look at the fish when snorkeling. Have fun with the amazing people who go on this trip. Work hard on service days. On this trip, you get out what you put in. Go into it appreciating and taking advantage of every moment.
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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-Changing experience with tons of fun!

My experience with GoBeyond, Preserving Paradise was a remarkable one. I definitely grew as a person and had a lot of fun doing it! From doing service projects, which are actually more enjoyable and fun than you may think, to tagging turtles and swimming in the beautiful waters in the Caribbean, every day is a guaranteed day of fun. With living on a boat with a group of people comes responsibility, but with responsibility comes growth. I know from my personal experience, and from talking to my shipmates, we all felt that by the end of program, we had grown as people and become more independent and mature. You'll be surprised at how close 15 strangers can get in the short span of 21 days, but I know that I have defnitely made friends that will last a lifetime. I would recommend GoBeyond to anyone and everyone, and I loved it so much that I even decided to stay for a second session! If you are looking to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean islands while living on a sailboat, participate in rewarding service projects, make many new friends, and have a very memorable and unique experience than I would recommend that you participate in GoBeyond, Preserving Paradise!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to go in with a very open mind because I can guarantee that you will gain more from GoBeyond than you expect. Be willing and eager to learn as much as you can and participate whenever the opportunity arises.
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Hannah
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Preserving Paradise BVI trip

I thought it was a really cool experience, in a wonderful place! In terms of the basic program things, such as living conditions, safety, and social life on the trip, I would rate this program very highly. The boat that I lived on, a 50ft catamaran, was in tip-top condition, safe and provided everything we needed during the trip. It was a comfortable and fun way to travel through the BVIs. During the trip, I felt safe and secure under the guidance of the staff, who were very well trained, professional, and fun! Staff was very able to connect with students and become positive role models. As far as the social side, these trips are very social-interactive based. Of course, when you stick 17 teenagers ranging from 14-18 on a boat together there is sure to be some drama. However, there were no big issues and when stuff did come up, the staff were there to sort things out. Overall, it was fun to learn and grow with our other shipmates. As far as the actual program, I felt like it was a great way to get community service hours and learn about communities around the world. I'm not going to sugarcoat it: Some of the workdays honestly sucked. It was hot, we were sunburned and sweaty and the work was sometimes strenuous. However, it did make me grow as an individual and I'm sure the other students could attest to that. No matter how difficult the work, the staff were our biggest cheerleaders and helped us get through it. We as students also worked to cheer each other on. Overall, this trip provides students with a very positive experience that will help develop their individuality, self-awareness and open their eyes to how life is in other areas of the world.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that they could occasionally shorten the workdays or our exposure outdoors sometimes, there were a couple of 8 hour days where we were so physically tired and exhausted from the heat where we could no longer be productive.
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Default avatar
kendall
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Three Weeks of my Life

This program not only gave me an opportunity to do so many incredible things, but I also met friends who will be at my side for a long time. The service projects were by far my favorite part. There was enough variety in location that each service project came with new knowledge and understanding of the BVI and the people that live there. The talks and team building activities were so much fun for me because I love getting to know the people around me! My favorite team building activity was Squeeze every night at dinner because it sparked really strong conversation and I loved being able to learn more about all of my shipmates through these questions.