GVI: Online Study Abroad Courses

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About

For more than 20 years, GVI has provided thousands of travelers with life-changing experiences. Now GVI Online Courses offer participants more than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a short-term contribution but also equip participants with the knowledge and skills to turn their passion for making an impact into a full-time job.

There are two ways to complete GVI's online courses. If you would like to earn new knowledge and skills in sustainable development, simply book one or more of the online courses and complete it virtually within 2-weeks - No travel required. Or, if you’d like to earn real work experience, then you can combine an online program with any of GVI's volunteer or intern abroad programs.

GVI's online courses apply to a wide range of causes you might like to work towards, much like their in-person programs that are all aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Highlights
  • Courses are offered in partnership with the University of Richmond
  • No entrance requirements
  • 45 hours of online course work
  • Flexible payment options

GVI global programs are open!

We're thrilled to announce that nine of our global locations are now open, including Greece, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, South Africa, Costa Rica and Mexico. We're also taking bookings for our Thailand, Chiang Mai, Lao and Peru locations for 2021. Stay tuned for more locations coming your way soon, including a new location addition in the Canary Islands.

Popular Programs

Public Health

Through this public health online course, with its live lectures, real-life case studies, and assigned activities, you’ll learn about sustainable approaches to global health challenges. These challenges include: both infectious and non-transferable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, environmental impact on health, maternal health, mental health, and natural disasters.

Marine conservation

This Introduction to Marine and Wildlife Conservation online course will give you an understanding of the fundamental theories and knowledge used in the field of conservation, and the skills to analyze protected areas through learning about surveying techniques and data collection.

Leading Teams

Complete GVI’s Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders online course to earn your first team leadership role. Study theoretical leadership concepts and earn a certificate demonstrating your mastery. Develop your own leadership style and learn how to set objectives a team can reliably achieve, give effective feedback, and manage conflict successfully.

Environmental Sustainability

Complete our Introduction to Environmental Sustainability course online to learn about how to sustainably manage the operations of public or private organizations in a wide range of fields including, apparel, agriculture, energy, tourism, transport, and food production.

Boy in school

In this online course, you’ll learn to analyze the ethicality of sustainable development and conservation. Discover the frameworks used to drive ethically-minded decision making. Develop an understanding of how changes in religious, environmental, political and economical factors affect the evolution of global ethical practices.

Online Study Abroad Programs

Thinking about becoming a travel writer? The world of freelance travel writing can be difficult to navigate and is full of challenges. But for the thinkers, dreamers, travelers, nomads, and storytellers, the adventure is impossible to resist. This 12-week Writing Academy is designed for anyone with a love of writing and travel who is ready to share their stories with the world.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.56 Rating
based on 18 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 94.44%
  • 7-8 rating 5.56%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 7.5
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 7.5
  • Content 9.9
  • Engagement 9.6
  • Support 9.3
  • Platform 9.8
  • Value 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 18
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Karen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sustainability and Climate Crisis Course

I participated in the Sustainability and Climate Crisis Course and the experience was more than I could have expected! The trainer was kind, professional and gave amazing feedback on all questions and assignments. She was not only knowledgable but actively working in this field, on the ground.

Participant interaction was great, I got to meet people from all over the world. Different ages, backgrounds and experience levels but one passion to know more and actively change the world.

I did this course out of interest and its great for that, but would also recommend this for anyone looking for a career in this space. The course encourages your research and critical thinking skills, leaving you wanting to dive in further!

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend this program be mandatory to everyone!
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Hendrika Johanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For those who want a meaningful career or job

I recently completed GVI’s Ethics in Sustainable Development online course.

I think what was probably most beneficial about it for me was how it helped me with my career choices.

I don’t think this course is just for people who’re interested in sustainable development or the ethics of it, but probably anyone who isn’t satisfied with settling for an average 9-to-5.

Many of us want to do work that actually makes the world a better place. But we don’t reflect on it. We just make assumptions about what kinds of jobs will help you make a positive impact. Our thinking might be too narrow, like “I have to work for a charity or non-profit” or “I have to be a doctor”. Or we might also make assumptions about international development work that are actually quite harmful. (You’ll learn all about this in the course).

In the final assignment you do your own research about organisations you’d like to work for and make your own career choices. The coursework prepares you for this final project.

What made my particular experience pretty interesting (and I hope you’re as lucky) is that the students were from all over the world and had different backgrounds and interests. There were people who were students and people who had been working for 20 years. There were people from Europe, Central America, and me, from Africa. I connected with people I would not have met otherwise. Some of us even connected on LinkedIn afterwards.

Also I should say I was first drawn to the course because I majored in philosophy and currently work in digital marketing and the instructor for this course, Rosie Urbanovich, has a similar background. I thought it would be interesting to learn about her career and it was. Also whenever someone was interested in a specific subject she was always helpful in helping them explore that path.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Start reading about organisations that make an impact and start thinking about how you structure your own ethical decisions.
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Carrie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Human Rights and Advocacy Course

I participated in the GVI Human Rights and Advocacy online short course. It exceeded my expectations. I learnt a lot about the United Nations role in advocating for human rights around the world, gained a better understanding of the politics, langugage and legal processes of human rights, and became more familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it truly represents.

This course is a great foundation for anyone passionate about this subject or seeking to develop their knowledge and skills to pursue a career in advocacy. The course provided me with a better understanding of the origins and complexity of human rights and advocacy and I would highly recommend this course to others. It's beneficial for furthering both personal and professional development.

The materials were highly engaging and well thought-out and our course instructor was extremely knowledgeable. She facilitated deeply thought-provoking and inspiring discussions that were attended by participants from around the world, including the US, Ireland and South Africa.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I completed this course over one week and would definitely extend this to a two week period. The course provides participants with some great materials and resources that definitely require more time to go through.
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Carrie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Human Rights and Advocacy Course

I participated in the GVI Human Rights and Advocacy online short course. It exceeded my expectations. I learnt a lot about the United Nations role in advocating for human rights around the world, gained a better understanding of the politics, langugage and legal processes of human rights, and became more familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it truly represents.

This course is a great foundation for anyone passionate about this subject or seeking to develop their knowledge and skills to pursue a career in advocacy. The course provided me with a better understanding of the origins and complexity of human rights and advocacy and I would highly recommend this course to others. It's beneficial for furthering both personal and professional development.

The materials were highly engaging and well thought-out and our course instructor was extremely knowledgeable. She facilitated deeply thought-provoking and inspiring discussions that were attended by participants from around the world, including the US, Ireland and South Africa.

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Bianca
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Impact Measurment GVI Online Course

I took part in the Impact Measurement GVI Online Course. It was a great experience and very interesting to learn about the different methods that can be used to measure an organisation’s social and environmental impact. Beth, our instructor, was so nice and you could tell she really knew her stuff when it came to impact measurement. It was great to meet the other participants and see how invested they all were in doing the course and in the field of sustainability as a career. Having worked for corporates, social enterprises and NGO’s I found the course material very interesting, having that comparison between how different organisations prioritise, or don’t, making an impact and their motivations for measuring impact. I would recommend the course to anyone wanting to do an online course, as a way to support their current studies or to further broaden their skillset in their career development.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If i did this all over again I would like to be able to dedicate more undivided time to the course work and not try and complete it while also working full time.
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Miguel Angel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Very informative and enriching course

On July 20 I participated in the Introduction to Marine and Wildlife Conservation course which I found to be a very informative and enriching experience. The instructor is highly knowledgeable and experienced on this topic. The materials given and the approach to the different case studies enlightened me on the different approaches to marine and wildlife conservation world wide, demonstrating the similarity in problems and the different approaches in management. I also found the interaction through the discussion board with the other participants an interesting way to connect with different people on different levels and be able learn through a simple idea sharing forum.
I am a oceanographer by profession and have been the program manager for GVI's marine conservation and community development program since 2018 and can honestly state that this program allows any participant to get a first taste of what marine and wildlife conservation is and either opens up a new path for you or strengthens the commitment you already had.
Highly recommend it.

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Alejandro
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing opportunity to gain awareness

I was part of the Global Health course and I found the course very inspirational to join the fight of the health issues globaly. I learnt about other cultures and their aproach to survive and create a healthier life using their resources either vast or limited. The examples of Rwanda and India were very interesting to read and watch under the guidance of a well experienced instructor Lindi.
This course gave me excellent perspectives of other ways of lives beyond my own, and it made me more open to ideas I never even considered.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Understanding the recent history of Rwanda was very sad, but then seeing how they have improved a lot and overpassed other African countries in matter of health and economy is an amazing and inspirational story
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Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Online Courses

I recently completed online courses with GVI having previously interned and volunteered on the Limpopo base before with plans to return the content of the courses tied in well to skills and knowledge learned in the field.

I chose the following course;

Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders
Careers in Sustainable Development
Making and Impact Ethically
Introduction to scientific & Conservation Research

The content in each was very engaging and thorough, the lessons also tied in very well with the assignments. I found having the live lecture with experts in the sector extremely helpful with their wealth of knowledge and passion for the subject. The online community within the courses worked effectively too; the use of discussion forums opened opportunities to reach out to others on the same course to chat through the lessons and assignments.

I feel the cost of the courses reflects highly on the content provided, I have learn lots of new toolkits, theory and developed my understanding further in the wildlife conservation and sustainability sectors. This new knowledge will go a long way in boosting my career shift in the near future and allow me to make the most out of my next internship!