GVI: Online Study Abroad Courses

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, GVI has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

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 has a Community Development Internship in Thailand!


This is an opportunity to learn more about Chiang Mai's local Karen hill tribe culture, gaining intercultural communication skills and valuable teaching experience.

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

9.4 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 8.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 7.5
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 7.5
  • Content 9.9
  • Engagement 9.4
  • Support 9.1
  • Platform 10
  • Value 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 10
Default avatar
Kerry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent online course - Introduction to Marine and Wildlife Conservation

The content of the course was excellent, I learned such a lot and will definitely book onto another course that is relevant to me. The tutor was interesting, engaging and keen to hear the thoughts of the students. The assignments were very manageable and helped to consolidate the learning. The online tutorials were at a good time, but if you weren't able to attend the sessions were recorded so you could watch in your own time, and the tutor was happy to answer questions after the event, so if there was something you didn't quite understand, you weren't left in the dark. The group chats also brought up many interesting points.

What would you improve about this program?
I was one of the first students on this course, and some of the wording was a bit suspect, but giving feedback was good for the team to make some changes for future students.
Default avatar
Theresa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Introduction to Community Development online course

Great online course for anyone wanting to understand how Community Development works in practice, learn about common problems and solutions and look at various approaches to development programmes around the world. I had to re-evaluate my opinions around community development several times, it was definitely eye-opening and I think it will help me a lot in my further career path.
The live lectures were my favourite part, they were fun, engaging and it was great to hear other people's experiences and discuss ideas with them! For the assignments you get to either discuss your own ideas with other course members or explain how you would approach a certain situation or manage a fictional community programme.
Definitely an amazing way to learn about Community Development from home, yet still with other people to talk to and I will keep learning about the topic in the months to come for sure!

Default avatar
Alicia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Educational, rewarding course

This was honestly such a great program! With real-world case studies and top-grade instructors, this is a great program for beginners and those wanting a refresher alike. I completed the Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders, Careers in Sustainable Development, and Introduction to Community Development courses. Each of these units offered something rewarding, with the Community Development course in particular giving great insight into what it's really like to work in the industry. The fact that they are accredited is a huge bonus!

What would you improve about this program?
I want more! That's my only improvement - I would love to see GVI expand this program.
Default avatar
Becky
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A very comprehensive introduction to Global Health

I just completed the Introduction to Global Public Health course with GVI, and really enjoyed it so thought I would share my thoughts. Right from the very beginning the course content was relevant, thorough, interesting and comprehensive. I don't have a background in Public Health, but am very interested in projects for social good, and I did the course because I thought it would be interesting. In my opinion it's a great introduction to the subject, and given the depth of the information provided, I imagine it would be great even if you have a bit of background in Public Health. The course consists of readings, videos, a very practical and useful assignment, and 3 live lectures. I would say it took me around 25-30 hours to complete rather than the 15 predicted as I got really into it, and GVI supply a lot of resources, some of which are optional, but I read them all anyway! I'm really glad I did the course. I currently work in User Centred Design in the software field, and it was really interesting to me that the course discussed User Centred Design in Health, and the idea of designing health services alongside the service users themselves. Very interesting parallels with my day job! I'll be able to apply the ideas from the course to my work, and as well as that, I really enjoyed improving my knowledge of Global Public Health.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was happily surprised at how entrepreneurship can blend so effectively with health care providing, but after seeing it in action, it makes perfect sense!
Default avatar
kat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Inspiring worldly content to learn from your own living room

GVI have a fantastic range of short courses in sustainable development available online now, I have just spent the past month completing 5 of these courses. They're so accessible and packed full of information, statistics, references and experience from professionals in the field who are incredibly approachable and inspirational. A great element to these courses is the convenience and encouragement to engage with other students studying the courses too via online discussions on the website.
Human Rights, Scientific Research and Conservation, Careers in Sustainable Development and Community Development are some of the courses I completed and highly recommend!

What would you improve about this program?
Extending the course, or having flexibility for deadlines on assignments to suit individual needs and schedules. Also to encourage week long breaks between completing a course before going to the next.
Default avatar
Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

COMPLETED: Foundations in Sustainable Development Program

I have JUST completed GVI's new flagship program online - Foundations in Sustainable Development. This involved two core courses, Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders and Careers in Sustainable Development, and then I chose to specialise with an Introduction to Community Development. I have completed all three courses from the comfort of my sofa and have a new wealth of knowledge just bursting out of my mind.

The online platform used by GVI is user-friendly, self-explanatory and logical. The courses are comprised of multiple modules on a range of relevant, progressive topics and each has a challenging assignment that uses the knowledge that you have gained. This is a great way to apply this information and practice having a chance to do so before hopefully using it one day in country!

Each course is comprised of a mixture of live - and recorded in case you can't make them! - lectures, articles, videos, quizzes and discussions to create a diverse learning experience that appeals to all kinds of people. The course instructors are experts in their fields and some of the most relatable people I have ever met. It can be daunting to share ideas about topics that are new to you over the internet with a bunch of strangers, but with shared interests and passions, these strangers soon felt like friends and we have connected over LinkedIn / online networks since.

I would recommend GVI's online courses for anyone who wants to make a difference in this world and wants to keep preparing themselves to do so in this time of great unknown. I feel ready to approach my future with a stronger sense of preparedness and can't wait to use my new knowledge abroad.

Thanks GVI!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study with an open mind and challenge yourself to question pre-conceived ideas.
Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

COMPLETED: Foundations in Sustainable Development Program

I have JUST completed GVI's new flagship program online - Foundations in Sustainable Development. This involved two core courses, Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders and Careers in Sustainable Development, and then I chose to specialise with an Introduction to Community Development. I have completed all three courses from the comfort of my sofa and have a new wealth of knowledge just bursting out of my mind.

The online platform used by GVI is user-friendly, self-explanatory and logical. The courses are comprised of multiple modules on a range of relevant, progressive topics and each has a challenging assignment that uses the knowledge that you have gained. This is a great way to apply this information and practice having a chance to do so before hopefully using it one day in country!

Each course is comprised of a mixture of live - and recorded in case you can't make them! - lectures, articles, videos, quizzes and discussions to create a diverse learning experience that appeals to all kinds of people. The course instructors are experts in their fields and some of the most relatable people I have ever met. It can be daunting to share ideas about topics that are new to you over the internet with a bunch of strangers, but with shared interests and passions, these strangers soon felt like friends and we have connected over LinkedIn / online networks since.

I would recommend GVI's online courses for anyone who wants to make a difference in this world and wants to keep preparing themselves to do so in this time of great unknown. I feel ready to approach my future with a stronger sense of preparedness and can't wait to use my new knowledge abroad.

Thanks GVI!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study with an open mind and allow yourself to question your pre-conceived ideas!
Default avatar
Dannielle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Comprehensive and exciting online program!

I have recently completed the online program of Marine and Wildlife intro to conservation. I have a background in this area and so I wanted to have a bit of a refresher during this period of quiet time during the pandemic. I thoroughly enjoyed this week long course consisting of a few hours each day working through the modules. It gave a comprehensive understanding of marine and wildlife conservation from the basic issue of what it is and the "textbook" ways of how we can conserve wildlife, as well as more behind the scene issues of how conservation is funded, who interacts with each other during conservation and the challenges that presents in itself, and what kind of jobs there are within the world of conservation. Each module throughout the online course used multiple real-world examples and we had the opportunity to have discussions on each challenge with our 'online' class mates which I really enjoyed. What I really thought was special about this online course was the amount of realness it had, I felt like I wasn't just reading through textbook examples but actually living through what it is actually like to be a conservationist, plus it gave me so much insight and inspiration into what kind of jobs there are in this hugely diverse career path.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I took away from this program was the hugely diverse areas within conservation that I could go into as a career. This program outlined so many different options and the huge quantity of real-world examples that I worked through really gave me a huge inspiration and excitement to develop a further career in conservation.