Location
Multiple Locations +7
  • Fiji
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • Spain
    • Tenerife
  • Seychelles
  • Mexico
  • Greece
Length
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Nov 03, 2023
Feb 28, 2024
82 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

GVI offers a variety of marine conservation volunteering programs. You could travel to Fiji, Seychelles, Mexico or Thailand and actively participate in coral reef research expeditions, sea turtle protection and nesting programs, plastic pollution and beach clean-up efforts, or identify and survey indigenous sea life.

These programs offer a way to receive professional dive training and research qualifications, and improve your technical marine conservation skills, while also supporting local community projects to achieve their sustainable objectives.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Travel to a different part of the world, immerse in the culture and experience another way of life.
  • Learn conservation skills to improve your CV and increase your future employment opportunities in the marine industry.
  • Support the preservation of local biodiversity, contributing to reach sustainable objectives.
  • Better understand native species, surrounded by their immediate environments.
  • Dive, snorkel and swim in some of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse oceans.

Popular Programs

Turtle

Earn your PADI diving and coral reef research qualifications while preserving marine ecosystems, and endangered species in Puerto Morelos. You’ll also conduct beach clean-ups and collect ocean floor debris. In this immersive expedition, you will collaborate with local community members, and volunteer alongside other international participants.

Turtle

This is an expedition to gain a range of skills and qualifications in marine conservation, such as species identification skills, your PADI divers and research qualifications, and coral reef surveying techniques, all while contributing towards sustainable development objectives.

Turtle

Observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat while on a boat in Tenerife. You’ll take photographs and record their numbers and behaviors. The data you collect will be used by local and international organizations to learn about the long-term effects of threats to whale and dolphin conservation and other marine species.

turtle

Dive into the warm waters of Dawasamu, where there is the possibility to meet an array of species on your excursions, such as sharks, whales, sting-rays, an array of fish and a variety of coral reef colonies. Learn to conduct underwater surveys, enhance your scuba diving skills and experience a new way of life.

Program Reviews

4.88 Rating
based on 34 reviews
  • 5 rating 94.12%
  • 4 rating 2.94%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 2.94%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.7
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.4
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 34 reviews
Default avatar
Madeleine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI in Phang Nga

I felt like it would be a life-altering experience going to Thailand for four weeks with GVI, and I was so completely right. Meeting volunteers from all sorts of backgrounds was so enriching and the friendships formed were so touching. The staff were all so caring and energetic, I felt inspired and excited about the work we were doing. It didn't take long to feel part of the team and when there were challenges I always felt like I could speak to people and that I was not alone.
I fell in love with this part of Thailand and getting to experience a side to it that was so unique felt really special and the kind of responsible travel that I was looking for. The people on the GVI base clearly cared so much about the community and had such a positive impact, it felt amazing to be a part of it all.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
So many fruits that were completely new to me, and of course the controversial durian which I did like up until we were doing a beach clean and found a bunch of rotten durian, which fairly put me off for the rest of my stay.
Pros
  • Beautiful location in the village
  • Hardworking team who really care about what they are doing
  • Schedule that allows for flexibility on activities and tasks depending on weather etc.
Cons
  • You almost always have to get a taxi to go anywhere at the weekends
  • Sometimes it is exhausting, but in a good way
32 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Madeleine

Thank you so much for your review on this platform! We are so thrilled that you enjoyed your time in Thailand and felt supported and cared for by all those around you! We hope to hear from you again soon!

All the best
Katherine (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
María
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation Virtual Internship

My experience with GVI was a very positive and impactful resource that allowed me to create a new experience, challenge myself and connect with awesome people who are driven and share the same passion and love for our planet, this internship was great organized and very resourceful! I was able to assist Masterclasses, review my project, have input, network with a new organization, this virtual internship allows you work on a schedule that works alongside your daily life!

I’m hoping to do another program and highly recommend it

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Organized
  • Resourceful
66 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Maria

Thank you for your review. It's lovely to hear what great knowledge you gained and that you were able to push yourself and make meaningful connections in this field. I hope to see you do another program soon!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
William
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Biology Internship in the Canary Islands - the experience of a lifetime!

I signed up to do the marine biology internship in the Canary Islands as a way to finish off my gap year before going to university, and it's one of the best and most memorable experiences I've ever had in my life. We were out on the boats 3 times a week, monitoring individual pilot whales through Fin ID recognition, as well as the less common sightings of dolphins, turtles, and sometimes more! The staff were really kind and caring, and I've met people that I will keep in contact with for life. It also gave me huge confidence in myself that I'd never. had before - this was the first time I'd ever done something quite like this. I have a stammer and as part of the internship I had to give presentations - the people were so friendly that I had no problem going a presentation at all, which was the first time I'd done something like this since I was 14 and in school. Furthermore, I'm studying geography at uni beginning in September, and I'm thinking of going into conservation afterwards, so this will be really helpful in the future as well. I would definitely recommend GVI to someone wanting to go into conservation work or just for fun, and am hoping to do another program with them in the future.

Pros
  • Meeting new people and making amazing new friends for life.
  • Working with whales and dolphins in close proximity daily
  • Boosting confidence in yourself and helping you in the future
155 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Danielle
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Eye opening experience

I had a really eye opening experience of what research looks like in the field in the Canary Islands and saw first hand what some of the biggest problems in marine conservation are. It was VERY special to be so close to pilot whales in their natural habitat and have the opportunity to be guided by people that know so much about them. The staff on base where very nice and were always available to help if we needed it. It was a little overwhelming at times to be living with so many people but fortunately this programs brings together people with good intentions and good hearts.

Pros
  • getting to see wildlife
  • having free time to explore
  • community cooking
Cons
  • many people living together
  • very hot inside house
  • wanted to do even more work
183 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Danielle

Thank you for reviewing your experience! I'm glad to hear you gained some insight into research in the field. It's also heartwarming to hear how special it was to observe pilot whales in their natural habitat! I understand the experience can be overwhelming but I'm happy that you were able to connect with like-minded people.

All the best,
Tiffany

Default avatar
Keji
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Gvi Tenerife

I’ve had the best 6 weeks with GVI Tenerife. I was originally booked on for 4 weeks so the fact I extended while I was there showed just how much I enjoyed my experience. Base is like a family and the staff were worth their weight in gold. We went out on the boat 3 times a week and I had some incredible sightings over my time there. On the boat we were taught how to record data and then once we were back on base we would process it and identify the different pilot whales we saw. On other days as a volunteer I did land surveys and park/beach clean as well as watching informative documentaries on conservation. We also had a lot of free time where we could go to the shops, beach, pool or explore other parts of the island.

Cons
  • Only con is that before arriving we were under the impression that it was full board with 3 meals a day 7 days a week but it was actually only 5 days a week.
200 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Keji!

Thank you for your review. It's amazing to hear you were enjoying your experience so much, that you extended your program! It sounds like you had quite an eventful time exploring, learning and sighting some incredible marine life! I hope that you join us again in the future.

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Amelie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation in Tenerife

I was a Participant in the marine conservation programme in Tenerife and made a lot of amazing experiences. Even though I was only staying there for two weeks, I learned a lot about whales and dolphins, how to collect data about them and how to identify individuals. The boat days were amazing and you can see pilot whales and other dolphins on every trip. When we were not on the boats, we did beach cleans, land surveys or entered the collected data. On hot days the work can be exhausting but in the end it is all worth it. I would recommend this programm to everyone who wants to make an impact and take part in helping marine wildlife.

Pros
  • Amazing dolphin sightings
  • A lot of fun
  • Family feeling
Cons
  • Sometimes the food wasn't great
229 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Amelie!

Thank you so much for your review. It sounds like you had such an amazing time, especially sighting dolphins and whales on your boat trips. I'm so pleased to hear how much knowledge you've gained through your program and hope that you return in the future!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Iris
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A dream come true!

So many young people dream about this kind of experience! Very few actually do it, be that due to fear or ignorance or anything else - and since doing it, I've had countless people ask how and where and how can they join too. It couldn't be easier with GVI, and what an example of how worth it it really is! From inquiry to payment you are guided by the team through the phone, and then from airport to airport you have understanding, knowledgeable contacts to make the process smooth. And once here? It is only heaven. As my first solo experience out of my country, I couldn't have asked for a better introduction: to the field of study, to travelling, to Tenerife, to living communally, to respect and hard work and common interest and above all, FUN! The most fun I've ever had! Every boat trip beheld spectacles: turtles cruising metres from the boat, baby pilot whales dancing and playing, hundreds of spotted dolphins racing us..... Dreams upon dreams coming true. You live amongst young people and professionals, all as excited and generous as you. Even though I was only a volunteer, from my first boat trip the programme officer Lou noticed I had a particular interest in birds and proceeded to take photos of them every day, just for me. It is that generous effort that gives you faith in yourself, I feel; I'm worth her time and effort, so I can do this! My life feels utterly changed; I'm ready to begin my career, and with the contacts I now have? I know exactly how to do it.

Pros
  • You are welcomed into a team led by scientists and allowed to work directly alongside them, regardless of academic experience.
  • You make invaluable contacts, if this is a field you might like to enter - as I know it is for me.
  • It brings you deep into nature, and face to face with the threats posed by, predominantly, people - that's a humbling experience I think the world could benefit from.
243 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Iris!

What an incredible review! Your experience sounds amazing and it warms my heart that you felt so welcome and supported by the staff. I'm also pleased that you connected with like-minded individuals and you were able to witness some amazing marine and wildlife. Well done on completing your first solo adventure, I'm sure it won't be your last!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Rebecca
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Curieuse, Seychelles. Lemon and turtle conservation.

I had the best time with GVI on Curieuse Island, Seychelles over 6 weeks. It became a home away from home. I'm an postgraduate Marine Biology student who graduated during Covid-19, so was unable to experience in the field studies, surveys etc. Therefore I chose to do an internship with GVI to get the hands on experience in the field. I have a passion for turtle conservation so felt very lucky to see two turtle nests hatch. GVI Curieuse also complete other exciting surveys with Aldabra Tortoises and Juvenile Lemon Sharks.
The staff on base were very helpful with assistance during the surveys and hikes. I originally struggled with the hikes, but it became so much easier after a few weeks. The evenings on base were fun with card games, quizzes, and murder mystery games. I made very close friends whilst on base, who made my time in the Seychelles even more enjoyable. Plus I felt like I learnt a lot about myself, and the personal journey was amazing. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, but I'm so grateful for the experience.
I'm hoping to apply the newly learnt skills to potential jobs in the future.

Pros
  • Surveys conducted, e.g. Turtle nest excavation, Juvenile Lemon Shark biology and research techniques.
  • Social - made great friendships
  • Friendly and helpful staff
Cons
  • Boat ride away from medical care, apart from first aid
  • No wifi and data is expensive
250 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Rebecca!

Thank you so much for your review, your experience sounds wonderful! Witnessing the turtle nests hatch must've been such an amazing event. I'm so glad that you persevered and found the hikes easier during your stay as well, well done! I'm glad that you were able to gain such valuable experience to add to your studies and I certainly hope you will come back again!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Questions & Answers

Hi Berni, Each marine conservation project has different levels of dive qualification requirements. You will need to start by being PADI certified. These include; PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Divemaster, Instructor, and Rescue Diver. Please note that the project you choose will determine which PADI divers qualification is required. To conduct the coral reef surveys on a project, you will...

You have to be 18 to do many of the GVI programmes. I was 17 when I did it however, they may have changed the age restriction since then. There are under 18 programmes available so best thing to do is check out the GVI website :)