Community powered. Change Inspired.

Student volunteering abroad

The world is a big place, full of beautiful, diverse places and people. Experiencing this world can broaden your horizons, introduce you to new and life-changing perspectives, and allow you to hone a new skill set before starting college or entering the workplace. Our student volunteer opportunities offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel abroad, meet new people, and be part of something bigger than yourself.   

Our projects are driven by a core mission: positive impact. Working alongside local organisations and our global partners, we’re committed to sustainable ethical change. If you’re looking to make a difference in community development projects while seeing new countries and experiencing diverse cultures, our student volunteering abroad programs are for you.



Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future.


In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.


Learn from the world’s most unique and significant cultures, in breathtaking remote locations.

What is student volunteering all about?


We know that travel is important to you – as important as connecting with people and making a meaningful contribution to communities around the world. That’s why we offer a wide range of student volunteer opportunities – where you can boost your personal and professional skills while contributing to locally-led community projects across the globe.

Our volunteer programs cater to students of all ages. From high school students looking to take a gap year before college to post-graduate students wanting to improve their employability by gaining international experience, we have the perfect volunteer program for you. And if you’re unable to travel, you can join one of our online volunteer abroad programs. When applying for college or a job, international experience shows that you’re able to get out of your comfort zone and handle situations that you wouldn’t necessarily encounter in your home country. 

Volunteering abroad is a great way to develop yourself through new experiences and learn “soft skills” that are helpful in the working world. Attributes such as social skills, communication, teamwork, responsibility and work ethic allow you to better interact and work in a professional setting. 

If you’re in high school, we have a range of teen volunteer programs specially designed for students between the ages of 15 and 17. When you join a teen volunteer program, you can support projects which focus on community development, education, sports and construction. Included in our teen programs are cultural excursions where you’ll get to see and learn about the country you’re visiting. We’ve been running teen volunteer programs since 2012 (some of which are award-winning) so you’re in safe hands when you decide to volunteer with us. Visit our teen volunteering page which outlines all the details of our under 18 programs – from flights and accommodation, to what a typical program itinerary looks like. You’ll also be able to see testimonials from past participants. 

All our student volunteer abroad programs are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and offer 360-degree support from our team. Once you’ve decided which program you’d like to join, we’ll take care of the details – all you need to do is decide which volunteer program is right for you. From a public health program in Ghana to a construction and renovation project in Nepal, the hardest part will be deciding which program you want to join. If you’re struggling to make a decision you can contact one of our enrolment managers who will be able to assist you with matching the right program to your needs.

Whether you’re looking to further your knowledge in your field of studies or you’re still deciding which career path you want to pursue, we also have a range of online courses and programs to choose from. From careers in sustainable development to foundations in global public health, our onlines courses and programs are run by experts in their fields. Accredited by the University of Richmond, on completion of your course you’ll receive a certificate which can be added to your resume, job applications and LinkedIn profile.

Volunteering abroad is a well-proven way to improve your resume, and make your college or job application unique. As a student volunteer you’ll become part of something bigger than yourself. You’ll experience international travel, cultural exchange, gain greater self-confidence and practical professional experience. With competition for jobs becoming fiercer and fiercer these attributes will make you stand out from the crowd with potential employers.

We have seen many of our alumni, who are past student volunteers, go on to successfully find jobs and careers relating to their volunteering experience. In fact, 50% of our staff were once volunteers or interns at GVI! This speaks volumes, that GVI’s volunteers enjoy their time with us so much that they want to make it a permanent situation. As the volunteers are so well trained and skilled, this makes them a valuable addition to GVI, or any other organisation in the future. Having this unique and practical volunteering experience on your CV will certainly help your chances in getting a job and kick-starting your career.

With a focus on teaching, women’s empowerment, public health, sports, construction and early childhood development, we offer community based student volunteer opportunities in Madagascar, Ghana, South Africa, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Fiji, Costa Rica and Peru.

Maybe you’ve dreamt of spending your summer holiday seeing a new country. Or you’d like to take a gap year and travel the world – experiencing new cultures while working on projects that contribute to the sustainable development of local communities. When joining a student volunteer program you could teach English in Thailand or contribute to gender equality initiatives in Costa Rica. Our volunteer programs run from two to 12 weeks so you can come for as long or as short as you’d like.

Our student volunteer programs allow for plenty of free time. You can choose to visit the surrounding areas or stay on base where you can play cards, join a quiz night or simply relax in a hammock with a book. When you volunteer in Nepal you’ll have the opportunity to spend two weeks hiking to the Annapurna Sanctuary before the start of your program. On evenings and weekends during the program you could watch a movie at the famous outdoor Movie Garden, bike around Fewa Lake and visit the many eateries and cafes nearby. 

You can even spend some time before or after your volunteer program travelling around the country your program is in. In Peru, you could spend time in the capital city of Lima, or when in Costa Rica, you could travel to some of the Pacific Coast’s famous beaches and surfing spots. 

Turn your research into results when you join one of our internship programs. Our internship programs allow students to see the world, while offering them invaluable career development opportunities. We offer outstanding international internships in locations across the world. Running from six to 24 weeks, our internships allow you to become fully immersed in the culture and to thoroughly explore the country you’re working in. With a commitment to project work that is locally-led, sustainable and produces real-world positive impact, community is at the heart of what we do.

With a variety of internship opportunities available, you could work on initiatives ranging from gender equality and public health to construction, teaching and business development. These include gaining expertise in community development, women’s empowerment or teaching. Interns are provided with hands-on experience that impacts their future career and contributes towards key global issues across a variety of fields.

All our internships include:

  • an exclusive GVI Leadership Training course
  • extensive field training and equipment
  • weekly one-on-one staff mentorship sessions
  • a confidential professional recommendation on completion of your course
  • after a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations.


If you’re unable to travel, we also offer virtual internships where you’ll receive mentorship, career guidance, take part in live masterclasses and gain real project experience. On completion of your remote internship, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond as well as a LinkedIn recommendation. Our virtual internships focus on:


GVI operates in countries all around the world. Whether you’re looking for a tropical island experience or a mountainous countryside, we’ve got you covered. We work across four continents:



With a focus on teaching, women’s empowerment, public health, sports, construction and early childhood development, our volunteer programs are locally-led and guided by the needs identified by local organisations and NGOs in the communities we work in.

The partners we work with provide a vital link to ensuring the projects we work on run efficiently and benefit the communities we work in. 

In Nepal we partner with SASANE, a survivor-led anti-human trafficking organisation. In Fiji’s Dawasamu district, our volunteers meet weekly with the district nurse to prioritise which areas require further focus and attention in each village. At our Phang Nga base in Thailand we work with the Ban Nam Khem school and the Community Development Centre (CDC). Project work includes teaching English, running an after-school club,  delivering healthcare workshops as well as sports and health classes.

These are just a few of the partners we work with around the world to ensure our programs are sustainable, locally-led and follow an ethical code of practice. 

During your program you’ll have plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas and learn about the customs and traditions of the country you’re visiting. All of our programs include GVI Experiences – you can learn how to surf on Kokrobite Beach in Ghana, visit a 9th century temple with a tuk tuk in Nepal or hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

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