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Plan your future with these gap year opportunities

Article by Zaytoen Domingo

Zaytoen Domingo

Posted: November 6, 2020

So, taking a gap year means you have 365 days free. But, who wants that much time off, especially if you’re spending it at home? 

Well, anything you do that ups your skill set is definitely not time wasted. The best part is that you don’t need to leave the house to make a positive impact, gain skills that’ll improve your resume, increase your employability, and get a head start in your field of study.

Let’s talk about the short- and long-term gap year opportunities available to you.


Which short-term gap year online courses can I do?

Making a choice about your future can be overwhelming and you might not want to get stuck in one thing for too long. If that’s the case, a short-term online course is perfect for you. 

Start off with an introductory course


Do you want to make a positive impact, but need to find out a bit more about it before committing to a career path? Our introductory courses will get you started in the subject you choose to learn about.

Doing one of our introductory gap year online courses will teach you the foundations of your topic of interest, help you to refine your choice in the field you want to go into, and lay the building blocks for your future career.

These gap year online courses are delivered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte. They are made up of five modules and are only two weeks long, giving you ample time to do more than one online course during your gap year!



Upon successful completion of any one of our online gap year programs, you will receive a certificate detailing the education and experience you gained. You can add this to your resume and impress your future employers.

GVI offers twelve introductory online courses:

  1. Wildlife Conservation
  2. Conservation and Scientific Research
  3. Marine Conservation
  4. Careers in Sustainable Development
  5. Climate Crisis and Sustainability
  6. Ethics in Sustainable Development
  7. Impact Measurement
  8. Community Development
  9. Global Public Health
  10. Leading Teams for Impact
  11. Human Rights and Advocacy
  12. Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing.

And, if you want to do a longer introductory program, you can join one of our longer, foundational online programs. These programs consist of four courses (with five modules each) and run over eight weeks.

GVI offers the following foundational online courses:


Boost your foundations with an advanced online program

If you already have some foundational experience or you’re sure about which field you want to go into, you can join one of our advanced online programs.

Our advanced online programs are 12 weeks long and provide a broader scope of theoretical knowledge. The advanced online programs include six courses, each with five modules.

GVI offers the following advanced online programs:

Master sustainable development with an all-inclusive course

If you find all of our online courses interesting and you’re committed to a career in making an impact in sustainable development,  you can join our Mastering Sustainable Development program.

This program is 24 weeks long and includes all of our individual online courses to give you a holistic understanding of how to make an impact in sustainable development. You’ll gain knowledge of the most important focus areas in community development and wildlife and marine conservation.



On this online program, you’ll complete a whopping twelve courses with five modules each. Enhance your knowledge and skills in the sustainable development sector with a comprehensive curriculum that will teach you the following: 

  • Gain knowledge about current global issues facing wildlife and biodiversity.
  • Learn how to analyse sustainability and the impact of climate change.
  • Gain insight into concerns facing marine ecosystems.
  • Work with real-world case studies and complete conservation projects to find sustainable solutions.
  • Learn about the 30 universal human rights and how they’re affected in local communities. 
  • Get insight into past and current global health issues and developments, and what influences public health.
  • Engage in debates on problems around ethical practices and help find solutions. 
  • Learn about different types of fundraising initiatives.
  • Find out more about unsuccessful community development initiatives.
  • Create an impact measurement plan and implement it.
  • Learn how to work with data, including the collection and analysis of data. 
  • Get exposure to careers in sustainable development and learn how to network professionally, write a resume, submit an application and do well in an interview. 
  • Learn interpersonal skills like how to give feedback, manage conflict and work in a team.

An added bonus when you join any one of these gap year online courses is the chance to make international friends, who you’ll engage with on our interactive online learning platforms.

But that’s not all that’s on offer for your gap year opportunities. GVI gives you the chance to continue adding to your qualifications once you’ve finished an online course, or to build on an existing degree. Let’s find out how.

Gain practical hours on a virtual internship

Go abroad without going anywhere at all, with GVI’s virtual internship programs. These opportunities bring the practical hours you need for your future job right to your doorstep. 

The virtual internship programs give you exposure to a range of governments, NGOs and social enterprises in locations around the world. You’ll even get an assigned mentor who’ll check in with you daily, and access to weekly masterclasses led by field experts.



And you’ll work with partner organisation to gain relevant experience. For example, if you join a Marine Conservation internship, you might create a research proposal examining the interactions between marine species in shared habitats. You’ll work with real camera footage and be feel just like you’re diving in the water with them.

And if you join an Education for Development internship, you could speak to someone working in the position you want to pursue and ask them any questions you have. Find out how to land your dream job directly from an expert and start putting the steps into action.

Once you complete a virtual internship, you’ll be awarded with a certificate from the University of Richmond and GVI. 

With so many gap year opportunities available at the click of a button, what are you waiting for? Spend your gap year at home upping your future prospects and making an impact.

By Zaytoen Domingo

Zaytoen Domingo is a content writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently enrolled in the Masters program in English at the University of the Western Cape. After graduating with an Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing, Zaytoen completed a skills-development program for writers and became an alum of the GVI Writing Academy.
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