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Seychelles Environmental Conservation Service Learning Program

Contribute to island conservation efforts alongside local partners, and experience an unspoilt island paradise!


Program Information

Join a GVI environmental service learning program in Seychelles and gain a better understanding of the local ecosystem and preserving its biodiversity, alongside local partners.
OverviewCurriculumThe ProjectItineraryEnquire Now

Overview

GVI operates two bases located in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean among the beautiful islands of the Seychelles: Curieuse Island and the island of Mahe, both within National Marine Parks next to stunning palm-fringed beaches and forested areas. This program will focus on gaining a better understanding of the local ecosystem and preserving its biodiversity in the Seychelles, specifically on Curieuse Island. 

These projects range in content suitable for students studying academic disciplines such as:

- Education
- Biological & Environmental Sciences.

Example project activities include:

- Beach profiling and Coco de Mer monitoring;
- Invasive species investigation and removal;
- Native vegetation restoration;
- Workshops on eco-tourism with resort/hotel guests.

Testimonial

I gained invaluable field surveying experience which helped to solidify what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I have applied to university to study Environmental Science and hopefully pursue a career in environmental research.
- Eilidh Johnston (United Kingdom)

Program Details

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A dedicated course co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Flight bookings service on request
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

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Curriculum

This inter-disciplinary program introduces students to international service-learning and sustainable development in content and practice. Through lectures, discussion, research, service, and reflection (beginning two weeks prior to their departure and continuing two weeks after their return home), students in this program engage in meaningful, context-driven service-learning at home and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on relating long-term project goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience, which will be led by qualified group facilitators who are trained to enhance individual student development. The program curriculum will be tailored to your students’ academic needs as well as any faculty requirements.

A GVI service-learning program provides students with the opportunity to live and work within the “classroom” of their chosen field of study, and to develop professional capacities associated with intercultural competency, global citizenship, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. By participating in this program, students will be prepared to contribute to solutions for critical global issues related to sustainable development within a local community, and alongside an international team.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A dedicated course co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Flight bookings service on request
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

The Project

The objectives for each GVI project are based on specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Seychelles, students will largely contribute to pre-established environmental monitoring and research initiatives by collecting and reporting critical data. Emphasis will also be placed on increasing awareness surrounding pertinent conservation issues and knowledge of the local environment.

Seychelles' short, mid, and long-term objectives:

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cap Ternay:

1. To provide a long term and consistent collection of data, assessing the overall health and development of the reef system within Northern Mahe, Seychelles, on behalf of the Seychelles National Parks Authority, to be used for regional coastal marine management and international understanding of changing reef systems.
2. Increase the scientific output and awareness of the project through publication of findings
3. Continue to support the President's Village Children's Home aim of providing a safe and friendly environment for children under the age of 18
4. Increase in-country capacity by providing training in environmental education and training
5. Continue to minimize our environmental impact at Cap Ternay and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and visitors

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Curieuse:

1. Increase scientific knowledge and baseline data on the health of ecosystems on Curieuse Island
2. Increase awareness of GVI

Itinerary

Example Itinerary:

This program varies in duration, depending on project requirements as well as environmental expeditions or activities. The below outlines a one week in-country program; however, your in-country service can run for as many weeks as set by your academic curriculum, objectives, and requirements.

Pre-Departure

Two weeks prior to departure, students will be assigned readings and assignments. These assignments make sure they have a basic cultural understanding of Seychelles and it’s local conservation-based issues; a foundational understanding of international service learning and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and begin a dialogue surrounding global engagement. Materials will be chosen based on collaboration with the group’s educational leader to ensure the work fits within the group’s in-class curriculum.

In-Country:

Day 1- Arrival at Airport and Transfer to Base

On arrival, the group will be met at the airport by a GVI representative or staff member. Participants will be transferred to their  accommodation and given time to settle in and rest. There will be an initial welcome presentation and introduction to the GVI staff, history and background of the projects, as well as a health and safety breakdown.

Day 2- Orientation

The group will meet for an afternoon orientation and welcome session where they will discuss the week’s logistics, duties and responsibilities, and receive an introduction from the local partners. Materials and tools will also be prepped to maximize productivity for the following days. In the evening a reflection period will take place in which participants will debrief and review their initial reactions and observations on the experience and location.

Days 3-6- Daily Structure: Service, Education, and Reflection

The exact project will be based on the requirements of our local partners at the time. The group can expect to be involved in a variety of environmental awareness activities, discussions, and lectures. This may include bird walks, biodiversity surveys, species identification, and island ecology.

All service elements will be connected to a greater understanding of the cultural context in which the students are working. Assignments, in the form of lectures, readings, written response papers, journal entries, group presentations, and miscellaneous creative projects will be conducted daily to enhance student learning from their service involvement. Daily reflection sessions will act as the bridge that connects and helps to synthesize the many aspects of the experience.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which participants are working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students will critically examine their part in this process, by analyzing their contributions, challenges, and observations.

Day 7- A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff will transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavor to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects students contributed to during their time in Seychelles.

Post-Return

Students will continue to engage with active reflection and educational expansion two weeks after leaving Seychelles, with emphasis placed on incorporating the international experience, and insights gained which are then applied to the students’ home context. Assignments will involve generating ideas to continue global engagement, connecting the experience to personal and career goals, and reflecting on the insights gained while in the field.

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Volunteer in Mahe and Curieuse