The whole wild world

Summer volunteer programs

So you’re almost through the essays, assignments and exams of another academic year. You’re thinking about the future, but you’re also in need of some well-deserved fun. How can you spend your summer break doing something meaningful that also allows you to make new friendships, learn skills, and travel abroad?

Well that’s easy. GVI offers award-winning summer volunteer programs abroad that are perfect for high school or college students looking to make an impact in the world. These summer volunteer opportunities fit perfectly into any full-time student’s schedule and offer ample opportunity to experience some of the world’s top travel destinations.

Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

What is summer volunteering all about?

How to prepare
Health and safety

We offer summer volunteering opportunities in the following fields: 

What are the benefits of summer volunteer programs?

There’s a lot of excitement that comes with volunteering abroad, and GVI ensures that you can savour every moment of your trip without being bogged down by safety concerns. 

Each of GVI’s locations follows strict health and safety policies that take volunteer safety into account every step of the way. You’ll always be with a supervised group that will ensure your safety.

Once you settle on a specific program and destination for your volunteering summer, chances are that you’ll have lots in common with the other volunteers on your program. There’s no telling how many new friendships you’ll forge, or the number of memories you’ll make on your summer volunteer abroad experience. 

And if there’s one thing that’s the same on all of our summer volunteer abroad programs, it’s the opportunity for adventure! 

Build on your professional development 

Opportunities for skills development are woven into the day-to-day activities of every GVI summer volunteer abroad program. This is because we promise to assist you in improving your employability by offering additional certifications like a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification as part of our program offering. 

In addition to certifications like these, you’ll develop soft skills like teamwork, leadership and cross-cultural communication. Take a look at our article to find out more: What are soft skills and why are they important?

Our summer volunteer programs abroad have many benefits, so it’s easy to see why these programs fill up fast. To avoid disappointment, we recommend you plan ahead and sign up for one of our summer volunteering opportunities at least 12 months before the program start date. 

We offer support before, during, and after a volunteer abroad summer program, so feel free to contact us early on to discuss program details and travel logistics.

It’s important to note that some summer volunteering programs have prerequisites you’ll need to meet before you can sign up. Speak to a GVI staff member about details like this well in advance. 

High school students

For those between the ages of 15 and 17, the first step in securing your spot in a summer volunteer abroad program is getting permission from your parents or guardians. 

There are a number of resources available on our website that’ll describe what our summer volunteer opportunities are all about – like our parent pack, which’ll fill your folks in on everything they need to know about our volunteer abroad summer programs. You’ll also find parent testimonials that can give your parent or guardian a taste of how safe and beneficial GVI’s summer volunteering programs abroad really are.

Have a look through some of our best summer abroad volunteer programs in this article: The best summer volunteer programs for high school students

And, if your parents or guardian is still unsure about letting you participate in a summer volunteering program, you can show them this article: Should I let my teen volunteer abroad?

We could even set up a meeting with yourself, your parents and a GVI alumni or staff member to give you a first-hand account of what a GVI summer volunteering experience is like. 

Once you’re all on board the summer volunteer abroad train, you can depend on our staff to assist you with your planning and preparations. 

College students

When you’re looking for a program that adds to your resume in a meaningful way, picking from so many different summer abroad volunteer programs can seem like a daunting task. 

By promising you support before, during and after your summer volunteering experience, GVI makes the experience easier, and helps you to make the right decision for you. Couple this with our promise to improve your employability when you participate in any of our programs, and you’re set for a truly meaningful summer abroad volunteer adventure.

Take your time to browse through our top-notch summer volunteer abroad programs and see what types of skills and qualifications each of them offers. Choose the summer volunteering abroad experience that speaks to the type of personal and professional development you hope to achieve. Think about the type of internships or job opportunities you hope to apply for in the future and keep those in mind when comparing our summer volunteer opportunities.

Take a look at this article to find out more about the types of programs we offer: Fifteen awesome summer volunteer programs for 2022

Once you’re sure of the program you want to take part in, our support staff can assist you with your planning and preparations.

GVI has you covered when it comes to your health and safety.

All of the staff on our summer volunteer programs are our own, and are comprehensively trained in health and safety protocols on a regular basis. We also uphold a strict staff to participant ratio of one to six to ensure that all activities are well managed and properly supervised. 

Not only do we follow a strict Health and Safety policy, we also have a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy that looks to protect community partners and program participants alike.

In addition to this GVI is a British Standards 8848 compliant provider and we maintain clear ethical stances and reporting. This shows our dedication to following best practises on not just our summer volunteering abroad programs, but on every GVI program. 

Are there any extra precautions for high school students? 

Yes. GVI’s Health and Safety policy covers all of the bases on our summer volunteer abroad programs. But, as a family-run organisation, we understand that it’s safest to have more checks in place on our summer volunteering programs for teens. 

That’s why we offer chaperoned activities, airport pick up and drop offs, and separate accommodation for participants under the age of 18. We also offer summer volunteer opportunities that are specifically designed for participants in this age range. 

GVI also offers a 24-hour emergency desk where parents can get in contact with a GVI health and safety officer or member of GVI senior management at any time of the day or night.

See what other parents & participants say

Read reviews and recommendations from all over the world.

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