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High School Greece Marine Conservation Awareness

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Social Life

    10

It is nice to know that I got to be a tiny part of that effort

I came to volunteer with GVI mainly because I wanted to visit Greece and experience the Greek culture. The conservation work wasn’t my primary interest but I thought I would try it out, as I had never done anything like the GVI Greece project before.

The best part of the project for me was THE NIGHT SURVEY!! Actually seeing the loggerheads lay their nests was a really rewarding experience that put the hard work of morning surveys and camp life into perspective. Seeing the loggerheads so up close was unexpectedly moving moment as I had gone into the survey thinking it wasn’t going to mean all that much to me.

The GVI staff and Archelon volunteers were very interesting people to meet. Although conservation isn’t where my passions lie, everyone had amazing life stories that I am happy I had the opportunity to hear.

GVI Greece taught me a lot more about sea turtles, obviously, but it also put into perspective how critical it is that we as humans start protecting our environment. Although I wouldn’t consider myself blatantly wasteful, I just haven’t cared that much about my impact on the environment beyond the basics of turning off my lights, composting, and recycling. This project definitely inspired me to take more initiative in reducing my carbon footprint even if it is to make only a small impact.

For sure I felt that the work I did here has made a difference. Everyone in Archelon and GVI has been talking about how this is the biggest season they have ever had due to their conservation efforts finally paying off. It is nice to know that I got to be a tiny part of that effort.

I would tell a friend to make sure that they are knowledgeable of the project and what exactly the work GVI Greece does. Although I am happy to have had this experience, I definitely feel that more information would have been really beneficial to me in terms of not being so shell-shocked by the workload and camp life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Social Life

    10

look up to you all and admire the work you do-thank you

My main reason for volunteering was genuinely because I knew if I didn’t, I would just be sitting at home, watching Netflix, being lazy after GCSEs. Volunteering would make sure my holiday was worthwhile and memorable. Another reason for volunteering was because, of course, I love animals and being able to help turtles is wicked. I also really wanted to meet new people and enjoy a summer of fun with new friends.

The best part of the project was making new friends and the independence that is required to do the project. Making new friends is always fun but away from home makes it much more exhilarating because you can’t simply hide behind other familiar faces like old friends. The journey and process of making new friends is challenging, but exciting at the same time, and volunteering with GVI offers this opportunity. Also, it is much easier to make friends here than at school (for me, personally) because you actually share interests with people here and you all experience similar feelings of anxiety and excitement of this experience.

My favourite moment on the Greece project was sitting on the beach comfortably with people I can now truly call my family, enjoying the beautiful Greek sunset and reflecting on how fortunate we are to have been able to take part in this life-changing experience.

The GVI staff are all young, and they are therefore extremely easy to get on with. They are more like friends than staff, to be honest. They are just like the other volunteers, plus they have cool funny stories to share. The GVI and Archelon staff and volunteers are all passionate about their ‘jobs’, making it fun for GVI volunteers and creating great role models and inspirations.

Something I learned through this trip was that you don’t have to be academically strong to get on well in life-the key to a purposeful, happy, worthwhile life is enjoying what you do, not money nor reputation (hierarchy). The GVI staff’s mini presentations about their lives so far and how they got to this point are extremely insightful and inspirational because they reassure us volunteers that there is a future for everyone, regardless of wealth or reputation.

I felt that the work I have done It has, of course, saved many beautiful turtle lives, which will inevitably prevent, or at least prolong the possible extinction of these animals. This is a rewarding thing to be a part of and truly illustrates how I, as one young teenager in this big world can make a true difference.

If I had to say something to those thinking about joining this program its; Yes, yes, yes! I would tell them to prepare for the best summer they will ever have, for sure. That’s a very cliché thing to say, but hand on heart, it’s so true. I have bonded with the GVI volunteers here much better than I have with any of my so-called best friends at school because the GVI project puts you in a position to seek true friends. One trait required for the GVI program is trust-you need to be able to trust others, in order to make new friends and enjoy the whole experience. If things don’t go to plan (the tent is uncomfortable so you can’t sleep or you fall ill), there is absolutely no need to worry. The GVI staff are so supportive, even more so than my school staff (including the nurse), and they will go out of their way to ensure you experience is memorable, worthwhile and safe.

I can’t thank you awesome people any more than is possible to do with the English language. I would happily pour my heart out to you guys and thank you for this experience you have offered me with because this is genuinely the best holiday I have ever been on. It can be challenging at times, but that makes it all the more fun because it tests your trust in others and also makes you become a better strong person. In short, I could not ask any more of the GVI team and Archelon-please don’t change. I look up to you all and admire the work you do-thank you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Do it! 100% just go for it…you won’t regret it!!!

I thought to join this program because it would be a great experience where I could do something unique and worthwhile over the summer.

I loved meeting new people and being able to learn so much about sea turtles. It was an amazing experience where I was able to feel like I’d done something important.

My favourite moment was when I saw my first Sea Turtle. It was an incredible thing to watch, it was so special to be able to see the entire process and it gave me a much better understanding of what we were doing and how it made an impact.

It was great to work with the GVI staff they were so helpful and had amazing personalities; they went out of their way to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. The Archelon volunteers were really informative and were really helpful with helping us understand the lives of Sea Turtles. I have a much better understanding about the threats that are risking the lives of many marine animals and what we can do to help. I also learned that by protecting nests and tagging turtles it increases the chances of hatchlings living, it also has spread greater awareness about what we can all do to help.

Thank you so so so much GVI!!! This has been one of my greatest experiences and I wish I could never leave! You’ve all made this so amazing and I really appreciate you all going out of your way to make this so incredible for everyone!!!

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation