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Conservation Internship in Costa Rica
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Conservation Internship in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GVI Jalova, Costa Rica- short-term internship

The short-term internship at Jalova has given me a kick-start in my career in wildlife conservation. My time spent working on the projects at Jalova has confirmed that I want to spend my life working in conservation, and has given me the confidence and skills to pursue this career. The work undertaken at Jalova is at the forefront of wildlife conservation, and I really felt like I was part of a project that is making an essential contribution to wildlife conservation and sustainability.

The experience of living and working in a remote tropical environment has been amazing- being surrounded by the life of the jungle meant that there was never a dull moment on base! Volunteering with GVI provides the perfect opportunity to travel and be part of different cultures. Through this experience I've worked with brilliant, passionate people who have the same interests as me- I've made friends for life from all corners of the world.

One of my favourite moments was counting the eggs of a green turtle while she was laying. I was lying on my belly in the sand, with my hand under the turtle up to my shoulder, to catch the eggs as they fell. I have never been so close to a wild animal, and such a breath-taking one at that. I could hear and feel her breathing as she laid her eggs. This was without a doubt one of the most magical experiences of my life- I will never forget it!

A typical day in the life at Jalova went like this: I'd wake up to the sound of howler monkeys amongst the dawn chorus. The morning would usually be spent surveying- this could be checking turtle nests or jaguar camera traps along the beach, a biodiversity survey in the forest, or a bird survey along the canals in our canoe. The afternoon would involve more surveys, or we'd spend time entering data or doing chores. After dinner volunteers and staff would gather in the dining room to chat and play games, generally chill out and have fun, while yet more surveys were conducted at night, including night walk along the beach to monitor turtles and mark their nests.

During my two-month internship I had the opportunity to leave base and travel within Costa Rica with other volunteers. This was a great opportunity to see another part of the country and to bond with the people I was volunteering with.

I can honestly say that the two months I spent with GVI at Jalova were the best two months of my life. Every day was an adventure that came with its own challenges, accomplishments and unforgetable moments. Completing an internship with GVI has been an invaluable experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in wildlife conservation and the will to make a difference.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great value for money and great experience

I had a great time and some of my favourites was living in a completely different environment isolated from a lot of the outside world and meeting so uber cool people. Turtles are also rather cool. Great value for money and great experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had an amazing time

The activities involved in the program. Meeting and making new friends as well as the experience to live out in the jungle to live in a stress free environment in which I learned new things about myself. I learned from living in this simple life that I didn't ever need the luxuries back at home, such as T.V., internet, couches, hot showers, to make me happy.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had so many amazing experiences in Costa Rica

I had so many amazing experiences in Costa Rica. Watching hatchlings make their way to the sea, spotting incredible animals on forest night walks (Mexican hairy porcupine, kinkajou), seeing such a huge variety of animals including a tamandua, beautiful birds, snakes, reptiles and even an armadillo on the beach, and sharing some special memories with my many new friends. Being followed by a jaguar on the beach while on a night walk was one of the most exciting (but scary) things that has ever happened to me! The interaction with wildlife, the simple and easy going lifestyle on base and living in such close proximity to the rainforest, beach and wildlife made the experience all the more enjoyable. I cannot speak highly enough of this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GVI is great and the people i met and worked with were amazing

I loved all the staff and the other volunteers. Meeting all of them was great and getting to work in the field and live in the park was an amazing experience. It was awesome to be able to live in the environment and not have to worry about outside influences.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This was incredibly influencial on what i wish to do

I quite enjoyed the thorough training we received on health and safety and leadership skills and the ability to experience different forms of conservation throughout the country. GVI was incredibly influential on what I wish to do with my career in conservation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GVI run such amazing projects in all fields

The surveys were the best each type of survey equally. The location of base, the isolation was amazing.

But I felt sometimes there was a divide between staff members and volunteers, and in some cases there was not enough communication between staff members. For example, data collection for the incidentals project: each staff member would collect the data differently, which made all the volunteers confused.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The whole scientific project was just up to a high standard

The whole scientific project (turtles, birds and jaguars as well as the 'incidentals') was just up to a high standard. The program is build up in a correct way ensuring people of having a good feeling in what ever survey they are doing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The whole trip was amazing

The whole trip was amazing - the best thing was seeing a jaguar on the beach, that was actually the best moment of my life. The turtle project was my favourite though, very well set up and a variety of different surveys for it - night walk/morning census/excavations - all incredibly enjoyable - seeing a green covering up her nest in the morning light was another massive highlight. And just generally living on base, making new friends, all living together was great, even a day with not much on and reading a book on the porch felt special.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Turned out to be a great place

It seems silly to go all the way to Costa Rica get to meet a lot of like-minded people, but that really was the best part. There was also an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm about science, conservation and animals.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation