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Thailand Conservation Service Learning Course for Groups
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Thailand Conservation Service Learning Course for Groups

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

GVI was very supportive throughout this experience

I want to work as a marine biologist, so this program was a unique (and fun) way to experience several different methods of marine conservation, like sea turtle husbandry, biodiversity surveys, and cleaning trash off beaches. Since I was working in a large group of sixteen people I also learned leadership, patience, and how to contribute positively to the team, abilities that will all be useful in future employment. But aside from having a positive impact on my future employability, this program left a positive impact on the world around me. Some of these impacts are short-term, like cleaning turtle tanks. Turtle tanks are always going to get dirty again, but in addition to keeping the turtles happy and healthy we were able to ease the workload on the regular staff and give them more time to perform other important duties. Some of our other projects will have longer-lasting impacts. Examples of these are the biodiversity surveys, which will update and maintain databases used to track wild animal populations, and the website we created for the Thai Muang turtle conservancy, which will provide tourists with better information regarding marine ecology and conservation. However, these are only a few examples of the projects we worked on while in Thailand. GVI was very supportive throughout this experience, both before and after we arrived on site. The staff made sure to provide us with good information about our program through PowerPoint presentations and Skype calls before we left for Thailand, and after we arrived we received thorough training so we wouldn’t feel nervous or unsure about what we were doing. We were each assigned a mentor to consult with throughout the eight weeks, and I knew I could always seek help from my mentor if I was having a problem, either with something related to a project or to another team member. The GVI staff made sure we all knew that our safety and wellbeing was a priority, and they never gave us any reason to feel otherwise. This experience has been exciting, formative, challenging, inspirational, daunting, and rewarding, and I would happily go back to the beginning and do it all over again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

GVI was very supportive throughout this experience

I want to work as a marine biologist, so this program was a unique (and fun) way to experience several different methods of marine conservation, like sea turtle husbandry, biodiversity surveys, and cleaning trash off beaches. Since I was working in a large group of sixteen people I also learned leadership, patience, and how to contribute positively to the team, abilities that will all be useful in future employment. But aside from having a positive impact on my future employability, this program left a positive impact on the world around me. Some of these impacts are short-term, like cleaning turtle tanks. Turtle tanks are always going to get dirty again, but in addition to keeping the turtles happy and healthy we were able to ease the workload on the regular staff and give them more time to perform other important duties. Some of our other projects will have longer-lasting impacts. Examples of these are the biodiversity surveys, which will update and maintain databases used to track wild animal populations, and the website we created for the Thai Muang turtle conservancy, which will provide tourists with better information regarding marine ecology and conservation. However, these are only a few examples of the projects we worked on while in Thailand. GVI was very supportive throughout this experience, both before and after we arrived on site. The staff made sure to provide us with good information about our program through PowerPoint presentations and Skype calls before we left for Thailand, and after we arrived we received thorough training so we wouldn’t feel nervous or unsure about what we were doing. We were each assigned a mentor to consult with throughout the eight weeks, and I knew I could always seek help from my mentor if I was having a problem, either with something related to a project or to another team member. The GVI staff made sure we all knew that our safety and wellbeing was a priority, and they never gave us any reason to feel otherwise. This experience has been exciting, formative, challenging, inspirational, daunting, and rewarding, and I would happily go back to the beginning and do it all over again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

GVI was very supportive throughout this experience

I want to work as a marine biologist, so this program was a unique (and fun) way to experience several different methods of marine conservation, like sea turtle husbandry, biodiversity surveys, and cleaning trash off beaches. Since I was working in a large group of sixteen people I also learned leadership, patience, and how to contribute positively to the team, abilities that will all be useful in future employment. But aside from having a positive impact on my future employability, this program left a positive impact on the world around me. Some of these impacts are short-term, like cleaning turtle tanks. Turtle tanks are always going to get dirty again, but in addition to keeping the turtles happy and healthy we were able to ease the workload on the regular staff and give them more time to perform other important duties. Some of our other projects will have longer-lasting impacts. Examples of these are the biodiversity surveys, which will update and maintain databases used to track wild animal populations, and the website we created for the Thai Muang turtle conservancy, which will provide tourists with better information regarding marine ecology and conservation. However, these are only a few examples of the projects we worked on while in Thailand. GVI was very supportive throughout this experience, both before and after we arrived on site. The staff made sure to provide us with good information about our program through PowerPoint presentations and Skype calls before we left for Thailand, and after we arrived we received thorough training so we wouldn’t feel nervous or unsure about what we were doing. We were each assigned a mentor to consult with throughout the eight weeks, and I knew I could always seek help from my mentor if I was having a problem, either with something related to a project or to another team member. The GVI staff made sure we all knew that our safety and wellbeing was a priority, and they never gave us any reason to feel otherwise. This experience has been exciting, formative, challenging, inspirational, daunting, and rewarding, and I would happily go back to the beginning and do it all over again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Rewarding

My experience these past two months has been rewarding, educational, and transformative. I’ve had the opportunity to conduct service and have an impact on the surrounding community in both a short term and long term way. I’ve been able to form connections with local villagers and develop lasting relationships over these two months while teaching them skills, mainly English, that they will continue to use and develop after we’ve left. GVI has been integral to my experience here: providing strong leaders, an immersive program, and the opportunity to make a difference. GVI really emphasizes personal reflection and introspection which forced me to put my ideals and values under question from a service perspective. These sessions facilitate lasting personal growth and really gave me an impactful and transformative two months. The staff here has been incredibly supportive and caring; I feel very comfortable going to any staff member with a concern or new idea. The friendliness and inclusiveness they’ve shown to me these past two months has made this summer one to remember.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I am grateful to GVI

I have known that I want to be a veterinarian since I was three years old. As such, I began surrounding myself with animals and science at a very young age. In high school and especially at my university, I spend the majority of my free hours working in a science research lab and interning at a veterinary clinic. I became interested in visiting Thailand with GVI mostly because I wanted to support sea turtle conservation efforts here. When I arrived in Thailand, I learned that service learning volunteers do much more than work with sea turtles; we also regularly participate in biodiversity surveys and trash cleans and teach English. None of these activities involve working directly with animals, which made me uneasy at first. I knew I love interacting with animals and want to dedicate my life to helping them. I did not know how I felt about the other activities.

After eight weeks of participating in a wide variety of activities as a service learning volunteer, I have learned the value of stepping outside my comfort zone and exploring areas besides animals and science. I used to think my science classes and animal-related extracurriculars at school were sufficient preparation for my future career. Now, I recognize the power of interdisciplinary studies in discerning the connections between seemingly unrelated topics, such as the use of microplastics and marine life conservation. A multidisciplinary approach like this is critical to problem solving in any profession. As such, the refined critical thinking skills and global awareness I acquired this summer will serve me well in the future. I am grateful to GVI for providing the education, resources, and support I needed to learn and grow over the past eight weeks.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best aspects of the project

The orphanage and Camillian center are two of the best aspects of the project as your actually making a difference when going on a hike taking photos of different species doesn't really feel like what your doing is worth while.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I loved being able to travel

My most positive experience in Thailand with GVI as the organizer was being able to travel on weekends, it was amazing but it took away from my opportunities to give back to the community. I loved being able to travel.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The most beautiful experience

The most beautiful experience in Thailand and with GVI was to stay with the kids and spent time with all of them. The volunteers house/ accommodation is to basic for me. More comfort will be recommendable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I felt like I was helping a good cause and had a great time as well

It was amazing to see the positive impact GVIs work had on the local community, such as teaching the school children science and playing football with them - even seeing a local join in with a beach clean. I mostly enjoyed sharing this experience with the people around me, and having the time off on the weekends to explore the country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Could not fault a single thing!

My most positive experience was how thorough the training was and how knowledgable everyone was. The accommodation was fantastic as so was the food as well. GVI is a well organised, well trusted company.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I enjoyed the family atmosphere I experienced there

I enjoyed the family atmosphere I experienced there. The staff and the volunteers all became my friends and I was accepted into the group almost immediately. I enjoyed the turtle cleaning and basic husbandry we took part in, it was an experience I doubt I will able to do again in the near future if at all.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Brilliant

Without a doubt, Jolyon Briggs, Anna Lavery, Holly Briggs and Sophie Lemberger made my experience brilliant, these staff members were definitely one of the highlights of my experience. Furthermore, the project activities themselves were brilliant, who can't love going in rainforests and seeing countless turtles! Everything about this project exceeded my expectations and it was just perfect from beginning to end.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Unique and filled with extraordinary people

My most positive experience was working with the staff and staying in a more remote and less touristy area. The town, Baan Nam Khem, was unique and the people extraordinary.

I have now had two very different and wonderful GVI experiences. I think that the work the organization is doing can have a profound affect on both volunteers and the communities they are working with.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

You get a good feeling volunteering

My most positive experience was visiting the children on group projects and being part of conservation. It was nice to experience other volunteer work placement everyday.

You get a good feeling volunteering, wish I could do more if money wasn't as big of factor

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A very authentic experience of Thailand

I enjoyed working with the children and having a very authentic experience of Thailand in an actual community where tourism isn't prominent.

The accommodation was a big issue for me - if staying somewhere more comfortable I would consider it. Also, I didn't feel like there was a lot of down time.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation