Construction internships

Hands-on experience to kick-start your career.

As a construction intern, you’ll work alongside our local partners in beautiful international locations. You’ll get the opportunity to build or update key infrastructure in underserved communities, which will improve their access to public health, education and other important social development initiatives. Ready to work hard while having fun, learning from experts, making an impact, and getting a new global perspective? Let’s get started.


What are the benefits of doing a construction internship?

Whether you’re after a long-term career in social impact or not, an internship in construction will give you the hands-on international experience that employers look for. It’ll also give you a competitive advantage against your peers when applying for jobs – something unique that’ll make you stand out.

The benefits of doing a construction internship with GVI:

  • Empower local organisations and schools to effectively implement sustainable social impact in their communities.
  • Gain real-world practical experience in a construction project that is done sustainably and inclusively.
  • Receive access to mentorship and feedback on any individual research project work.
  • Get the chance to contribute to the maintenance of infrastructure in underserved communities.
  • Develop your teamwork, leadership skills, intercultural intelligence, collaboration and critical-thinking skills.
  • Access to GVI online courses, endorsed by the University of Richmond, as well as on-site training and mentoring.
  • Assistance in finding employment via job boards after successful completion of your internship.
  • Receive academic credits when you volunteer on one of our construction programs.
  • A reference added to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 4: Quality Education and Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
  • Connect with passionate people and organisations to build your network of like-minded change-makers.
  • Travel to a new country to get immersed in cultures, nature scenery and delicious indigenous food.

Do I need any experience or qualifications?

All GVI’s programs follow the ethical principle of “Primum Non Nocere” which means – “First, do no harm.” You’ll therefore only take part in unskilled building projects, and don’t need any previous experience or qualifications when you join our construction internship programs.

Our construction internships involve supervised, simple tasks such as painting, woodwork, carrying material from one place to another and hanging shelves. We’ll never let you do anything you’re not qualified or allowed to do in your own home country. 

Local professionals are employed for tasks that require specialised skills – like welding or bricklaying. These local resources are funded either through participant program fees, GVI Charitable Programs or through funds raised by participants themselves. 

By contracting local companies, we get the chance to further contribute to the sustainability of projects by providing job opportunities and increasing local ownership over the building initiatives. This is also one of GVI’s Ten Ethical Commitments.

While no previous experience is needed, you’ll need to be physically fit and healthy and have an interest in DIY, renovating or doing practical work with your hands.

Our programs

Community Development Internship in Fiji
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to cook Costa Rican food
Learn to cook Costa Rican food
Visit a botanical garden
Visit a botanical garden
Summit Irazu Volcano
Summit Irazu Volcano
Enjoy a Costa Rican breakfast
Enjoy a Costa Rican breakfast
Experience Costa Rican culture
Experience Costa Rican culture
Practise a yoga class
Practise a yoga class
Paint your own pottery souvenir
Paint your own pottery souvenir
White-water raft down the Pacuare River
White-water raft down the Pacuare River

What you’ll be doing on a construction internship

GVI’s social development programs, including our construction internship initiatives, are all run in collaboration with local partners who operate in the various locations where our hubs are based.

They co-lead our social impact initiatives as they have intimate knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in each community, as well as understanding the local context. This approach ensures that the projects remain sustainable, inclusive and ethical.

With construction internships, all of the building and renovation projects you’ll be working on are answering needs that come directly from our partners and the communities that we serve. 

Typical tasks on a construction internship:

  • Helping with basic repairs and renovation jobs at schools and community projects.
  • Assisting with the installation of rainwater harvesting and waste management systems.
  • Creating eco-bricks from recycled material to use in construction projects.
  • Helping builders construct and renovate classrooms and create school libraries.
  • Setting up play areas and jungle gyms for children.
  • Adding to the existing facilities by building shelving and furniture.
  • Giving deteriorated buildings, classrooms, furniture or jungle gyms a fresh coat of paint.

Choosing an internship type

Our construction internships offer two distinct options: an international internship abroad and a virtual internship. 

International internship abroad

This is our on the ground internship, where you’ll work and live with communities worldwide, making a sustainable impact and gaining essential work experience. You’ll have the chance to reside in GVI’s permanent location hubs, immerse yourself in different cultures, collaborate with community development experts, and join a diverse group of fellow interns. 

Virtual internship

Alternatively, if travel is not feasible, our virtual internships provide an opportunity to work remotely on real-world projects. You’ll receive a University of Richmond endorsed certificate and a professional recommendation, all while managing your own schedule and showcasing valuable skills such as self-discipline and remote communication. 

What’s included in my construction internship program?

With all of our construction internship programs, you’ll have the chance to make an impact while you gain valuable industry experience and soft skills like leadership and teamwork.

Depending on your internship type, your program will include:


Where can I go to do a construction internship?


Just imagine – towering peaks of the Himalayan mountains, romantic forests, crystal clear lakes, magical temples and friendly people. There’s a reason why Nepal is a bucket list destination for many! But, Nepal has much more to offer than dramatic landscapes.

As a construction intern in Pokhara, you’ll participate in improving learning environments at local educational facilities, led by our local school partners. By doing this, you can help to improve the health and safety standards of the schools to safeguard the children and teachers. 

By adding more educational resources – like classrooms, desks, chairs and libraries – you contribute to an increase in literacy and education, to create a more equal and liberal society.

The project work will be led by our local construction coordinator and local workers. After settling in on base, you’ll receive training on the building project to ensure that you know exactly what the plan is and what you’ll be doing. Throughout the program you’ll receive supervision from our staff and local construction team to support and guide you whenever you need it.


If you’re after an internship that’ll double up as a tropical island experience, then Fiji is the place for you. The clear waters of this archipelago of pacific islands are home to nearly half of the world’s known coral species – making weekend scuba diving trips an exciting and colourful experience.

Join a construction internship in Dawasamu and get the chance to make an impact in a variety of community development initiatives, including tasks that will improve the condition of facilities that are used by local community members to empower themselves.

You’ll work alongside local community members and contribute to development initiatives in the region by building, renovating or updating infrastructure and resources. 

You could contribute to finding solutions to important issues that impact the quality of life in these fishing communities, such as access to fresh water, access to education, food security and options for income generation.

The type of construction project is co-created in partnership with the local communities of Moturiki and the Dawasamu district, based on the most pressing needs at that moment in time.

Still not sure? Get in touch!

If you haven’t made up your mind on whether you’d like to do a construction internship virtually or in-person, or whether you’d like to go to Fiji or Nepal, or for how long – breathe, we’ve got you!

Get in touch with our team of program experts, who are able to answer all your questions and talk you through the different locations and internship types. Wondering how you’ll pay for all of this? Talk to us about fundraising – we’ve got a variety of tools and tips to help you get there.

It’s always good to chat to someone who’s been where you want to go, to get first-hand information. Request a chat with one of our alumni to get a sense of what it’s like on a construction internship program.


Frequently asked questions about construction internships

Q: How long are the construction internships at GVI?

A: Our construction internships at GVI can last anywhere from two to 24 weeks, depending on the amount of time you have to commit to the program. 

Q: How do I know if the internship I want to do is ethical? 

A: GVI is committed to a high level of ethical practice in every area we cover. 

We are committed to ten ethical principles and five human empowerment principles. These core aspects of GVI programs mean that interns get involved in community-led work that speaks to the current needs of local people.

Interns are also required to interact with local communities in a way that respects and builds on their ownership of sustainable development construction projects. 

With construction internships, we’ll never let you get involved with projects that you’re not qualified to do. You will be assisting local building teams and doing a range of support tasks, such as painting, cleaning, making eco-bricks and carrying building material.

Q: Will I get paid to intern?

A: GVI offers unpaid internships. The program fees you pay for your construction internship will cover accommodation, meals, training, equipment and in-country transport to and from projects. 

To find out more, read our blog post: Why pay to volunteer abroad?

Q: Who will I be working with during my internship abroad?

A: GVI staff and interns come from all around the world and, as a result, have different backgrounds and cultural beliefs. 

You’ll meet and work with like-minded people from GVI, as well as from the local community. And, it’s likely that you’ll leave your internship with new life-long friends.