Uplift. Uphold. Upskill.

Teaching and Community Development Apprenticeship in Nepal

Gain valuable work experience and invest in underserved communities by volunteering on education projects in Nepal

Durations: 20 weeks


Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future.


In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.


Learn from the world’s most unique and significant cultures, in breathtaking remote locations.

Program information

Start your career in education with GVI by joining this teaching apprenticeship abroad in Nepal. Learn about facilitating early childhood development outcomes, teaching English, and supporting learning for students of all ages.

Join a program abroad and save up to 15%!

Book by 30 September
Book with confidence
Travel flexibility. Transfer for free up to 45 days before travel. Because life happens. Terms and conditions apply.
Dates & Prices
What's Included
Life On Base
Free time
Cultural Immersion
Speak to alumni
Parent Info
Your Impact
Our Ethics
Program ethics
Qualifications & Training Options
Support & Safety
Live Updates

Program overview

Earn work experience teaching children and adults while contributing to global education goals, and learning about the role education plays in the context of international development. 

Your first 12 weeks

During the first few weeks of your apprenticeship you will focus on learning about education topics with the help of GVI staff. You will complete training on child protection, lesson planning, and classroom management. From Monday to Friday you will be working with local educators to facilitate learning in local primary schools, and informal after-school groups. You may facilitate conversational English workshops with local women. 

All your tasks will be aligned to Quality Education, the 4th Sustainable Development Goal set by the United Nations,. You will also study how working toward this goal supports the achievement of other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals like #1, No Poverty and #3, Good Health and Well-being. 

Throughout the training phase of your placement you will be living with other GVI participants in a homestay-style accommodation located in Pokhara’s lakeside district, with scenic views of Phewa lake and the Annapurna mountain peaks beyond. 

Apprentices tend to spend their evenings preparing for the next day’s lessons or doing study of a specific research topic. Weekends can be used to learn more about the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Nepal by visiting some of the many temples and monasteries in the area. You can also go for a short trek up to  Australian Base Camp or panoramic views of Sarangkot for a scenic Himalayan vista. 

Your work placement

After successfully completing your initial training phase, you will start the work placement portion of your apprenticeship. As part of our GVI staff team, you will gain experience in both international development and education. You will have the chance to work with other GVI staff members to plan and manage our ongoing education projects with local partners. This might include planning lessons and leading groups of volunteers. Your placement may also involve a setting up your own project in alignment with our ongoing sustainable development work in the region. 


Experience community teaching

Learn about the role of education in international sustainable development and gain experience teaching all age groups.

Enjoy spectacular scenery

Live like a local in homestay-style accommodation in Pokhara’s lakeside district with scenic views of Phewa Lake and the majestic Annapurna mountain range.

Kickstart your career

Turn your passion into your profession. Get three months intensive fieldwork training to help you launch directly into your community career.

Get a job placement

Work for a community NGO for three months to get real practical experience and build a network of industry contacts.

Fast track experience

Join a targeted career-readiness program that’s based on two decades of experience to grow your leadership and career skills.

Get a career guarantee

Because our apprenticeships are so intensive and comprehensive, you’ll get a guaranteed job offer if you complete all components.

Contribute to enduring impact

Support and empower ongoing community development projects on the ground that are led by inspiring local NGOs.

Get the edge

We know what it takes to work in the sustainability space – that’s why our apprentices get preferential recruitment when applying for GVI vacancies.

Is this program for me?

This internship is specifically useful for someone who has or is actively studying the below subject areas at school, university or college, or has an interest in these subject areas.

  • Education
  • Liberal arts
  • English
  • History
  • Communication


Some of the example typical activities you could participate in on this program.

Get practical NGO experience

Work for a partner organisation to support capacity building, life skills workshops, project management training, writing articles and helping with admin.

Teach at a community school

Assist local teachers in Pokhara to develop lesson plans and teach English or Math classes to children aged between the ages of eight and twelve.

Community training

Receive expert training on our education project objectives and procedures, specialised child safety training, an introduction to the local culture, and learn how to plan and evaluate projects.

Support community work

Depending on the needs of the community, additional project work might include contributing to education or public health initiatives.

Leadership and fast track training

Take part in the following courses to launch you into your career: Impact and Ethics, Intro to Project Management, Effective Communication, Leading Teams for Impact, Off-Site Safety Management, Participant Management, Self Leadership & Wellbeing, and GVI Policies and Procedures.

Leadership responsibilities

Take on additional responsibilities such as conducting community needs analysis, creating pre-and-post workshop surveys, or coordinating workshop sessions.

Personal project

Work on an individual project that aligns to both your personal interests and the needs and objectives of the local community in Pokhara.


Meet weekly in a small group with other interns and an experienced mentor to receive project guidance and feedback on your leadership style.


  • Community empowerment
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Social issues
  • Student engagement
  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Teaching workshops


Some of the partners we work with on base.

Skylark Himalayan Travels and Treks
Hotel Silver Oaks Inn

Program details

Dates and prices

Select a start date:

Have an endless summer!

Join a program abroad and get a special offer.

Book by 30 September to save up to 15%!
Payment plans. Flexible payment plans allow you to pay in instalments.

What happens next?

Once you apply, a personal Enrollment Manager will be assigned to walk you through the rest of the process.


The following itinerary is an example of the activities and project work that participants might get involved in on this program. More specific details of the program are finalised several months before each start date.


Enjoy a peaceful morning walk along Lake Fewa.


Team breakfast is prepared by our accommodation hosts.


Project time! Support community initiatives in local schools or by working on construction projects.


Support small businesses with lunch at a local cafe. There’s a range of Nepali meals – momos being a favourite!


Project work continues after lunch. Also plan and prepare for the following day’s work.


Some participants help facilitate a Conversation Club for children in the local community.


Free time! Go for a walk, visit a local cafe, or catch up with family and friends back at home.


Enjoy a meal together. After dinner, it’s common to have reflection sessions.

What’s included?

What's Included
24-hour emergency desk
24-hour in-country support
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All project equipment
Food (except on long-term internship placements
Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
Pre-program training
Group introductory call
Welcome presentation
Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course
Endorsed Leadership Course
Project work
Sustainable project work
Leadership responsibilities
Data collection and research
Real projects with partners
Remote support
Program training
Weekly group check ins
Remote Academic Internship Supervisor
Remote Career Internship Supervisor
Preferential recruitment on GVI positions
Job portal access
Endorsed Careers Course
Career coaching sessions
Certificates and achievements
PDF reference - upon request
Linkedin reference and skills endorsement
What's Excluded
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
Medical and travel insurance
Personal items and toiletries
Police or background check
Visa costs

Life On Base

Home to the tallest mountain range in the world, and known internationally as the gateway to the Himalayas, the city of Pokhara is well-loved by hikers, paragliders, kayakers and other adventure enthusiasts. On a clear day, you have a spectacular view of the Annapurna Mountain range. When you hear people say that the fishtail is out, it means the sky is clear and the sacred Machhapuchhre Mountain (also known as Fishtail) is visible. Surrounded by snowy mountain peaks and built around the picturesque Phewa Tal (Phewa Lake), the city is a unique mix of natural beauty and urban convenience. 

Our GVI base in Pokhara is situated in Lakeside, which is lined with great eateries serving local Nepali cuisine and international fare. You’ll also find shops selling local crafts unique to the region, such as intricately patterned pashmina shawls and vibrantly coloured Buddhist thangka paintings.

There are a range of shops offering rugs, bags, and other items woven by local women, artwork (such as mandalas hand painted by local artists), trekking equipment, and many other locally produced goods. There are also many cafés where you can relax, catch up with new friends, or use the Wi-Fi to keep in touch with friends and family back home. 

There are many activities to enjoy which are close to base. From watching the sunset at Fewa Lake, which is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the base, to the Movie Garden where you can watch outdoor movies – with the backdrop of the lake and mountains. On a clear day, you realise the enormity of  the Annapurna range as you see the snow covered mountains as you walk down the street.

The base has a relaxed, friendly, and fun vibe. We have a shared undercover area outside where participants meet and mingle. There are tables and chairs on the two balconies where participants meet and play cards, plan lessons or chat about their day. Our dogs (Seti and Kali) are always happy to greet the participants at base. Our base is climate-friendly – solar panels are used for hot water, we recycle what we can, food scraps are collected by local farmers, and all foods are produced locally. 

In the mornings before work, there is time to walk or jog near the lake and enjoy the morning views. Participants often use this time to exercise or pick up a Himalayan coffee at one of the local cafés. In the afternoons, when participants have returned from a project and prepared for the next day, they tend to go out for a walk, enjoy a coffee, or stay in touch with friends and family. This is also the time when participants plan their weekend adventures. They meet up with our partners at Skylark Himalayan Tours and Travels and plan their trek or tour for the weekend. After dinner, participants often stay around the base and play cards or other games such as Bhaga Chal, a traditional Nepalese game. After dinner many participants go out for a drink or a dessert at a local café and soak up the atmosphere. Or they might watch a movie at the Movie Garden. Once a week, there is a social night, which is either a quiz or another social activity at the base.


Our base in Pokhara provides homestay-style accommodation that gives participants the opportunity to gain first-hand insight into Nepali culture....


Some project work sites are a short walk from our accommodation. For others, transport is provided. We walk to and from some of our projects, an ...


Wi-Fi is available at the base and at local cafés. Participants often use the Wi-Fi at cafés as a chance to catch up on their social media and ot...


The host family prepares breakfast and dinner. Breakfast includes cereals, toast and eggs. Pastries and pancakes are served on some days. Evening...


Nepal  has six seasons rather than the four you may be used to. 

Basanta Ritu is from mid-Ma...

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

GVI experiences included in your program, at no extra cost.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!

We want you to make the most of the chance to live in – and contribute towards –  the most diverse and unique wildernesses and communities on earth. Introducing GVI Experiences – immersive adventure, cultural and wellness activities exclusive to GVI that have been specially designed in collaboration with our local partners to support and stimulate sustainable economic development.

Enhance your impact. Expand your adventure. Explore your world.

Cook Nepali and Tibetan dumplings family-style
Share customs and cuisine in a Tibetan community
Join a Monk chanting session
Bike around Fewa Lake
Boat on Fewa Lake and learn local folklore
Watch a movie in a natural amphitheatre
Learn Buddhist principles at the World Peace Pagoda
Visit a Newari mountaintop village

Free time

Joining a GVI program not only allows you to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems – but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer over weekends.

Field staff are a great source of advice and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. You can choose to travel before or after your experience with GVI (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships you’ve established on the program. Please note that the below options are not included in the program fee, and would be up to you to arrange at your own expense.

Weekend Trips


Take a day or overnight trip to the village of Bandipur, a mountain village 2.5 hours from base. This small village caters well to visitors. Hike...


Work with our partners at Skylark Himalayan Tours and Travels to plan a trip that’s right for you. From one-day treks to more challenging t...

National parks

You can access several of Nepal’s most abundant wildlife parks via Pokhara. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to Annapurna I, the 10th high...

Local Adventures


Paragliding is incredibly popular in Pokhara and one of the best ways to view the spectacular natural landscape. There are many tour operators in...

Mountain biking

One of the newer activities available in Nepal, mountain biking allows visitors to experience many of the same landscapes as those trekking throu...

Further Travels

India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan

While you are in the region, why not take the opportunity to explore some of the other nations bordering Nepal. Visit India’s capital, New Delhi,...


Known for its historic religious sites, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal (and it’s largest city) is a short flight from Pokhara. Visit the sacred ...

Himalayan treks and flights

Nepal is well-known as the location of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain above sea level. Mount Everest forms part of the Himalayan mou...

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches global awareness, adaptability and critical thinking – skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and will also be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many different activities that you can get involved in during your free time, or before and after your program.

On our community programs, the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore topics like local cuisine and religion, or how sustainable development challenges are affecting local contexts.


February: The Tibetan New Year celebration, Lhosar, is held in February. Buddhist monasteries decorate their temples, known as stupas. In Tibetan...

Yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are a part of life for many Nepalis and the region is popular for those who seek to develop their skills and understanding of...


Possibly the most well-known Nepalese dish is dal bhat, a lentil stew served with rice. It is a smoky, spicy, wholesome dish which is also vegeta...

Religion and spirituality

Most of Nepal’s population identifies with Hinduism, specifically the Shaivism sect. You will find many Hindu temples throughout Nepal. Nepal is ...


Although Nepali is the official language of Nepal, over 100 languages are spoken throughout the country. Our participants have Nepali language le...


Scott Herrett

11 Oct, 2018

I began my 5-month GVI Teaching Internship in January 2014 in Pokhara, Nepal. Due to my previous career in construction, I was also willing to offer my time and knowledge on GVI co ...

Speak to alumni

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Get a first-hand perspective

Meet us

Meet the team

Get acquainted with the GVI Asia, Nepal, Pokhara family

Hannah Westcott

Program Manager

This is Hannah, the Program Manager at GVI’s base in Pokhara, Nepal. Previous to working with GVI she had been visiting Nepal for several years, mostly working in ...


Teaching Coordinator

Meet Roshani, who is our Teaching Coordinator in Pokhara, Nepal. She really enjoys working with and meeting new people through GVI. She is involved with the day-to-day projects ...


Construction Coordinator and Community Liaison

Introducing Bribek, who is our Construction Coordinator and Community Liaison in Pokhara, Nepal. He enjoys getting stuck into construction projects with the participants such as ...


Project Manager

Meet Tara, the Project Manager at GVI Nepal. He is passionate about tourism and loves to meet new people from around the world. He was born in Pokhara, Nepal but his favourite h ...

Sita Thapa

Project Coordinator

Meet Sita, she is one of the Project Coordinators in Pokhara, Nepal and has truly become part of the GVI family. Her role involves working with community members a ...

Rhythm Gautam

Teaching Coordinator

This is Rhythm! He was born and raised in Pokhara, Nepal. He was originally a trekking guide, but when the opportunity to become a Teaching Coordinator popped up, he got involve ...

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

GVI is a proud member of the Gap Year Association.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.


When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Early Childhood Development and Education

We support several educational facilities for young students in Nepal. GVI participants contribute by assisting with improving the infrastructure of learning environments, developing educational resources, and assisting students to achieve their learning objectives. Subjects we support include English language learning, maths, science, and computer skills. For younger students we facilitate arts and crafts lessons to promote fine motor skills development. Sports lessons help gross motor skills development, teamwork, and a healthy lifestyle.

Preventative Healthcare

Our public health participants work with local partners in setting up and implementing health and hygiene practices across sites within the community. Based on the needs identified by the community, we assist children and adults through fun, informal educational workshops. GVI participants support health in Nepal by leading workshops on a wide range of topics, including WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene), road safety, puberty and menstruation, waste management, and self-care.

Women’s Empowerment

Staff and participants who contribute to our women’s empowerment program in Nepal participate in a number of educational and professional development workshops. Lessons cover topics such as English language, maths, resumé writing, and alternative income generation. We support women’s health workshops and address issues like self-care and family health. We also work with local partners to raise awareness of issues such as human rights and human trafficking.

Women’s empowerment workshops provide a social outlet for many women and assist them in building a network within the community. The workshops also assist in developing English skills, which can open the door to potential work opportunities, particularly in tourism. These learning opportunities also build confidence in the women of the community.

With our partner SASANE, our participation in the Sisterhood of Survivors (SOS) programme gives women in the community an opportunity to practice their English and presentation skills. The funds we pay to participate go towards training women to become paralegals. We also facilitate workshops with the SASANE team that focus on English and personal development skills.


Our construction volunteers assist with refurbishment and improvement projects within the community. We aim to improve the facilities for students and teachers. We particularly support semi-rural government schools just outside the city. They’re small, usually less than 100 students, and are frequently under-staffed and under-resourced. All work depends on the needs of the community at the time and can include: building desks for students and teachers, making storage units and shelves for the classroom, and developing waste disposal areas. Other examples include creating handwashing stations to support health programs and general classroom refurbishment.

We also aim to provide economic support. All construction resources are purchased locally and local people are employed to work with us. If we are working in a village, we purchase supplies from that village, where possible. To support the community businesses, we have our lunchtime meals in one of the village cafés.

All of these initiatives offer support to the community and local partners, and address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 3: Health and Wellbeing, Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

Project objectives


GVI Pokhara long-term objectives:

1. Support students to reach learning goals appropriate to their age, grade level, or individual needs.

2. Support the community with improved facilities, with an emphasis on educational facilities.

3. Increase the knowledge and understanding of health in the community, with an emphasis on prevention, and developing health-related skills such as emergency first aid.

4. Increase professional and vocational skills held by women in the community, through education and empowerment.


The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.

All of our publications are on Google Scholar
Google Scholar
View publications
GVI Nepal Pokhara Annual Report 2018
Annual Report
Hannah Westcott

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.

Our 10 ethical commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Program ethics

No entertainment-based activities

We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos

No orphaned animal sanctuaries

We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases

Guidelines for touching or movement restriction

When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Animal welfare guidelines

We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.

Local community empowerment

We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.

Learn more
No veterinary programs

We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.

Learn more
No orphanage programs

We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.

Learn more
Child and vulnerable adult protection policy

Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.

Learn more
No medical volunteering

We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.

Learn more
No disability support programs

We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.

Learn more


A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.

For all GVI participants

Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Learn about COVID-19 pre-departure guidelines, base expectations, personal and area hygiene practices and what we are doing to keep you safe.

Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.

Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction to the history and evolution of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and how these related to your project work.

Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact

Learn about our country locations and further opportunities available to you during or after your program.

For all participants at Pokhara

Community: Women’s Empowerment

Learn about gender equality, skills development and examples of income generating activities.

Community: Human Empowerment

Learn about our empowerment principles.

Introduction to local Hindu and Buddhist Culture

Take a short boat trip to Barahi temple at the center of Phewa Lake, introducing you to Hindu culture. Then visit the Buddhist temple in Hemja, a Tibetian settlement.

Anti-human Trafficking Presentation

SASANE is a local anti-human trafficking organisation. Here participants attend a session educating them about human rights and the stat of human trafficking. Participants also complete a cultural cooking lesson, learning how to make momos, Nepali dumplings, using traditional methods.

Nepali Language and Culture Lessons

Complete two lessons with a local Nepali teacher.

Certificates & qualifications

University of Richmond Careers in Sustainability certificate

Career paths in social and environmental impact are not as well-established as in other fields. That’s why we’ll provide our interns who have successfully completed their program with our Careers in Sustainable Development course. In this course, you’ll learn about current and emerging opportunities in a range of sectors, allowing you to make the best decision about your future.

This online course, valued at £295, is included in all internships. Full course details can be found here.

University of Richmond Leading Teams for Impact certificate

Leadership is a critical skill set for anyone looking to make an impact or drive sustainable development. Develop your own leadership style and learn how to set achievable objectives, give effective feedback and manage conflict successfully. After successfully completing the course, which you have the option of doing prior to your in-country program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond.

This online course, valued at £295, is included in all volunteering programs. Full course details can be found here.

University of Richmond Community Development certificate

In this course, you’ll explore the most common pitfalls of community development initiatives so that you can avoid them. You’ll also learn how to carry out community development work effectively and ethically and how local context impacts program development. After successfully completing the course, which you have the option of doing prior to your in-country program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond.

This online course, valued at £295, is included in all volunteering programs. Full course details can be found here.


One of the major advantages of joining this program with GVI, is that it’ll give you that competitive edge you need to boost your social impact career! Not only will you get real on-the-ground community experience, you’ll also have access to tailor-made support, as well as excellent training and career-building opportunities to land your dream job.


Career mentorship

Receive continuous support through mentoring sessions with a qualified supervisor to help you achieve your professional goals.

GVI career course

Complete an online course in sustainable development careers and obtain a certificate accredited by the University of Richmond.

Career coaching sessions

Take the next step in your career with two one-on-one career coaching sessions from a remote mentor to guide and advise your professional development.

Job portal access

Gain exclusive access to our carefully curated job portal that advertises vacancies in the conservation and development sectors.

LinkedIn reference

Get a professional endorsement from GVI on the world’s largest careers platform to make you stand out.

The GVI Online Careers Course is in partnership with the University of Richmond

Preferential recruitment

Exclusive to those participants enrolled in any of our professional apprenticeship programs is a chance to jump the queue – you will receive special consideration if you apply for a job at GVI!

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more