Global Vision International (GVI)

Not Verified What's this?
9 / 10 after 201 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.gviusa.com/

Submit a review

I chose to volunteer with GVI because a close friend with mine had gone to Fiji with GVI and recommended the company. I knew I wanted to volunteer abroad, but there are so many options to choose from and it’s hard to know which company to trust with both your safety and your money. I would highly recommend GVI to anyone looking to volunteer abroad -- my experience in Laos was absolutely incredible. I made so many wonderful friends from all over the world who I never would have met if it weren’t for this program.

The classes I taught in ranged from about 8 to 25 years old, and their English abilities ranged from beginners (learning the English alphabet) to quite advanced (learning about pollution and the environment in English). I grew very attached to my students and it was really exciting and rewarding to see them improve each week that I was there. During the weekdays we would spend the mornings lesson planning for the various classes we were in charge of teaching, and then we would go off (either on foot on by tuk tuk) to the various temples or colleges we were teaching in. Each class was taught either by two volunteers or by a volunteer and a Lao teacher. I personally was always partnered up with another volunteer, and there were always staff members around if you had any questions during lesson planning.

On the weekends we explored the city, visiting the caves, waterfalls, and nearby villages. It is quite inexpensive to take a tuk tuk anywhere you need to go (especially if you have a large group to split the cost) so I was able to visit everywhere I wanted to see, and return to some of my favourites. The waterfalls were especially spectacular -- they are crystal blue and surrounded by jungle. The smaller set of waterfalls has a large swimming area, and elephant rides that you can take through the water. The weekends were definitely more “touristy” than the weekdays, where I was immersed in the Lao culture. It was extremely apparent how appreciative the local people are of tourists and volunteers who respect the local culture and dress appropriately (no bikinis, short shorts, or tank tops). Overall I had the time of my life on this volunteer trip, and I can’t wait to go again.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 28, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
7
By: hstirlin
Age:
21

I volunteered with GVI in Luaung Prabang in Laos in December 2012 -January 2013, teaching English to Buddhist novice monks at a temple, and to other students at a private school. I volunteered for only 2 weeks, and at the end my only regret was that I couldn't stay longer!
The town was beautiful, the Laos people I met and other volunteers were all great. The staff were amazing, there for you every step of the way, and always made you feel welcomed and valued.
The volunteering itself was really structured, which made it a lot less daunting and also meant you felt like you were actually helping, not just blundering your way through. It was challenging, but so very rewarding. I was capable of so much more than I expected, which was only due to the support I received from the staff and other volunteers.
Overall I could not recommend this experience highly enough!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 25, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:

Volunteering with GVI on the community childcare program in Playa del Carmen has been one of the most eye-opening and rewarding experiences of my life. The staff were welcoming and helpful right from my arrival at the Cancun airport. Playa del Carmen is a bustling city with lots to see and a beautiful culture. I met the other project volunteers and interns on the first day when I arrived at the flat. We all got along great and became very close, and continue to keep in touch. After my first visit to the toy library where I was to be volunteering I already had a sense of the amazing impact that was being had on the children there. Through the next two weeks I got to know the toy library teachers and the kids that attended. The teachers were all smiles and made myself and the other volunteers feel very welcome there. The kids were eager to play and learn some English and were happy to have any help I could provide them with their activities given my limited Spanish. I attended Spanish lessons every week day and found it very rewarding to begin to be able to converse with the kids a bit as I picked up the language. I observed and helped implement important lessons learned by the children about peace and love, how to protect themselves, and how to respect themselves and others. I also had enough free time to explore the local beach and nearby sites on the Yucatan, including the amazing Tulum ruins and some cenotes (sinkholes filled with cool clear water that can be snorkelled). Leaving the program, I feel as though I now am more aware of the diverse array of humanitarian needs at all corners of our planet, and now recognize the many ways I can harness my own abilities to make a difference for others in need. I can't wait to travel with GVI once again and continue to make an impact!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 13, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
Age:
21

I recently embarked upon an incredible and life-changing two-week journey in the beautiful city of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico participating in the Childcare and Arts program. To start my week off I met up with my fellow volunteers, Josie, Christie and Tom who are also from Australia, and Camilla and Josh who are from the Isle of Mann and Canada.
Instantly I can’t believe how lucky I am to be spending two weeks in this fascinating place with such awesome people! Everybody has such amazing stories to tell, and I’ve had such a great time getting to know everybody. As this is my first volunteer trip abroad I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but everybody has been so welcoming. Mexican people are all very friendly and the culture here is so vastly different to the one I am accustomed to back home in Australia!
Family and love form a very strong basis of the values shared by the people here.
There is so much happening I almost don’t know where to look first! The streets are alive and buzzing with people selling everything from intricate little trinkets to the most delicious authentic Mexican cuisines!
In my first week we also began Spanish lessons at the local Spanish school. It has been an incredible learning curve trying to master a whole new language in the space of two weeks!
The highlight has been spending my time at the local Ludoteca (toy libraries) with the children and Ludotecarias. It is customary for both students and Ludotecarias (teachers) to greet visitors with a hug and a kiss! It is lovely to be immersed in a culture that is so affectionate and promote such strong values such as family, love and peace. The children are all so beautiful and friendly, and so enthusiastic to get to know us and where we come from. It is certainly a different world, coming from a highly industrialized country and working facilities into a place that is still growing and expanding. The Ludotecarias do an amazing job, and the children are all keen to learn and have such amazingly bright and positive attitudes! Their beautiful smiles are infectious and you can’t help but feel so happy to be there! It’s truly an incredible feeling to know you are making a difference. This has by far been the best, most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my life to date and I wish I didn’t have to leave! To anybody who is considering volunteering – DO IT! It will change your life in more ways than you can imagine!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 8, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
24

I had wanted to volunteer for a long time when I came across the GVI teaching project in Laos. I had heard many stories about volunteering overseas and I was hesitant to commit as I wasn't sure what to expect, and as a student I only had one chance to spend the money and go for it. If only I had known just how amazing this trip would be I would have gone years ago! If you are interested in travel through South East Asia I would strongly encourage you to consider teaching in Laos. Even if you can only commit to 2 weeks the impact it will have on you will be life changing. Even if you doubt your teaching abilities or your confidence in English the staff will have you running your own lessons in no time.The town itself is quite developed so I'd recommend this to people who like some level of comfort. You stay in a guesthouse which is more akin in my opinion to a 2 or 3 star hotel. When I went we had our own rooms with en-suites overlooking the river, the family are so welcoming and friendly and will treat you like one of their own if you do the same. This is a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend to anyone considering a trip to Asia. The GVI staff are fantastic and I promise you will learn more about Laos on this project than you will simply by traveling (as great as that is!). I really enjoyed my time in Luang Prabang, and whilst the first week was a bit hard adjusting to a new place, the people you meet, both locals and fellow volunteers make it all that much easier. You get to work and be productive, yet at the same time you will have enough free time to explore this beautiful part of the world. By the end, you will not want to leave. The people in Laos are the most friendly, welcoming, funny people I've come across in my travels, and the insight you get working as a teacher in this country will stay with you throughout all your future adventures. Don't hesitate, book it today, you won't be sorry!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 6, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: mwalker90
Age:
22

Pages