Explore conservation.
Experience adventure.


2–12 weeks

Internships at a glance

Experience diverse
Contribute to
vital research
Work for real
project partners
Gain skills
to stand out
Live in
remote habitats


Participant Testimonial
Participant Testimonial


Top benefits of joining an international internship

You’re passionate about animals, wildlife and conservation. But figuring out which career path you’d like to pursue can feel complex. 

If you’d like to gain experience working at one of our international locations to explore which career path is best for you, then a GVI internship is for you. Here are some of the reasons for joining an internship abroad in the fight against biodiversity loss:

Experience a broad range of conservation programs

To make sure you get a taste of a variety of impactful environmental initiatives, our internship programs won’t just assign you to one project. Through our network of local partners, NGOs, organisations and government agencies in each of our locations, you’ll get to explore a world of opportunities. 

Our internships are a great way to get one step closer to knowing which direction you’d like to take your career.

Get hands-on fieldwork experience

During an internship abroad, you won’t just get exposure to conservation projects – you’ll get stuck into really impactful work with our local partners.

You’ll get an amazing opportunity to join impactful projects, learn from the best in the business through practical training sessions, and implement what you’ve learnt right then and there. 

Adding your international internship experience to your CV will greatly boost your employability and set you apart from other job applicants.

Contribute to important conservation research

At each of GVI’s hubs, we continuously conduct research to support ongoing local conservation projects. When you join an internship abroad, you’ll contribute to real, cutting-edge research that is used to guide and influence sustainable initiatives to ensure the maximum impact. 

Under the supervision of our impact director, GVI has been cited on Google Scholar over 1,000 times. By gathering and capturing data, and implementing various research methodologies, you’ll enable our team of scientists to contribute to meaningful work that gets published.

Work for real project partners

At each of our bases, GVI partners with local partners to implement conservation projects to address the environmental challenges in the area. And during an internship abroad, you’ll get the amazing opportunity to work with GVI and our team of experts, but also with local organisations, NGOs and government organisations.

Develop leadership skills

During an internship you’ll get to participate in interactive leadership training sessions and get assigned certain responsibilities and assignments, to teach you real-world leadership skills.

You could organise fundraising events and beach cleanups, or lead workshops and surveys – depending on the project needs and goals at the time. In the end, you’ll walk away feeling confident to take charge of any study or work projects that might come your way.

Become employable

An internship abroad offers so many benefits to boost your career.

You’ll learn specific and transferable skills that will give you that edge in the workplace – or when you apply for that job you’ve been dreaming of. You’ll add in-demand skills to your CV, and you’ll also get a LinkedIn reference that will be visible to potential employers.

When you complete an internship of 12 or more weeks, we’ll also give you our career guarantee – meaning that if you don’t get an impact-driven position within 18 months, we’ll return 50% of your program fee. 

You’ll also get access to the following career benefits:

  • one-on-one mentoring sessions
  • advanced leadership training
  • job portal access
  • career coaching sessions.

Live on a remote research station 

This is one of the reasons that make GVI internships so special – you’ll venture off the beaten track and live immersed in nature, on one of our research stations. You’ll get exclusive access to vulnerable habitats and rare species – which will leave you feeling like a true National Geographic explorer.

Have the time of your life

Our internships are jam-packed with fun and adventurous activities that will make you feel alive! You might go on hikes, play games in the evenings, explore nearby towns and attractions, and share stories and unique ideas.

The best part? You’ll get to experience it all with changemakers from all over the world – and trust us, they’ll soon feel like family.

Types of internship programs

Want to take part in an internship abroad that combines travel adventures with impact-driven work and learning experiences – all rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)?

By joining an internship, you’ll develop valuable skills and get your foot in the door to your dream job. It also helps you to figure out if careers in scuba-diving, environmental science or wildlife conservation are what you actually want. 

Here are some of the nature conservation internship program types that GVI offers:

Marine conservation internships

As a marine conservation intern, you could lead sea turtle beach surveys and sicklefin lemon shark monitoring sessions in Seychelles. You might organise habitat mapping activities for coral reefs and mangrove forests in Fiji. Or set up camera trapping workshops on an island in Thailand to assist a local governmental organisation with species research. 

Joining a GVI marine conservation internship means that you’ll be enrolled in the GVI Online Marine Conservation specialisation course. You’ll also complete the Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality segment of the PADI Divemaster course. This speciality is included in all GVI marine programs of two weeks or more and was uniquely developed in collaboration with PADI. 

Depending on your chosen internship, you might also earn additional PADI dive qualifications, such as the PADI Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver certifications.  

Wildlife conservation internships

The wildlife conservation industry is highly competitive. How can you successfully stand out from the crowd? 

Field experts say there are three factors that stand between you and your dream job. This includes experience in different geographical locations, your contributions to wildlife and environmental conservation, and your understanding of the health and safety procedures involved. 

Their advice? Join an international internship. You’ll gain the skills, experience and geographical reach you need. An internship is also a great way to figure out which specific career path in wildlife conservation you’d like to pursue. 

Our wildlife conservation internships include the GVI Online Wildlife Conservation specialisation course. Depending on your chosen internship focus and duration, you may also gain your Emergency First Response (EFR) qualification. 

As an intern, you could lead bird identification surveys while kayaking down the jungle canals of Costa Rica or use telemetry techniques to track big cats and other predators in a private nature reserve in Limpopo, South Africa.  

Endangered species conservation internships

Join scientists and researchers working on vital projects to protect our most vulnerable species, and get unique project work experience in the process.

Boost your resume with practical skills that can set you on the path to a career in sustainable development. This is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience some of our planet’s most remarkable species in their natural habitats. Some of these include jaguars, sea turtles, white-handed gibbons, Asian elephants, lemurs, chameleons, pilot whales, rhinos and lions.

Community-based conservation internships

Get the opportunity to work alongside communities to conserve habitats, ecosystems and species in an inclusive and participatory way.

Experience projects that bridge the gap between environmental science, and local communities. Participate in conservation projects that require actively engaging with and providing benefits for local communities.

Learn from the perspectives of people who have always lived alongside wildlife and their indigenous knowledge. 

Animal care internships

You get people who like animals – and then you get people who are passionate about animals and who are eager to contribute efforts to protect them.

If that’s you – join an animal care internship abroad and get the opportunity to work towards a career as a conservationist, wildlife biologist, animal-care supervisor and more. 

You’ll work in some of the most beautiful habitats in the world on verified and ethical wildlife projects. Our programs maintain an ethical approach to engaging with animals and habitats, so you know you’re making a positive impact without harming wildlife.

From researching lemurs or jaguars, to conducting health checks on sea turtles to rehabilitating forest elephants – our animal care internships expose you to impactful opportunities with rare species.

Community development internships

GVI also offers people-centred where you get to use your specific skills and interests, to contribute to community challenges. Live and work immersed in beautiful communities while you partner and learn from locally-led projects. Take a look at our community development internships, which include focus areas like teaching, public health and community development.

Where can I intern abroad?  

What’s better than a summer spent abroad swimming and working on marine conservation in the clear blue waters along the Caribbean coast of Mexico, adventuring through the jungles of Costa Rica, or going on a safari drive in one of Africa’s largest game reserves? 

International internships in Seychelles

Seychelles is home to some of the world’s rarest and most endangered species, including its coco de mer trees and many endemic birds. Comprising over 100 islands, the archipelago boasts summery white-sand beaches, and 30% of its deep blue waters are marine protected areas.

GVI projects take place in Mahe, the largest island in Seychelles. 

Here, you can join marine conservation internships, environmental internships, a PADI Divemaster internship or communications and social media internships. Project work ranges from wildlife preservation efforts to conservation of mangrove forests.  

You’ll directly support Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships in South Africa

South Africa is perhaps most well-known for its wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. However, it’s also a country that holds flourishing nature reserves, eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a famous national history. 

GVI South Africa participants are based in two locations, in Limpopo’s Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region and in the coastal city of Cape Town. Internships in these locations include wildlife conservation internships, wildlife research internships, community development internships and women’s empowerment internships. You’ll also have the opportunity to join a teaching internship, sports internship or public health internship.

Your work will contribute to Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 15: Life on Land and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

International internships In Thailand

GVI operates in Phang Nga, a southern province along the Andaman Sea of Thailand, and in Chiang Mai, Mae Chaem district – a remote, mountainous location in the north. 

Along the southern coast of Thailand, you’ll find sun-drenched beaches, towering limestone islands, and diverse marine life. It’s also where we collaborate with local organisations working to conserve the region’s habitats and species, like the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle. 

In the north, you’ll come across vivid green rice fields and hiking trails with views of sun-filled valleys and misty mountain ridges. Here, you’ll work alongside traditional Karen hill tribe community members. 

The country’s immense biodiversity provides an array of opportunities to get involved in sustainable development internships. You could join conservation internships and environmental internships. Or you could support sea turtle and coastal conservation or elephant internship programs. Additionally, you could get involved in marine conservation internships and wildlife conservation internships.   

You’ll directly support Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships in Fiji

Fiji contains over 40% of the world’s coral species. Yet, coral reefs are currently under threat from a number of external factors, such as plastic pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and the climate crisis. 

We’re located in two Pacific regions, including Caqalai, a small island located east of Fiji’s main island, and the Dawasamu district of Viti Levu, where we’re located just five minutes away from the beach.

You could participate in environmental internships, marine conservation internships, public health internships, teaching internships, PADI Divemaster internships and community development internships. 

Your efforts will contribute to Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships In Greece

Get involved in conservation internships in Giannitsochori, a town based along the west coast of Greece. Here, you’ll work alongside a local organisation to preserve loggerhead turtles.

You could visit the Neda waterfalls, just east of Giannitsochori, learn more about the country’s cultural heritage by exploring historical ruins and fortresses, or visit a variety of its Mediterranean beaches and observe panoramic views over the Ionian Sea. 

Your internship work will support Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships in Canary Islands, Spain

GVI interns live and work in Tenerife – the largest of the Atlantic’s Canary Islands – situated near the coast of Morocco. 

There’ve been 26 different whale and dolphin species spotted in the area, including the mighty blue whale. It’s estimated that a third of all whale and dolphin species either reside in or migrate through the island’s waters. You’re most likely to see the resident bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. This makes it a popular tourist destination with up to five million tourists visiting each year. However, this often leads to unsustainable tourism practices. 

By joining an internship program in Tenerife, you’ll work alongside local conservationists and marine biologists to research the long-term effects of this while promoting more ethical and sustainable tourism practices.

Internships include marine conservation internships and social media and communications internships. You’ll contribute directly to Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships in Costa Rica

Travel to Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve to live and work in the heart of the tropical jungle in the Costa Rican mountain ranges.

Did you know that Costa Rica holds almost 6% of the world’s biodiversity? It’s teeming with a variety of species – including the jaguar and endangered sea turtle.

Internships in Costa Rica focus on wildlife, marine and endangered animals. You’ll directly support Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

International internships in Mexico

The warm coastal waters of Puerto Morelos are not only home to the second largest coral reef system in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System – they’re also the base of GVI’s operations in Mexico. Here you’ll also find Mayan ruins, mangrove forests and the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.

Join other international interns on the shores of the Yucatán Peninsula and learn about the challenges faced by coastal communities and environmentalists in the region. Internships focus on coral reef research and restoration, and other conservation initiatives such as mangrove conservation and sustainable agriculture. 

You’ll support Goal 13: Climate Action and Goal 14: Life Below Water. 

International internships in Madagascar

Join our team in Nosy Be, Madagascar – an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. Madagascar is one of the world’s largest biodiversity hotspots and the plant and animal species here are found nowhere else on Earth.

The environment here is unique and vulnerable, and although conservation efforts here are fragile – it is imperative. 

As an intern, you’ll help with research on species such as lemurs, chameleons and sea turtles. 

You’ll support Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and and Goal 15: Life on Land.

Frequently asked questions about conservation internships abroad

How long are GVI internships?

We offer flexible duration options so you can find the right fit for the goals you would like to achieve from your internship. 

Our internships run from between 2–12 weeks, depending on the practical work you would like to take part in at the GVI base. If you would like a longer internship, we would recommend our research fellowship (where you can become a co-author and get published) or professional apprenticeship (where you can get a job placement with an NGO).

Can I reference my internship experience on my CV?

Yes, definitely! During the course of your Internship, you will complete a project that solves a problem for a real organisation and you will be able to add it to enhance your resume and discuss the project with employers. 

You will also get a certificate and a LinkedIn reference as a testimony to your accomplishments and the skills you have developed.

Can I get a job after my internship?

Our internships have been created to help you get an impact-driven job!

GVI has been working in sustainable development for more than two decades, and our team has a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully forge a career in sustainability. 

Our internships provide you with career support, during and after your program. Once you’ve completed your internship abroad, you’ll receive two career coaching sessions led by a remote career mentor. 

Additionally, you’ll gain access to GVI’s online job portal, where you’ll find the latest job postings for a variety of international development work. For interns completing a 12-week internship, we also offer a Career Guarantee.

Why join an internship abroad with GVI?

GVI has over two decades of experience running sustainable development programs in dozens of countries worldwide. We’ve worked with almost 40,000 participants and partnered with hundreds of communities, and major universities. 

We prioritise and train all our staff and participants in responsible travel and development best practices. Our ethics support principles of human, economic, intellectual, environmental and cultural empowerment. And all GVI program objectives are aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). We’re dedicated to making an impact, ethically. 

That’s why we’ve designed 4–12 week internships that deliver the most relevant, career-boosting training and work experiences – while you make a positive and sustainable impact in the world.

And you can rest assured during your internship abroad with us, your health and safety is our top priority and our comprehensive child protection policies, health guidelines and location risk assessments have earned us international safety awards

What are some of the skills I’ll learn during an internship abroad?

  • Leadership
  • Project management
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Resiliency
  • Time management
  • Volunteering
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Easily adaptable

What type of training and support will I receive?

To make sure you’re ready to make an impact when you join us on the ground, you’ll receive pre-departure online training with everything you need to know. This includes an online leadership course and a conservation specialisation course. 

Once you’ve wrapped up your program, you’ll have the opportunity to complete our careers course and two career coaching sessions that’ll help you determine your ideal career path, build your personal brand and kickstart your job search.

What if I’m not sure what program to choose?

GVI has a team of program experts who would love to help you find the best program to suit your interests and needs. You can request a callback, give us a ring or submit an enquiry – and you’ll be sorted in no time.

Real projects with real partners

Rhino Revolution
Anti-poaching initiatives in South Africa

Help to protect rhinos and other endangered species in the greater Kruger region.

Huay Pakoot Elephant Foundation
Asian elephant protection in Thailand

Help to reintegrate elephants into their natural habitat from the tourism industry.

Healthy Reefs
Reef conservation projects in Mexico

Partner with an international NGO to help conserve the Mesoamerican reef system in Mexico.

Endangered Wildlife Trust
Wildlife conservation initiatives in South Africa

Join on-the-ground projects to protect species, conserve habits and benefit communities.


Rare species. Exclusive access.

Kekoldi, Costa Rica

Mahe, Seychelles

Karongwe, South Africa

Cutting edge science. Published
research. Maximum impact.

Dr Vardhan Patankar
GVI Conservation Impact Director
  • PhD, Conservation Biology.
  • MSc Marine Sciences
  • Author, co-author and cited in over 400 academic papers.
GVI cited 1000+ times on


Stand out from the crowd

Conservation skills
  • Survey techniques
  • Climate change impact
  • Fauna and flora identification
  • Biodiversity and ecology
Leadership skills
  • Project management
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Time management
Soft skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

Kickstart your conservation career

When you complete an internship of 12+ weeks, we guarantee you’ll secure an impact-driven position within 18 months (or we’ll return 50% of your program fee).

View our career guarantee.

Internship Program
Subject Area
Foundation Certificate
Leading Teams for
Impact Certificate
Careers in Sustainable
Development Certificate
You'll also get:
  • Weekly group sessions
  • Internship supervisor guidance
  • Advanced leadership training
  • Job portal access
  • Career coaching sessions
  • Career course
  • LinkedIn reference
4–24 weeks

Work remotely on real projects for conservation partners.

4–24 weeks

Complete your thesis/ dissertation, be a co-author and get published.

24 weeks

Get a three month placement to work for a conservation partner.

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