Service Learning

Service Learning

Our global service learning programs for high school students blend classroom learning, research and hands-on service involvement. We’re dedicated to equipping tomorrow’s leaders with the mental, emotional and social tools they need. With a commitment to sustainability and lasting influence, we actively participate in year-round project collaborations with trusted partners.



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.


What is service learning?

Service learning is a way of learning that takes place when students, teachers and community members team up. They join forces with community organisations to engage in activities connected to their school lessons. It’s a mutual partnership where everyone learns and develops side by side. We guide students in thinking critically about their experiences before, during and after participating in our programs to learn and reflect on what they’ve achieved.

Global change and personal development

We take pride in aligning our program objectives with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, reinforcing our contribution to worldwide initiatives aimed at creating a more positive global impact. Our dedication goes beyond short-term solutions. We are dedicated to driving sustainable, lasting change within the communities we work. Additionally, we place a strong emphasis on the personal growth and development of every participant engaged in our programs.

Working towards lasting change

Our goal is to create a worldwide community of individuals driven by the desire to contribute to long-term positive change. To achieve this, we work in partnership with local organisations, like SASANE in Nepal. SASANE is a non-profit dedicated to empowering survivors of human trafficking through education and employment opportunities. Our partnerships, combined with the commitment of our alumni, community partners and staff, drives enduring change.

Choose your path

By joining one of our service learning programs, students have the chance to contribute to programs that focus on community development, covering important topics like education, women’s empowerment and global public health.

These projects are a perfect fit for students studying related disciplines. We also have the flexibility to tailor these programs to match specific learning goals and skill development.

Our school trips abroad are tailor-made for high school students looking for international adventures in countries like Cambodia, Nepal, South Africa and Thailand. Under the guidance of industry experts, students take part in community-focused projects with a tangible impact. These trips offer the perfect mix of adventure, learning and service, providing an unforgettable experience and the opportunity to contribute positively to the world.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia is a fantastic destination for school trips abroad. Our community hub is conveniently situated at the heart of Siem Reap, a city renowned for its diverse architecture, vibrant markets, delicious street food and scenic riverside locations.

On our community development program students engage in sustainable long-term projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – with a focus on teaching, childcare, healthcare and women’s empowerment initiatives.

Beyond exploring the Angkor Wat temple, students have the chance to take part in a four-day jungle trek through the Cardamom Mountains and visit the vibrant city of Phnom Penh.

Pokhara, Nepal

Get ready for an amazing journey with our high school group program in Nepal. Just imagine the stunning Annapurna mountain range right there in front of you, making the whole experience even more awe-inspiring!

Situated in the city of Pokhara, students on our community development experience will work to improve the educational facilities at nearby schools. Alongside visits to local temples, students will have the chance to master the art of crafting traditional dumplings called “momos”, experiencing the rich flavours and cultural heritage of Nepal.

After that, students can explore the Annapurna Sanctuary and ascend Poon Hill, known as the Annapurna Sunrise Trek. They’ll stay in Nepali tea houses for a Himalayan adventure.

Cape Town, South Africa

In South Africa, we offer a group program in the vibrant city of Cape Town. Famous for its cultural mix, stunning natural beauty, and iconic sites like Table Mountain, Cape Town guarantees an unforgettable adventure.

Throughout our community development experience students participate in programs aimed at enhancing education and community development. Depending on the needs of our partners, this might include support for sustainable sports programs and early childhood development initiatives.

As a part of the journey, students will learn about South Africa’s history. They’ll also have the opportunity to hike up Table Mountain, take a ferry to Robben Island, and venture along the coastline, with the chance to spot African penguins.

Phang Nga, Thailand

Thailand is a highly sought-after destination for school trips abroad. Nestled in the beautiful Phang Nga province, our community hub is located in the beachside town of Ban Nam Khem.

Our community development program in Phang Nga lets students actively engage in local education initiatives, making a tangible impact. They also contribute towards environmental conservation at a turtle centre, performing tasks such as tank maintenance and data recording. These hands-on activities not only benefit the community but also add to our scientific database, offering an immersive learning experience in both education and conservation.

Students can also visit the Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Museum and enjoy Khao Sok National Park’s beauty. Phang Nga offers natural wonder, exciting experiences and meaningful community involvement.

Conservation programs

Our school trips abroad also include programs that focus on wildlife and marine conservation in the following countries:



Speak to your enrolment manager for more information on further destinations available.

Our service learning curriculum introduces students to sustainable development, both in content and practice. Using the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), this provides an opportunity to examine the complexities of global challenges and opportunities and the interconnections among them. Each service learning project is co-created with local community members to advance one or more of the UN SDGs in accordance with short- and long-term strategic planning undertaken collaboratively by the local community and GVI.

Our global service learning programs incorporate primary learning goals, each of which is composed of specific student learning objectives that guide the design of daily and weekly activities. Service work is an integral part of our course design, and is accompanied by integrated reflection periods, field excursions and a mutual learning model whereby students work/learn alongside community members. Our service learning courses also focus on personal, civic and professional development, with particular attention to employability and global citizenship, which are just a few of the benefits of service learning.

Hear from students and educators

Hear from students and educators

“After eight weeks of participating in a wide variety of activities as a 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 recognise 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.”

– Emma, Duke University

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Our ultimate guide to group programs

Group programs brochure

Over the last two decades, GVI has established itself as the world-leader in purpose-driven group expeditions. We have three GVI Expedition itinerary types to choose from that have been carefully developed to meet certain goals and learning outcomes. We’re building a global network of people, united by their passion to make a difference. Find out everything you need to know to start your group adventure.