Building Stronger Connections

Construction internships

Gain valuable experience to boost your career while making a tangible impact in vulnerable communities

Get meaningful hands-on experience and a chance to develop your practical skills by joining one of our construction internship programs. 

As a construction intern, you’ll become a temporary GVI team member who’ll work alongside our local partners and masons 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.

Whether you need to do a research project, or just want to get your hands dirty and experience what it’s like working on an actual community project, we have a construction internship program to suit your goals.

Ready to work hard while having fun, learn from experts, have impact, and get a new global perspective?

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

Our programs are partnered with locally-led projects that are at the forefront of inclusive, actionable community engagement and development.
Ethical

Ethical

We pledge to do good only through meaningful, considered action that can make a proven difference in the world.
Sustainable

Sustainable

Using the UN’s SDGs as a framework, we’re committed to community development solutions that are built to have a lasting, positive impact.

What are construction internships all about?

Overview
Types
Locations
FAQs

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.

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

With GVI, you’ll have the opportunity to customise your construction internship program, based on your goals and expectations. 

Our internships are available as one of three internship types: 

You’ll also be able to choose your program duration, with options of between four to 24 weeks, and start dates occurring every two weeks.

Research internship

If you’re after an advanced experience in field research, or if you’re in the process of completing a thesis or research paper during your studies – sign up for the research internship option.

In our construction research internships, we’ll support you in collecting and analysing data that you’ll use in your write-up, and our local social impact experts will demonstrate their field research methodologies in practice.

Career internship

On a career internship focusing on construction, you’ll work closely with GVI’s global partners to complete a range of real projects that’ll give you a more advanced and specialised experience to enhance your future employability as a sustainable development practitioner. 

This type of construction internship will give you a leg up in your career as a sustainable development practitioner. You may be tasked with things like researching rainwater harvesting systems, looking at the effects of positive changes in school infrastructure on learner performance, or observing the effects of a vegetable garden in the overall food security of a community.

Core internship

If you aren’t too sure which direction your career is heading, you might want to opt for a more general experience that’ll give you insight into a broader range of roles. If that sounds spot on – then a core internship focused on construction is the one for you. 

Core interns won’t have extensive research tasks or be involved in additional project work with our international partners. Instead you’ll be getting a taste of different types of projects and tasks by leading surveys, program activities or workshops. You might also help with fundraisers, organising testimonials or even help create content for social media and blogs!

Not sure which of these will suit you best? Talk to one of our program experts who will talk you through each of the options available to you to help you find your perfect match.

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?

Nepal

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.

Fiji

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 focused on research, career or core yet; or whether you’d like to go to Fiji or Nepal; and 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 four 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.

⭐ September special offer on community internships

Book by 30 September 2022
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