TRAVEL UPDATE: We're open! Where can I go? and answers to your questions about COVID-19
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Last Updated: July 27, 2020

By submitting your application for a Practical Program (fieldwork or travel programs) you (the "Participant") confirm you accept and agree to these terms. If you submit an application for an Online course and then subsequently choose to also do any Practical Programs you will also be confirming that you accept and agree to these terms.

You will enter into a binding legal agreement with Experiential Education Ltd, which trades as GVI (“GVI”, “we”, “us”, “our”). Please ensure you read them carefully and do not hesitate to ask your Enrollment Manager any questions about them before you complete your booking.

Services Provided

GVI agrees to organise and set up a Program and/or other course(s) as agreed upon in writing between you and GVI. Services include, but may not be limited to:

    • Arranging full pre-departure briefings on the telephone and via email;
    • Providing a program field manual;
    • Arranging suitable accommodation and food, where applicable, for the duration of the program (details are outlined on the “what’s included section of the website program page and the field manual);
    • Arrange for transfers to and from the airport in the chosen country where indicated in the program field manual;
    • Arranging Program Leaders to lead and manage Programs where required; 
    • Arranging the provision of Program equipment, training and training materials relevant to the Program; 
    • Providing and maintaining a full international support structure;
    • Providing a 24-hour emergency desk; and
    • Providing international travel assistance and advice.

Please note, our program activities as defined on our website and in enrollment materials are based on currently available activities. GVI reserves the right to substitute or change these activities based on the needs of our local communities and in-field partners. We will do our utmost to keep you updated on any changes prior to your program commencement; however, this cannot be guaranteed.

Any information we provide, including but not limited to information about visas, vaccinations, healthcare, climate, baggage, group sizes and special equipment is given in good faith for informational purposes only.

Refusal of Service

GVI reserves the right to refuse to offer their services to you, at any time, for any reason. 

Application Process

During the application process you will be asked to provide the following information:

    • Legal name
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • Date of Birth
    • Swimming ability
    • Criminal history
    • Medical history - including mental health, current medications and any medical requirements
    • Dietary requirements
    • Citizenship & country of residence

You confirm that all information you provide during the application process is complete and correct. You must update GVI if this information changes prior to  your program commencement or during your program. Failure to provide complete, accurate and truthful information on the application will be grounds for cancellation without refund.

Privacy Policy and Data Protection

Personal Data and Data protection is handled in line with our Privacy Policy.

Documentation Required


You are required to secure travel and medical insurance to protect you against losses caused by travel, loss or damage of baggage and or personal effects by any means, non-refundable airfare, emergency medical evacuation and other medical expenses. It is strongly recommended that you purchase trip cancellation cover to protect yourself against losses relating to your inability to travel for medical reasons or if someone in your family takes ill or dies suddenly. The policy must cover the entire duration of your GVI program and include manual, conservation and volunteer work where applicable. GVI cannot be held responsible for loss or damage of personal effects by any means whatsoever. The details of your insurance policy must be provided prior to program commencement for your protection.

Background/police check

You must supply a background (police) check at your own expense. Details on how to complete this process will be supplied prior to commencing fieldwork. You agree that your participation on a GVI program is subject to the outcome of this check. As per the Application Process clause of these terms, failure to disclose in advance any known criminal history is grounds for cancellation of your program without refund.

Health & Medical Forms

A medical form, and a PADI medical form, if applicable, will be provided at the time of booking and must be completed at least 8 weeks prior to program commencement. As per the Application Process clause of these terms, failure to disclose any known medical conditions is grounds for cancellation of your program without refund.

GVI reserves the right to request a negative COVID-19 test, no less than 72 hours prior to your arrival at your GVI destination. Should you be unable to obtain this test in your home country, please contact your Support Coordinator no less than 7 days prior to your program start date. All participants will be screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms upon arrival and throughout their GVI program. Any participant suspected of having COVID-19, at any point during their GVI program, will be required to quarantine at their own expense until they can present a negative COVID-19 test. GVI staff will support participants who are required to quarantine by providing them with suitable accommodation recommendations and daily check ins throughout their quarantine period.

GVI Program Managers are not medical professionals, and the standards of medical care in countries where GVI operates are likely to be lower than you may be used to. You, and your primary care physician, are responsible for ensuring you are able to manage your own mental and physical wellbeing, including administering any medication, for the entirety of your GVI Program.

It is your responsibility to visit a local travel clinic and ensure you have any necessary vaccines or medications for the full duration of your GVI Program. 

GVI reserves the right to require documentation from a doctor or specialist and/or to consult with their own medical and mental health professionals regarding your physical and mental fitness to undertake this program. 

GVI reserves the right to reject or cancel a booking on the grounds of either doctor’s comments or advice. Any additional medical documentation GVI requires will be at your own expense.

Emergency Contact

Prior to program commencement, you must supply us with emergency contact details of a friend or family member. We reserve the right to contact this person should we deem it necessary.

Other documentation

In order to comply with local visa and permit requirements, you may also be required to provide additional documentation including, but not limited to, passport details, flight arrival and departure information. A full list will be provided at the time of booking. If this information is not provided by the deadline stipulated at the time of booking, GVI may have to cancel your booking without refund.

Visas & Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure you have any necessary visas and a valid passport for your program. Any visa information provided by GVI is done in good faith and GVI cannot be held responsible for any country’s decision to change visa rules, deny a visa application, refuse entry, exit or the right of passage (national and local laws governing immigration). We bear no liability for any losses you may incur arising from any such action. In certain cases, GVI may require the participant to enter the country on a specific visa to comply with local country laws and regulations. Specific information will be provided at the time of booking. 

Program Fees

PLEASE NOTE THAT GENERALLY ALL PAYMENTS MADE ARE NON-REFUNDABLE, except for the exceptions listed in these Terms and Conditions and on our Payment Plans page.

GVI's current program fees are displayed on the website and are subject to change without notice. What is included in your program fee will be displayed on the “What’s Included?” tab on the program page.

From time to time, GVI’s Enrollment Managers may award scholarships in line with GVI’s impact aims. These are awarded at GVI’s discretion and are non-transferable.

Your total program fee will be outlined in your acceptance email (subject line “Congratulations! What’s Next?”). 

You will be quoted in the currency of your home country (e.g. country of current permanent residence) and are not eligible to pay in other currencies unless GVI does not offer the currency of your home country. GVI accepts payments in GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, PLN and ZAR. Currency exchange rates are set at GVI’s discretion and do not necessarily reflect current market exchange rates. 

You will have three payment plans for your booking. The details of which, can be found on our Payment Plans page. You will be asked which plan you prefer at the time of booking. Any additional fees will be outlined in your acceptance email (subject line: “Congratulations! What’s Next?”).

GVI reserves the right to add a weekly COVID-19 Health and Hygiene Fee. This fee is R855 per week to cover costs related to reducing the risk of exposing GVI participants and community members to COVID-19. You will be notified if this fee is applicable to your in-country program at least 2 weeks prior to your program start date. Payment of this fee, if applicable, will be due within 7 days of notification. Participants who fail to pay this fee, if required, will not be permitted to join their GVI program.

GVI accepts payments by debit card, credit card or bank (EFT) transfer. In the event you pay by credit/debit card, GVI will charge any subsequent payments to that same card on the date they are due.

Failure to pay on agreed upon due dates will incur a late payment fee of R425. 

Should your payment not be received within 7 days of your payment due date, GVI reserves the right to cancel your program, without refund.


If you elect to use the Fundraising Platform you will be required to pay the deposit applicable to your program immediately to secure your spot.

If you are a US-resident taxpayer, and you elect to use the Fundraising Platform, you will not be eligible to receive a donation receipt for any of your program payments.

Fundraising is subject to a Fundraising Fee over and above the normal program fee.

Final payment for your program will be due 3 months prior to program commencement. This is regardless of whether or not your full fundraising target has been reached.

You are permitted to continue fundraising even after you start your program in the field. The last date you will be permitted to fundraise until will be 1 week prior to the end of your program. Any amounts raised by you over and above the total cost of your program will be considered excess funds. Excess funds will be paid out to you, less any debit/credit card processing fees.  Payouts of excess funds may take up to 30 days to process.

Should you cancel your program, all funds allocated towards your program fee will be deemed non-refundable. Excess funds will be refunded as outlined in the clause above.

Cancellations & Refunds

Where GVI cancels or curtails a program

GVI reserves the right to cancel or curtail a Program if, in its sole discretion, it believes that circumstances warrant it. This includes cancellation because of Force Majeure (as described below). 

In all of the above cases where there is a cancellation, GVI’s first recourse will be to place you on an alternative Program. GVI will use reasonable efforts to match any alternative Program in accordance with your preferences. In the event that GVI is unable to provide you with a suitable alternative, you will be entitled to a refund of your program fee that has been paid. What is defined as a “suitable alternative” will be at the sole discretion of GVI. 

In cases of curtailment, your first recourse will be to claim the balance of your program fee from your insurance. In the event the reason for curtailment is not covered by insurance, GVI will refund the balance of your unused program fee which will be calculated based upon the services that have been rendered to date, not a pro-rata amount.  

On certain programs, GVI requires minimum numbers. GVI will notify you at the time of booking  if this applies to your program to ensure you do not book your flight prior to confirmation that we have sufficient numbers to run your program.  In the event minimum numbers are not reached, you will be notified at least 10 weeks prior to your program start date and given an alternative program and/or start date.

In all cases of cancellation by GVI, GVI will not refund you for any expenses incurred by you related to your program, including, but not limited to, airfare, visa expenses, insurance, documentation and equipment purchases. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

In all cases where GVI provides refunds, the refund will be made back to the original method of payment. In the event the credit or debit card has expired, the cardholder must contact their bank on how to recover the refunded funds. GVI will not refund alternate accounts or individuals.   All refunds incur a processing fee of R170.

Where you choose to cancel your program

In the event you cancel or curtail your program for any reason, any program fees paid will be non-refundable. Should you wish to have the option to receive a refund when you cancel, you must:

    1. Pay in full at the time of booking, and 
    2. Purchase the Cancellation Waiver at the time of booking.The cost of the cancellation waiver is between R5390 - R8790 depending on the length of your program.

In the event both of the above cases apply, and you have not requested a tax-deductible receipt, you will be able to cancel your program for a full refund, less your program deposit of R2700 and the Cancellation Waiver fee, up to 48-hours prior to your program start date.

If you have the cancellation waiver and decide to cancel your program, and you or the person who paid for your program had requested a tax deductible receipt then your refund will be your program fees, less the R2700 program deposit fee, less the cancellation waiver fee and less the donation amount you or the payer gave. The donation amount is stipulated in your program acceptance email (subject line: “Congratulations! What’s Next?”). The cancellation request must still be received by us 48 hours or more before your start date.

Please note: You must pay for your cancellation waiver at the time that you pay for your program – it cannot be taken up at a later stage.


Participants may be eligible to transfer their program to another start date, duration or location at GVI’s discretion. 

Please note:

    • All transfers will incur a transfer fee, which must be paid at the time of transfer to secure the new program. Fees range from R900 - R2700 and can change without notice;
    • If you have purchased the cancellation waiver then no transfer fee will be charged on your first transfer only, provided you request the transfer at least 8 weeks before your current start date
    • The payment schedule of your original booking will remain in place;
    • Any payments remain non-refundable, subject to the cancellation waiver where applicable;
    • You will not be eligible for a refund of any program fee differences in the event you choose a program with a lower cost unless you have purchased the cancellation waiver; and
    • You will forfeit any Scholarship or other discount applied to your original booking.

Your intended transfer must be to either a date, location or program type shown as available on the website and you must specify this when you inform us of your request to transfer. Dates, locations and program types are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. Transfers will be confirmed in writing by GVI.

Tax Receipts/Donation Receipts

GVI is working with a US public charity called GVI Charitable Programs. The entity is exempted under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Potential tax deductions will be subject to the discretion of the IRS.

US Resident Taxpayers can opt to donate a portion of their program fees in excess of the value of goods and services provided to the participant. If you wish receive a donation receipt you must:

    1. request one when making your initial program payment, via the tick-box on the payment page. You cannot request a donation receipt at a later date.
    2. Pay for your program fee in USD.

Donations will be used in line with GVI Charitable Programs’ exempt purposes and it retains ultimate authority and discretion on how donations will be used. Donations are completely non-refundable in all circumstances.

Only a portion of your program fee will be deemed a “donation” on the receipt. The exact amount will be outlined in your acceptance email (subject: “Congratulations! What’s Next?”).

US resident taxpayers paying for a GVI program must consult their tax advisor regarding the tax implications of the donation component of their payment.

Payments made via the GVI Fundraising platform are not eligible for tax-deductible receipts.

Under 18's

If you are under the age of 18, and a legal guardian is travelling with you, they will be entering into this agreement on your behalf by completing your application for a Program.

If you are under 18, and will be travelling unaccompanied, your legal guardian must print and sign this document, and enter into this agreement on your behalf,  in order to confirm your place on your program. 

GVI will also provide a consent & release form, which all of your legal guardians must sign and notarize, at least 8 weeks prior to departure.

On Your GVI Program

Health & Safety

You must always respect and follow the health and safety procedures as set out by GVI, the Program Leaders and/or the representative in the host country.

GVI reserves the right to search your bag, room or property where there is deemed a health and safety, legal or other serious risk including the possession of illegal and illicit substances, including marijuana.

In the event you break any local laws, we will bear no liability and will not be required to mediate on your behalf with local authorities.

GVI’s Program Leaders reserve the right to make decisions on your emergency medical care deemed essential by the most qualified in-country staff member in the event you are not able to do so and GVI will not be held liable for the outcome of such care.

Disciplinary Procedures including Expulsion

GVI reserves the right to issue a warning of any kind, including dismissal, regardless of whether any warnings have been given. All disciplinary action will be documented and take place in front of a witness, where appropriate.

Your first offence will usually result in a verbal warning or written warning where appropriate. Repeated offences following a warning could lead to a written warning or a final written warning as appropriate. Thereafter any further offences will result in dismissal.

A full list of program and in-country  rules, regulations and procedures will be provided at the start of your program, during your health & safety briefing. 

The following non-exhaustive list details actions that are grounds for immediate expulsion:

    • Possession, taking, or supplying of illegal or mind-altering substances, including marijuana;
    • Consuming alcohol or being intoxicated while on project or interacting with GVI’s program partners;
    • Breaking local laws;
    • Bullying, displaying cruel, thoughtless or rude behaviour or committing acts which could injure or harm another Participant, a Program Leader, a member of staff, community member or any other person;
    • Disobeying GVI’s, the Program Leader’s or the representative in the host country’s instructions in relation to health and safety; 
    • Disruption or obstruction of Program activities
    • If the Program Leaders feel it is in the best interests of your health and safety or the program in general; and/or
    • Committing an act or displaying behaviour which could jeopardise future GVI Programs within the host country or lead to the souring of relations between GVI and the host communities or host country.

In the event of expulsion for any reason, you will not be entitled to any reimbursement from GVI, nor will GVI be responsible for any additional costs incurred by you as a result of expulsion.

Any requests to dispute dismissal must be put in writing to [email protected]. GVI will then provide an off site senior manager to review the case and make a full and final decision. 


If you are joining a long-term internship with work-placements at GVI or partner organizations, you will be required to complete and pass ongoing assessments in order to be offered a placement or continuation of your current placement. These assessments are academic, practical, and based on general performance and behaviour all of which will be marked through continuous assessment and performance reviews. Placements are offered at the full discretion of GVI and no refund will be issued in the event that you are not offered a Placement.

Activities outside of GVI

International travel provides an opportunity for various tourist activities and experiences. We cannot bear any liability for activities that you choose to undertake that are not officially included in your GVI. What is included in the program is laid out in the “What’s Included” tab on your chosen program’s page on our website. These rules apply regardless of whether we introduce or recommend a given activity or provider.

Program Data

Any research, data, reports, photographs and documentation collected by you on your GVI program remains the property of GVI or our in-country partners. GVI or our in-country partner’s permission must be received before that data can be used (e.g. before you can include it in a research or scientific paper). No compensation will be provided to you for any data or research you collect.

Any program equipment provided in-country remains the property of GVI and must be returned in good, working order upon conclusion of your GVI program. In the event such equipment is lost or damaged due to negligence, you must pay for or replace it.

Program Media

Any photographs, videos or multimedia you product or give to GVI may be used in promotional or commercial materials by us. You will not be paid in any way for the material or for its use.


You should direct any in writing to [email protected] GVI will not engage with complaints made by third parties unless explicitly directed in writing by you. Where you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must explicitly direct GVI to engage with a third party regarding you or your participation.

Should GVI be unable to resolve a serious complaint, you must refer the matter to the legally binding arbitration service, Dispute Settlement Services LTD, at your expense. Should we be found to be in the wrong, your reasonable costs of filing the dispute will be reimbursed by order of the arbitration body.

Personal Risk

You accept that you will be subjected to various emotional, physical and psychological demands by participating on a Program. You are aware and accept that the standard of living in the relevant country, including food, hygiene and accommodation, may be below the general standards of your own country.

You also understand that certain risks may arise, including, but not limited to:

    • hazards of travelling in remote areas; 
    • travel by automobile, van, bus, aeroplane, boat, train or any other means of conveyance; 
    • the forces of nature; 
    • civil disturbances; 
    • national or international conflicts; 
    • terrorism; 
    • arbitrary itinerary changes made by foreign governments or vendors; 
    • dive related accidents, boat accidents; 
    • interacting with dangerous wildlife; 
    • personal injury or illness from the local environment; 
    • accident or illness in remote locations without immediate evacuation or medical facilities; or
    • negligent acts of third parties. 

You confirm and agree to all of the following:

    • you understand these and other risks inherent in such a program;
    • you also confirm that your participation is completely voluntary;
    • you assume all risk associated with your fieldwork;
    • you agree to indemnify us and those involved in delivering the fieldwork component against any claims of any kind that arise from your participation. 
    • These claims include those arising both directly and indirectly from your participation in the program.


GVI will not pay financial compensation which exceeds the amount of your program fee, as outlined in your acceptance email (subject “Congratulations! What’s Next?”), except in cases of death or personal injury caused by GVI’s gross negligence.

In cases of death or personal injury caused by GVI’s gross negligence, any liability by GVI and/or its employees and/or its agents is limited to the financial amount that will be paid out by the insurance policies in GVI’s name. If no compensation is received from these policies, then any and all liability whatsoever, including without limitation, claims grounded in negligence, is hereby limited to a maximum amount of R38 000.

Force Majeure

We bear no liability of non-performance, delay in performance of any of our obligations under this agreement where the failure is caused by circumstances or anticipated circumstances beyond our reasonable control such as:

    • Acts of God such as natural disasters or disease outbreaks etc
    • War
    • Acts of terrorism
    • Riots or civil unrest
    • Fire
    • Acts or changes in sovereign law or other official government action.

Where force majeure results in cancellation of your program, your program fees will remain non-refundable. We will always do our best to find a suitable alternative program for you in any such event.

Application & Governing Law

In the event of your death, the terms of this agreement will further extend to the your heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns.

English (UK) Law shall apply to this Agreement and the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.