Global Prep — 2018
Jul 3-6, 2018 -> Jul 21-24, 2018 Application deadline: April 1, 2018
Spend your summer volunteering in Seychelles, a group of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. You’ll be volunteering on Curieuse Island, which is a protected natural park and an ideal place to work with local plants and animals. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, you and your group will take part in critical research and conservation efforts as well as contribute to the long-term survival of endangered species like the giant tortoise and Coco de Mer palm trees. This is your opportunity to learn from a team of experienced staff and support the development of new conservation policies.
Your journey will begin in New Your City, where you’ll meet the other members of the group. Then you’ll travel together with your group leader to the airport at Mahe Island. After arriving in Mahe, you’ll be welcomed by local staff and take a ferry to Praslin Island. Once you settle in, you'll attend an orientation and dive straight into the details of your volunteer project. As you take in the natural beauty of this pristine destination, you may have the chance to taste some tropical fruits or munch on local dishes like coconut fish curry.
Under the guidance of experienced staff and volunteers, you'll gain experience with land, animal, marine, and plant conservation methods. You’ll spend most of your time in the forests and on the beaches of Curieuse Island, where you and your group will get involved in conservation efforts for endangered plant and animal species. Projects may include flora re-vegetation, beach clean-ups, and environmental education classes. Your volunteer work will likely focus on surveying Mangrove trees and Coco de Mer palm trees, which are a beautiful and unique part of the island environment. You may also survey local wildlife like the Giant Tortoise and the coral reef in the surrounding waters.
As you participate in various educational campaigns and activities, you’ll get to explore the islands and experience different research techniques. Be prepared to rough it, as you'll be hiking several kilometers a day on beaches and through forests and mangrove swamps. The data you collect will be passed on to the Seychelles National Parks Authority and other local NGO’s, and is critical to their ongoing efforts to conserve and protect the natural habitat of these stunning islands.
During your two weeks in Seychelles, you’ll be staying at a rustic guesthouse on neighboring Praslin Island. Accommodations are tranquil with no-frills, but roughing it is a great way to bond with your new friends! You can expect to stay in a shared room with other members of your group. Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the guesthouse each day, with a mixture of international and local dishes served. During the day you’ll be based on Curieuse Island where you and your friends will also share lunch duties on a rotational basis. Meals will be composed of nutritious, primarily vegetarian ingredients that may include some meat or fish once or twice a week.
As you work to protect the island’s natural beauty, you’ll also have time to relax and soak up the tranquility of Curieuse’s palm-fringed beaches. Your volunteer work will take place for 5-6 days of the week. On the weekend, your activities may include exploring Praslin, visiting Anse Lazio to take in the stunning panorama, or going snorkeling on the coral reef. You and your group could also visit the Vallee de Mai, a palm forest and UNESCO world heritage site that has remained largely unchanged since prehistoric times. In fact, the Vallee de Mai was thought by some early explorers to be the original Garden of Eden! No matter what you do, you’ll get to spend plenty of time on the island’s famous white sand beaches.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.