British Virgin Islands

Preserving Paradise

Explore and protect some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful and threatened natural resources while living aboard a 50-foot sail yacht in the picturesque British Virgin Islands. Tag sea turtles, clean and restore the marine environment, and engage in genuine hurricane relief projects while you and your crew connect with the islands in ways that no tourist ever could. Service and adventure blend seamlessly through meaningful projects and authentic once-in-a-lifetime experiences with our high school community service trip.

  • Days
  • Service
  • Students
  • Age
  • Availability
  • Tuition (USD)
Session 1 / Jun 15 - Jul 5, 2019
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 14
  • 14 - 18
  • Open
  • $5,870 $5,520
Session 2 / Jul 7 - Jul 27, 2019
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 14
  • 14 - 18
  • Open
  • $5,870 $5,520
Session 3 / Jul 29 - Aug 14, 2019
  • 17
  • 80 hours
  • 14
  • 14 - 18
  • Open
  • $4,970 $4,620

Use code ee2019 & save $350 before Nov 15th (prices above reflect saving)

Focus

  • Humanitarian Support
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Wildlife Stewardship

Adventure

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking & Walking Tours
  • Water Sports

Environment

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Ocean

The Journey

Your Adventure Starts Here

Welcome to the British Virgin Islands

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to St. Thomas (STT) in the USVI, or students can fly independently and directly to Tortola (EIS) in the BVI. For students flying via STT, GoBeyond’s professional staff meet them and assist with the transfer to Tortola then on to our comfortable and clean floating home. For those flying via EIS, students are met by an airport representative. Students spend the day preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

AQ BVI 2016 70

Itinerary Activities

First Day Out – No time to waste!

After a morning briefing from GoBeyond directors and staff, the student leader of the day will take our monohull or catamaran off the dock and set sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Students get acquainted with the BVI waters by snorkeling the infamous caves of Norman Island. After the student chefs of the day serve dinner to the crew, we’ll have a crash course in the environmental issues facing the BVI.

Assisting schools through community service, BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda

Build, Paint, Treat, Repeat – There’s always work to be done on an island in the sun. We work directly with the community to maintain schoolhouses, landscape parks, and even help at the recycling center.

Explore The Virgin Islands Teen Summer Camp
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

The Baths – One of the Caribbean’s most iconic landmarks, and there’s almost nobody here! Students have a wet landing to explore the boulders and caves before finishing it up with some time on the beach.

Dancing in the BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

Beach Barbecue and Dance – After a long day of service work, what more could somebody want than to dance the night away? GoBeyond meets up with the larger fleet of students in the BVIs to do just that. Students will eat their fill, make new friends, and dance to “the best DJ on the island.”

High school student tagging turtles, BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

Manta Tow – It’s not only one of the most effective ways to spot turtles but it’s also a ton of fun. Students gear up and are pulled through the water in search of the elusive marine reptiles. Once a turtle is spotted, it takes some serious teamwork to catch and bring to the surface. After the chase is over, we’ll switch over to “research mode” and go through the procedure of measuring and tagging the animal.

Working with kids in the BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

School Visits – Students go onshore for the day to coordinate activities and lessons for students at local schools. Ages may vary but the students will undoubtedly be excited to see you. Keep up the energy because the work is incredibly rewarding!

Beach cleanup projects in the British Virgin Islands

Journey Focus

Preserving Natures Little Secret

The British Virgin Islands are well known for their astonishing natural beauty and pristine marine environment. Their location within the Tradewinds and Atlantic currents give the wind shaped hills an almost fantastic appearance. The sheltered waters, breath-taking beaches, and low-lying forests provide an ideal waypoint for many threatened animals at vulnerable points in their life cycle. These same features also make the islands sensitive to even small changes in the environment. Marine ecosystems are particularly fragile. Human interference and an increase in hurricane activity have strained the delicate balance that has been at work since the archipelago’s formation.

We partner with local organizations whose objectives are as diverse as the islands themselves. On the environmental side of this high school community service trip, we team up with the BVI National Parks Trust in a long-term effort to replant Tortola’s decimated mangrove forests and survey beaches for trash. During our volunteer BVI program, the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) trains GoBeyond students to tag and release sea turtles for an international monitoring initiative. We also partner with schools, youth organizations, and community centers to get our hands dirty and beautify the human infrastructure. The service work often jumps around as much as we do since the community needs change faster than the Caribbean weather. With several projects happening in multiple locations, GoBeyond students have the flexibility to lend a helping hand wherever the wind may take them.

Learn More
Summer Camp For Service

Adventure Focus

Work Hard, Play Hard

There’s an immense amount of satisfaction to be gained in seeing a project through from beginning to end but all work and no play is bound to diminish that good feeling. We’ll break apart the hard work with snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and just messing around on the beach.

Tagging a sea turtle in the British Virgin Islands

Itinerary Activities

Turtle Tagging

After being hunted to the brink of extinction, the global sea turtle population has made a massive comeback over the past century. That being said, these marine reptiles are hardly guaranteed a future with nearly all species of sea turtle being classified as “endangered.” While the scientific community has made huge strides in understanding a turtle’s life cycle and learning to protect it – there’s a clear lack of data in terms of population, nesting locations, and migratory patterns. Between the animal’s unpredictable movements and the enormous amount of effort involved in actually catching them, the quest for understanding has been long and difficult.

The Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) in the BVI is part of an international effort to collect this data and ultimately protect the juvenile population of the Caribbean. During this BVI volunteer trip, ARK trains GoBeyond students to safely spot, capture, tag, and release the animals so they can actually contribute to this body of research. While the act of chasing and capturing a wild turtle is enough to provide anyone a serious adrenaline rush, the scientific process of measuring and recording data can require contrasting discipline and focus. On this high school community service trip, students will experience the excitement and importance of hands-on scientific field work and foster a set of skills they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Caribbean scenery during high school summer program
Anegada

This remote island differs from the rest of the archipelago in that it is flat, sandy, and undeveloped. Most tourists never make it to the emerald green waters that surround Anegada but GoBeyond students will spend 3 irreplaceable days there.

Environmental service work in the BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Coastal Surveillance Hike – The remote beaches of Anegada’s northern shore are rarely visited by anyone. Students will collectively hike the entire beach in search of turtle nests and unique items that have washed ashore. Previous GoBeyond groups have found messages in bottles, entire boats, and even products from China.

Working with endangered species in the BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Rock Iguana Headstart Facility – Anegada is home to one of the world’s most endangered species. The Anegada Rock Iguana used to thrive on the island until humans introduced invasive predators. We work with the National Parks Trust to feed the animals, maintain their grounds, and find nests in the wild.

Teenager catching a sea turtle, BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Rodeo Style – Since the water around Anegada is too shallow for traditional methods of catching turtles, we enlist local guides to help us catch turtles their way. Don’t hesitate, because you won’t be able to catch the turtle without the element of surprise!

bvi-high-school-trip
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke

During the winter months, the northern shore of Tortola is pummeled by frequent squalls and fierce swells but during our time there, the lack of development and steady breeze makes for some hauntingly beautiful views and fantastic sailing.

teach-english-caribbean
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Local Youth Organizations – Despite growing up on an island, many youth in the BVI rarely have the opportunity to explore their territory via sailboat. We team up with the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society and the BVI Youth Empowerment Project to buddy up with local students and take them out for the day. GoBeyond students can coordinate everything from painting murals to a fun day at the beach – it’s the interaction that counts.

Teen Volunteer Program Hurricane Relief Puerto Rico
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Construction Projects – We’ll join our friends from Rebuilding Island Life to address the human needs in a hands-on construction project. You’re bound to discover new skills and make a lasting difference in rebuilding the infrastructure of the islands in a more sustainable way for future generations.

beach-clean-up-summer-teen
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Ocean Conservancy Cleanups – Much of the coastline in this part of the BVI is rarely visited. As a result, the garbage that washes ashore can give us a clear idea of just how much plastic is actually in the ocean. GoBeyond doesn’t only clean up the beaches but also contributes data to an international organization that monitors the amount of trash in the ocean. For science!

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“I created unbreakable bonds with my shipmates like I had never experienced with anyone else before. Living so closely with thirteen different people, all from thirteen different places with thirteen different perspectives on life has given me a much broader view of the world. One I will take with me for the rest of my life. ”
Alli C.Fonda, NY
bvi-allison-c-1
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Closing Activities

The last days are always so hard! Who would have thought that what was an unfamiliar sailboat filled with strangers could so quickly feel like home? The journey comes full circle and ends on the dock where it all began. Students enjoy one final barbecue the night before departing with an often tearful goodbye. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the high school community service trip, students are transferred to the airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond BVI are things we can never forget.

By Ned D.

Mangrove Mission

This morning we woke up in Great Harbor Peter and were able to sleep in much later than usual, and…

Read More
By Sam H.

Mangroving and Grooving

The crew of Some Beez started the day with a bit of a breakfast struggle. After waking to the smell…

Read More
By Nell K.

Skrrt Skrrt

This morning we set sail and returned to Jost Van Dyke. We were welcomed to the island by Foxy, who…

Read More
By Joseph M.

A Day with Derrick

Today was a different day for us working for Preserving Paradise. We got to sleep in until around 7:45 AM…

Read More
By Julian G.

Saving The Kids and Repainting Island Life

Today on the Rebuilding Island Life team we woke up early to paint the houses of hurricane victims. We also…

Read More

Trip Logs

Welcome to the British Virgin Islands

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to St. Thomas (STT) in the USVI, or students can fly independently and directly to Tortola (EIS) in the BVI. For students flying via STT, GoBeyond’s professional staff meet them and assist with the transfer to Tortola then on to our comfortable and clean floating home. For those flying via EIS, students are met by an airport representative. Students spend the day preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

AQ BVI 2016 70

Itinerary Activities

First Day Out – No time to waste!

After a morning briefing from GoBeyond directors and staff, the student leader of the day will take our monohull or catamaran off the dock and set sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Students get acquainted with the BVI waters by snorkeling the infamous caves of Norman Island. After the student chefs of the day serve dinner to the crew, we’ll have a crash course in the environmental issues facing the BVI.

Beach cleanup projects in the British Virgin Islands

Journey Focus

Preserving Natures Little Secret

The British Virgin Islands are well known for their astonishing natural beauty and pristine marine environment. Their location within the Tradewinds and Atlantic currents give the wind shaped hills an almost fantastic appearance. The sheltered waters, breath-taking beaches, and low-lying forests provide an ideal waypoint for many threatened animals at vulnerable points in their life cycle. These same features also make the islands sensitive to even small changes in the environment. Marine ecosystems are particularly fragile. Human interference and an increase in hurricane activity have strained the delicate balance that has been at work since the archipelago’s formation.

We partner with local organizations whose objectives are as diverse as the islands themselves. On the environmental side of this high school community service trip, we team up with the BVI National Parks Trust in a long-term effort to replant Tortola’s decimated mangrove forests and survey beaches for trash. During our volunteer BVI program, the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) trains GoBeyond students to tag and release sea turtles for an international monitoring initiative. We also partner with schools, youth organizations, and community centers to get our hands dirty and beautify the human infrastructure. The service work often jumps around as much as we do since the community needs change faster than the Caribbean weather. With several projects happening in multiple locations, GoBeyond students have the flexibility to lend a helping hand wherever the wind may take them.

Learn More
Assisting schools through community service, BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda

Build, Paint, Treat, Repeat – There’s always work to be done on an island in the sun. We work directly with the community to maintain schoolhouses, landscape parks, and even help at the recycling center.

Explore The Virgin Islands Teen Summer Camp
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

The Baths – One of the Caribbean’s most iconic landmarks, and there’s almost nobody here! Students have a wet landing to explore the boulders and caves before finishing it up with some time on the beach.

Dancing in the BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

Beach Barbecue and Dance – After a long day of service work, what more could somebody want than to dance the night away? GoBeyond meets up with the larger fleet of students in the BVIs to do just that. Students will eat their fill, make new friends, and dance to “the best DJ on the island.”

High school student tagging turtles, BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

Manta Tow – It’s not only one of the most effective ways to spot turtles but it’s also a ton of fun. Students gear up and are pulled through the water in search of the elusive marine reptiles. Once a turtle is spotted, it takes some serious teamwork to catch and bring to the surface. After the chase is over, we’ll switch over to “research mode” and go through the procedure of measuring and tagging the animal.

Working with kids in the BVIs
South Shore and Virgin Gorda
(cont.)

School Visits – Students go onshore for the day to coordinate activities and lessons for students at local schools. Ages may vary but the students will undoubtedly be excited to see you. Keep up the energy because the work is incredibly rewarding!

Summer Camp For Service

Adventure Focus

Work Hard, Play Hard

There’s an immense amount of satisfaction to be gained in seeing a project through from beginning to end but all work and no play is bound to diminish that good feeling. We’ll break apart the hard work with snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and just messing around on the beach.

Tagging a sea turtle in the British Virgin Islands

Itinerary Activities

Turtle Tagging

After being hunted to the brink of extinction, the global sea turtle population has made a massive comeback over the past century. That being said, these marine reptiles are hardly guaranteed a future with nearly all species of sea turtle being classified as “endangered.” While the scientific community has made huge strides in understanding a turtle’s life cycle and learning to protect it – there’s a clear lack of data in terms of population, nesting locations, and migratory patterns. Between the animal’s unpredictable movements and the enormous amount of effort involved in actually catching them, the quest for understanding has been long and difficult.

The Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) in the BVI is part of an international effort to collect this data and ultimately protect the juvenile population of the Caribbean. During this BVI volunteer trip, ARK trains GoBeyond students to safely spot, capture, tag, and release the animals so they can actually contribute to this body of research. While the act of chasing and capturing a wild turtle is enough to provide anyone a serious adrenaline rush, the scientific process of measuring and recording data can require contrasting discipline and focus. On this high school community service trip, students will experience the excitement and importance of hands-on scientific field work and foster a set of skills they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Caribbean scenery during high school summer program
Anegada

This remote island differs from the rest of the archipelago in that it is flat, sandy, and undeveloped. Most tourists never make it to the emerald green waters that surround Anegada but GoBeyond students will spend 3 irreplaceable days there.

Environmental service work in the BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Coastal Surveillance Hike – The remote beaches of Anegada’s northern shore are rarely visited by anyone. Students will collectively hike the entire beach in search of turtle nests and unique items that have washed ashore. Previous GoBeyond groups have found messages in bottles, entire boats, and even products from China.

Working with endangered species in the BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Rock Iguana Headstart Facility – Anegada is home to one of the world’s most endangered species. The Anegada Rock Iguana used to thrive on the island until humans introduced invasive predators. We work with the National Parks Trust to feed the animals, maintain their grounds, and find nests in the wild.

Teenager catching a sea turtle, BVIs
Anegada
(cont.)

Rodeo Style – Since the water around Anegada is too shallow for traditional methods of catching turtles, we enlist local guides to help us catch turtles their way. Don’t hesitate, because you won’t be able to catch the turtle without the element of surprise!

Get Our Free Catalog

  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our journeys, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
bvi-high-school-trip
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke

During the winter months, the northern shore of Tortola is pummeled by frequent squalls and fierce swells but during our time there, the lack of development and steady breeze makes for some hauntingly beautiful views and fantastic sailing.

teach-english-caribbean
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Local Youth Organizations – Despite growing up on an island, many youth in the BVI rarely have the opportunity to explore their territory via sailboat. We team up with the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society and the BVI Youth Empowerment Project to buddy up with local students and take them out for the day. GoBeyond students can coordinate everything from painting murals to a fun day at the beach – it’s the interaction that counts.

Teen Volunteer Program Hurricane Relief Puerto Rico
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Construction Projects – We’ll join our friends from Rebuilding Island Life to address the human needs in a hands-on construction project. You’re bound to discover new skills and make a lasting difference in rebuilding the infrastructure of the islands in a more sustainable way for future generations.

beach-clean-up-summer-teen
North Shore & Jost Van Dyke
(cont.)

Ocean Conservancy Cleanups – Much of the coastline in this part of the BVI is rarely visited. As a result, the garbage that washes ashore can give us a clear idea of just how much plastic is actually in the ocean. GoBeyond doesn’t only clean up the beaches but also contributes data to an international organization that monitors the amount of trash in the ocean. For science!

“I created unbreakable bonds with my shipmates like I had never experienced with anyone else before. Living so closely with thirteen different people, all from thirteen different places with thirteen different perspectives on life has given me a much broader view of the world. One I will take with me for the rest of my life. ”
Alli C.Fonda, NY
bvi-allison-c-1
  • Chat With GoBeyond Alumni

    Enter your email below, and we'll send you some alumni references
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Closing Activities

The last days are always so hard! Who would have thought that what was an unfamiliar sailboat filled with strangers could so quickly feel like home? The journey comes full circle and ends on the dock where it all began. Students enjoy one final barbecue the night before departing with an often tearful goodbye. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the high school community service trip, students are transferred to the airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond BVI are things we can never forget.

By Ned D.

Mangrove Mission

This morning we woke up in Great Harbor Peter and were able to sleep in much later than usual, and…

Read More
By Sam H.

Mangroving and Grooving

The crew of Some Beez started the day with a bit of a breakfast struggle. After waking to the smell…

Read More
By Nell K.

Skrrt Skrrt

This morning we set sail and returned to Jost Van Dyke. We were welcomed to the island by Foxy, who…

Read More
By Joseph M.

A Day with Derrick

Today was a different day for us working for Preserving Paradise. We got to sleep in until around 7:45 AM…

Read More
By Julian G.

Saving The Kids and Repainting Island Life

Today on the Rebuilding Island Life team we woke up early to paint the houses of hurricane victims. We also…

Read More

Trip Logs

“Our daughter had an amazing experience and has grown in so many ways! She learned so much about the environment and how to make an impact in preserving our planet. Best of all, she learned independence. Over and over she keeps saying that the staff was unforgettable. It is an experience every child should have. There are no words...she will be back next year! ”
Vivian C. - Atlanta, GA
“My son is a different man! He had so much fun that he forgot about needing 100 community service hours and got them while having a blast with his new friends! ”
Margaret C. - Parkland, FL
“This trip was an amazing combination of quality and inspiration. How you can take a boat full of texting/snap chatting/insta-everything teens to one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and have them return home babbling most excitedly about the work they were able to be part of? Thank you so much for giving this experience to my child and for returning to us a passionate, engaged, and lit-up young woman. ”
Jeanne K. - Boulder, CO
“This was pretty much the first time our daughter has ever gone anywhere on her own, let alone for three weeks. With her becoming an adult and about to go out on her own soon, this trip alleviated all my worry and anxiety to send her so far away for so long! Such an awesome experience all the way around. Our daughter loved this adventure and is truly appreciative to have had the experience. Thank you for making it all so easy for us parents and rewarding for our kids. The trip was VERY well organized and packed with awesome experiences and memories that my child will have for a lifetime. ”
Gina H. - Benicia, CA
“GoBeyond is a great program for young students to broaden their horizons and to get them out of their comfort zone. Living so close together for so long with a group of strangers is a great experience for teenagers. It was a very well planned, well organized, and well run program. Enriching, rewarding and transformative for my daughter from start to finish. ”
Michael M. - Newton, MA

Need More Information?

Affiliates

GoBeyond is a proud supporter of local, national, and international service organizations around the world.

On all our high school community service trips, our students have the opportunity to work closely with local people, on projects where the need is authentic and the results are long-lasting. When our time is up, we provide much needed financial help with direct donations, which helps fund projects in an ongoing way. Consider your impact…join GoBeyond this summer and make a difference!

  • bvi-npt-affiliate-logo

    BVI National Parks Trust

    The mission of the BVI National Parks Trust is to preserve and manage designated natural and cultural areas in order to improve the quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.

  • association-reef-keepers-affiliate-logo

    Association of Reef Keepers

    The Association of Reef Keepers seeks to manage the natural resources of the British Virgin Islands in a sustainable manner. It was formed specifically to address the growing environmental stresses that the British Virgin Islands are experiencing.

  • visar-affiliate-logo

    Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR)

    VISAR is a voluntary organization dedicated to saving life at sea. It is the officially recognized search and rescue service in the British Virgin Islands, where it provides 24-hour cover every day of the year in close cooperation with the Royal British Virgin Islands police, fire and ambulance services.

  • Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society

    Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society

    The JVDPS is a British Virgin Islands not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the preservation of the island of Jost Van Dyke – its land, the surrounding sea, its living creatures, and its culture through conservation, cultivation, education, and research.

Need To Know

Is this journey right for me?

Whether you’ve been sailing your entire life or you’re a landlocked lubber, you’ll become accustomed to life aboard quicker than you think. Between the service work, raising sails, and even washing dishes, everything you do becomes a mini-adventure as you live alongside the rest of your crew. Completing 100 hours of community service over the span of 3 weeks makes the volunteer BVI trip better suited to those students who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves and getting involved. If you like the water or you have an interest in hands-on science then hop aboard.

What's the group like?

There’s really no rigid mold that GoBeyond participants are cut from. Since our students come from different backgrounds all over the world, the groups end up being naturally diverse. Everyone arrives with different goals, expectations, hopes, and fears but they quickly find common ground and begin to bond. The GoBeyond environment allows team members to connect quickly and become closer friends than anyone would expect. Many students report leaving feeling as though they had known their fellow students much longer than they actually had.

Our philosophy revolves around small group sizes that are still large enough to foster a sense of community. For this high school community service trip, we can have a maximum of 13 students onboard each boat. This program does not require any previous experience, skills, or language fluency – only a willingness to get involved and appreciate each incredible adventure.

Who are the staff?

GoBeyond is proud to attract and recruit the best in our field. Our summer staff consists of avid world travelers, highly qualified professionals, and fun and experienced facilitators and educators. All members of our team are dynamic, multi-talented, and passionate individuals with a devotion and commitment to the safety and experience of our students.

The average age of our summer staff is 26. Staff skills are journey specific, such as holding a maritime license in the BVIs or having a background in childcare for China. All staff are First Aid and CPR certified, and many hold advanced training certificates such as Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician. Along with local guides and our community service partners, the ratio of staff to students is approximately 1:5. This enables close interaction and individualized attention during the journey.

Learn More About Our Staff

What do I need to bring?

GoBeyond students are responsible for carrying their luggage from place to place. As such, we recommend that you keep things simple and avoid overpacking. Students are given the opportunity to do laundry once on the trip, so there’s no need to pack several weeks worth of clothing.

Our hope is that families will have minimal purchases prior to the trip, so we’ve compiled our packing lists in a way that you’ll find most of what you need in your closet at home. Around mid to late March, we make available our Pre-Trip Packet to enrolled students, which contains a detailed packing list for this year’s journey. If you’d like to see last year’s packing list as an example, you can download it here.

Download Sample Packing List

During the Preserving Paradise trip, students will need approximately $735 USD in cash. This cash is used for two purposes…

“Travel and Reserve Cash” ($435) is held in safekeeping by our staff during the journey. Its intended use is for anticipated travel needs to and from the journey destination and for any unanticipated emergency costs that might arise such as doctor’s visits. Any leftover cash at the end of the journey is returned to the student.

GoBeyond will pay all major journey costs while traveling and working, but there will also be opportunities for students to spend money on personal items. For a student’s personal “Spending Cash” ($300-$350), the most common expenses include local cuisine, souvenirs, and snacks. Based on our past experience, some students will spend less and some will spend more than our recommendation above. Judge this amount by the spending habits of your student. Please set up boundaries for its use, as GoBeyond cannot be responsible for monitoring student spending. If you are concerned about loss or theft, students can give staff up to $150 of their spending cash to be put into safekeeping/drawn later.

Where do we stay?

GoBeyond utilizes clean, comfortable, and safe accommodations during our trips – we aim for an authentic stay in the places we go, which rarely equates to luxury. During the volunteer BVI journey, students spend their entire stay onboard a ~50’ sail yacht. Each student is designated a cabin down below with up to 5 other students of the same sex. While there is bunk space in each cabin, many students prefer to sleep under the stars by stringing up a hammock or sleeping on the ship’s trampoline.

The tight-knit community that results from living onboard a yacht is a huge part of the experience for this journey. Student shipmates will rotate through responsibilities while learning to clean, care for, and even be at the helm of their floating home. Everyone comes to rely on one another over the course of a few short weeks, and students are often surprised at how much they have learned about life at sea – no matter what their experience level might have been coming into it.

What do we eat?

GoBeyond’s tuition covers all meals after arrival in the host country. We strive for healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals, and serve a mixture of local and international fare. Student chefs of the day prepare meals onboard with help from the staff using a mixture of goods we have imported and local fresh food we pick up onshore every few days. On occasion throughout the trip, students will have the option to eat at a restaurant during shore time to sample the local offerings. Living onboard a boat for three weeks in the British Virgin Islands poses its own difficulties in terms of provisioning and cooking but when it’s all said and done, meal-time is often a highlight of each day.

Note, as GoBeyond is a health-conscious program, our staff do not provide large quantities of “junk” food (i.e. sodas, chips, candy bars, large desserts, etc.). Students can always supplement our meals and snacks by shopping locally for their own items. During the application process, families can inform us of any dietary allergies or restrictions. We are usually able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, etc., as well as various food allergies. However, if your student has a severe allergy to peanuts or other common substances, please call our office to discuss the options.

Nitty Gritty

Flights
Are flights included in the tuition?

Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

Who should we contact to book travel?

Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

When should I book flights?

We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

What is the preferred itinerary?

Students have the option of flying to Beef Island (EIS), though our recommended route is to St. Thomas (STT).

Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary.

For students flying via STT, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer to Tortola via ferry. After arrival in Tortola, students are met at the ferry dock by more of GoBeyond’s professional staff, then collectively continue onto a taxi that takes them to the boats.

For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

Travel Docs & Vaccinations

Travel Docs & Visas

All students traveling to the BVI need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of three months after the date of departure from the BVI. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas.

For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit . Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local British embassy or consulate or the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office.

One important point to mention is that most students joining us in the BVI do so by flying via St. Thomas, which is part of the US Virgin Islands. This means that those students not flying on a US or Canadian passport need to consider whether they need to apply for a U.S. visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Please call us with any questions.

Vaccinations

For visiting the BVI, the CDC recommends that all travelers are up-to-date on routine vaccinations that most of us had as children (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine.

That said, we understand that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. For this reason, we recommend that all families refer back to the expertise of the CDC from time to time (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic to gain the most up to date information.

Itinerary
Living in the moment

Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches to our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions on this page should give all families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are used to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

Service Hours
Service Hours, Letters & Awards

After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

President's Volunteer Service AwardPresident’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – In addition, GoBeyond is a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation established the award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. GoBeyond is able to award the PVSA to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who qualify based on his/her age and the number of service hours accrued during the journey (14-15 year olds need 50+ hours, 16-18 year olds need 100+ hours). Please note that GoBeyond does not make the rules regarding who is eligible for the PVSA. Eligibility criteria is set by the governmental agency and, at this point in time, non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents are not eligible to receive the award. 

Learn More About The PVSA

* Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their program.

Tuition
GOBEYOND TUITION FEES COVER THE FOLLOWING:
  • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
  • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
  • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
  • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
  • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation, including in-country flights, are not included. Please see our Flights tab for more details. A one-time total tuition fee deduction of 5% is granted for any two journeys or for two or more students from the same family.

OUR 5-8 WEEK Journeys

Any consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount.  This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program, ActionQuest. ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any consecutive programs in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

Financial Aid
Every year, GoBeyond awards a number of partial tuition scholarships

The financial aid budget is determined by the GoBeyond Directors and is allocated from the organization’s operating budget. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including financial need, past academic performance, community involvement, and promise of success on the journey.

As students come from all over the world, flight and travel costs are not included at any scholarship level, nor spending money and other additional costs associated with traveling abroad (vaccinations, doctor visits, visas, etc.). If you know that you are unable to fund your experience without financial assistance, then please visit our Financial Aid pages for more information and the application.

  • Flights
  • Travel Docs & Vaccinations
  • Itinerary
  • Service Hours
  • Tuition
  • Financial Aid
  • Are flights included in the tuition?

    Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

    Who should we contact to book travel?

    Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

    When should I book flights?

    We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

    What is the preferred itinerary?

    Students have the option of flying to Beef Island (EIS), though our recommended route is to St. Thomas (STT).

    Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

    Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary.

    For students flying via STT, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer to Tortola via ferry. After arrival in Tortola, students are met at the ferry dock by more of GoBeyond’s professional staff, then collectively continue onto a taxi that takes them to the boats.

    For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

  • Travel Docs & Visas

    All students traveling to the BVI need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of three months after the date of departure from the BVI. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas.

    For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit . Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local British embassy or consulate or the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office.

    One important point to mention is that most students joining us in the BVI do so by flying via St. Thomas, which is part of the US Virgin Islands. This means that those students not flying on a US or Canadian passport need to consider whether they need to apply for a U.S. visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Please call us with any questions.

    Vaccinations

    For visiting the BVI, the CDC recommends that all travelers are up-to-date on routine vaccinations that most of us had as children (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine.

    That said, we understand that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. For this reason, we recommend that all families refer back to the expertise of the CDC from time to time (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic to gain the most up to date information.

  • Living in the moment

    Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches to our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions on this page should give all families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

    With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are used to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

  • Service Hours, Letters & Awards

    After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

    President's Volunteer Service AwardPresident’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – In addition, GoBeyond is a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation established the award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. GoBeyond is able to award the PVSA to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who qualify based on his/her age and the number of service hours accrued during the journey (14-15 year olds need 50+ hours, 16-18 year olds need 100+ hours). Please note that GoBeyond does not make the rules regarding who is eligible for the PVSA. Eligibility criteria is set by the governmental agency and, at this point in time, non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents are not eligible to receive the award. 

    Learn More About The PVSA

    * Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their program.

  • GOBEYOND TUITION FEES COVER THE FOLLOWING:
    • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
    • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
    • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
    • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
    • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

    Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation, including in-country flights, are not included. Please see our Flights tab for more details. A one-time total tuition fee deduction of 5% is granted for any two journeys or for two or more students from the same family.

    OUR 5-8 WEEK Journeys

    Any consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount.  This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program, ActionQuest. ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any consecutive programs in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

  • Every year, GoBeyond awards a number of partial tuition scholarships

    The financial aid budget is determined by the GoBeyond Directors and is allocated from the organization’s operating budget. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including financial need, past academic performance, community involvement, and promise of success on the journey.

    As students come from all over the world, flight and travel costs are not included at any scholarship level, nor spending money and other additional costs associated with traveling abroad (vaccinations, doctor visits, visas, etc.). If you know that you are unable to fund your experience without financial assistance, then please visit our Financial Aid pages for more information and the application.