Volunteer with ISV and Gain Academic Credit!

by isvolunteers on Friday, 25 April 2014

Wondering if you should enroll to receive Academic Credit for your participation on the ISV Volunteer Program? 

Research and Data Collection

Gain expertise in the conservation of the Costa Rican rainforest  (c) ISV

Here’s a snapshot of experiences from three students who went to Costa Rica with ISV in January 2014 and got credit! Learn about and help with rainforest conservation.

Chris, Emily and Natarsha took part in the ISV- Proyecto Carey conservation volunteer project. This project was co-led by ISV University Leader Eddie Pang, an Associate Professor from RMIT. Below is their testimony about how Academic Credit was not only beneficial towards their degree, but also towards their volunteer experience.

“Collectively we agree that participating in the academic credit program has made us appreciate and contributed to our understanding of our project and the area as a whole. Course requirements actually solidify and expand upon what we learnt during discussions and field work time. Leading group discussion was an enjoyable experience and a good opportunity to reach out to the other participants and help them understand where our passions ultimately lay – conservation!

No experience necessary - you can participate in Academic Credit through RMIT as an elective for your degree (c) ISV

No experience necessary – you can participate in Academic Credit through RMIT as an elective for your degree (c) ISV

Since arriving in Costa Rica, it hasn’t disappointed. We had a fun filled week in Heredia learning Spanish, which prepared us well for living with our host family at the Osa Peninsula. The project has been amazing, it’s really satisfying to know that the work we do can help Costa Rica to preserve their amazing biodiversity for future generations.

A White Faced Monkey

Incredible wildlife experiences! This is a White Faced Capuchin Monkey (c) ISV

Academic credit on Proyecto Carey was a hands-on learning experience where we learned basic principles of ecosystem and conservation amongst equally passionate project leaders and peers. Overall, the addition of gaining academic credit for the Proyecto Carey project had added to the experience. It means that volunteering is a win-win (for the project and gaining credit towards a degree) for all involved. We would highly recommend in applying for academic credit – for everyone participating in an ISV project.

Getting academic credit for your involvement in the ISV volunteer project is great because so much of the ISV experience is geared around the educational nature of hands-on volunteering and learning about sustainability issues. EVERY ISV participant gets involved in keeping an experiential field journal, and participates in group discussions.

You’ll be graded on your involvement within the course, and have to write an essay when you return home (which is not required of regular participants). So really, you are maximizing what is already a thoroughly educational and fun experience by gaining credits toward your degree while you volunteer!”


Meet Pablo Riba – ISV Proyecto Carey Project Leader and Tropical Ecologist (c) ISV

About the ISV Proyecto Carey Conservation Research Project: Proyecto Carey was created as a research program in 2006 with support and volunteer assistance from ISV.  It is located within the Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge and the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA). The Osa Peninsula is renowned for its high biodiversity and the forests are ranked third in the world for species richness and abundance.

Up to 50% of the plants and animals found in Costa Rica are represented here, including 700 tree species! The main focus of ISV participants is to research and monitor ecological processes over a long term period. (Watch a video about this project here).

Read another review of this project by an ISV participant here. Last season over 60 ISV participants received academic credit through RMIT University (12 credits) as an elective unit towards their degree for their participation in the ISV program.  

In addition, many others received credit through their own universities (through Independent Study) towards their specific degrees. 


Learn new skills in the heart of the rainforest (c) ISV

This year, Australian participants that earn Academic Credit for their participation on the ISV program may also apply for government assistance through the OS-HELP loan. Eligible students may loan up to $7500! Contact ISV for more information!   

To learn more about ISV and our programs visit our website: www.isvolunteers.org

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