1. In Brief
The Fijian archipelago lies scattered lazily in the achingly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, bathed in the radiant antipodean sunlight. Its towns and villages are veritable melting pots of cultural influences – see multicoloured Hindu temples perched next to relics of the traditional indigenous spirit houses with their lingering sense of an ancient magic.
Its irresistible shores are fringed with picture-perfect palm trees, and the azure waters that surround the islands are inhabited by an astonishing array of marine creatures; over 1,200 species of fish including clown fish, trigger fish, blue tangs, 12 species of whales, dolphin, anemones, soft coral and much more.
Enjoy fragrant sun drenched days and balmy exotic nights – try a Fijian beach party for whirling fire dancers, traditional dancing and delectable food cooked in a traditional underground oven. Fiji will enchant you with its infectious, chilled out "Fiji time" lifestyle and its heavenly beaches – the perfect paradise location for your Frontier adventure!
Earn your TEFL certificate for free if you join for more than 4 weeks!
Visit this irresistible tropical paradise
Enliven & enrich the experience of the kids in your care and learn to dive and snorkel if you join for more than 4 weeks
Suva and the Island of Beqa, Fiji
Helping to teach and coach sports to excited and lively local kids
Assemble innovative & effective lesson plans and teach Fijian children
Caring for stray and abandoned animals
Animal health checks
Explore the mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Swim and snorkel or dive on the reefs of Beqa to study the various marine life living on coral reefs
Airport pick-up and transfer to Suva if you arrive on the first Monday of the month, (if you arrive any other day alternative pickup arrangements are available at extra cost)
Transfer to the Island of Beqa
Homestay accommodation (hostel style upgrade available) in Suva, beach house and castaway camp on the Island of Beqa
Before you go
Pre Departure Support
Travel & Medical advice & Documentation
Discounted Medical Kit
Free Frontier T-Shirt
Airport pickup (subject to your start date)
Two meals per day
Homestay accommodation (upgrades available)
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24 hour international HQ backup-up
Free airport pickup if arriving on the first Monday of the month. For those arriving on different dates optional airport pickup can be arranged at a small additional cost.
PADI Dive Qualifications (extra cost applies, subject to availability, 4 week+ volunteerss only)
A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.
PADI DIVE TRAINING
On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!
Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.
Find out more about PADI qualifications.
2. The project
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Fiji is renowned for its spectacular beaches and coral reef: a picturesque string of islands floating peacefully in the Pacific Ocean. This is true but as a picture of Fiji it is incomplete. Fiji also has impoverished rural populations who as yet have not been able to capitalise on the booming tourist trade in the country.
As a Fiji Adventurer volunteer, you have the opportunity to take part in a variety of placements to develop a greater understanding of the issues that affect Fiji and gain greater exposure to the skills needed in a variety of fields. You will spend 2 weeks of your trip on our beach conservation project on the island of Beqa as well as 2 or more weeks on a combination of our teaching, sports coaching, animal welfare, healthcare or journalism projects based in the capital city of Suva. Volunteers are asked to spend at least two weeks at each project (four for journalism), and can combine as many projects as their time allows.
If you choose to work on the Fiji Teaching or Sports Coaching project in Suva, you'll soon see that education is a crucial part of achieving sustainable development. By teaching in these communities volunteers can make a real difference to the lives of young people growing up in Fiji, learn about life in Fiji as a teacher and contribute to establishing sustainable development programmes.
If you volunteer on the Fiji Animal Health & Welfare project you will work at a local animal shelter on a range of tasks depending on your previous experience and academic qualifications. Those with Veterinary experience may be able to involve themselves in minor procedures, whilst those with less experience will be able to take part in the general care of animals and maintenance of the shelter.
If you volunteer on the Fiji Healthcare project you will work at a local hospital comprised of a skin clinic, wards for chronic patients with spinal injuries, stroke or TB, and a prosthetics workshop or caring for children with disabilities one-on-one at a specialized development and learning center.
Our Frontier-Fiji Beach Conservation Project is designed to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.
To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas while diving or snorkeling, map the sea grass beds and mangrove fringes of the region, identify patterns of resource use, and work with local communities to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your work schedule will cover a comprehensive, varied and enjoyable teaching, sports coaching, healthcare or animal welfare project and beach conservation programme split between Suva for a minimum of 7 days and the Island of Beqa for a minimum of 7 days.
Teaching in a local school in suva (fjt)
In Suva, you will be working with local schools and alongside teachers following the national curriculum. Your work will engage you fully with your pupils and will awaken your creativity and initiative. Volunteers help teach the children of all ages at primary and intermediate school level, working a full school day five days a week. The respect students will show you, the friendliness of the school staff, and the opportunity to introduce engaging new activities into the classroom is what makes teaching in Suva, Fiji's Capital City, a once in a lifetime experience.
You may be directly involved in the administration side of working in a school by helping to mark pupil's work, report writing, data entry and paperwork as well as helping to produce an inspiring teaching strategy including preparing homework and we encourage you to assemble innovative and effective lesson plans. Your classes will last just under an hour each, with school starting at 8:30am and ending at 2:30pm every day.
As well as this you will have the opportunity to help with lots of extracurricular activities which will vary extensively depending on your personal skills and interests – whether it is helping to put on a play or organising a choir. You should be prepared to take part in a range of teaching and administration activities whilst on your project. Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from interacting with and inspiring these underprivileged children, whilst enhancing your own skills and experience significantly.
Sports coaching in a local school in suva (fjs)
Fully integrated into the life of the local school, you will work with a range of ages for up to five days a week, mornings and afternoons. Many sporting activities also go on after school so be prepared to work long days! You will work with primary and secondary school age children (5-16), organising a variety of sporting activities.
During your placement, you may find yourself coaching hockey, football, rugby, netball, volleyball, swimming and a whole host of other sports. With extra curricular activities often taking the back burner to other subjects such as English and maths, you will inject much needed enthusiasm and creativity into the children's lives. You will be much more than a coach to them and will be both their mentor and friend. Whilst working on this project, you are encouraged to be creative and bring your own unique skills and personality to enliven and enrich the experience of the kids in your care.
Volunteer in a local animal shelter (fjw)
You will work closely with a local animal welfare charity and will be substantially involved in the day to day running of a large urban animal welfare centre. You may cover activities ranging from cleaning animal cages, caring for stray and abandoned cats and dogs, helping to re-home pets or educating local communities about the importance of animal welfare. Your level of involvement will of course depend on your skills, practical work experience and academic qualifications.
You will have the opportunity to work at one of two possible placements, depending on your interest and experience: a local hospital comprised of a skin clinic, wards for chronic patients with spinal injuries, stroke or TB, and a prosthetics workshop; or caring for students aged from 4 through adult with varying degrees of disability at a specialized development and learning center.
In either placement, you may have the opportunity to integrate within the wider community by providing mobile care, teaching and training at local schools and villages, however please be aware that this aspect of the project cannot be guaranteed and is dependent upon the needs of the project at the time of your visit.
Beach conservation and snorkelling (fjb)
Following this you will transfer to the Island of Beqa where you will work with our Frontier Fiji Beach Conservation Project. You will have the opportunity to snorkel or dive to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (extra cost applies for PADI Dive Qualifications and courses are subject to availability). You will also explore and record the organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds and productive inter-tidal areas.
Whilst swimming and snorkelling, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish – even the occasional shark! When you motor out each day on the Frontier boats to each dive site you may even encounter gigantic manta rays, sharks, humpback whales or flying fish. By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying hundreds of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent snorkeller. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having completed the programme and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.
3. What to expect
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
Free airport pick up is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of the month before 2:30pm. You will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at the airport and will be transferred by bus from the airport along the coral coast to Suva (approx. 4 hours), from where you will stay with Frontier staff and other volunteers in the city of Suva to begin the first part of your placement.
If you are arriving after 2:30pm or on any other day, no problem, we can either arrange your airport pickup and transfers to Suva for a small extra cost or we can provide easy to follow instructions for you to make these arrangements yourself. Please inform us of your arrival details and your preferences as soon as possible (and at least 1 week before arrival) so we can make the necessary arrangements for you and help your journey to your project be as smooth as possible.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
Your home in Suva will be a comfortable and welcoming homestay with a hospitable Fijian family giving you a true sense of the Fijian culture and way of life. Your family will welcome you as one of their own, and your evenings will be filled with hide-n-go-seek or movie nights with the children, and interesting conversations over kava with your older siblings and host parents.
While most volunteers reflect on their homestay experience as one of the most meaningful aspects of their project, you can also opt to stay in a simple and comfortable lodge near the centre of Suva for an additional cost of US$126 a week. Here you will be in a single sex dorm with access to a kitchen, TV, garden, sun deck, laundry service (10 FJD for 1 bag), cold showers, and linen.
During the marine and beach conservation project you'll live in our simple beach house and cast away camp on the south Pacific island of Beqa. We aim to provide you with an authentic and memorable living experience. The Beqa beach house and camp has been constructed by local craftsmen, using traditional building techniques and locally sourced building materials. The camp is a 10-minute walk away from the shore through the rainforest. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun. You will be staying in communal beach house near to the local communities and a short walk from the beach. Your "shower" consists of a pipe that runs from the local stream 24 hours a day!
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
In the Suva homestay, you'll be able to sample Fijian home-cooked meals which will be prepared for you by your host family. A common breakfast is toast with butter and tea with milk, though some volunteers will purchase eggs, rolled oats, fresh fruit, or coffee to complement their breakfast. Common dinners include vegetable curry with rice, lamb sausage with chips, fried noodles with vegetables, and stewed ro ro with tuna and cassava. A delicious Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground- unusual but very tasty!
On Beqa you will there will be a cooking rota whereby all volunteers will take turns to cook and clean up. The food here can be very simple and basic or very gourmet depending on your creativity, but either way it will consist of lots of rice, potatoes, onions, lentils, peas, and tinned tomatoes complemented by food grown on the land including eggplant, banana, papaya, mango, fresh chilis, pumpkin, mandarin, dalo, breadfruit, and bele – a leaf similar to spinach.
HOW WILL I GET TO WORK?
Transport from your accommodation to your place of work in Suva each day will be by local bus, taxi (cost not included) or foot.
On Beqa any project related travel will be by foot on boat.
In your spare time you can enjoy the spectacular scenery and beautiful beaches and go snorkelling in the clear blue waters of Pacific harbour, just a bus ride away. Whatever you do you'll be amazed at the Pacific Islanders' tremendous hospitality and culture. You'll quickly make friends as you play rugby, netball, and other sports with the villagers.
You can take part in traditional ceremonies, learn Fijian cooking, and learn how to weave hats in the local style, visit the hot springs or take a scuba diving course. There is also the opportunity to trek in the nearby rainforest, and bathe in natural waterfall lagoons. Please note that these activities cost extra and we encourage you to book them direct with local providers helping to support the local economy.
The Frontier-Fiji camp is fun but low key, and in your spare time and weekends off you'll have opportunities to swim, and snorkel and, play rugby, netball or volleyball football against the unbeatable local side or try out beach volleyball. Alternatively you may enjoy a competitive game of Monopoly, or cards traditional Saturday night themed camp party, play a wide variety of fun camp or card games from poker to bridge, chess or backgammon, or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of diving you may prefer to relax with a drink and sway in the camp hammock (if you brought one with you), or sit and chat to your new friends beside a roaring campfire, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.
Nausautoka Village Visit – Day / Weekend Trip
If you want to experience the real rural peaceful and humbling side of Fiji, outside of the City, then Frontier Fiji have a new optional once in a life time cultural excursion available for you!
Visit Nasautoka village, roughly 2 hours north of Suva, where the local community will welcome you with open arms and big smiles, including a traditional performance of a village song and dance! Be treated to the Fijian way of life; experience how they live totally self sufficiently, off the land that surrounds them.
This village trip is available as a day excursion or a weekend trip. A minumum of 4 volunteers need to book for a day trip to be scheduled. This can be booked with your Project Coordinator in country.
A day trip pragramme will include a selection of the following:
Traditional village song and dance
Bamboo Rafting across the Rewa River – don't forget to bring your swimming trunks!
A mountain hike / trek to a spectacular view– walking boots essential
Traditional prawn fishing in the Rewa River
Followed by the traditional Lovo / Bamboo cooking of the prawns – where a Fijian feast will subsequently be laid out for you to indulge! (at extra cost)
Home-stay option (for weekend trip – at extra cost)
Volunteers can book this experience directly with their homestay family or enquire with Frontier's in country Project Coordinator. Volunteers should expect to pay approximately 65FJD for a 2 day experience
Rest & Recuperation Weekend UPGRADE
Treat yourself and spend your final weekend in Fiji in the lap of luxury with our special R & R weekend upgrade. You can book and pay in country with your Project Coordinator for the special Frontier discount price of US$29/$35 FJD per night.
This weekend upgrade facilities include:
Beach front accommodation
150m beach with hammocks and loungers
Popular beach bar with the cheapest beer on the coast on tap & a double happy hour
Pool and table tennis room
Free activities including sea kayak hire, coconut weaving and jewellery making and beach volley ball
Optional extras include: snorkel trip with kit US$13; bush trek to local waterfalls US$8; beach horse ride US$21; massage US$17 per hour; 2.5 hour surf lesson US$63
Lunch and dinner is not included and meals cost between US$6 an US$15
Banks / ATMs; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
Bars / cafes
Bureau de Change
Mobile phone shop
Traditional markets and cafes
Western style restaurants
Navua - 40 min boat journey at own cost from FJM, 1 hour journey from Suva
Banks; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
Mobile phone shop
7. Dates and Costs
PADI Open Water training US$525 may be available depending on the duration of your stay
First and Third Monday of the month.
Alternative dates available on request.
School Holiday Dates 2015
29th November 2014 – 18th January 2015
25th April - 10th May
15th August - 30th August
28th November - mid-January 2016
During school holidays a modified program will run with one to one coaching, educational workshops and extracurricular activities.
2 weeks and longer
Before you go
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK TEFL Certification (subject to duration of stay)
Airport pick-up (subject to your project start date)
Food (two meals per day)
Basic accommodation (hostel upgrade available at extra cost)
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
Airport pickup subject to start date
In-country transfers subject to start date
Boat transfer to Island of Beqa
Dive training courses available subject to duration of stay. PADI Open Water (US$525), PADI Advanced Open Water (US$483). (Courses available in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov). Course costs include PIC cards, PADI membership & use of Frontier project equipment and dive equipment (tanks, weights, BCDs, REGs etc), personal dive kit, (wet suit, fins, mask, snorkel etc) not included, recreational dives, speciality dives available at extra cost.
Dive kit is available for hire locally
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.
We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:
Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.
You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the
project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check
to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration
of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best
to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project.
Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.
Your insurance should include the following:
- Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
- Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
- Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).
If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up
to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider
obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to
do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain
cover for your baggage and personal effects.
8. How to apply
To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.
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