• Fiji
Jul 13, 2020
Nov 19, 2019
19 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Join a marine conservation or community development internship in Fiji, an archipelago of over 300 islands. Did you know that a large percent of the world's coral species are based in Fiji, totalling over 43 percent? Despite the country’s vast number of coral reef ecosystems and incredible diversity, Fiji’s marine life is threatened by climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

Be part of the GVI journey to make a sustainable impact and contribute to the preservation and research of these vulnerable ecosystems in Caqalai. Or focus on community development initiatives and travel to a GVI base in Dawasamu, a remote district. There you will contribute to improving the quality of resources for education by supporting local teachers as they conduct environmental workshops, and assist with agricultural and women’s empowerment projects.

Your contributions align with the UN Sustainable development goals (UN SDGs) and adhere to a strict Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy.

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Program Highlights

  • Earn an ILM Leadership Certification, or gain a PADI dive qualification to add to your CV.
  • Make measurable sustainable impacts in marine conservation and community development in the Caqalai and Dawasamu districts.
  • Learn about different cultures, and taste traditional ethnic cuisines.
  • Meet people from around the world who share similar passions.
  • Contribute directly to the 17 UN SDGs.

Popular Programs

Volunteer working with community members in Fiji

This multifaceted program provides you with the opportunity to get involved in a number of community development initiatives. Support health awareness practices, such as WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), assist with education workshops, work alongside community members to encourage income generation, and contribute to environmental preservation and sustainable agricultural practices. When you aren’t working, explore the mountainous surroundings of Dawasamu.

Interns diving and conducting research in Fiji

Join an extensive training program to earn your PADI Divemaster, and expand your knowledge of marine species, ecosystems, and coral reefs in Caqalai – a palm-lined island with blue warm waters. You will spend the majority of time on dive expeditions, and assist with day-to-day operations at a local dive center. Add to your CV with practical experience, developed skills and qualifications, to improve your career pursuits in marine conservation.

Intern teaching students in Fiji

Gain TEFL experience in Fiji, Dawasamu, teaching local youth, and earn an ILM Leadership Certificate. Improve your lesson planning, classroom management, and facilitation skills while also supporting local teachers to provide higher quality education to local children. You will work alongside GVI partners to teach literacy, phonics, and plan physical education, art, and music classes. You could also get involved in workshops, sustainable gardening, and facility renovation projects.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 5 reviews
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  • 4 rating 0%
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  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.2
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.4
  • Housing 4.4
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

One Time In Fiji

I did a health internship in Dawasamu, Fiji for ten weeks. The ten weeks went in a flash and I couldn't believe I was suddenly standing under the village mango tree, listening to the farewell song instead of badly singing it!

I had a blast living in Silana, working on health projects and with the community team, hanging out with other volunteers, and getting to know the locals. Part of my internship was helping develop and present materials for health promotion in Dawasamu District. I was lucky enough to have the District Nurse as the person approving my materials and I loved working with her. Not many people can say they taught adults to sing Row Row Row Your Boat so that they could do CPR at the right speed. I also got to work with the rest of the community team on some building and community events.

Living on a base in the village you work with is pretty special. You make friends with the other volunteers, end up singing and dancing badly in the kitchen while baking cakes, and you get to become part of the village. My Fijian family is pretty big, spans three generations and quite a few houses, I have sisters my age, nieces and nephews under five who are hysterical, a mum, a dad, a lot of aunties and cousins. There's always someone there for in you Fiji, even when all you need is a cup of tea. I also learnt to weave, which was a lot of fun and I was always excited for Wednesdays to come so we could get to weaving class.

I would absolutely go back in a heartbeat because leaving was so hard. I didn't realise just how special that litttle village, nursing station, and project base had become to me, or how important the people were to me. Seriously, what more do you need to hear, check it out.

What was your funniest moment?
I was supporting the District Nurse in teaching a family planning class to high schoolers in the next village over. An other volunteer had come with us to provide moral support, and help if there was a big group. She decided the best way to demonstrate the use of a condom was to pull it over her hand like a glove, causing amazement in the teens. We then handed a few around in packets, low and behold, we never got them back, and there were a few sheepish looking teens on the way out.
29 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Zoe, thanks for your great review! I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us as much as you did. Your hard work and efforts have certainly impacted this project in a meaningful way. Please do keep on spreading your love for GVI. And obviously, we would love to see you back on base soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Humbling Experience

When I first signed up for this trip I had no clue what to expect or what I would be doing. I arrived in a small village called Silana and were instantly welcomed into the community with open arms and a friendly Bula (hello). The people in the village are the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. We were welcomed into many of their homes where they would cook meals for us or just enjoy our company by telling stories and learning about their culture. I worked with the community development program where we worked closely with members of the community, helping them build recycling points, start up school gardens, and talk about health and preventative care. It was an amazing opportunity to get close with the members of the community as well as make an impact on their village. I was only there for 2 short weeks but I’ve learned more from them about happiness, life, and family than I have in my entire life. It was truly a humbling experience and tears were shed when it was time to leave. I would highly recommend this program because you get a first hand experience on the culture and lifestyle of the community as well as get to experience all the beauty the island has to offer!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to you is to take in every second and appreciate everything the island has to offer! Talk to the people in the village, get to know them and their culture. Try a coconut, swim in the ocean, take lots of pictures, make friends with the other volunteers, learn as much of their language as you can, and most importantly- Have Fun!! (Also bring a mosquito net!!)
32 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Mackenzie, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Education internship in Fiji

Sleeping a few meters from the sea, watching beautiful sunrises over distant islands through coconut trees, my two adoptive village families, laughter, music, singing and dancing in the village hall will forever be my memories of Fiji and my six month internship there…..but there was so much more.
As a mature intern heading off for new experiences, Fiji was a perfect place to start. A newly acquired TEFL qualification gave a little confidence, but the reality of holding the interest of a lively, challenging group of youngsters for the full length of lessons in PE, Art and Music required a new set of skills, patience and enthusiasm. One to one teaching, helping those struggling in Maths and English was a quieter affair and definitely rewarding seeing progress made and the delight students showed as they achieved each small step.
Three months living and working with other volunteers and project staff, learning all I could from them, was followed by 3 months in a different school and group of villages as the only volunteer, where no-one had preceded me. It was nerve wracking going to live with a Fijian family away from the support and companionship of the other volunteers, but I needn’t have worried, the Headmaster, his wife (Deputy Head Teacher) and their two children were so lovely and my time with them was filled with laughter and fun. The school was well run and the children had all the right building blocks to speak English but lacked the courage to start; reassurance that mistakes didn’t matter was all that was needed for the flood gates to open. Thus followed much laughter, noisy classrooms playing charades and other games to encourage speaking English, quieter one to one sessions, plus the massive task of sorting through boxes of old books, setting up a library and initiating weekly library sessions for all the children.
All too soon my six months was over. The thing I was least prepared for was how hard it would be to leave, to say goodbye to two schools, my two adopted families, the staff and other interns and of course all the villagers - a massive emotional wrench but so worth it for the joy and memories which will last forever.

What would you improve about this program?
Many improvements and changes have already occurred since my internship.
34 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Roslyn, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Fiji

On the first day we were met by the GVI staff members and treated to a delicious breakfast of local fruits. Before long, we were on our way across the lush, green island to the small village of Silana. Our arrival was eagerly anticipated by the other GVI volunteers, who welcomed us with smiles and lunch!
Our first Sunday was spent in church and getting to know our Fijian families. A traditional Fijian meal was prepared and we were supplied with pillows and told to ‘take a nap’ for the afternoon, happily following the local custom that no work can be done on a Sunday.
The following weeks involved getting to know our class at school. The level of spoken and written English varied dramatically throughout the class but all the children were keen to learn and practice, particularly if that involved gossiping about other class members or volunteers! I was struck by the enthusiasm of the children in my class – something that I never experienced whilst I was at school. They had dreams of being doctors or teachers in order to help out their community, but most of all, they wanted to travel.
My experience in Silana was one of the most treasured moments of my life. The village was so welcoming, always ready to teach you Fijian or inviting you into their house for dinner. The evenings were spent drinking kava in the community hall or watching exceptional performances of the Meke – a traditional Fijian dance.
Almost as soon as we arrived it was time to leave. The morning came for us to leave and the women of the village came to say goodbye in the traditional way – through song. By the time the stunning harmonies of Isa Lei had come to an end there wasn’t a dry eye getting in the van to leave.
I know I speak for all the volunteers when I say that being in Silana was a truly special experience and that we would all do anything to go back. Four weeks was definitely not long enough and I would thoroughly recommend this program to anyone and everyone!

What would you improve about this program?
We could have been provided with slightly more accurate, up-to-date information about the program before we arrived.
29 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Florence, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience EVER!

The two months I spent on the Education Project in 2011 were undoubtedly the best of my life!! I feel like not only wasI able to make everlasting, positive change in the lives of many deserving children and families, but also got to do so in one of the most beautiful places in the world with some of the most amazing people in the world. I helped to establish the first kindergarten at Ratu Meli Memorial School, and was able to use all of my teaching experience in doing so. To see it continue to grow and develop today is absolutely amazing! The other volunteers I met are still my friends to this day, and are actually my forever Fiji family. This experience is NOT a vacation however--it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and yes, there is definitely a lot of fun that goes on as well, but its not just a kick-back holiday.The only word that comes even close to describing my experience is incredible, and that is still lightyears away from doing it justice. It made me grow as a professional and a person, and I would definitely recommend it!

What would you improve about this program?
I do not recall having any access to any program Ambassadors, and feel like if I had it definitely would have been helpful. I think that potential volunteers should be given an updated list of program ambassadors so they can talk to them before they decide to go and then if they do, while they are preparing for it. I know I would have taken advantage of it!
31 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Lisa, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Questions & Answers