I spent two months on the tiny island of Caqalai in Fiji during my gap year. I had never scuba dived before and was super nervous to be living away from home for the first time on my own. The country of Fiji is the most welcoming place I've ever been, everywhere you go people say 'bula' meaning hello.
I lived on a remote island in the middle of the south pacific with about 20 other volunteers and about 10 staff members. A normal day consisted of duties at 6:30am, breakfast at 7, kit up for dives at 8 and then the day would begin. Diving twice a day most days and then duties again at 5 and dinner at 7. Island life was so much fun and so rewarding the more experience you gained. I began science training and lectures in the first week and also completed my Open Water. Living standards are very basic on the island but you quickly get used to this. Cooking and cleaning in a team make you appreciate the little things in life more and no hot water becomes a luxury.
At weekends we would travel to the capital city of Suva, climb mountains, eat good food and see cool places. The island next to Caqalai was a peaceful haven where we also spent weekends. You can stay on base at weekends and relax and trust me time flies by!
I came away from this program with much more understanding and insight into environmental issues and I have learned so much about sea life forms I never knew existed. Two months was certainly not enough and I would have loved to have done the internship where you stay on the island for 3 months then on a placement for another 3 months in Fiji. I made amazing friends and have such good memories of my experience. I would recommend this program to every body on their gap year who is looking for something new and exciting to do.