Travel Teacher: Volunteer Teaching - Aitutaki, Cook Islands

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About

Volunteering abroad will change your life. It gives you the opportunity to learn new skills, immerse yourself in unfamiliar cultures and develop as a person. On top of this, it is a fantastic way to travel and see the world, experiencing countries in a way that is impossible on the heavier trodden tourist trail, all whilst giving something back to local communities.

During the service portion of your programme, volunteers will get the opportunity to teach children fundamental academic and life skills, making a heart connection with the needs of others. Half of your day will be spent in school whilst the remainder will be spent exploring with your fellow group members and our expert team. We pack a huge amount into our expeditions to make sure you get the absolute most from your experience.

This programme is open to anyone who is passionate about education, travel and helping global communities.

Highlights
  • Join a group of like-minded travellers
  • Discover life on a remote island
  • Island hopping
  • Snorkelling
  • Whale Watching

Impact

As a volunteer you will play a vital role in the success and long-term sustainability of our projects in The Cook Islands. You will provide support to teachers in delivering fundamental academic and life skills lessons to students in a local school whilst contributing to valuable community development projects. Your role as a volunteer will include teaching, working as a classroom aid, supervising children’s activities (academic, sports, arts, crafts) and assisting with homework. All participants will receive the necessary training, resources and support.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Alice
10/10

1 Month to Change My World

I arrived in Aitutaki hoping to make an impact in the school ... what I didn’t expect was just how much this experience would change my life.
I’ve never been one to get up in front of a crowd and I was nervous about working in the school. It took me a couple of days to get the swing of things, but I got there and now I’ve realised that I want to peruse teaching.
I’ll never forget lying under the stars with some of the group, all of whom quickly became my favourite people. I always expected I’d meet interesting people; I didn’t realise we’d go from strangers, to friends, to family.
My advice to anyone considering Travel Teacher ... firstly, take water shoes (trust me, you’ll need them - stonefish) and secondly, jump in and give it a go. Things will be tough (believe me when I say that you’ll quickly get used to the cold showers), sometimes things might not go the way you expected and you will be given chances to jump headfirst out your comfort zone; but you won’t regret it and you may just find what direction you need to go in.

How can this program be improved?
Although I understand the difficulty of acquiring a minibus; it would be more convenient if Travel Teacher had its own transportation.
Yes, I recommend this program
A Solent University graduate passionate about traveling and submerging into diverse cultures
Vasil
10/10

Aitutaki Experience

It is hard to describe the multifaceted experience that Travel Teacher has provided me with, it definitely exceeded my expectations. I would recommend it to all of my friends who seek to submerge into another culture and different kind of experience than casual holiday making. Credit to Matt Ray for the perfect expedition planning which was smooth but busy, interesting and very exciting! Looking forward to the next expedition with Travel Teacher where I can make another positive impact surrounded by new lovely people who you are living with and becoming your family there!

How can this program be improved?
I quite enjoyed the whole management of the program. However, adding more activities and/or destinations to the program will be beneficial I guess.
Yes, I recommend this program
Andy
10/10

Cook Islands Review - Andy Tye

Incredible program where continuous support was provided from the outset and throughout. An amazing set of experiences were set by the company during the expedition as well. To complement this, a there were a variety, some of which were physically active and some allowed for full immursment in the local culture.

Alongside the expedition, the teaching award provided another aspect which made the teaching worthwhile.

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Joe
10/10

Simply unforgettable!

I think it speaks volumes that someone such as myself, who traditionally never takes photos of anything, ever, and who tends to run away at the sight of a camera lens ended up taking around 250 photos and 30 videos of my experience in Aitutaki, even selfies!, Which just goes to show the beauty of this paradise island. Everywhere you pointed your camera was a stunning photo opportunity just waiting to be taken. There is no where quite like it and I cannot believe that it has been almost 2 months since coming back to England already! I still think about the experience and miss it.

There was so much more the experience than just the beauty of the location though, throughout my 2 weeks in Aitutaki, not only was I able to challenging myself through immersing myself into a completely different culture, I embraced it, trying things I never thought I would've done in my 'bubble' back home in England. This ranged from local delicacies to entertainment and I can honestly say that it is a unique and deeply satisfying feeling to come out of your comfort zone and to experience this beautiful part of the world for what it is - paradise!

As beautiful as the island was, as amazing, unique and unforgettable as the experiences were, for me, what stood out the most was just how kind the local Maori people were. They made me and the rest of the Travel Teacher team feel like A-list celebrities ever since we arrived on their island and I, for one, felt home immediately despite being about as far away from home as was possible to be.

Of course, we were not just there on holiday, we embarked on this journey with Travel Teacher to make a difference to the lives of the Maori people whilst working at Araura College - the only secondary school on the whole island, which should come as little surprise when the population of Aitutaki is only around 2000. I was able to form a plethora of excellent relationships with both staff and students alike during my time at Araura college. I quickly came to realise that when the time came to say goodbye, that it was going to be an emotional day. Despite this awareness, nothing can quite prepare you for when that time does inevitably come. Hundreds of children and all of the staff gathered to welcome us to their school and hundreds gathered to say goodbye. Many gave hugs, many gave gifts, many even gave us presentations as to how our time at their school has impacted them on a personal level. This, coupled with the affirmation from the teachers, was a truly humbling feeling to have had such an impact on so many lives throughout my time on the island. I can honestly say that it went both ways as well.

As an aspiring PE teacher with plenty of experience in the field, for me personally, it is a special feeling when you impart some of your knowledge and skills and wisdom onto a child in a manner which benefits them through interpersonal development. Throughout my experience with Travel Teacher, I found that this epistemological belief that I had previously held was amplified tenfold. The whole package was a unique and unforgettable one and I would absolutely recommend Travel Teacher to anyone with a passion for education and/or travelling. You will be embarking on a journey you will never forget!

How can this program be improved?
More accurate description of prices and a more realistic expectation of how much money to bring.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Josh
10/10

Aitutaki

Words can not describe this thrilling and life changing experience.
I began the journey knowing a few faces from university and several I didn't know, however by the end of the experience we had all became life long friends. The exbiditions we embarked on were fantastic and allowed us to view scenery the majority of us have never encountered before. We also all managed to try something new which made to experience more personal and rememberable. The people and especially the children at the school made us feel so welcome, that you never wanted to leave. It was an eye opening experience which allowed everyone to see how people less fortunate than us live, and to participate in their beautiful culture. Furthermore Matt Ray allowed us to have the freedom to discover an make our own experience what we wanted. Travel teacher is really making a difference and I would recommend this experience to anyone.

Yes, I recommend this program
Dan
10/10

Aitutaki - Travel Teacher

Where to start... From the moment I touched down in Aitutaki Airport, to the moment I left, I felt like the luckiest person in the world. I love teaching, and being able to do something you love in a country you have never been to before and then fall in love with is just amazing!

This was such a unique experience as there is nothing like this at the moment in our industry and Matt Ray has such amazing connections which makes the whole journey a lot better. Being able to teach a group of children in a completely different culture to us here in the UK gave me such an insight into a different school curriculum and how countries with little financial or material support can bring out the best in children.

I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys travelling and or teaching or who is just looking to build their confidence away from home and jump out of their comfort zone!

An amazing journey, with some unforgettable experiences. The school was so welcoming and giving to us all, and I know I was able to give something back! The people on this island are the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever met and I can't wait to come back and see them all again!

The best thing about this whole trip though was the location. Stunning views, beautiful crystal clear lagoons with some unbelievable beaches! Hopefully I will become an ambassador for Travel Teacher in the further and help others experience what I have these last 2 weeks!

How can this program be improved?
Longer programmes, staying in different countries for longer to further impact the children.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Aaron
10/10

Aitutaki

This trip has been one I will never forget!
There has been so much positivity to take away from Aitutaki starting with the people! Teaching the children has been amazing! They are always excited to see you and embrace everything that you are trying to teach them!
Away from the school, no matter where you go, you are treated like a celebrity because everyone on the island is so thankful for everything you are doing to help the children, and as you learn when you come here, everyone knows each other and news travels fast!
When it comes to the activities that are included in your trip, it's hard to believe water can be so clear and so blue! The snorkelling has been a real highlight, as well as exploring some of the surrounding islands like 'One Foot Island'. In the evening, it's always great to take in a cultural show, especially because some of the dancers are some of the students you are teaching and the teachers you are helping. But the one thing I will take away from this trip the most, like I said at the beginning, is just how happy the people always are, even though in quite a lot of cases they live very basic lives. It's makes you feel more appreciative of everything we have available to us back in the UK. I very much plan on coming back to the Cook Islands again! And I already cannot wait for that day when I do come back out here!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alex
10/10

Travel Teacher

This is a life-changing experience that leaves you craving more. After my experience with Travel Teacher in the Cook Islands, I not only had the absolute privilege of teaching a number of kids that were eager and excited to learn and hear what I had to say, but I also was able to learn a lot more about myself and what I want to achieve in the coming years. The bright smiles running up to me each school day as we arrived is an image that I will never forget.

Outside of the classroom, Travel Teacher takes you to some of the most beautiful and sought after locations in the world. The ocean was beautiful, the people the friendliest I've ever known, and the food was fresh and gorgeous.

There is some of your traditional travel elements here of course, but what sets Travel Teacher aside from the rest is their culture. If you want a life changing experience that will push you out of your comfort zone, take you to places you have only dreamed of, and give you life long memories with new friends you'll never forget, then Travel Teacher is for you.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About Travel Teacher

Empowering you to pursue life-changing experiences around the world, leaving a positive mark on the communities you visit and the environments you explore.

Travel Teacher connects volunteers, classrooms and communities through meaningful study abroad...