Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Fiji

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About

Projects Abroad has been providing volunteer placements abroad since 1992. In Fiji volunteers are involved in Orphanage Work, Medicine & Healthcare, Teaching, Conservation & Environment, and Culture & Community. Our volunteers will have a direct impact on the local community through service projects arranged and coordinated by expect in-country staff.

Take this opportunity to volunteer in Fiji! It's an experience you will cherish forever!

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Select your own start date and duration
  • Get 24/7 support from our local staff
  • Gain practical international experience and build up your credentials for your resume
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 18 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9
Showing 16 - 18 of 18
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loopylou
5/10

3 months of Fiji heaven.

The best experience that I had in Fiji was living with my host family, I had the best time with them, they were always accomadating and lovely towards me. I was based in a muslim primary school and my overall experience there today was not that good. Although the school was lovely and the teachers and children were all friendly I felt a little out of place and felt like the teachers didn't really know what to do with me. I think that projects abroad staff should check on students more then just 3 times in 3 months and that was in the first month). Projects abroad staff are very nice and are usually on hand if you have any problems, although I found if I had a problem I would turn to my family as my first port of call. As they were there all the time and obviously they live there, and some of the staff aren't from Fiji.

With the social scene volunteers are usually very friendly and there is a social every week, although sometimes not adapting to everyones budgets which was a problem.

When comparing my experience to others that were with me at the same time, the school I was placed in was probably the worst of the schools, as the majority that I talked too, they were very involved with lessons and even taking lessons, whereas I never got the chance to, or asked too. Which was a little dissapointing But overall it was a worthwhile experience and i did have a good relationship with the children and my teacher so it made the experience great for me.

No, I don't recommend
Default avatar
Aj
9/10

Teaching in Fiji

I’m not sure where to begin explaining my wonderful time spent teaching in Fiji. I’ll start by explaining who I am and why I chose Fiji and Projects Abroad.

My name is Aaron; I am from the United States of America, and I graduated from a local University just weeks before my departure to Fiji. I came across Projects Abroad after searching through countless volunteer organizations and found that Projects Abroad went above and beyond in helping me organize my trip (in such a small time frame might I add – just 3-4 weeks from my registration to arrival).

Why Fiji? Why not?! I was informed that Fiji was a new location for the organization and though that added some level of anxiety to the journey, the idea of teaching in a far-corner of the world intrigued me. As it turns out, I was one of the very first volunteers to arrive in Nadi, Fiji with Projects Abroad.

I began teaching at Andrew’s Primary School in Fiji just 3 hours after my plane landed…by choice! I worked with a handful of children, one-on-one, developing their reading, speaking, and writing skills for two days there (which was the tail-end of a “summer school” type program). After that program ended, I was placed at Nadi Christian Academy where I remained for the duration of my stay in Fiji.

I lived on the same street as Nadi Christian Academy (NCA) with a widow (Anna), her son (Wilson), and her daughter (Tina). I also had several roommates from all over the world there – one from the U.S., one from England, and one from Canada. Anna was an amazing cook and her children were very lively and a pleasure to be around. I really enjoyed my stay there and did not feel homesick at all.

I arrived at NCA to find that it had recently been devastated by a flood. The bottom floor of the two-story complex was completely destroyed by the rising waters. Many desks, books, utensils, and teaching materials were ruined. With only 3 Fijian teachers for Kindergarten through 8th grade (yes, only 3 teachers!), the school was very appreciative of my services. Though I had no formal training as a teacher back home, I immediately took to the students at the school – as did they to me. I was instantly given the title “Master Eroni” or “Master Aaron” as the English translation and was assigned to teach grades 7 and 8 English. Ultimately, however, I agreed to teach all subjects because of the poor state of the school and lack of teachers.

I began by telling the students about myself: where I am from, what I do for fun, what my family is like, and why I came to teach them. They were very enthusiastic about my presence and asked loads of questions. After that, I formulated a curriculum for the class and even created an “incentive” chart in which the students would earn stickers by completing homework assignments or earning better than 90% on exams. I recommend doing this if you teach anywhere because the kids absolutely loved it!

Nearly every student had some basic understanding of the English language (though to varying degrees – some did not speak it at all and some spoke it perfectly). I will elaborate a bit on my English lessons to give an idea of what a typical day included.

I gave the students homework every night. Usually I would combine their scripture lessons with their English lessons by having them write an essay (after classroom instruction) about a given spiritual topic. This worked very well. Also, the students could expect at least 2 or 3 vocabulary exams from me each week. When introducing the vocabulary I often played a game with them such as hangman.

My favorite exercise for introducing a new, large vocabulary word worked like this: I wrote the word across the blackboard (ex: “EXECUTION”), then had the students use the letters of the word to find as many smaller words as they could in 5 minutes (ex: “CUT” “TON” “TIN” “CUTE” etc.). After that, I would help them learn how to pluralize those words by asking if the plural form of each word should be made by adding an “s” or an “es” to the end of the word (ex: “CUTS” vs. “CUTES”). Finally, I would explain the whole word – “EXECUTION” – by giving the definition and several examples of how to use it in a sentence. Then, the word “EXECUTION” was added to vocabulary list for the exam. Other topics included: direct vs. indirect quotations, use of pronouns, pronunciation, use of commas, writing creative fictional stories, detailing a hypothesis, writing a 5 paragraph essay, how to support an argument with quotations, etc.

Outside of the classroom I taught the whole school (about 150 students) how to play ultimate frisbee and kickball. They had never heard of either of these sports before so it was challenging to explain the rules but they were very interested in learning. I particularly enjoyed this time spent with the kids because my degree is in exercise physiology. During lunch and recess we would often play games and share jokes in the school yard. This was a great way to get to know the students. We became very close over the course of my placement.

On my last day of teaching, my students threw a surprise party for me! We had cookies and juice and they even gave me a few souvenirs to take home (a stuffed animal, several bracelets, a t-shirt, and notes that read “Do not open until you get home” on the outside). Ultimately, I promised the students and my host family that I would return to Fiji in 2-3 years. I fully intend to keep that promise.

Overall, the Projects Abroad Fiji experience changed my life. It offers so many things for the volunteer; you learn from the students, you learn from the other volunteers who are from all walks of life, you learn from your host family, you can learn a new language, you teach others about yourself and most importantly, you learn a ton about yourself by living with and helping others. Not to mention the amazing excursions you can do in your free time for very cheap! For these reasons and many more, I highly recommend the volunteer experience in Fiji to anyone interested in traveling with Projects Abroad.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Gwen
10/10

Projects Abroad

My stay with Projects Abroad in Fiji changed my life, it changed me, changed my outlook on life and made it clear to me what I want to spend my life doing.
From the first moment I came across the Projects Abroad website and I signed up with them, They were so friendly and there to answer even the most stupidest questions I had for them. They put me in contact with the Country Assistant Manager in my destination Country (Fiji) and she told me everything that was going on and got me so excited for my trip. The attention, help and advice before I went away was absolutely 100%.
Even though I was a little delayed getting through immigration in Fiji a staff member was still there to meet me and was as happy and welcoming to me as if I were her own daughter coming home from abroad.
My host family were more incredible than I could have asked for or ever, ever imagined. They were Welcoming, they were friendly, open, funny and so interesting. They had so much to tell me and from my first night there, they were teasing me and calling me their daughter. From my fellow volunteers I heard they were also happy with their families which makes me feel like Projects Abroad have done well in choosing their host families. Saying that, everyone i Fiji is fantastic.
I usually set my alarm for about half six so that I could be showered and dressed and have my packed lunch ready and be out of the house by half past seven. My host mami would always be up and ready to wish me well for the day. The food I ate was delicious! I am vegetarian and the family were very open to cater for me and always asked me if I wanted to assist them to the Supermarket.
My school was fantastic and the teachers were also very understanding and it was clear that they respected the Organisation as well as the individual volunteers. All though it is Projects Abroad policy that the volunteers were there to assist the teachers, there would be staff situations that came up, where you as the volunteer would have to take the class alone, sometimes only an hour, but also sometimes for the whole day. This as you can imagine, can be very challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Work can sometimes be hard as it is in your own Country but when you're 1000's of miles in an unfamiliar place, where no one speaks your language it is ten times more daunting! Personally, I wouldn't of had my work any other way.. it kept me on my toes, it kept me determined and focused. There is no lies in the eyes of your class when they say 'Thank you teacher!'.. you know they genuinely mean it.
The Country Assistant Manager would come into the School and also to my home every now and again to check up if things were running well and keep notes on anything I had to say and would be very open to support any ideas that I wanted to bring to the School independently.
The team was really great at making sure all the volunteers kept in touch. Each volunteer got a contact list with everyone's numbers on it and at times I found this very helpful and convenient! At least once a week we would set a place and time where everyone could get together for dinner and drinks.
I have to admit that not all of it was paradise. Sometimes the staff members weren't so great,and sometimes I felt that they should be more efficient with things, especially considering the amount of money I paid to be there. For instance it was very frustrating when you and some fellow volunteers needed to go the office to get some teaching materials, check emails or reporting something of yours had been stolen, then to turn up and to find it being locked with no staff members answering their phones.
I think personally the only thing I would have done differently was brought more back up money, as when my credit card got blocked, I had nothing until my mother managed to wire me something across. Definitely something to remember for next time!
Excluding the minor downsides that occurred throughout my time there, I have to say that overall I was happy with the Organisation and would recommend it to anyone and everyone, whatever age you are! I got so involved with the local people that if the staff couldn't help me with something, one of the local people I'd met would! The advantage of Projects Abroad having a higher price for your placement is that you really have to work for it, whether that's getting a job, or also doing fundraising alongside it.
With its ups and its downs, I think Projects Abroad is brilliant and definitely have the volunteers at heart. They will pick up and work hard on any suggestions of improvement the volunteers come forward with. All in all I felt safe and well looked after and I am looking forward to my next placement with them.

Yes, I recommend

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About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast...