Volunteering is a wonderful way to find fulfillment, help the environment and other communities, and make a difference in the world. Now imagine doing all those things while living on a beautiful tropical island in the South Pacific. Now presenting: Oceania. This region of independent nations and some territories, including (but not limited to) Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, American Samoa, and Papua New Guinea, is home to some of the most beautiful and remote places on the planet. While they serve as great vacation destinations, they also offer plenty of volunteer opportunities!

Conservation

Despite Oceania’s small size, it is quite ecologically diverse. There are mountains, deserts, tropical rainforests, and don’t forget the Great Barrier Reef! Some of these islands have unique flora and fauna only found in this part of the world, so preserving biodiversity for the future is a huge concern and task. As a volunteer, you might be cataloguing fish in the ocean. Or you’ll be working to preserve the reefs. No matter what you choose to do, as a volunteer, there will be plenty of opportunities to protect the environment in Oceania.

Education

If teaching is your gig, or you aspire to become an educator, Oceania is a great place to volunteer with an education focus. Teaching English is a popular option, and as ESL jobs are harder to come by here than in some other parts of the world, volunteering to teach English may be your best bet to educate while exploring this part of the world. Some programs will assign you to a specific school to teach various subjects. Some teaching volunteer positions require yearlong commitments, although there are plenty that are more short-term should you decide to stay for a couple weeks or months.

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle Conservation is so popular and awesome that it gets its own category. These amazing aquatic animals can be found throughout Oceania, so you can volunteer to work with them in locations such as Australia or Fiji. Many sea turtle projects work to count and tag turtles as well as protect their nests after they lay eggs. If your dream is to help out turtles, like the ones from ‘Finding Nemo,’ this volunteer opportunity will be perfect for you.

Cost of Living

Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the most expensive cities to live in the entire world. According to the Mercer Organization, Australia has six of the top 50 most expensive cities, and New Zealand has two of the top 100. That being said, the other island nations and territories in the South Pacific have much lower costs of living, but it can still be expensive to get to many of these places depending on where you’re travelling from.

Oceania Lifestyle and Culture

With so many countries, cultures, climates, and varying nature wonders, you’ll find a great deal of diversity in these gems floating in the Pacific. Most island cultures bear influence from native cultures and European cultures. It is impossible to pin down one overarching lifestyle or cultural practice for the whole region, or even a whole country.

Languages in Oceania

You’ll find that English is commonly spoken throughout Oceania, especially in places like Australia, New Zealand, and some of the American Islands. French is spoken on some islands that were former territories of France. There are many native languages throughout Oceania including Fijian, Gilbertese, Mashallese, Nauruan, Māori, Palauan, Tok Pisin, Samoan, Tongan, Tuvaluan, Bislama, and numerous others.

Questions to Ask

Which country do I want to volunteer in? What do I hope to do on this trip? What kinds of projects are best suited to my interest? Do I want to be in an urban, suburban, or rural area? How long would I like to volunteer for?

Contributed by Kylie Genter

Programs

Displaying 31 - 45 of 117
Global Routes
North America
5 reviews3 interviews

Global Routes has been a pioneer and leader in the field of immersive international programs for over 50 years. We specialize in...

Highly rated for Impact, Support, Fun

Recently Reviewed Programs

This is where we went on a snorkeling weekend trip!
Rachel Driggs
10/10
My trip to Fiji with Rustic Pathways was absolutely amazing! I couldn't have asked for a better experience in my life. When I first thought about going overseas to Fiji, I was very nervous about...
Community Day
Tessa Bock
10/10
Such an amazing experience! This was my first trip by myself so far away from home but I would do it all over again if I could! From how to pack your bags to booking your flights.. Projects Abroad...
Big Fiji 2019 week one group
Morgan Musgrove
10/10
After spending 2 weeks in Fiji I have become attached to much more than just the beaches and the country. The highlight of my trip was learning about the culture and getting to know the people. Fiji...
On our first day of doing community service in Fiji, we went to an animal shelter in Nadi. At that animal shelter, we helped build a kennel, walked dogs, and did much more
Eli Terrill
10/10
During the summer of 2019, I took the “Sun, Sand, and International Service” trip to Fiji and the “Escape to the Fiji Islands” trip. I was in Fiji for a total of three weeks while doing these trips. I...