A Guide To Gap Year in Fiji
Think about the most gorgeous island that you can imagine. Now, multiple that in beachy whiteness and watery turquoise-ness by a zillion. This will bring you in the range of what Fiji is like. Add in some island time and a cup of kava tea and you have yourself the dream gateway destination of a lifetime. This, my friends, is Fiji. It’s coconuts. It’s epic sunsets. It’s immediate family. And it’s extra heaps of sugar in your tea. It’s time to take a gap year in Fiji!
Fiji is a nation made up of over 300 islands and is about the size of New Jersey or Connecticut. How the heck do you narrow down living in Fiji?
Mamanucas. Pack your underwater camera and stop on by to the island group off to the West; the Mamanuca islands are to die for. Once you can catch a breath from the transcendental views, grab another and dive under the surface to catch sights of some of the most colorful water organisms in the world. Land yourself a sweet gig working in Fiji as a scuba dive instructor and you can call this view yours for the next year. Even if you are spending your gap year in another part of Fiji, the Mamanucas are see a must-see for you to spend a handful of weekend getaways at.
Suva. Throughout in the middle of the ocean, Suva is the largest city in the South Pacific with around 74,000 people. Downtown is an exciting blend of colonial architecture, traditional construction, sacred temples and mosques, and vibrantly colorful fruit stands with a splash of Indian flair. Suva is on a main island so finding loads to do while you work or volunteer in Fiji will be simple.
Hmm...what to do during your gap year in Fiji? I’ll state the obvious:
Scuba Diving Instruction. Fiji is a top notch location for being underwater. On some days you can see 40 meters (meters, that’s nearly half a football field) into the watery horizon. Scuba diving instructors really have the best jobs ever, they make their living while working in Fiji’s most popular gems. You can even arrive a few weeks early to get your advanced open water diving certification to polish up your resume, find a better job, AND be able to take more weekend adventures yourself during your gap year program.
Adventure Travel. The land is just as idyllic as the water here. Fiji has views that can make a National Geographic photographer tear up. Hike your way up lush, emerald, rolling hills and lose your breath to the most mesmerizing views of islands you have ever seen. Zipline into the day as your trek deeper into the wild, away from the busyness of the urban life. Your gap year in Fiji deserves it.
Volunteering. Still a developing country, you can help out with the local community by working with smaller organizations of all types. Want to work in tourism? Check. Desire to work in marine conservation? Check mate. Volunteer in Fiji to make your gap year extra meaningful.
Costs. Fiji is extremely cheap to live in. Public transportation is abundant and food is highly affordable. Make some friends and hit up the night scene and still walk away with money in your wallet. FundMyTravel is another way to gather some extra funds for your gap year in Fiji.
Accommodations. Want to stay in a bungalow? Or a hammock on the beach? You can probably do that here. Gap year programs generally help you find a place to sleep at night but if you take a look around here, a lot of people are living in Fiji in bungalows ;)
Visas. When living in Fiji for this length of time, you WILL need a visa. This is an extra right of passage / entry that you need for your passport. You might be able to get this directly at the airport when you land in Nadi, or you might need to coordinate your visa well in advance. Check with the GoAbroad Embassy Directory to figure out what exactly you will need to do before you leave.
Safety. Luckily, Fiji is a pretty safe place to live—say “Bula!” to friendships and community, not pickpocketing or harassment. You’ll need to worry more about getting too much sunshine than a bad person. In all serious though, you shouldn’t take this for granted. Keep your wits near you, always!
Pop quiz time. Are gap years (A) the best education possible, (B) retirement coming early, or (C) the adventure you didn’t know you needed? ALL OF THEM. Gap years, in Fiji especially, are an epic (and perfect!) excuse for an interdisciplinary recess. Work hard, play hard. You’ll be rewarded for it.
Keep in mind that Fiji’s economy benefits heavily from its thriving tourism industry. This means that #resortlife is rampant, and expensive. Even though you’re a meaningful traveler, this can hit your pocket book, too. The farther away you get from major cities in Fiji, the steeper prices climb for anything that you need to buy. So load up on supplies before you head out on that remote adventure!
If you are looking for a stellar gap year abroad where smiling locals is as warm of the tropical sun, pencil in Fiji as your gap year program destination.
Feeling hesitant or nervous about taking a gap year...don’t! Keep reading!
Take a Gap Year in Fiji
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