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Care in Fiji with Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Care in Fiji with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The trip of a lifetime!

This past May, I was given the amazing opportunity to travel to Fiji for a volunteer project. I was placed in Lautoka, Fiji for 3 weeks with the most kind people I have ever met. My host family took me in with open arms and treated me like one of their own. I consider them my second family across the Pacific now. This kind of treatment also extended to the people at my project placement. My project placed me in a kindergarten just outside of town. My job at this project was to give the teachers assistance in teaching the children the alaphabet, numbers, and english. The children were adorable and excited to learn! There were also other volunteers at the same school as me. This was very cool because you had friends to walk to school with and to hang out with after school was over. When it came to the weekends, these are the people you got to go travel Fiji with. I wish I would have stayed longer because I only got to scrape the surface of what this country has to offer. There are so many places to see and things to do in this country.
Fiji is a beautiful country with wonderful people. I was fortunate enough to see Fiji in the eyes of a local during the week, and in the eyes of a tourist on the weekends. Not many people can say they have done that. The friends I made while there, and the people I encountered will hold a special place in my heart forever.

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review August 18, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    What a beautiful picture, Nichole! Thanks for sharing your experience. Indeed, most people just know the tourist side of Fiji, so it's wonderful that you got to experience life in this gorgeous island as a local and truly immerse yourself in the culture. The children are always eager to meet new teachers from around the world, and it makes their learning process more fun and engaging. Hope to see you again soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

My Fiji time

In April this year, I was fortunate enough to volunteer with Projects Abroad, in Fiji for 2 weeks. I had the idea of volunteering for quite sometime however, Projects Abroad made it come to life and I am so grateful. For a 21 year old who has never travelled alone, projects abroad offered the support I needed to feel safe in Fiji from day dot. Having a good local support system really added to my experience. Not only did Mere (Project Advisor) show me around the city, how to get to and from placement, how to catch the bus etc. All the staff offered endless advise on the country including places to see and where to go. The staff made sure all the volunteers where located near each other and close to the projects abroad office. This ensured that we could all stay in touch as well as offering a sense of safety. One of the challenges I felt, prior to my stay in Fiji was feeling comfortable living with a host family. I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to my host parents Shayal and Raj and shown around my new humble home! My host family had everything I needed to feel comfortable in Fiji. Shayal always had yummy curries and roti prepared, and made sure my experience was the best that it could be. The most fulfilling part of my experience was at my placement. In the mornings I would assist teachers at Tiny Tots kindergarten then later walk to Saunaka Village to teach year 6/7 class. The children were so eager to learn about Math and English and showed so much respect. On the last day of my placement the children were very enthusiastic to show me around their village. Within 2 minutes of my tour, Jope the head boy, lead us down to a river. As soon as we were on the bank, all the boys ran and jumped in leaving the girls laughing and smiling, practically in tears. It was such an honour to be apart of their lives and be so warmly welcomed into their community.

Being apart of a like-minded community felt so good. The memories I have, the friendships I have formed with people from all over the world, will never be forgotten. It was truly the best experience of my life and I am looking forward to organising another trip, a longer one this time!

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review May 25, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Hi Aimee
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Fiji! The community and our families are indeed very welcoming and work hard to make volunteers feel at home and comfortable. It's great that you were able to create such a bond with your students. I am sure they will cherish this experience as much as yourself!
    Thanks for sharing!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Once in a lifetime

The best decision of my life was my semester off volunteering, and Projects Abroad made it so amazing. The staff in my country took me and all the other volunteers in and we felt like one big family. We have weekly meetings and dinners all together, then usually would go out after, and once a month we would do a Community Day and go out to a village or shelter or anywhere that needed help and just helped out... In my three months, I painted kennels at SPCA, went to a women and children's village on a holiday called Diwali, and built a fence in a village's farm to keep the pigs out. The best part was the people you got to meet while helping. They also place you in a school or whichever program you applied for (mine was a special needs school) and are there every step along the way, from meeting the other staff, to complains or concerns, or in some people's cases, a placement change. You're also placed in a host family, which I believe was the highlight of my whole placement. The families you get to meet and live with take you in and you really become a family member while you're there, and even still after you're gone! Another relationship you hold onto after you leave are the friends you make in other volunteers and natives of your country. Everyone has Facebook nowadays, so it's not hard to stay connected. One of my closest friends now, who I met in Fiji, is from Denmark, and we still talk every week, if not more! Volunteering really helped me grow and find myself while making life long friends in my staff, natives, and other volunteers! Really a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it's a easy one to get to with all the help you receive from Projects Abroad!

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association