Fiji Islands Discovered

Come join us in Fiji this year and help to provide remote villages with access to fresh water, restore local school equipment and teach English to primary school children.

  • Constructing rain water catchment tanks
  • Teaching English at local school
  • Restoring the school equipment and buildings
  • Live with a family in a traditional village
  • Island hopping in the beautiful South Pacific

In the first week you will living in a 'homestay' in a traditional Fijian village. After being welcomed with a ceremonial bowl of Kava you will be working with the villagers constructing rain water catchment tanks so that the villagers have access to fresh, clean and running water. You will also be helping out in the local school teaching English through basic lessons and games and also restoring the school equipment and buildings. Furthermore, you will be helping to run basic workshops demonstrating proper hygiene techniques.


Fijian school children


Fiji tropical adventure

In the second week you will be off on an incredible tropical island hopping adventure! Imagine sailing to your own private island to relax in a hammock on the beach or to be as active as you want! Swimming, kayaking, snorkelling, volleyball, fishing and more! All you have to worry about is catching the boat to the next island and the next little piece of paradise in the South Pacific…

A Volunteer Eco Students Abroad program allows you the opportunity to make a difference and enjoy incredible moments in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world.

"The village stay was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I learned so much about Fijian culture and everyday life. I will never forget my stay". Alex Sferrazza - McMaster University 

"My experience with VESA is something I will never forget. I had a great time meeting new friends and creating new memories. The Fijians are some of the friendliest people I have met and I am glad I could do just a small part to make a difference in their lives. Thanks VESA for this opportunity." Makyla Moen - Brandon University 

Information about Fiji

Fiji is quite simply picture postcard stunning! White sandy beaches, turqouise water, lush tropical mountains and a smile on every local's face.

The jewel of the South Pacific, the Fijian Islands cover around 1.3 million square kilometres but less than 1.5% of this is dry land. Fiji has over 300 islands and VESA invites you to come join us this year and see a few of the best!

Fiji lies to the south of the equator and to the north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the international date line making a marked dogleg to the east to keep all of Fiij falling within the same time zone. The largest island and home to it's capital (Suva) is Viti Levu. Suva, the capital of Fiji and it's largest city has a poplulation of little over 190,000 people. Whilst English is widely spoken in Fiji, the official languages are Fijian and Fijian Hindi.


Fiji Island Discovery

Owing to it's geography Fiji's richest wildlife is found underwater, in it's crystal clear oceans. There are hundreds of species of hard and soft corals, seas fans and sponges. The tropical fish of Fiji are breathtaking and numerous. Finding Nemo is relatively simple in the warm waters of Fiji's coral reefs. Turtles can be seen cruising the shallows near the beaches and numerous large pelagic and reef fish abound!


Fiji Island Discovery

Fiji's population is a vibrant melting pot of indigenous Fijian's and Indo - Fijian's. Whilst indigenous Fijian's are more likely to live in traditional villages with strict hierarchy, the minority Indo - Fijian's are more prevalent in the larger cities. It is a predominantly Catholic society with a significant Hindu minority. Women play an important role in the Fijian economy and society with female travellers rarely, if ever, experiencing any trouble in this friendly and welcoming culture.

Although a fortunate country in many ways, Fiji is still a developing nation. Average wages for unskilled workers is about $50 per week with this figure even lower within remote communities. Whilst tourism has bought prosperity to some fortunate Fijian's, many of the large resorts and operators are foreign operated with profit's headed overseas.

Even so, the Fijian people remain endearingly optimistic and welcoming. The lucky few that experience traditional village life in Fiji whilst volunteering with VESA will take away memories and make friendship's that will last a lifetime.

Fiji Islands Discovered

Itinerary 2017

Day 1 Flight to Nadi.
You will be met at Nadi International Airport by our friendly VESA staff member who will be easily recognisable in their VESA t-shirt and will be holding a sign. Please ensure that whatever your flight arrangements, you will be at the international arrivals hall at the time of the group flight arrival. We will be transported by coach to our hostel. This is your free day for shopping/souvenirs ‘acclimatising’, and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Overnight at hostel.
Day 2 Breakfast at hostel and then coach to our village where you will be introduced to your host family. After settling in to your home stay we will be properly introduced to the village in a traditional welcoming ceremony.
Day 3-8 You will begin your volunteer work on day 3. You will be split into groups to undertake the following: working with children in the village school teaching English and basic sanitation, renovating and revitalising the facilities with fresh coats of paint, installing new play equipment and the construction and installation of bathrooms, water catchments composting units.

(Day 7:This will be the traditional day of rest in Fiji)

A typical day volunteering goes a little like this:
8:00am - Breakfast
9:00am – Begin Volunteer work
12:30pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Continue volunteer work
4:00pm – Finish
4:30pm – Free time and activities:
7:00pm – Dinner
8:00pm – Free time and activities
Day 9-10 Coach to the port of Denarau then cruise to Nacula Island on a boat ride full of sun and sea. Spend the days on the beach, in the hammock, playing volleyball, kayaking or snorkeling - fun and games at night. You can do as little or as much as you want. Visit the caves and the blue lagoon. Optional kayaking, and fishing trips are available
Day 11-12 Cruise to Korovou Island Resort - Long live Island Life! Swim in the pool, hang by the bar, get a game of volleyball going, hammocks and crab racing. Korovou is your chance to try Scuba Diving (optional as below). Spend the morning snorkelling with the manta rays or at the coral gardens with the reef sharks! Trek to honeymoon beach or just relax by the pool for the day.
Day 13 Cruise to Bounty Island in the Mamanuca Island group.
Day 14 Last day on the islands. Transfer to the mainland and flight home or transfer to Suva for the Slow Boat to Paradise marine conservation project.

Inclusions:

  • All meals, except day 1.
  • All accommodation.
  • All volunteer materials and local builders/assistants.
  • Drinking water when necessary.
  • All in country transportation.
  • All activities except where indicated as optional.

Optional extras (approx prices only):

  • Massage $50-60FJD
  • Sawailau Cave Trip $70FJD
  • Scuba Diving $150FJD Intro Dive
  • Scuba Diving $195FJD 
  • Banana Boat $25FJD
  • 'A Week in Paradise' Turtle Conservation Project $899

Accommodation:

1st day - Nadi
Free day - meals not included
Hostel in dorm style accommodation separated into male female
Electricity, full bathrooms, bed linen, phone cards and internet available in the town. Close to shops and medical clinics.

7 Nights Fijian family home stay
All meals
Room shared with one or two other same gender volunteers.
Drinking water where deemed necessary, limited electricity, communal toilets, river, no internet,no phones.

2 nightsNabua Lodge – Nacula Island

2 nights Korovou Island Resort

1 night Bounty Island
All Meals
Dorm accommodation, linen, full bathrooms, no phones, credit card facilities.

Fiji Islands Discovered 2017

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Fiji Islands Discovered

Marine Conservation

1

Sat April 29th - Sun May 14th 2017

Depart Nadi - Sun May 21st 2017

2

Sat May 13th - Sun May 28th 2017

Depart Nadi - Sun June 4th 2017

3

Sat May 27th - Sun June 11th 2017

Depart Nadi - Sun June 18th 2017 

4

Sat June 24th - Sun July 9th 2017

Depart Nadi - Sun July 16th 2017

How much does the program cost?

To secure your place with VESA a non-refundable deposit of is payable immediately after you have received notification of your acceptance to participate in the program.The balance or final payment of the program costs is due 45 days before departure.The total cost (inclusive of deposit and exclusive of flights) of the VESA program is:

Program

Deposit

Final payment

Total

Fiji Islands Discovered

CAD$350

CAD$1845

CAD$2195

What is included in the cost?

The cost includes:

  • Non refundable deposit to secure your space.
  • All accommodation for the duration of the program.
  • All ground transportation in country.
  • All meals (three meals per day) whilst in Fiji, except for the free day.
    We can cater to vegetarians and some types of food allergies.
  • Bottled water when necessary in Fiji.
  • Some snacks.
  • Building materials needed for volunteer project.
  • Hiring of local skilled trades people to assist in the volunteer projects.
  • A monetary donation to the local host organisation.
  • 6 day island hopping adventure.
  • All admission fees to local parks and sites.
  • All accompanying VESA staff members.
  • All administration costs.
  • Certification (if requested) of completion of the volunteer program. Great for your resume.

What is not included in the cost?

The cost does not include:

  • International airfares
  • Airfares to the International point of departure (if required)
  • International Departure Taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Any visas (if required)
  • Passports
  • Meals on one free day

What if I need to cancel?

If you wish to withdraw your enrolment please notify us in writing by post or by email. Please note that if you wish to withdraw your agreement you will be bound by the cancellation fees set out in the VESA Cancellation Policy.

Am I able to fundraise to offset the cost of the program?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage all our students to actively fundraise to help pay for their program costs. Upon receipt of your deposit and confirmation onto a program, VESA will send out a fundraising package. The fundraising package contains a letter from VESA introducing you to potential donors, a letter from the local host organisation, a list of proven fundraising ideas and a receipt document.

Many of our students have raised all of the funds necessary for their program and flights costs. Join our Facebook group and page Volunteer Eco Students Abroad to see some of their ideas.

Please note, whilst VESA is a volunteer organisation it is not a registered charity so donations will not be tax deductible.

Marine Turtle Conservation

'A Week in Paradise'

The Mamanuca Islands of Fiji are a volcanic archipelago lying to the west of Nadi and to the south of the Yasawa Islands. Bounty Island’s tropical environment and pristine white sand beaches makes it one of the most beautiful islands in the Mamanucas.
VESA is currently running a Turtle Conservation Program with a group of intrepid volunteers.
This is an awesome way to get more out of your volunteering experience and be a part of an initiative to increase the population of the native sea turtles and to restore the reef to its native state...all taking place on a stunning tropical island. This place is paradise!
Staying on the island’s resort and working under the guidance of a marine biologist, you will gain a greater understanding of sea turtles and the ecosystems that they inhabit. From providing ongoing care for ‘Headstart Hatchlings’ – cleaning pools and foraging for dietary components to building new ponds and a turtle sick bay. There is so much to do and we need help!

You will learn about coral conservation and reef mapping, which involves snorkelling the crystal clear water to count the number and variety of fish, coral and other beautiful marine life then transplanting coral from healthy reefs to rebalance the fragile ecosystem.In the afternoons we have some great activities to cool us down including the option to learn scuba diving.



Fiji Island Discovery

This program will include accommodation on Bounty Island, resort style meals, loads of activities plus all the necessities for the coral conservation work including materials, snorkel gear and kayaks.

Day Activity
Day 1-7

As our new project we have so much for you guys to do! 

Get involved in the following:

  • Provide ongoing care for Headstart Hatchlings – cleaning pools, foraging for dietary components e.g. seaweeds, crabs, 
  • Building new turtle pools - on both Treasure and Bounty Islands
  • Build a new turtle sick bay
  • Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) removal 
  • Artificial reef development – constructing artificial reef 
  • Coral farming – harvesting and growing coral fragments for transplant on affected reef or artificial reef
  • Installing and tending to nurseries
  • CoralWatch coral bleaching surveys
  • Fauna and flora baseline surveys – species inventory and identification
  • Invasive fauna and flora identification and removal
 Day 7  Afternoon transfer to Port Denarau and Nadi
 Day 8  Free day and evening flight home

Inclusions:

  • All accommodation  Bounty Island and Nadi 
  • All resort style meals except free day.
  • All in country transport.
  • Drinking water where required.
  • All materials required for coral replantation (incl. snorkel gear).
  • All materials required for turtle and coral conservation work.
  • Staff and local labourers

Accommodation:

6 nights in dormitory style accommodation on Bounty Island
1 night Nadi Bay Resort Swimming pool 
Pool table and other game
Hot showers available
Internet - 3 days approx: $15
$5 FJD per small bag


Fiji Island Discovery


Fiji Island Discovery

Group Flight Information

Group Flights to Nadi, Fiji are arranged by VESA through reputable licensed travel agents and offered to our volunteers.

There are many advantages to travelling with the group:

  • You only have to pay the initial deposit to hold your seat rather than the whole amount leaving loads of time for fundraising.
  • You will be travelling with a big group of fellow volunteers.
  • You will be met by our friendly staff on arrival at your destination

Group Flight booking forms will be emailed to all confirmed volunteers and the details published below. You may book your own flights by following this schedule and then informing VESA of your itinerary so that we can be assured you will be able to meet our schedule.

Group Flights:

Fiji Islands Discovered 2017

Round trips are available from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Fiji flights
Group Depart Los AngelesDepart Nadi
 129APR17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0550 + 2 Days 1st May
14 MAY 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 1 + A Week in Paradise29APR17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0550 + 2 Days 1st May
21 MAY 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 213MAY17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0550 + 2 Days 15th May
28 MAY 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 2 + A Week in Paradise13MAY17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0550 + 2 Days 15th May
04 JUNE 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 327MAY17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0510 + 2 Days 29th May
11 JUNE 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 3 + A Week in Paradise27MAY17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0510 + 2 Days 29th May
18 JUNE 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 424JUNE17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0510 + 2 Days 26th June
09 JULY 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325
 4 + A Week in Paradise24JUNE17 Fiji Airways flight 811 depart Los Angeles 2330 arrive Nadi 0510 + 2 Days 26th June
16 JULY 17 Fiji Airways flight 810 depart Nadi 2140 arrive Los Angeles 1325

Frequently asked questions

Is Fiji Safe?

Safety is a good question, and a matter we take very seriously. The Fijian Islands were actually chosen as our destination because of the security of the location. 

VESA staff members meet the designated Group Flight at the arrival hall of the airport, where they are accompanied to our hostel and then on to the village. Our VESA staff members are with the volunteers in the tiny village overnight and the whole group stay in the same village together. There are two to three volunteers per home stay. Our directors and staff are very familiar with the village and villagers and all homes have been checked and provided with bedding etc for our group.

The students are supervised and accompanied on all volunteer work, activities, overnight accommodation and in country transportation by a VESA rep.

 As with all our programs, safety of our participants is our #1 priority. 

We are aware that for some of our participants this may be their first experience abroad or even away from their families. Should you have any queries or need any assistance while on program there will always be someone nearby to help and you should not hesitate to ask any question at all. We are definitely there to make our volunteers have the best possible experience.

VESA closely monitors all political, civil and environmental situations in Fiji. Should we deem that the area is unsafe for travel we will readjust the program accordingly.

Please visit your government’s travel website for further information on travelling conditions throughout the South Pacific.

Who is leading the program? 

Students on the VESA programme will be accompanied at all times by members of our staff who are all qualified Senior First Aid technicians. 

In Fiji, we work with an already established Non Profit organization, and at all times will be accompanied by the organization’s staff as well as two VESA staff members. On tour both staff members as well as a local guide will travel with you.

How is the weather?

The climate in Fiji is tropical and warm year round. 

I can't speak Fijian, is that a problem?

Not at all - the majority of the population speaks English.

Can I ring/email home?

There is very limited cell phone coverage whilst on the first week of the program. Internet is not available during the volunteer week, but may be available for a fee on the island of Korovou, where we stay for 3 nights. You can email or Skype home from here.

Wi-Fi minutes can be purchased at our accommodation in Nadi on the first night. A card can be bought at the reception counter. This is the only time Wi-Fi is available on program.

How much money do I need?

All accommodation and food is included in the cost of the program. However if you wish to buy that special necklace for back home, then you will need to bring along some cash. 

At Nadi International airport on arrival there are ATMs for you to take out local currency, the Fiji Dollar, for drinks, snacks and souvenirs. It is extremely important that you alert your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling overseas so that they do not put a hold on your card. A quick phone call is all it takes.

Optional activities in Fiji i.e. scuba Diving can be paid for by credit card or in cash on the spot.

What is the currency in Fiji?

The Fiji Dollar is the only currency accepted in Fiji.

What transport in country will be used?

In Fiji we travel by coach as well as inter island boats s whilst on the island hopping tour!

Health and Safety – Fiji

Every aspect of the program, from your departure to your return, has safety as the highest priority.

The Fijian Islands were chosen as our destination because of the security of the location and the friendliness of the people.

We are aware that for some of our participants this may be their first experience abroad or even away from their families. Should you have any queries or need any assistance while on program there will always be someone nearby to help and you should not hesitate to ask any question at all. We are definitely there to make our volunteers have the best possible experience.


Fiji Island Discovery

  • If you chose to travel on the group flight you will be travelling with the people who will be your companions on the program.
  • Your flight will be met at Nadi airport and we will have a bus to take you to your accommodation and then onto the village you will be working and staying in.
  • Our VESA team are with the volunteers in the tiny village overnight and the whole group will stay in the same village together. You will be hosted, with one or two other volunteers in the home a Fijian family whose children attend the local school. Our team leaders are familiar with the village and villagers and all homes have been checked and provided with bedding etc for our group.
  • The home stay ‘mother’ will prepare all your food, the local water supply is clean and drinkable and you will have access to unlimited supplies of bottled water.
  • Each day you will be accompanied to and from the worksites where you have been assigned. You will be accompanied at all times by one of our Group Leaders, and any activities you are involved in will be conducted under the supervision of qualified local tradespeople and/or teaching staff.
  • All VESA Group Leaders are first aid qualified. You will be located within driving distance of a local medical centre and within reach of major hospitals in Nadi or Suva.
  • At the end of the program you will be transferred to the airport and accompanied to your flight. You will travel home with your new friends and a great sense of accomplishment.

Downloads

Videos


Trip Extension


Turtle Conservation

VESA is currently running a Turtle Conservation Program with a group of intrepid volunteers. This is an awesome way to get more out of your volunteering experience and be a part of an initiative to increase the population of the native sea turtles and to restore the reef to its native state...all taking place on a stunning tropical island. This place is paradise!

More Information +

Achievements


Season Report NH 2016


  • Achievement

    Construction

    Fifty village primary schools fully refurbished (inside and outside) with composts and incinerators.

    [+]
  • Achievement

    Community Assistance

    Three bus stops constructed for school children's safety.

    [+]
  • Achievement

    Education

    Fifteen thousand hours of face to face tutoring

    [+]

Go on, step into an adventure that will change your life!

Apply Now

Fiji Islands Project Location