Work and Travel in Fiji
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN FIJI FOR TRAVELLERS
Fiji is truly uncharted territory as it sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With over 300 islands to explore and a history of brutal tribal warfare and cannibalism, this is a destination that inspires. Work and travel in Fiji is an experience like no other and one few people will ever experience.
Travel guides for Fiji have few details on the sort of volunteer programmes available over there. We’re going to show you the volunteer opportunities in Fiji for travellers and what you need to know about the country.
1. Work on Shark Conservation Projects in VitiLevu
Work in the Pacific Harbour on VitiLevu and help take care of the sharks that have been hunted to near extinction there. You don’t need any prior qualifications to help with shark conservation. But you’ll be assisting the scientists and coming into contact with some of the fiercest sharks on the planet.
At the same time you’ll be far away from the main tourist areas and you’ll have the chance to witness a different side of this country.
2. Mangrove Rejuvenation in Fiji
The mangroves of Fiji have been devastated by development efforts over the years. There was little mind paid to the effects on both the environment and the wildlife living there. Initiatives are being pushed through to regrow the mangroves.
International organisations have stepped in to provide aid and you could be a part of that. It’s hard, physical work, but it’ll take you into the countryside and you’ll be doing that will have a lasting difference in the decades ahead.
3. Medical Help in Suva City
Do you want to get into the medical profession or are you already a part of it?
Then enrolling in one of the medical programmes in Suva City could be the perfect option for you on your next trip. You’ll be helping patients in private hospitals and assisting doctors as they complete their rounds. Whether it’s supporting patients or learning from doctors, you’ll be in the middle of the bustling capital.
It’s a great way for medical interns to get some valuable experience as they work and travel in Fiji.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR FIJI
Fiji allows visa-free travel to 104 countries around the world. Europeans, citizens of the UK, North Americans, Russians, Australians, South Africans, Kiwis, the Japanese, and South Koreans can all enter the country without a visa. They’ll be given a visitor’s permit that’s valid for four months.
On a side note, if you happen to need a visa but have a visa for somewhere like the Schengen Zone you can enter the country for a maximum of seven days without a visa.
There’s only one country with an exception to this rule. Croatia is part of the EU but its citizens still require a formal visa to visit the country.
You should also remember that the Fiji visitor’s permit can be extended for an additional two months when you’re already in the country. This is relatively easy to receive and only requires filling in a few forms.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN FIJI
Spring in Fiji marks the wet season in the country. Expect high humidity and regular heavy rain throughout the country. The tourists generally stay away until May, which is when the shoulder season also starts. You should be aware that cyclones can be common at this time of year.
It’s best to opt for medical programmes and community development initiatives at this time of year as they’re far away from the rural areas and the tumultuous coastlines.
Summer in Fiji, despite being in the southern hemisphere, is driest and most pleasant time of the year to be in the country. This is an ideal time to head to the coastlines and the resorts for any work you can pick up in the various resorts. Work in hotels, as diving instructors, and as qualified guides is all available in abundance at this time of year.
Paid work is possible to come by in the most popular resorts. However, you must organise a position early as most of the bigger resorts tend to have staff in place well in advance of the main season.
Don’t expect to just turn up and find paying work in the Fijian summer.
Autumn in the country is a difficult time to be in Fiji because it comprises a smaller wet season with the rest of the dry season. You should refer back to the sections above for more information on the type of work available at this time of year. Usually, there’s no specific seasonal work for autumn as you travel in Fiji.
If you want to work and travel in Fiji in winter you might want to look into animal and environmental conservation. This is the longest period of the year where the weather is pleasant and easy to work in. Most volunteer programmes are also ramping up capacity at this time of year due to the holidays in nearby New Zealand and Australia.
Shark and mangrove conservation programmes are popular amongst tourists. But there’s a whole host of wildlife across the islands and you can find some incredible opportunities at this time of year.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN FIJI
One of the problems of Fiji is that there are two sides to it. You have the well-trodden areas. These areas tend to be filled with touts who only want to extract money from any foreigners who happen to be there.
If you get away from these places and experience the real Fiji the whole dynamic changes and you’ll find them to have a high level of hospitality. Participating in a homestay is an excellent way of discovering the real Fiji.
But overall you’re not going to have any problems volunteering or working in Fiji. This is a country filled with colonial history and a mix of cultures. In most cases, you’re not going to stand out and you’re not going to experience any hassle going about your business.
Are you ready for your next challenge in the Pacific?
- Edited on Jan 16 2018 by Yara