Work and Travel in Kiribati
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN KIRIBATI FOR TRAVELLERS
Kiribati is about as remote a country as you can visit. This independent nation in the Pacific is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world to rising sea levels and will be one of the first to disappear entirely in the face of climate change.
So now has never been a better time to work in Kiribati because if you hesitate it might be gone forever. Our travel guide to Kiribati (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kiribati) is going to show you everything you need to know about work and travel here.
1. Help Improve Mental Health in Kiribati
It’s estimated that as many as nine out of every ten people in Kiribati could be suffering from mental health issues of some kind. You’ve likely noticed that nations like Kiribati don’t have enough access to resources to serve its population adequately.
One of the great volunteering opportunities in Kiribati can be to improve mental health. Your job will be to promote awareness of mental health and assisting medical professionals in their work. The more qualifications and experiences you have the more technical your role.
2. Action on Climate Change in Kiribati
As we’ve already mentioned, travel in Kiribati could be a thing of the past. Climate change threatens the existence of this country, and international organisations are working to promote action on climate change.
Your time in Kiribati will be spent learning about the specific threat to the atolls and helping to generate campaigns that raises awareness of it. This is a major international issue that Kiribati has positioned itself at the forefront of.
You should take extra care to make sure that the project you’re applying for isn’t an online project and actually involves visiting Kiribati. Many of these projects are aimed at online workers with no intention of flying half way across the world.
3. Teaching the Blind in Kiribati
There’s a disproportionate number of blind people in Kiribati. If you want to work and travel in Kiribati, you could help young blind people learn vital skills.
Whether it’s through teaching English, helping them to read and write, or just keeping them company you’ll be making a huge different to these people.
The majority of programmes demand you have at least some level of teaching experience, such as a TEFL qualification, but it’s possible to find positions with smaller organisations without any of this.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR KIRIBATI
Kiribati offers visa-free access to 72 countries across the world. Visa-free countries are able to command a 120-day stay, as long as you apply for an extension on the initial 30 days (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/kiribati). However, they may not stay for longer than four months in a single calendar year.
Foreigners can get extensions as part of other visas, but this can be difficult and time-consuming. You will always need to be working with a registered international organisation to stand a chance of getting one of these visa extensions.
Citizens of the UK, the European Union (EU), Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea are able to enter the country without a visa (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kiribati/entry-requirements).
Russians, South Africans, the Chinese, and Mexicans will need to apply for a visa in advance (https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29483002). This can be awkward because Kiribati’s embassies are not always easy to find.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN KIRIBATI
The first rainy season of the year falls in spring. For this reason, we recommend that you stick to indoor projects. Working in the educational and medical fields is highly recommended to start of the year. The rainy season will last until the start of June.
You may also want to consider a homestay. It’s possible to travel in Kiribati on a cultural trip by working as part of a homestay. You’ll get to work in Kiribati and know the locals at the same time.
The summer season is the dry season and is therefore one of the perfect times to consider volunteer opportunities in Kiribati.
Conservation projects are an option. Kiribati’s 33 atolls are home to a range of wildlife. This wildlife needs to be protected against human activity and general climate change. You can work with scientists as they both study and protect the biodiversity of the area.
Another option is to work on climate change projects. Most studies into climate change take place during the dry season, so if you want to do this now is the time to work and travel in Kiribati.
Autumn is another rainy season. This tends to be the more intense of the rainy seasons, so we don’t recommend visiting at this time of year, if you can avoid it.
For this reason, you should refer back to the ‘Spring’ section to find out more about some of the things you can do in the country during autumn.
The winter season is the second dry season of the year and is the time when the majority of tourists come to visit the country. You may be able to work in the tourism industry by working in some of the resorts.
People who care more about getting to know the local culture may want to consider working in local guesthouses as volunteers in exchange for free accommodation and food.
Other than working in the tourism industry, there are a range of other options. Refer back to the ‘Summer’ section for even more information on some of the backpacking jobs in Kiribati in winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN KIRIBATI
Kiribati is not the most common tourist destination in the Pacific. However, Kiribati offers a range of experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. The locals may be poor, but they’re highly knowledgeable about certain issues like climate change.
They’re thankful that international organisations are here for this reason. Kiribati doesn’t have a big economy and they rely on the outside world to flourish.
You’ll find the usual high standards of Pacific hospitality within the country and you’re unlikely to experience any hostility as a result of your activities here.
Do you want to work and travel in Kiribati?
- Edited on Dec 11 2018 by Marichka