Work and Travel in Nauru
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN NAURU FOR TRAVELLERS
Nauru is an island few would have heard of twenty years ago. It has recently courted controversy due to its refugee camps, established by Australia. Despite being independent since 1968, it continues to rely on countries like Australia for its survival.
It’s a tropical paradise, but travel in Nauru has a darker side to it. If you want to work and travel in Nauru you’re going to find a lot of opportunities to do so.
Our travel guide to Nauru is going to show you everything you need to know.
1. Work in the Refugee Camps in Nauru
The most notable of the volunteering opportunities in Nauru is working in refugee camps. Australia has treated the country like something of a dumping ground for refugees who attempt to land in Australia in recent years.
The condition of these camps is horrific and volunteers are always needed to support the communities there. You could participate in practically any conceivable type of work here. It all depends on your skills, but for low level roles you don’t need to have any prior qualifications.
Those with specialist skills will find it easy to secure work in Nauru refugee camps.
2. Become a Teacher in Nauru
Nauru is entirely reliant on international aid to survive. Its former source of income was phosphate mining, but the last reserves dried up many years ago. This has led to a serious decline in basic services, especially education.
You can help plug the gap by becoming a teacher in Nauru. This type of work in Nauru usually requires qualifications, but if you work with younger children as a teaching assistant you can still find yourself in a classroom.
There are two main choices facing you for the foreseeable future. You can choose to work with locals or in the refugee camps.
3. Help with Conservation in Nauru
One of the most important things you need to learn about is the poor state of conservation in Nauru. Phosphate mining and tourism are the two main industries and they’re causing big problems for the environment.
That’s why charities and conservation organisations have been established to support the environment. Most of these volunteering opportunities in Nauru revolve around documenting and protecting the vast coral reefs surrounding this remote island.
If you have an interest in the environment and supporting biodiversity, conservation work in Nauru is for you.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR NAURU
Believe it or not, Nauru has one of the strictest visa policies in the world. There are only 15 countries that have a visa-free policy with the island. One of these is Russia, where citizens are able to enter the country for 90 days in every 180 days. This policy also applies to Israel and other Pacific nations.
For Australians, Kiwis, South Koreans, the Japanese, Canadians, the UK, and members of the European Union (EU) they can submit a simplified visa application. For more info click here. The difference is you don’t need to submit evidence of not having a criminal record or a certification of medical fitness.
There are 66 countries in total that qualify for the simplified visa application.
The USA and South Africa are the outliers when it comes to travel in Nauru because they need to go through the full visa application system, which requires a significant amount of documentation.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN NAURU
Nauru is an interesting place to visit because the temperature is constant practically the whole year. It’s always going to be hot and humid, so if you’re not used to this you may want to reconsider whether volunteering here is really for you.
The spring season takes up part of the rainy season and part of the dry season. We recommend sticking to educational work at this time of year. There’s a lot of demand and it will free you from most of the bad weather.
Do bear in mind that you will usually be expected to commit to a longer work period. There’s little work for volunteers who only want to stay for 10-14 days. Remember, volunteerism isn’t a common thing on Nauru.
The summer season is the dry season and the second hottest part of the year. Due to this, we highly recommend choosing to work in the refugee camps.
Again, they will usually ask you to commit to a specific period of time. If you have specialist skills and they’re going to fly you out, you should expect to stay for at least three months, and often longer. Many charities have a long and complex application process.
There are so many jobs you can participate in when you visit the refugee camps. There’s demand for everyone from carers to doctors to teachers. Anyone who wants to support refugees are welcome.
The autumn is another rainy season, which lasts all the way until November. We recommend you refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for an idea of what you can do in autumn.
The winter is the hottest part of the year and is when the bulk of the tourists hit the country. We strongly recommend that you either choose the tourism or conservation industries.
The coastline is bustling with people and you’ll find plenty of seasonal work in Nauru. Take note that many organisations in tourism want staff long before the season starts, so try to secure a position a couple of months in advance.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN NAURU
Work and travel in Nauru is working and travelling in one of the most remote locations in the world. It’s difficult and expensive to get to, so you’re unlikely to find too many travellers on this tiny island.
However, the effort is worth it. Westerners will be greeted with a friendly face and you’re not going to experience problems here.
We should mention that the island isn’t as friendly as it used to be. There’s a lot of anger towards the refugees, so you should tread especially carefully when it comes to topics of conversation involving politics.