Volunteer in India with Plan My Gap Year, an award winning, international volunteer abroad organisation. PMGY provides safe, meaningful, affordable projects overseas with a wide range of programmes in Fiji, including Childcare and English Teaching opportunities.
“My time in Fiji was incredible. As soon as I stepped out of the airport I was in awe. Fijians are the most friendly people I have ever met. 4 weeks has gone so quick and I was so sad to be be leaving and saying goodbye to amazing new friends. I have made friends for life, I cannot wait to share my experience with others and encourage them to travel to visit Fiji. The differences between Fiji and England are massive but despite challenges in Fiji everyone is so happy and loving!” – BEN RICHARDS | UNITED KINGDOM
PMGY provide a sociable structured meaningful experience across need driven community projects in Africa and Asia. Each year, we have thousands of volunteers working across a range of our projects from teaching and childcare to wildlife, medical and more. Our volunteer reviews are testament to the extensive pre-departure support and legacy our team provides to match the unbelievable in-country experience our volunteers engage in.
We are transparent and affordable with our fees, committed to long-term sustainable community development, all our local programmes are fully vetted and offer some great travelling and cultural opportunities to ensure that your time with us overseas is the best it can be.
A combination of all these reasons and more are why so many of our volunteers choose to come back to us and volunteer year after year with PMGY!
Book your flights as early as possible after confirming your place on the programme to ensure you get the lowest airfare possible.
You should book your flights to Nadi International Airport. The airport code is NAN.
PMGY work with various partners in the aviation industry to offer our volunteers competitively priced flights. If you would like any assistance in booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during the online application or feel free to call us or drop us an email.
PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Travel Insurance really is a travel essential. It is mandatory for all of our participants to have adequate travel insurance in place across all their trip dates incase anything goes wrong when overseas.
PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional travel insurance policy specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you for any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada).
Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
If you’d like to purchase Plan My Gap Year Travel Insurance, you can add this option on during your online application.
Before you begin your programme, we provide extensive pre-departure support on the build up to your volunteer project with us whether it is a month or a year away. This all begins from an online chat or a telephone call that develops into a regular email chain of next step communications to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip with us.
Further to this, we provide a forty page plus Volunteer Handbook that provides all you need to know once you confirm your place on the programme with us; from visa guidance and how to get a background check to what to pack and more information on the culture and preparing for your project.
For all our destinations we have Facebook groups made up of our local teams, past, present and future volunteers that provides a great forum for volunteers to network and to also share project updates and community updates across the year.
We have also generated a range of informative and action-packed videos to bring some tangibility on what volunteers can expect when travel volunteering with us. This can be accessed on our PMGY Vimeo channel.
Our pre-departure and programme preparation webinars are not to be missed either. They run on selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip. The first webinar covers all the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.
Our projects are based on the east coast of Fiji in Suva around 4 hours away from Nadi Airport. Suva is not only the capital city of Fiji, but it is also the largest city in the whole of the South Pacific.
The city is perched on a hilly peninsula between Suva Harbour and Laucala Bay. The town has all the amenities you could require such as banks, hospitals and shops as well as a cinema, gym, bakery and malls.
Suva is a very multicultural and diverse place, but the people, in general, are very friendly and welcoming. There is also a central bus station that offers great access across Viti Levu island on which Suva is based as well as an airport and harbour that offers further travel opportunities across the islands of Fiji and the Pacific in general.
Our programmes in Suva run from 2-16 weeks beginning on the first and third Sunday of each month.
PMGY’s programme in Fiji is ran by our dedicated and experienced in-country local team who have been fully vetted by our UK team.
Such a committed local staff network provide the structure for your stay with us when working on our project in the Maldives. The support structure includes providing accommodation, meals, airport pick up, project transport, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support.
Our local team will also allocate you to your project as well as providing a great framework for you to enjoy a unique cultural experience with us in Fiji.
Your orientation will begin on the Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Fiji, the do’s and don’t’s, the local culture and things to do on the weekends. This is also your chance to ask more information on the projects, learn some of the local dialects and get your bearings to Fiji life.
In the afternoon our local coordinator will take you on a walking tour of Suva so you know where everything is for the rest of your time on the programme. This will include heading to the seafront, pointing out where the bus station is, the shops, malls and souvenir markets as well as getting the change to change money, go to the ATM, buy a local SIM Card and visit the supermarket.
You will also have the chance should you wish to visit Oceania’s biggest fruit and veg market or take some time to explore Fijis national museum.
Please make sure you arrive into Nadi International Airport (NAN) on the selected Sunday start date.
Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrival
You will be met at Nadi airport by our partner pick up team who will be holding a sign with your name on it. The approved contact from our local our team will then walk you to the bus transfer at the airport adjacent to the departure terminal and place you on the bus from Nadi Airport to Suva bus station.
The journey to Suva will take around 4 hours, depending on traffic. The buses are nice and comfortable coming with reclining seats and air conditioning.
On arrival into Suva bus station, our local team will be there to meet and greet you and collect both you and your luggage. You will then take a 5-minute taxi or car ride with our local team from the bus station to the volunteer accommodation.
You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.
Day 2 (Monday) – Orientation
After a good first night rest in Fiji, its now time to begin your induction into life in Fiji. The orientation will be a mix of theory, culture and a town tour across Suva.
Days 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) – Volunteering Begins
You will start your volunteer work on Tuesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. Our team will be at the accommodation to check in with you each day on how things at the project are going.
Day 8-9 (Saturday-Sunday) – Weekend
Whether you are looking for a bustling weekend locally in Suva, some adventure activities at the waterfalls, or a relaxing experience on one of Fijis hundreds of islands – Fiji has it all. Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!
The following weeks
Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.
Last day (Saturday)
Saturday is your last day with PMGY. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.
If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect and many volunteers (and their loved ones) are concerned for their safety and security.
Although we can never fully guarantee your safety, we do everything in our power to ensure your volunteering programme is as careful, safe and secure as possible. Every programme that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a Director of Plan My Gap Year. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation, worked on the projects and built strong trusting relationships with our local staff.
In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support that they can go through (and people who will help them in the case of an accident).
1. In-Country Project Coordinators & Support Staff
2. Project Staff
3. PMGY UK Team
Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences and we are continually improving our placements and projects through this feedback. Security and safety of our programmes is constantly being reviewed and if you have any concerns we encourage you to discuss these with the local staff at your orientation. During orientation, project staff will also provide guidance in the area of safety and security.
Listed below are some general safety tips.
• Be modest with the amount of jewellery you wear in public.
• Do not drink tap water.
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents of theft often occur when there are crowds and confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public.
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night.
• Use reputable taxi firms only. Our local staff will recommend some specific companies during orientation. If you are unsure – ask local staff who to use.
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets. If possible use transport from door to door after dark.
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high risk areas for pickpockets and thieves.
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town.
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road.
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers.
In general, Fiji has a warm tropical climate all year round with temperatures never really dropping below 25 degrees Celsius or racing above 30 degrees Celcius either. Temperature wise it tends to peak December – March but this is also characterised by the months of Fiji’s wet season.
Such a wet season usually consists of heavy, but quick local showers and represents the majority of Fiji’s annual rainfall. Rainfall is naturally more prevalent in the mountainous areas of Fiji as opposed to the coastal or low lying areas.
The best months for holidaying in Fiji from a weather perspective is regarded to be from April – November. Across most of the year, there is a nice cooling breeze that sweeps across Fiji.
During your time with PMGY in Fiji, you will live in our Volunteer House/s. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Suva; a stone’s throw away from everything you need in town with a great sea view to match. Each room has either single beds or bunk beds and fits up to 6 people per room.
Volunteers are provided with fans in the room if needed and their own mosquito net/mosquito coils and bed linen. The wooden build of the house means that generally, temperatures remain cool in summer and warm in the winter. There are communal lockers with one locker per room located on the top floor of the accommodation.
Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water can be hot or cold depending on which shower you use.
The house has Wi-Fi but this is limited to volunteer access for a small amount of time in the evenings. Volunteers are best obtaining a local SIM Card to get access a data package should they want regular internet access.
There are a couple communal areas across the accommodation for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.
Our local team also live on the top floor of the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security and daily interaction with our team.
During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
You will be served breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House.
For lunch, volunteers can purchase this either at the project, take a packed lunch with them or head into Suva where you are spoilt for choice with a range of delicacies!
All meals are freshly prepared each day and most meals are traditional Fijian dishes. Fiji is a very culturally diverse country and often there food and taste buds can reflect this!
Here is an example of the meals you can expect:
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.
Your local transport to and from the project each day is not included in your Programme Fee. Most of the projects are located within walking distance of the accommodation or a short taxi drive or bus ride from the Volunteer House.
PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the programme is 17 and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does NOT need to be your first language.
We require a clean background check from all our participants in advance of volunteering with us abroad.
In general no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation.
Registration Fees must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place and Programme Fees are due at least 60 days before the programme start date.