Teaching Volunteer Program in Fiji - Sigatoka
Eager to be a Teaching volunteer in Fiji? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project empowers volunteers to gain teaching experience by assisting in schools or at after school programs in Sigatoka. Classrooms in Fiji can often be overcrowded and volunteers can be extremely helpful to local teachers by taking on some of the work involved in educating such large groups of students with diverse abilities.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from £379 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Help students and teachers in overcrowded local schools
Discover the breathtaking natural beauty of Fiji
Stay in a simple but lively house with other volunteers in Sigatoka
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Class sizes in Fijian schools are large, with up to 50 children per teacher, so holding inclusive lessons where each student gets equal benefit can be challenging. Volunteer teachers enable classes to be more appropriate and effective for students of different abilities.
As a volunteer teacher you’ll be placed in either a local school or on an after-school teaching tutorial. This placement depends on your teaching experience and time on the program. Qualified teachers who are in Fiji for four weeks or more will be placed in schools, while volunteers who are staying for less than four weeks or who don’t have teaching qualifications will help with after-school tutorials.
Volunteers in schools will follow the local curriculum, helping with students aged between 4-16. You can either assist a local teacher or lead a class independently, but in both instances you’re encouraged to be creative in planning and executing your lessons in a lively and interesting manner.
The after-school tutorials have a lot more freedom, as they’re considered supplementary lessons that don’t need to follow a set curriculum. They’re designed to be fun and interactive, and should reinforce lessons being learnt at school. Because you’ll have time free in the morning, you’ll have the option to also assist on the Kindergarten project.
Teaching volunteer work can vary but generally involves:
- Assisting teachers
- Teaching lessons
- Tutoring students
- Lesson planning
- Interacting with students
- Setting up educational activities
- Preparing exams and worksheets
During school exams and holidays (typically April, July, and August through to January), all volunteers will be placed on after school programs. Additionally, occasional events like graduation, festivals and other school activities may mean students have time off, so volunteers aren’t required. This is a normal part of the education system in Fiji and you’ll need to be flexible in accepting free time yourself.
School holiday dates:
- May 6 to May 21, 2023
- August 26 to September 10, 2023
- December 8 to January 29, 2024
During holiday periods, the standard project is not running so the local team organize a Kids Club and Community Support project.
Why do Teaching volunteering in Sigatoka with IVHQ?
While volunteering on the Teaching project in Fiji you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving access to education for students in Sigatoka
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Learning and practicing Fijian
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining teaching experience
- Immersing yourself fully in the Fijian way of life
- Exploring Fiji’s blissful beaches
- Volunteers under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- Volunteers aged 17-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?
Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.Apply For Free
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Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”My hightlight moment from the volunteer experience was interacting with the locals, experiencing their culture, but most of all, seeing the smiles on the kids face everyday. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was I was able to see how different cultures live and enjoy the simple wonders of life. It is an experience of a lifetime and you just have to get out of your comfort zone and do it. It will be an amazing experience that will last a lifetime.”
Read reviews from Teaching volunteers in SigatokaSee more reviews
The IVHQ Fiji program is based on the Coral Coast of Fiji, which is on the south-eastern coast of mainland Fiji. Although Fiji is known as an island paradise with a thriving tourist industry, many Fijians face challenges associated with living below the poverty line. Volunteers provide valuable support in helping with the development and improvement of infrastructure in this small island nation, especially as it continues to grow.
Volunteer placements are located in and around Sigatoka which has some of the best beaches on the island. Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via taxi. The accommodation is a 15-minute taxi ride to Sigatoka town and a mere 2-minute walk to the nearest beach.
Arrival and orientation
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Nadi. An airport pick up is provided here on Sundays between 6:00 AM and 5:00 PM only. If you arrive between this time, you will be met at the airport by a member of the local team who will provide assistance with your bus transfer to Sigatoka. You will then be picked up by a member of our local team at the Sigatoka bus station.
If you arrive outside these times you can either arrange an extra night of accommodation or late airport pick up as an add on option, alternatively you can arrange your own accommodation in Nadi and then make your way to Sigatoka via bus the following morning. If you arrive prior to 6am, you may wait in the arrivals terminal until the local team can meet and assist you with your bus transfer.
Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Fiji prior to your volunteer program, you will need to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation and the local team will provide guidance on this.
There are two options for orientation for the Fiji Program.
This begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Fiji, including an introduction to Fiji, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
The Introduction Week begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for the first five days of your stay. It is an awesome way to kickstart your volunteer abroad experience and it covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Fiji, plus you’ll learn more about the culture and get to tick off must-do Fiji experiences! These can include a Kava welcome ceremony; visits to islands, museums and waterfalls; language, cooking and weaving classes; and relaxing at the beach.
Please note, the Introduction week is included in your total duration on the program. If you would like to take part in this week, please let your Program Manager know.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be taken to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on. Some placements run in the afternoon and volunteers on these placements will have the morning to create their lesson plans, or can join another project.
A typical volunteer day might be:
|7:30 - 8:30 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house and then travel to your placement to join local placement staff.|
|9:00 AM||Start at your placement.|
|12:00 PM||Volunteers break for lunch. Most volunteers travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, while some volunteers may be provided lunch at their placement.|
|2:00 PM||Work at your placement usually ends. You are free to use this time to lesson plan for tomorrow or spend the afternoon exploring|
|5:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house. After dinner, you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.|
To ensure the safety of our volunteers and respect of others in the volunteer accommodation, a curfew of 11:30 PM has been put in place for every evening, including the weekend. If you wish to stay out longer, you must discuss this first with our local team and arrange alternative accommodation.
Volunteers can spend the weekends exploring Sigatoka, visiting the beautiful pristine coastlines, beaches or rainforests. Volunteers can spend the weekends exploring the Coral Coast which is a stretch of beaches and bays between Nadi and Suva. Along this coastline is the Pacific Harbour (approximately 1.5 hours from Sigatoka), which is the self-proclaimed ‘Adventure Capital’ of Fiji. From Pacific Harbour you can organize activities, such as kayaking, white-water rafting, shark feeding, jet ski tours, zip lining and diving. It is recommended you budget for these additional weekend trips.
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in dormitory-style volunteer houses located in the Sigatoka area near the community where volunteers work. It is approximately 15 minutes by taxi from Sigatoka town and 2 minutes from the beach. The area has a very strong friendly Fijian culture. A curfew of 11:30 PM is in effect every evening, including weekends, to ensure the safety and respect of others in the volunteer accommodation.
The volunteer house is very basic but comfortable, with electricity and running water. Bathrooms in the volunteer houses are all western style with a shower, toilet and basin. Bedding is provided which includes a pillow, pillowcase and sheets (Washed Weekly). Bedroom windows will have mosquito screens and in absence of screens, mosquito nets will be provided and repellent is strongly recommended. You will need to bring a towel and toiletries.
You can expect to share a room with 3 other volunteers of the same gender. Couples or individuals who want more privacy have an option to upgrade to private accommodation. Private rooms are subject to availability and therefore you must arrange this well in advance of your program. The local team will do their best to keep families together.
While basic WiFi is available for communication use at the accommodation,for internet access, we recommend purchasing a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone. The local team can assist you with purchasing this during your program orientation in Sigatoka and is relatively cheap (~15FJD for 60gb a month). WiFi is also available at cafes and restaurants around Sigatoka.
Fijian food is tasty and diverse, with a strong influence of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Three meals a day are served at the volunteer house on weekdays, but on weekends only breakfast and dinner are served, leaving volunteers responsible for their own lunches. Typical dishes include chow mein (Fiji style stir-fried noodles and vegetables), starches such as cassava, taro, sweet potato, breadfruit, rice, stews, soups and curries.
Bottled water is readily available in Fiji and there are water filters available in the volunteer accommodation.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can discuss this with you. The local team will do their best to see that you are well taken care of but you should not expect to eat as you do at home. If you wish to supplement some of your meals with home comforts, there are basic kitchen facilities available to use and the local team will show you where to buy food during orientation.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||£379 Equivalent to £54/day|
|2 weeks||£541 Equivalent to £39/day|
|3 weeks||£708 Equivalent to £34/day|
|4 weeks||£870 Equivalent to £31/day|
|5 weeks||£1015 Equivalent to £29/day|
|6 weeks||£1164 Equivalent to £28/day|
|8 weeks||£1463 Equivalent to £26/day|
|10 weeks||£1762 Equivalent to £25/day|
|12 weeks||£2060 Equivalent to £25/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £277) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Fiji generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Recommended activities and tour add-ons
If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, please let your IVHQ Program Manager know at least 2 weeks before you begin the program. Your IVHQ Program Manager will then add this to your file, as you need to book a place prior to departing for Fiji.
|Monday||Volunteer orientation (an introduction to Fiji and your program, Fijian culture lessons, travel and tour opportunities), followed by a tour of Sigatoka town and a Kava Welcome Ceremony|
|Tuesday||Visit Biausevu Waterfall and enjoy a Fijian Language class and Meke class ( Fijian Dance class)|
|Wednesday||Fijian Cooking class and visit the beautiful Maui bay|
|Thursday||Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and Fijian Weaving class|
|Friday||Visit project preparation|
The introduction week has an additional cost of US$60 on top of your program fee cost which includes all orientation activities, meals, and accommodation.
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the program, local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
How to book IVHQ’s recommended add-ons:
Ready to join? Please see the add-on options in your MyIVHQ checklist or email your IVHQ Program Manager and they will add this to your file.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
|Languages||English, Fijian and Fijian Hindi|
|Currency||Fijian Dollar (FJD)|
Weather and climate
Fiji has a hot climate all year round with maximum temperatures averaging between 26°C and 31°C (79°F - 88°F). The wet season runs from November to April and the dry season runs from June through to April. The wet season is characterised by high humidity with heavy downpours followed by sunshine. The dry season is when temperatures are typically cooler with little rainfall.