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Fiji Marine Conservation N.G.O. Internship

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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How To Apply

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PADI Qualification

Get trained up to Advanced Open Water on many of our marine conservation projects.


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Frontier Group Project

Working in collaboration with institutions and NGOs with the country, projects are research-based, creating sustainable and biodiverse programmes.

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The Fijian archipelago lies scattered lazily in the achingly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, bathed in the radiant antipodean sunlight. Its towns and villages are veritable melting pots of cultural influences.

Fiji's irresistible shores are fringed with picture-perfect palm trees, and the azure waters that surround the islands are inhabited by an astonishing array of marine creatures; over 1,200 species of fish including clownfish, triggerfish, blue tangs, 12 species of whales, dolphins, anemones, soft coral and much more.

Enjoy fragrant sun drenched days and exotic nights of delectable food cooked in a traditional underground oven. Fiji will enchant you with its infectious, chilled out "Fiji time" lifestyle, its heavenly beaches and surrounding mountains of rainforest– the perfect paradise location for your Frontier adventure!

The work will be challenging, rewarding and fun; your discoveries will be of huge benefit to the conservation of these fabulous coral reefs and you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped protect these precious natural resources for future generations as well as build up crucial field experience and knowledge towards a career in marine conservation.

  

  

 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Helping to preserve Fiji’s marine and coastal biodiversity
  • Work on data from some of the world's best dive sites
  • Make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories, photos and memories
  • Extend your experience of tropical marine and coastal zone conservation field work

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • CV required
  • Minimum 2 month placement
  • Relevant academic qualifications to at least degree level
  • Some experience of coastal zone or marine field work
  • Diving (you may be able to dive train on the project prior to your internship) 
Camping Beach Emergency Physical Meals PADI Marine Coastal Snorkelling Free Time Breakfast
FAST FACTS

 

Location The South Pacific Island of Beqa, Fiji
Activities Scuba diving
Dive and snorkel  coral reefs and study the species that live on the island of Beqa
Using underwater visual census techniques, dive and snorkel to study and conserve the various marine life living on the coral reefs; including indicator and commercial fish
Explore the mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Study and work to conserve a wide range of invertebrate species
Dive and snorkel to study the health of the coral reef habitats and relate that information to species conservation
Record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Record observations of the feeding habits & behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Study the effects of environmental variables on marine ecosystems
Work with communities to increase their awareness and appreciation of the marine environment.
Transport Free airport pickup and transfer to the island is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each month. For volunteers arriving on different days airport pickup, transfers to the island and accomodation for the first night can be arranged at a small additional cost.
Accommodation Communal cast away style camp in the jungle, a few minuites walk from the bay

 


WHAT'S INCLUDED

 

Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice from dedicated personal travel adviser
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)

In-country

Cast away camp accommodation & food

Local orientation & comprehensive project training

Project equipment & camp diving equipment

Research materials

24 hour in-country support

International HQ emergency support & back-up

Airport pick-up for those arriving on the first Monday of the month (and accommodation & transport advice for those arriving on alternate dates)

Boat transfer to the Island of Beqa if arriving on the first Monday of the month (and accommodation & transport advice for those arriving on alternate dates)

Diving projects: Dive training to PADI Dive Master courses available & FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, BCDs, Regs, weights, compressor & all air fills, boats, outboard engines (personal dive kit, including mask, fins, snorkel and wet suit not included). Scuba dive courses available subject to availability, confined water dives may be done in Suva. 

PADI Open Water Diver US$665
PADI Advanced Open Water US$627
PADI Emergency First Response  US$190
PADI Rescue Diver  US$570
PADI Dive Master   US$1,140
Dive kit available for rent in Suva (please contact Frontier for details and to book)
Night dives, fun dives, shore dives, recreational dives and speciality dives available at extra cost based on volunteer interest and skill
 

Free airport pickup and transfer to the island for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each month. For those arriving on different dates optional  airport pickup, transfers to the island and accommodation for the first night can be arranged at a small additional cost.

 

 

 

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The aim of Frontier-Fiji Marine Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.

To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas. Once a long-term data set is obtained, patterns of resource use can be identified and work with local communities can begin to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment. 

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with the University of the South Pacific. The work aims to provide the local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of Beqa island and lagoon marine ecosystem.

To gather the data needed you will be diving to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (if necessary you will learn to dive first). To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including: underwater visual census of reef and commercial fish such as triggerfish and parrotfish, indicator species (both fish and coral), assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent of coral bleaching and damage, and line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs. With so much to learn it's worth noting that those joining for only a few weeks will be training most of the time and may not get to do a lot of surveying. You may record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life. You may even get to study the impact of artisanal fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of Global Warming on marine communities. The type of fieldwork underway will depend on the time of year and the content of the research program when you join up and how long you are joining for.

 

Whilst diving, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish. When you motor out each day on the Frontier boat to distant dive sites you may even encounter flying fish, sharks and dolphins.  By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying vast numbers of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent diver. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having survived and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

As an intern you will be afforded the opportunity to get involved in extra activities to enhance your skills and experience and contribute towards your future careers. We will do our best to tailor these activities to your interests and needs.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

An airport pick-up service is offered to volunteers arriving on the first Monday of the month only, whose flights land before 2:30pm local time. All other volunteers must make their own way to the project site. We will provide you with easy to follow instructions prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey. If you are arriving into Fiji before the first Monday of the month but wish to travel to the project site with the main deployment group on the first Monday of the month, the overland arrival meeting point is at Nadi international airport arrivals hall. Please make sure that your intended arrival/travel plans have been arranged and confirmed with the project field staff a minimum of 1 week before your project start date.

If you are travelling to a marine project on Beqa island, you will only be able to travel to the island on the same day if your flight arrives before 9am on the Monday (due to limited boat timetables). However, you are more than welcome to spend one night with us at our homestay family in Suva, or you can choose to stay in Nadi or Suva for a night, in preparation for your journey to Beqa the next morning.

You will travel from the airport along the Coral Coast of the Island of Viti Levu to the town of Navua. Following this you will take a local boat for the one hour journey to the spectacular and famous south Pacific island of Beqa.

 

If you are an independent traveller arriving on any other date you are welcome to join the project on any Monday, (please discuss your intended arrival date and duration of stay with our travel advisers, especially if you need to book a dive training course, to confirm availability), and please be aware that you will need to organise your own transfer between Nadi and Suva and first night hostel accommodation in Suva at a cost of US$48/$40. We will arrange for you to transfer from Suva to Beqa the following day at your own cost where our field team will be ready to welcome you to the Frontier house and camp. Again, you must confirm your exact arrival time/date with in country staff at least 1 week before arrival.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

During the project you'll live in our simple but comfortable timber and sheet metal house on a cast away camp about 5-minutes walking from the Bay on the south Pacific island of Beqa. We aim to provide you with an authentic and memorable living experience. The Beqa house and camp has been constructed by local craftsmen using traditional building techniques and locally sourced building materials. The camp is situated up a short hill from the shore through the rainforest. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun. You will be staying in communal house near to the local communities. Your "shower" consists of a pipe that runs into an outdoor stall from the local stream and runs 24 hours a day. We have the luxury of an actual toilet that you flush with a bucket and camp-style gas hobs to cook on. Prepare for the basic, cast away, virtually footprint-less lifestyle! 

As well as the diving and marine conservation work you may be asked to help with the scientific data entry and will need to help with daily camp maintenance, taking turns to cook, tidy and clean the camp, rinse dive kit, and help with a wide variety of other important and essential camp duties.

 

 

FRONTIER CAMP LIFE
 

Check out our video on Frontier Gap Year TV from Frontier-Fiji, showing you volunteer life on this beautiful island.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Camp food is simple and consists largely of rice, lentils, split peas, pasta, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, onions, curry, rolled oats, freshly baked bread, and any fruit or vegetable grown on the land (pumpkin, eggplant, papaya, banana, mango, cassava, bele leaves, etc. depending on season). All food is purchased in-country or made on camp in order to help support the local economy. Luxuries such as sweets, biscuits and drinking chocolate have to be brought over to the island from Suva, so make sure you stock up before heading to the camp! Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking, so get your cookbooks out now and start practising! Also, with luck you'll be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to integrate with the local communities in the nearby villages and absorb the fabulous and welcoming local culture.

Some local dishes to look forward to include taro, taro leaves, breadfruit, sweet potato, cassava, and cassava chips, coconut and fabulous seafood. A delicious Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but very tasty!

FIJI TIME!  | 1 Feb 2017
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The end of a fantastic time on Fiji Marine Internship  | 18 Oct 2016
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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Frontier-Fiji camp is fun and in your spare time and weekends off you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play rugby against the unbeatable local side or even attend local church ceremonies. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional cava session with the locals, play a wide variety of fun camp or card games from poker to bridge, chess or backgammon, or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of diving you may prefer to relax and sit and chat to your new friends beside a roaring campfire, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.

For those of you with extra energy additional, higher level dive courses or speciality dives are available at competitive rates.

Rest & Recuperation Weekend UPGRADE

Treat yourself and spend your final weekend in Fiji in the lap of luxury with our special R & R weekend upgrade. You can book and pay in country with your Project Coordinator for the special Frontier discount price of US$27/$35FJD per night.

This weekend upgrade facilities include:

Breakfast

Beach front accommodation

150m beach with hammocks and loungers

Popular beach bar with the cheapest beer on the coast on tap & a double happy hour

Swimming pool

Hot showers

Pool and table tennis room

TV lounge

Internet lounge

Free Wifi  

Free activities including sea kayak hire, coconut weaving and jewellery making and beach volley ball

Optional extras include: snorkel trip with kit US$11; bush trek to local waterfalls US$8; beach horse ride US$19; massage US$15 per hour;  2.5 hour surf lesson US$57

Lunch and dinner is not included and meals cost between US$6 and US$13

Dive courses run monthly commencing on the first Monday of the month on request

  • Single Day Snorkelling US$19
  • Single Day Dive US$57
  • Double Dive US$95
  • 4-dive package US$190
  • 10-dive package US$380

courses*

  • Discover Scuba Diving US$124
  • Open Water Dive Course US$665
  • Advanced Open Water US$627
  • Emergency First Response US$190
  • Rescue Diver US$570
  • Dive Master US$1,140

*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in dive courses.

Night dives or fun dives can also be provided at the extra cost of $35 per person per dive. Just ask staff in country and they will be happy to arrange it for you. If you do intend to complete a night dive don't forget to bring a dive torch.

Modern conveniences

Suva

  • Banks / ATMs; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
  • Bars / cafes
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Hospital
  • Internet cafe
  • Laundry services
  • Mobile phone shop
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Supermarkets
  • Traditional markets and cafes
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

Navua - 40 min boat journey at own cost, 1 hour journey from Suva

  • Banks; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
  • Internet cafe
  • Market stalls
  • Media centre
  • Mobile phone shop
  • Pay phones
  • Restaurant
  • Supermarket
  • Western Union

COSTS

2 months US$ 3,295

DEPARTURE DATES

First Monday of the month

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 2 months

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Nadi (NAN)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisers will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.