Health & Safety With Think Pacific
We take a highly personal approach to your health, safety and support. By the very nature of our projects, we guide young people through remote and far away locations. You are under our care and guidance during your project or placement and we take this responsibility to you seriously.
Think Pacific is trusted by over 80 global Higher and Further Education Institutions to provide overseas projects, which connect students with Asia-Pacific. With over 1200 participants joining our programmes annually, we strive for the most comprehensive processes for student safety, support and ethics in global travel.
- Comprehensive planning, Risk Assessments & Crisis Management
- Public, Employers and Professional Liability Insurance
- Comprehensive In-Country Orientation for Students
- 24/7 Project Guidance and Expert Pastoral Care
- Student Preparation including Pre-Departure Training
- 30 + Members of Staff Based in our overseas destinations annually.
- Projects under Formal Partnership with Government Ministries
- Best Practice of sustainable, empowering, ethical programs
- Compliant with BS8848, H&S Executive and DFAT
- Comprehensive Mental Health Support
- Policies in Safeguarding and Inclusion
- Responsible, Trusted & Award-winning programs
Our commitment to excellence is demonstrated by Think Pacific being recently honoured to receive best study abroad and international exchange experience of the year. The award was given by professionals in international education and chosen by judges from universities and fellow travel organisations from across the globe.
“Absolutely amazing experience and definitely the best 10 weeks of my life in Malake. Think Pacific are doing amazing things all over Fiji, they are friendly, organized, full of information and they think of absolutely everything, to ensure that you are prepared and love every minute of your time in Fiji. Their team leaders are unparalleled and made the experience what it was”
Think Pacific is an amazing organisation. Prior to departure the staff were friendly and always helpful. During the project I learnt so much about the Fijian way of life which is not only inspiring but very interesting. The days are very busy, there is always something to do and that is what makes the trip so worthwhile and fun. Leaving the village was such a sad day as we formed such a tight bond with the community.
By far the best thing I have ever done! Not only was I able to visit an incredible part of the world, I was able to really immerse myself in the culture and help a lot of people out while doing so. By far the furthest thing from Volun-tourism I have come across and something I will cherish for life! I was able to meet some friends that I have still kept in contact with. You all become so close during the four weeks and they really do become your family. I really made friends for life on this trip. The Think Pacific staff are phenomenal at organising and reassuring you both before and during the trip. Not once did I feel unsure of things or unsafe, which was hugely important to me when picking a trip.
The planning for every project is extensive and overseen by our in-country management teams. Our projects are designed and delivered in conjunction with local partners and local advisors. We assess our long term objectives, roles and responsibilities, time-frames, sustainability, and your experience ahead. We visit to check and brief each element of your project and consider medical support, accommodation, plan logistics and conduct risk assessments. By the time you reach your project, your global experiences are just beginning, but we are at the culmination of months upon months of talking, designing and working. So don’t be surprised by how excited everyone is by your arrival!
We undertake risk assessments for all our projects and these are updated and monitored regularly to ensure that you are fully supported from arrival until departure from your project. Risk assessments are provided to you in advance in your pre-departure portal. We encourage all participants to play an active part in assessing potential risks and understand why prevention measures are taken. Think Pacific adopt the highest standards of Industry practice using the BSI 8848 code of regulations for leading projects, adventure activities and fieldwork outside of the UK. Copies of our risk assessments (and related policies) are available to the public upon request.
TP is not for everyone. You’ll often need to get out of your comfort zone, challenge your perspectives and throw yourself into our project aims and life in a new culture. For these reasons, it’s important we set your expectations fully, get to know you, find out what skills and enthusiasm you’ll bring. We’ll never rose tint the experience and we can’t accept everyone who applies. Once we receive your application form, the next step is for our project co-ordinators to schedule a telephone chat. We’ll explain the project in detail and learn more about you. This personal approach is ethical and responsible, for you and for all local communities we support. It ensures we guide teams of remarkable and prepared people ready to make a positive impact.
Pre-departure support is comprehensive and ongoing. This includes your online information portal with multiple areas of information to answer frequently asked questions. You can tick off your portal pages step by step to ensure everything is covered and considered before departure. Our online presentations allow you (and next of kin) to log in at home and be briefed and prepared as we present live from our offices in the UK or overseas. We connect you with ATOL bonded flight agents, provide insurance information, detailed kit list and set up a Facebook group for your team. You always have a friendly voice at the end of the phone. No question is too small or too silly – so don’t be shy in asking! We’re here to help you prepare every step of the way, and we love doing so.
Every project no matter what duration, begins with a comprehensive briefing upon arrival. Here we recap on key information from your pre-departure support and run through health and safety issues, cultural awareness, local language, and local orientation as well as preparing you for the specific aims of your project. In a relaxed and beautiful environment at one of our preferred hotels or beach resorts, we take care and time to acclimatise you to the local culture, ensure you are well informed and have the chance to meet our senior staff. We want you to have the best start, a focused mindset and the perfect preparation for the success of your wider project.
Staff Leaders & Coordinators
Every project is led by our local and international staff team. Our staff team undergo training and best practice and have been chosen due to their passion for the projects and experience of international education. We ensure our projects have constant personal support and direction. We’re proud to have a team of remarkable staff and many are past participants themselves, having been in your shoes, shined on their own project and were inspired to return. Our staff live close by- from staying at the resorts to living with local families in the same communities or areas. Our staff offer 24/7 support alongside working with local project partners and communities to ensure objectives and time frames are met and projects run smoothly.
24 Hour Support
The Think Pacific team are accessible 24 hours a day during every project, to provide constant back-up for your peace of mind and to friends and family back home too. Our management team in Fiji are available as constant back up and assistance with any issue or emergency. We keep easily accessible records of our participants travel information including flight details, insurance policies, medical conditions, and next of kin details. We keep in close contact with our overseas teams with daily updates relayed to our UK team.
Experienced Management Team
We have an experienced team overseeing all aspects of our projects, mentoring our staff and working alongside local partners, year round. Our management are integral to our unique operational success and delivery of the highest standards. Our Managers live in Fiji year-round providing overarching support. Volunteers are prepared by management staff in the UK who have extensive experience of working internationally. Staff hold relevant training applicable to project aims. Our local management staff exemplify our knowledge of local customs and traditions.
Code of Conduct
We are fully committed to responsible international projects and our code of conduct for volunteers has been created to enable you to achieve the most out of your time overseas in a safe manner. It also ensures that the local partner organisations and communities we work with are treated with respect and consideration at all times. By undertaking our project you will be representing not only Think Pacific, but seen as a representative of our local partners. TP is responsible, ethical, culturally sensitive and treats all people with respect and integrity. We expect our participants to exemplify our aims and mission and be the absolute best version of themselves throughout their time on their project. A copy of our code of conduct is provided to each participant before departure.
We have comprehensive emergency plans for participant safety in extreme situations, which have been designed by our in-country management team, approved to national standards and are updated regularly, with staff being briefed for such scenarios. As an example of our response, in February 2016, Fiji experienced a rare cyclone (TC Winston), the first such incident in over 25 years. Our volunteers were based on Koro island. We were the first organisation in Fiji to make contact and land on the island (with our emergency plane response) and our volunteers were the first of 4,500 people to leave the island. All students and leaders were kept safe and free from any injury. We received heartfelt messages of thanks from grateful parents.
Our ethos is ‘prevention is better than cure’. We provide health advice and information before departure and ensure participants are briefed for living in the specific conditions of their project, which may include basic sanitation facilities, drinking rain water and challenges of the heat and humidity of the tropics. Staff are available 24/7 to discuss any medical complaint, we have communication and carry extensive first aid supplies. We are usually less than 1 hour of the nearest medical facility and our staff are on hand to arrange road or boat transportation on your behalf if you require. We have excellent knowledge of local medical practitioners across our project destinations- from clinics, local doctors, dentists, and personal contacts with the best hospital care. For any cases of illness, however small, we can facilitate and be there with you.
We know that projects overseas can come with challenges – This might be homesickness, adjusting to new food and culture or the basic sanitation. We are focused upon providing key support to help you tackle your challenges and gain the most of each day. In the end this leads to huge personal growth and self-development. Our staff are approachable, personable and always on hand to discuss issues and provide emotional and motivational support. We hold daily team meetings and discuss the highs and lows of project life. We also organise one-to-one briefings with you (named a ‘PPP’). A scheduled time to discuss your role, how to gain the most from your experience and to speak in confidence as you adjust to your project abroad.