Youth Empowerment Expedition
In Partnership with Fijian Government
Our 1-month or 16-day expedition is a challenging and purposeful team adventure, jam-packed with culture, new perspectives and self-developing experience.
It’s no secret that employers hugely value ‘soft skills’, global understanding and practical work experience. Through this expedition, you’ll develop all three, whilst we facilitate the same self-developing experience to young Fijians.
This expedition is for enthusiastic individuals who want to step out of their comfort zone, experience true cultural immersion and develop their skills, whilst exploring and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The result is one of the most rewarding and extraordinary experiences of your life.
- Meaningful 1-Month or 16-day program in the Fiji Islands.
- In partnership with Fijian Government, registered Youth Groups & Fijian Charities.
- Complete cultural immersion in rural village.
- Live with a traditional Fijian family.
- Advance UN Sustainable Development Goals & Fiji’s National Development Plan.
- Develop ‘soft skills’, cultural intelligence and leadership skills that employers really value.
- Support the cross-cultural development and development of Fiji’s future leaders.
- Project includes; food, accommodation, 24/7 in-country support, domestic travel, charity donation. (Flights not included).
- Expedition costs from £1,595 / $2,795 AUD for 16-Days in Fiji. (See costs below)
- University scholarships & bursaries available – Learn More Here.
Whether you’re taking a rewarding summer break or looking to enhance your studies, on a Think Pacific project you can;
- Experience; Gain hands on service learning or work placement experience.
- Contribution; Make an impact to sustainable development goals.
- Challenge; Expand your comfort zone and throw yourself into island life.
- Learn; Learn a new culture by living the ‘Kaiviti’ lifestyle.
- Skills; Develop ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, communication & leadership.
Team Challenge + Cultural Immersion + Contribution = Huge Personal Growth
Learn What Makes Us So Unique…
All our focus is on Fiji.
Go where only we can take you.
Teams of up to 25 students.
Support Fijian Government aims.
Join a traditional village, become a member of a Fijian family and work in partnership with Fijian youth groups of your village (aged 18-30) as you explore local and global issues, develop cross-cultural skills and innovative solutions to achieve Fiji’s National Development Plan and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Work alongside Fijians aged 18-30 enrolled in local youth groups, to advocate key messages and learning outcomes across a range of aims, on behalf of our partners.
Through daily participation in ‘Kaiviti’ activities you will learn, appreciate and celebrate traditional Fijian lifestyle specific to each village.
Supporting the Fiji National Development Plan & UN Sustainable Development Goals
Through fun and engaging collaboration with young Fijians of a similar age to yourself, we explore new perspectives, ideas, cultural sensitivity and innovation in achieving sustainable development. Each project comprises up to 25 international students, who live at the heart of a rural community.
Each day, we participate in a diverse range of engaging physical activity sessions. From sharing ideas for team sports and warm ups with Fijian youth groups, to introducing yoga and Zumba for community members to inspiring kids with fun sports and games.
Promote discussion of rising mental health issues, potential causes and the prevalence of stigma. Plan positive messages of mental wellbeing and consider support structures that can be implemented with cultural sensitivity, both globally and locally.
Consider responsibilities to climate change in different global settings. Partake in relevant environmental action initiatives, which depending on location, may address plastic pollution, deforestation, mangrove replanting, renewable energy or coral protection.
Facilitate workshops, team building and group challenges in areas of communication, decision making, self-leadership, time management, presentation skills, positive mindset, empathy and leadership, which advance employability skills
Promote awareness of rising Non Communicable Diseases and how healthy habits can be used as intervention. Address dangers of smoking and alcohol use, the rise in sugar and fats in rural diets and issues of reduced activity and discuss community based strategies.
Explore and understand different opportunities for business creation in global contexts. Consider model examples of success and deconstruct the challenges and viability specific to rural community and cultural settings.
You’ll spend each day working in partnership with the members of a Fijian ‘Youth Group’ made up of men and women from rural communities, aged between 18-30. The days are diverse, fun and incredibly busy. Projects are led by our local Fijian Leaders, trained by partner charities and organisations to pass their skills and learning to international students and Fijian youths. However, ultimately it is up to the commitment of you and the local youths to come up with the ideas and implement project concepts.
Each morning, you’ll work on projects to address key themes from health to environment to lifeskills. This may include facilitating group activities such as brainstorming, energizers, team building, leading break outs, group challenges, buddy work, ‘conversation cafes’ or an amazing race. Depending on the village setting, each day we could be working in a local community centre, a jungle clearing, on the beach or by the river, ideally a mix of all. Sessions finish with the completion of a set outcome – be this a village action plan, a global mind map, a quiz or poster presentation.
We aim to be the epitome of purposeful, responsible and empowering volunteer and experiential learning programmes. Central to this is the depth of our association with local communities, government departments and organisations within Fiji, which is unique and unrivalled.
Every programme is planned in collaboration and at the request of rural communities and directed and monitored by The Fijian Ministries to ensure our volunteering has real purpose and long term sustainability. We are respected for working within the framework of the government, adding benefit to long term strategies and the advancement of education, access and opportunity for youths and children living in rural areas.
We work alongside many by leading international universities and hold many partnerships to support the formal delivery of global mobility. Through our structured projects, we guide hundreds of students annually who develop leadership, transferable skills and expand their cultural understanding, whilst contributing to the aims and initiatives of our Fijian partners.
The 20-Year Development Plan provides the forward-looking vision for “Transforming Fiji” towards an even more progressive, vibrant and inclusive society. It outlines a framework that encompasses strategic policy manoeuvres, new approaches to development and the aspirations of all Fijians.
Leadership Development of International Volunteers
Our aim is for every student to complete their project with a set of experiences, personal attributes and transferable skills, which can positively impact their future education, career ambitions and transition to life beyond study.
TP volunteers will be expected to undertake leadership activities in a challenging and changing environment, which means they can achieve the following learning outcomes;
Able to communicate Think Pacific outcomes, goals and vision
Displays global Intelligence & empathy with open mind
Ability to lead activities & others without authority
Build relationships with Fijian community members
Adapt to Fijian culture with passion & empathy
Approaches new settings with emotional intelligence
Can language personal and team reflections
Can speak effectively to a group
Can communicate with individuals from different backgrounds
Has an understanding of own leadership style/s
Is open to feedback and open to change
Curious attitude and continual learner
Ability to persist during within challenging environment
Motivates others through consistency
Persistently displays determination to achieve end goal
Decisive in new environments
Drives innovations and ideas
Takes initiative to implement ideas
Positive member of Think Pacific volunteer team
Can collaborate with Fijian Youth & Community members
This project is great for students who want to engage in a broad range of activities, learn about sustainable development in a global context and develop their leadership and employability skills. You don’t need any prior experience and this project is open to all students. You will, however, need a thirst for sustainable development and a desire to step out of your comfort zone and work collaboratively to implement our project aims.
By the end of our expedition, students and Fijian youths leave, not just a new family and friends but with new found skills, perspectives and confidence. Think Pacific firmly believe that anyone can be a leader and through daily project workshops, ‘Kaiviti challenges’ and team building and cultural activities. This is a chance to step out of your comfort zone and achieve remarkable personal development, whilst most importantly, helping the development of others.
“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”
Without a doubt my 5 weeks in Fiji were the most memorable, rewarding and fun of my life! I cannot recommend Think Pacific highly enough for their outstanding organisation of the expedition. I feel truly honoured to have lived amongst the incredible families in Fiji and will forever treasure the lessons learnt from their beautiful culture and traditions.
Arriving into your Fijian village is the most exciting day of the expedition. Unique to Think Pacific is that each team visits a different community to complete the project objectives. The communities are so incredibly excited for your arrival that the entire village will gather to greet you and welcome you into their traditional village. By the time you depart from your project, you will feel like you have a second home at this tiny community.
Immerse yourself into every aspect of Fijian life and see the country through the eyes of the local people. Visit places only possible with Think Pacific. Being invited into rural communities by village Chief’s is our biggest privilege and something we are incredibly proud of. We require you to throw yourself wholeheartedly into Fijian customs, culture, values and traditions and if you do, you’ll gain so much in return and make so many amazing friends.
Drink ceremonial Kava with the village Chief.
Learn the traditional ‘meke’ dance of your village.
Learn the traditional skills of your village.
Learn how to cook an underground earth oven.
Be adopted by a Fijian family, our biggest privilege.
Get involved with games and sports within your village.
Hear our Fijian staff talk about life in a Fijian village.
Fijian life is incredibly communal and friendly. The entire village live and work together. Fijians farm together, maintaining crop plantations which feed the whole village. They fish together, later dividing their catch, and families will all come together in the evenings to play cards, strum the guitar, chat and dance the night away as they drink Kava.
The villages are all relatively small and close knit communities with usually around 20-50 or so families. During the project, you will stay with your own Fijian family in the village. The Fijian families will treat you as one of their own. If you are lucky, you may also live with a family who has children and your little Fijian brothers and sisters are always so intrigued and incredibly excited by the arrival of visitors from afar! Conditions are basic; expect cold bucket showers, pit toilets and limited electricity.
You will eat with your Fijian family, who provide all of your meals in the community. Think Pacific fund any costs of this food so our teams pose absolutely no burden on the local resources. You may often find many different people at your home for lunch and dinner – in Fiji it is custom to invite anyone who is passing into the home to eat. Food is very carbohydrate heavy, so expect lots of root crops such as dalo and cassava, and also lots of fish, as this makes up the bulk of a typical Fijian diet.
Trust us when we say that there really is nothing like a Fijian village! However, the comparatively basic standard of living, the communal nature, the strong religious beliefs and the traditional customs and values in the village, may take time to adjust to. It is completely normal to feel a little out of your depth in the first few days. With the support of your Fijian family, your team and our leaders, we find it doesn’t take long to adjust to life in the South Pacific
The majority of Fijians speak both Fijian and English. There may be some language barriers with pronunciation, but as long as you talk slowly and clearly in English there is little difficulty in understanding each other. Young children and some elderly members of the community may not speak any English at all and it’s great to learn a few Fijian words as early as you can.
‘Fiji time’ is something you will soon be accustomed to – and it has the ability to change everything. South Pacific Islanders take everything at their own unique, mystifying and incredibly slow pace. This can sometimes seem frustrating, but don’t let it get to you; its better to smile and take any changes in your stride and welcome this beautiful, relaxed and refreshing way of life!
Follow the village headman (Turaga ni Koro), as he gives you a guided tour of Buliya, Kadavu.
Hear from one of our Fijian Project Manager’s, on Fijian culture…
Hear from villagers talking about their experience with Think Pacific volunteers.
Forget about the day job or the stress of exams by arriving in the exotic South Seas. You will land at Nadi Airport and be met by your Expedition Leaders for the first time.
Every expedition starts with a 6 day briefing at a beautiful tropical beach resort. This is time for you to get to know your team mates, acclimatise, prepare for life in the village and meet our Fijian partners.
Leaving your briefing paradise, we travel to your remote traditional Fijian community. Depending on your village, this could be a truck to deep jungle or ferry to an outer island.
Arriving into your Fijian village is an exciting and nervous moment. Every door is open in a Fijian community and the generosity and genuine excitement of the local people is profound. By the end of the project our volunteers feel as though they are leaving a second home in Fiji.
Some of your greatest experiences will be the simple activities of daily Fijian life may include learning how to weave palm leaves, drinking ceremonial Kava with the chief, husking coconuts or fishing ‘Fiji-style’.
We focus on the youth empowerment workshops in the morning as you collaborate with Fijian youth, followed by the ‘Pacific Skills’ cultural activities in the afternoon.
Live at the heart of some of the most rural communities and immerse yourself into local village life, where everyday is an adventure.
Leaving your Fijian village is an emotional experience; such are the close bonds that are formed between our volunteers and the local community.
We finish the project by enjoying your final 3 nights of de-brief. This is time to rest, relax and reflect as a group as we discuss the project goals and celebrate the project achievements.
We pride ourselves on the delivery of a safe, structured and personally supported experience.
Your expedition fee includes your food, accommodation, in-country travel, resort briefings, R&R, weekend activities, emergency support and your expedition leader team living alongside you 24/7. Expeditions also fund the work of the Think Pacific Foundation (Fijian charity FJ 989) enabling us to support thousands of youths annually to ensure sustainability of the aims.
£195 GBP / $345 AUD
This secures your place in the team and gives you access to our Global Skills Programme, an online course to give you the foundations of success before departing for Fiji. It also provides personal support from your project co-ordinator, full access to our pre-departure resources, live online preparation webinars and your expedition t-shirt. Your registration fee is additional to your project fees.
Students can apply for scholarships and bursaries to join our projects in Fiji.
To find out if there’s funding available at your university or in your area, download our funding guide. (Coming soon)
16 Day = £1400 GBP / $2450 AUD / $1700 USD
1 Month = £1950 GBP / $3350 AUD / $2300 USD
Our philosophy is to provide a high quality and exceptionally well structured volunteer project. Our expeditions are packed full of adventure and cultural insight, whilst having safety and support at their core. Click ‘What’s Included’ below to learn more.
Your travel costs are not included in the project fees. We support you every step of the way to book return flights, personal travel insurance and we process your visa when in Fiji. Please see the approximate costs below within ‘ What’s Not Included’.
Think Pacific works in partnership with many universities across the world to support student mobility and employability. There are scholarships and grants available for students from individual university departments and/or governments in several countries.
Students can apply for scholarships and bursaries to join our projects in Fiji. To find out if there’s funding available at your university or in your areas, click here to download our funding guide. (Guide coming soon)
If you have any questions about funding prior to our funding guide being launched, please email email@example.com.
Our philosophy is to provide a high quality and exceptionally well structured volunteer project. Our expeditions are packed full of adventure and cultural insight, whilst having safety and support at their core. We also ensure that through our charity, the communities you support receive long-term financial and physical assistance year-round. Think Pacific is not the cheapest volunteer organisation around, but this is for all the right reasons.
All our expeditions include:
- Airport welcome by Think Pacific Expedition leaders (or resort meet and greet if you arrive early).
- All in-country expedition travel
- All project accommodation
- Briefing and orientation from a beautiful beach resort.
- All meals during your briefing, all meals for 3 and a half weeks staying with your Fijian village family and breakfast and evening meals during your final days of R&R.
- Guided weekend activities such as a trek or attending community events.
- Organised evening Fijian activities including kava ceremonies, lovo feasts, mat weaving,
- Think Pacific Leaders and Fijian Matanivanua guides living with you 24/7.
- In-country Director, Fiji based Project Managers and UK team providing planning, risk assessment and 24-hour back up support.
- Comprehensive pre-departure information & personal volunteer project planning.
- Expedition de-brief.
- Your project donation towards the youth development goals in Fiji (which is used to purchase educational and sports equipment, fund scholarships and training for local people and build village facilities and school classrooms).
- International flights – £800 – £1100
- Personal travel insurance £60-£100
- Spending money for lunches during R&R, drinks, Fijian clothes and items of a personal nature (we advise bringing £200 – £300 spending money).
Apply for university funding to cover flights, insurance and visa.
- Access to the Volunteer Portal.
This portal provides the step-by-step process to prepare for Fiji, including fundraising information, flight information, kit list, visa, cultural preparation. Student can watch videos with our team in Fiji and download document.
- Contact our team.
You can contact our team anytime between office hours, either give us a call on 0113 335 9919 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online community/network.
You can communicate with fellow volunteers, alumni and our team through our online community, hosted on the Might Network app. Within 3 months of you departing to Fiji, you shall be entered into a private group with your volunteer team.
- Live Pre Departure webinars
Our team host live sessions in the months leading up to your expedition. These are a great way for you to ask questions and delve deeper into planning for your project. They also add to the excitement!
- Global Skills Programme
We have created an online course to give you the set you up for success before departing for Fiji! Complete short-courses in: Fijian Culture, Sustainable Development & Global Leadership.
- Briefing (6 nights) = Resort Accommodation
- Project aims (18 nights) = Traditional village homestay.
- Rest & reflection = (2 nights) = Resort Accommodation
- Final evening= (1 night) = Accommodation in Nadi.
2023 Project Dates
20 January – 17 February
24 February – 24 March
24 March – 21 April
28 April – 26 May
26 May – 23 June
2 June – 30 June
11 June – 9 July
13 June – 11 July
18 June – 16 July
20 June – 18 July
24 June – 9 July (16 Day Expedition)
25 June – 23 July
2 July – 30 July
7 July – 4 August
16 July – 13 August
22 July – 17 August