Fiji Teaching experience
Review submitted by Max Carletide
Review date 23 Sep 2010
I am an A level student who was looking for an adventure as well as some volunteering, I had heard about FRONTIER and decided to look into their programs. I found that the staff are very friendly and very helpful. My trip was very last minute and very far away however the Frontier team was able to organise everything and answer all of my many questions, as I would be travelling on my own for the first time.
I was very nervous and the plane journey was slightly unsettling; 30 hours on a plane and gaining 11 hours time difference is confusing. However once I arrived at Fiji at Nadi airport. I was in disbelief; it was picture perfect paradise. The sun was shinning and the temperature was a lovely 30-40 degrees. I travelled to Suva where I would do my teaching project that same day.
The other volunteers and coordinator were all lovely and I have gained so many friends from doing this. The teaching in itself is a challenge however it was fantastic. Everyday I was at a Primary School in Suva. I taught class 2c, with Miss Millie as the teacher. I kid you not it is wild, with children flying from one side of the room to the other and the teachers themselves turn up late. The class was so happy and so vibrant, all the pupils wanted was time to learn and play which was incredible. I taught one child how to tell the time and have never felt so choked up to see someone achieve whom I hardly knew. The impact was life altering and I want to elaborate on the teaching itself. It is hard to do with very little teaching experience, the rewards are great and vast, it depends how much you wish to put in. You can do the bog standard 20 hours volunteering for a TEFL qualification in a week. However it does not stop there, overall I accomplished around 80 hours of teaching. It was hard but liberating, the kids do need help so you do mark work, correct work where it is needed and help and allow the children to see how to correct work for themselves.
Each day I would get up have breakfast with my newly found friends who would then go off to do separate projects. I lived with 13 people roughly and this was with 10-11 girls and one other guy. We all lived in our own dorm and had a huge living space to chill, watch television and yes drink and be merry for the clubbing on the weekends and the touring as well. We all lived together however some volunteers were doing a medical placement, others were doing sports coaching and a majority were teaching such as myself.
Fiji is beautiful and the islands were fantastic! I went skydiving onto a tropical island. Who else can say you jumped 10,000 feet in 40 degrees where Paris Hilton did a sky dive herself. All the locals are so friendly and love to see volunteers making such a difference meaning you get a few privileges’ here and there such as free ice cream competitions and cheaper activities. I went snorkelling, kayaking, canoe riding, and village touring to name a few.
It was paradise… not to mention the site of many famous sites… Tom Cruise filmed the smash hit ‘Cast away’ on one of the islands and it looks amazing… I skydived near there and yelled ‘Wilson’ as I dove. Celebrity Love Island is also filmed on another island. All are accessible on cruises and day tours.
I would truly recommend the journey; it will change your life forever!
Find out more about the Fiji Teaching project