Frontier

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8.9 / 10 after 531 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Frontier has over 300 projects globally, offering unlimited opportunities to volunteer abroad. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a conservation project with lion cubs! You can learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and make lifelong friends.

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I spent 8 weeks on the beautiful Beqa Island where I was given the opportunity to improve both my diving and survey methodology skills. I plan on studying to become a marine biologist this autumn, and consequently I loved being given the opportunity as an intern to create my own invertebrate survey which has now become a regular part of surveying. I also thoroughly enjoyed helping to collect information about mangroves in the area which we used to make a series of blogs and an accompanying video about Frontiers collaboration with WWF. Doing these things helped to feel like I was really able to make a difference. I loved spending time with our resident Fijian family, it gave the kind of cultural experience you wouldn't get through a package tour company. I also surprisingly enjoyed living a more basic life. Having limited luxuries made them feel so much more valuable when I got back to the mainland.

I would reccomend people bring a solar panel, as i liked to have some sort of contact with the outside world, and electricity is very hard to come by. The staff were great and did their best when power was limited. The three AROs deserve special mention for helping me learn all the fish species, reassuring me when I thought my diving was rubbish and generally keeping morale up with extra activities such as movies. Their planned trip to the gorgeous sandbar was also a highlight of my visit.

My only complaint worth mentioning is there is still a slightly neglected feel to the project. At times I felt like london wasn't interested in us. If a bit of money could be freed up to help with things like proper chairs (lugging tanks up and down a hill kills your back) and making said hill safe to navigate after rainy weather (an urgent problem), instead of putting extra costs on those of us who already paid a lot to be there, then I think morale at camp could be sky high.

That said, I truly enjoyed my time on the project and after only one day from camp I find I miss nearly everything about it (especially the people). I would definitely recommend to others, and would definitely return to Beqa if I ever have money again.

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Location:
Posted: June 27, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
6
Value:
8
By: LauraBS
Age:
22

The atmosphere in the house is so homely. Once everyone settles in it is really easy to chat to anyone and the staff are really welcoming, partly because we spend a lot of time together. They are there to help for organising boat trips, personal projects or even activities in your spare time like scuba diving to get group discounts. The house is in a complex of fourteen houses with a pool and is five minutes walk from the San Blas town and bus stop. The captains of the boats are so friendly and happy to have you on board and teach you more about the cetaceans in the area. We try to be eco-friendly and conserve water and recycle in the house. On the days we are not in the boats we upload behaviour, photos, etc. of the whales and dolphins from the previous days and try to fit them into families. If you're lucky you could name one if you discovered it!

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Location:
Posted: June 22, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
17

I think I need say little else other than, as I'm planning on returning to Fiji in the hopefully very, very near future, it was a pretty fantastic experience; however I do in fact have heaps more to say on the matter as I adored EVERYTHING about my time there!

I took part in the teaching project: originally TEFL, though after speaking to the headmistress of my assigned school at our introductory meeting, I was given the opportunity to teach my preferred subjects - a huge boon for me as an aspiring secondary school history teacher, as I was able to garner invaluable subject-specific experience, rather than just the classroom experience I had bargained on.
I, along with my fellow teaching volunteers, was placed in a Methodist primary school in the heart of the capital Suva, just a short walk from our home stay. I was assigned to Master Pau and his yr 8. class (the education system works a little differently and primary goes up to yr 8, and the students then move on to college for the equivalent of their GCSEs and A Levels) and taught social science, health science and creative writing to a wonderful bunch of interested, engaging, amiable students ... plus a handful of cheeky ones, of course! My teacher was fantastic, gave me full control of lesson planning and delivery, but was also hugely supportive with supplying curricular material, and a significant source of knowledge on the history of the Fijian education system as well as the students personal education histories which was hugely helpful to myself; was always happy to answer my many questions, and we swapped information and stories about our differing experiences as students and trainee teachers in the times when I wasn't stood in front of the blackboard - he even bought me lunch on my first day! A typical Fijian - friendly, welcoming and oh so charming - as were all the staff, who in no short order popped their heads into my classroom to introduce themselves (and offer me lesson time in their own classrooms!) We, the volunteers, were included in all the schools social events from recess coffee and cake mornings to Friday night after school kava and lovo (the traditional food and drink), and a huge fuss was made of us with both welcoming ceremonies and leaving parties; I felt my time there was hugely worthwhile, both staff and students were hugely grateful, and I saw a real improvement in my class during my time with them, both academically and confidence wise (as they were a tad shy to begin with).
We were also welcomed to join in on extracurricular activities, and so I joined Master Vili in coaching the under-11 rugby boys, training with them after school, and accompanying them to their Saturday tournaments to scream and shout with their proud parents on the sidelines!

If the school placement experience was exceptional, then the home stay one was out of this world! I had a bed at the main home stay on Brown St with several other volunteers, the in-field project co-ordinator (who need mention as she was both a fantastic support as mentor, and fun cohort and friend for evening and weekend activities and adventures). Staying with the Sokosoko family - now my Fijian, or second family, 68 Brown St truly became a home away from home - I had oh so many wonderful experiences with this family. The entire clan (of which there were many) were so warm and oh so welcoming: from head of the household Master, who sat around around drinking grog and wine with us till the early hours many a Friday night, teaching us to dance/ward off unwelcome partners Fijian style, to two-year old Lote who'd toddle up the driveway every weekday afternoon to great us from school with a big hug and drag us into whatever mischief her and her siblings and cousins were up to that day! From the youngest to the oldest we interacted with all, and I have a plethora of happy memories from my time, including racing around having water pistol fights to cool off in the heat with my darling Charles, Minnie, Ba and Andi; and nights out with my Fijian sisters spent dancing till dawn! My time here, just a month, I warn, was far too short, but so well spent, and I can't recommend the project highly enough!

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Location:
Posted: June 16, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:
23

The Tenerife Whale and Dolphin Conservation project is phenomenal!!

The volunteer house is set in the quiet residential area of San Blas - really easy to get to via the optional airport pick up. The house is nothing like I expected, I'd even go so far to say luxurious in both the living spaces, the views and down the road the quaint local village is brimming full of bars and restaurants, perfect for that precious down time.

Now, the important stuff, the whales and dolphins! A day of lectures was provided before volunteers were allowed on the boats as Research Assistants. This helps fill in any gaps in knowledge, as well as finding out about the data collection, and most importantly, the reason why Frontier are in Tenerife doing this important work. We were then all quizzed, in true game show fashion (a wooden spoon and a frying pan is a very effective buzzer), to make sure that we had taken everything on board.

The time spent on the boats is little short of humbling. To be able to interact with these incredible creatures in their natural environment was mind blowing. The short-finned pilot whales especially are fascinating, all seeming to have their own personalities and characteristics. The work on the boats consisted of collecting observational data as well as taking photos of the dorsal fins (their fingerprint) in order to gain a better understanding of the whales as well as identifying them and placing them into family groups.

The volunteer group was a mixed bunch, academics, marine enthusiasts, and those just wanting to try something new. All were left wanting more - a week here really isnt long enough!!

Thank you Frontier!!

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 9, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
32

I took part in the 10 week Central America Trail where I traveled from Mexico City through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and ended in Costa Rica for the forest project. I enjoyed the trail the places we visited were varied ranging from colonial towns to eco lodges in national parks. I got on well with the group that was on the trail and we were all of a similar age. Moving from country to country and town to town was hassle free due to the excellent organisation of our trail leader Henry. I also felt safe throughout the whole trip and was happy with the information given about different activities and sight seeing in each place we visited.

Down sides, although I would recommend the trail overall there were a few things about it that let it down for me the value for money was not great the standards of the hostels were very good and most of the transport was good too but It was difficult to see where most of the money I had paid for the trip was going as Frontier is a 'none profit' organisation. The way 2 meals a day were included for 5 days a week was strange and I think this should be scrapped completely. The only other negative from me was the lack of flexibility with regards to how long I could stay in each place but this was to be expected with it being a tour.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 8, 2015
Overall:
7
Support:
10
Value:
6
Age:
21

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