Short Term Marine Conservation Internship in Fiji

On this instructive internship, you will spend time diving in the tropical waters in the Dawasamu District, while participating in local conservation efforts.

Durations:  4 - 12 weeks

Program information

Dive into the crystalline depths of the ocean as you discover the rich biodiversity of the South Pacific reef. Participants on this program assist with research aiding local management efforts in marine protected areas as well as contributing towards conserving Fiji’s delicate coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Joining our internship allows you to gain your PADI Advanced Open Water qualification while contribute towards tangible, long-term community benefits.

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undefined 31 May 2022
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Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Learn to cook iTaukei food

Make a traditional drink from kava root

Learn indigenous plant medicine

Hike to the top of Tova Peak

Fish with iTaukei women

Weave a traditional mat

Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park

Boat to Leleuvia Island

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
Testimonial bg

Katie Searle

16 Aug, 2018
When I was looking for a wildlife conservation project to take part of, GVI was one of the companies that came up. One reason I decided to pick GVI was how they help to set up projects that the local communities can eventually run themselves. In Vanuatu it was mostly local ran with GVI helping provide volunteers with each of them having a role within the project, whether it was taking us out to check on sea turtle nests, cooking, or being our local “mama” for our stay. After some training presentations on sea turtle ecology and surveying, we spent our time walking along a stunning beach whilst checking on turtle nests and taking note of how many hatched etc. We were lucky enough to see some hatchlings emerge from the nest and helped them safely to the sea. Due to the time of year we had quite a bit of free time where we were able to help at the school, local building projects or discover the amazing surrounding marine life by snorkeling or sea kayaking looking for turtles and dugong. This project was an amazing eye-opener at how small communities live and work and learning about other cultures. As an Ecologist learning new wildlife surveying techniques are always beneficial to getting a job, as well as learning transferable skills such as working in teams to get a job done. The local people on the tiny island where the most welcoming people taking us on boat trips to see the giant clams and admitting us into their homes. I would recommend this project to people who love marine wildlife, and a slower pace of life (or island time as it were), and who want to learn about happiest place in the world!

Katie Searle

16 Aug, 2018
Studying a degree in Animal Behaviour and welfare made this the perfect project for me to take part in. This project was chosen due to its scientific research aspect. It consisted of different data collection aspects such as photographing the dolphins for identification purposes, taking GPS coordinates of where the dolphins where seen and collecting behavioural data of the dolphins using a periodic system. The data that was collected was used to help two Masters degree students on their dissertations. This particular group of spinner dolphins stayed in the area when others move around, it is thought to be due to the crescent-shaped coral reef off the coast and the acoustic properties that it holds for them. Day to day activities included going out on the boat into the reef of interest and following around the dolphins collecting data, as well as sorting through the data once we got back to shore. We were given various presentations on dolphin ecology, acoustics and surveying techniques. On our time off we explored this beautiful island by going to a waterfall, going on treks or just chilling on the black volcanic beach. This project was very full on and data heavy but it was all worth it when being able to snorkel with reef sharks or have a bonfire on the beach. This project was a great and fun way of learning new survey techniques whilst getting close up to some stunning marine life. We learnt to speak some of the local language as well as learning local traditions such as kava rituals. As an Ecologist learning new wildlife surveying techniques are always beneficial to getting a job, as well as learning transferable skills such as working in teams to get a job done. The group of people working on the boats and the students were very friendly people and made the whole experience more fun. We all became close friends of the project after early morning starts on the boat, evening films and a last farewell with a great view of the bay!

Ana Ciriyawa

15 Aug, 2018
The GVI National Scholarship Programme provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime that will be embedded in my memory forever. I had no idea of GVI whatsoever but came to know of it later when I met Elizabeth at a Turtle Conservation Workshop and then Dr. Susanna Piovano offering me an opportunity to join volunteers on a tiny island somewhere in the Lomaiviti Group. I received the message on the hilltop of Makogai Island trying to get phone reception and jumped of joy when I learnt that I was going to learn how to dive, survey, volunteer amongst other things with a group of volunteers from all over the globe. The excitement was overwhelming and I was quite fortunate to be the first local included in the programme. Experience on Caqalai Island Arriving on the island without any expectations was worth it because all that I was provided with was satisfying on all levels. The accommodation was cool and the food was thrilling (I had pasta for the first time on the island). There was something new to learn every day. We were divided into groups and allocated duties that were rotated every day. Duties included galley, grounds, waste, dive shed and a day off. This allocation brought about togetherness and companionship among the members and it was beautiful since I was the only local with the rest of the volunteers who I now call friends were from different parts of the world. Learning I learnt diving and earned my open water and advanced open water qualifications together with other learners on the programme during my time there namely Hannah of New Zealand, Andy of Australia, Victoria of England and Jens and Jakob of Denmark. Our dive instructor, Clare Brown was patient and willing to teach all that we needed to know in order to become good divers. We also learnt how to survey reefs while I also completed my Emergency First Response with the help of Jay. We had formed a close knit bond during our two months together on the island and I am glad I have made good friends. Not only were we taught how to dive but since it was a Marine Conservation Base, we also had to learn invertebrates, fish and benthics that are found on the reef. These lessons definitely enhanced my knowledge of invertebrate identification. Sadly, I did not have enough time to learn fish but I am glad I learnt a lot while on the island. Reef surveys provided me with the skill and experience that I would definitely use in the future. Apart from academic and diving, volunteering in schools was a huge aspect of my experience there. We went to the local schools on Moturiki island and took 2 hours classes with the students teaching them subjects of concern such as healthy living, oral health, cleanliness and many more. Contributions to my Academic Career All that I have learnt during my 2 months on the island has definitely provided me with the skills needed and the experience that I would be making use of in my academic as well as working career. As of now, I am a Research Assistant at the University of the South Pacific, a position offered by Dr. Sussana Piovano upon my return from the island. I am required to help out in the researches that she will be carrying out at the University. GVI definitely helped shape my skills in data collection, and diving qualifications is definitely an added bonus. All the training offered will definitely help me achieve what I aim to achieve in reaching the peak of my academic career. In summary, I learnt how to dive, collect data important for conservation and interacting and sharing ideas with the community. I would love to learn some more but unfortunately, all good things must come an end. Fun Memories Fun dives were awesome and meeting turtles and white tip sharks were amazing. Seeing the humpback whale was breath-taking. The island games and the volleyball sessions were epic but most of all, sitting around the tanoa at the end of the day and chilling with friends who I have come to call family. My 2 months on Caqalai island were definitely one of the best moments of my life and I thank GVI for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime. If I had the chance, I would definitely do it all over again.