Spend your summer volunteering with sharks in Fiji along with other teenagers. You’ll learn to dive in clear blue waters and work with scientists to protect endangered marine species.
In Fiji, you’ll learn from leading shark researchers and other conservation experts. Watch closely as they catch and tag juvenile sharks and help them conduct surveys of Fiji’s shark population. You’ll also get your hands dirty planting mangroves, which are critical for healthy coastlines.
The project is open to teenagers from all over the world, so you’ll work with people your age and make new friends. Plus, you will gain a sought-after PADI diving certification and build your teamwork skills. During your free time, we help you learn as much about Fijian culture as possible. You’ll enjoy day trips to cultural sites, barbeques with locals, and maybe even learn a traditional dance or two!
When you apply you only pay €295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01 571 5080 to see if we can offer a discount.
Fixed dates during school holidays
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Organised weekend tourism trips
Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day
PADI diving course
Diving equipment rental
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I be doing on the project?
During your first week on the project, you focus on your diving course. By the second week, you’ll be in the water and can start doing research.
Let’s take a look at a few of the specific things you’ll do:
- Complete your PADI Open Water Diving qualification
- Dive with sharks and helping scientists conduct important research
- Help with beach clean-ups and get muddy planting mangroves
- Expand your horizons by experiencing Fiji and its culture
High school students volunteering with sharks in Fiji will focus on the following areas:
Learn to dive and get a PADI Open Water qualification
The first part of the project will focus entirely on getting you comfortable in the water. Those who have no diving experience will do a PADI Open Water course. If you already have that qualification, you’ll level up to Advanced Open Water.
PADI diving certifications don’t have an expiration date, so this qualification will enable you to explore underwater worlds for many years to come! Once you’ve completed your PADI training, you’ll also take part in a Shark Conservation Diver Course.
Diving with sharks
How’s this for a tick off your bucket list? No need to worry about your safety while diving with sharks. You will be under the supervision of qualified Dive Masters at all times.
After this, you will be able to assist with global shark research by tagging juvenile sharks. Data collected will help researchers better understand their movement and habitat preferences.
On the tamer side of things, you will help us do beach clean-ups. Local children will join you, making it a great opportunity to talk to them about ocean conservation and share why it’s important.
You will also help plant mangroves. Mangroves provide homes to many species of plants and animals. They also play a protective role for communities and vulnerable coastlines by preventing soil erosion and providing cover from extreme weather. Mangrove reforestation plays an important role in our overall conservation efforts in Fiji.
In 2017, high school volunteers planted approximately 2,500 mangrove propagules in the Projects Abroad nursery!
Experiencing Fiji and its culture
During your two week program, you will also have plenty of opportunities to socialise with your fellow volunteers, make new friends, and experience island life.
Staff members will be present to supervise and guide all these activities to ensure everyone’s safety throughout the programme.
Who are our partners?
Our partner dive organisation, Beqa Adventure Divers, are at the forefront of shark protection in Fiji. Their safety record on shark dives is 100%. There have been no shark related accidents or injuries to any divers on their shark dive trips.
We also work closely with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) who help all our volunteers get their diving qualifications.
Finally, the WWF also supports our work through various research projects. WWF Global Shark Programme Manager, Ian Campbell, has described our Shark Conservation project in Fiji as “the most important shark conservation project in the world.”
Where will I be working in Fiji?
This part of the island is renowned for its 80 km stretch of pure white sand and cobalt oceans. With water-based activities being central to this project, you will have ample opportunity to explore the magnificent natural beauty.
Importantly, you will also be playing an important role in preserving beaches through cleanups and mangrove reforestation.
During your stay, you will be sharing same-sex dormitories with your fellow volunteers.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
From the moment I arrived, I could hardly contain my excitement. As I stepped off the plane, the Projects Abroad team greeted me. Being the first to arrive out of the volunteers, I sat restlessly in awe at the fact that I travelled all the way to Fiji on my own. Despite my parents initial apprehension of the distance, all the help from my volunteer advisor in the weeks before made getting to Fiji a breeze.
Volunteer Shark Conservation in Fiji for Teenagers