Are you ready to soak up true island life? Vanuatu is the untouched paradise you’re looking for. While we think you’ll love the blue lagoons hiding in the jungle and the chance to lounge on deserted beaches, get ready to love the people and the culture even more. Walk through the palm-fringed streets of your village. Soak up all the sunshine. Wave to the “friendliest people on earth” — the community here is like one big family that you’ll instantly be a part of.
Volunteers in our South Pacific program spend teaching English to children in this humanitarian program, with plenty of free time to explore. Come fall in love with the people and the country of Vanuatu.
Get ready to to discover corners of the globe that only a handful of people have seen. Come live on the island of Efate, in the nation’s capital city which is surrounded by a unique culture and 82 other islands. Join a small group of volunteers (about 6-8) who will all be living, teaching, exploring, and traveling together. A semester here is all about stepping into the local culture and becoming a part of that tight-knit community. It’s a rugged island experience that comes with some challenges. This program is a best fit for flexible, positive, easy going volunteers who want the biggest kinds of adventures and want to really embrace the ups and downs of living abroad.
It’s not an experience for everyone, but if you’re thinking “that’s the right country for me!”, we know you’ll love your new island home! Here’s a sneak peek at what a typical day is like in Vanuatu:
Glimpse a day in Vanuatu
HELP KIDS IN VANUATU LEARN ENGLISH
Come teach by the beach! In this Humanitarian Program, you’ll be making a difference by helping young kids learn English, up to 20 hours per week. No experience is needed, we provide training on our teaching method! You’ll mostly be teaching young kids who are 3-6 years old, and possibly some older students who are in 2nd and 3rd grade (cute).
Volunteering and Costs
Pango, a community just outside of the capital Port Vila on the island of Efate
—Spring: Depart late January – return end of April
—Summer: Depart end of April or early May – return middle of August
—Fall: Depart end of August – return middle of December, just in time for Christmas
—6-8 volunteers in a group
—18-about 25ish years old
—US and Canadian volunteers
—No experience needed!
A QUICK NOTE ABOUT COVID-19
Our Vanuatu program was paused following the start of the pandemic, but were so happy to reopen for the Spring 2023 semester! This tiny island has been very diligent about protecting their community from the virus (as were surrounding nations). International travelers have not been allowed to enter for the last two years, but the time has finally come —Borders have reopened and they are again welcoming travelers to Vanuatu — Volunteers going to Vanuatu must have their Covid-19 vaccine. We are so excited to start watching your adventures here again!
EXPLORING THE SOUTH PACIFIC
Have a semester of adventures in this slice of Pacific paradise! In Vanuatu, the islands are rimmed with colorful coral reefs, topped with active volcanoes, and covered with dense rainforests hiding plunging waterfalls. Spend time in the ocean and dive down to shipwrecks from WWII. Or kayak to natural swimming spots that haven’t hit Instagram yet if you’re sick of spending time on the pristine, white sand beaches.
While there’s more than enough to keep you happy with all of these islands, you can also travel over to spots like Australia and Fiji on vacation … but honestly? Why would you! With a chain of islands boasting completely isolated beaches and adventures that aren’t flooded with tourists, we think you’ll be more than happy island hopping here all semester long.
Here are just a few of our favorite islands and places for your vacations —
Efate — Your island home is fringed coral coves and that pristine turquoise water. Talk about paradise! Come for waterfalls, snorkeling trips, jungle trekking and more. Plus, have the chance to glimpse local island life. A handful of tiny islands home to native tribes and active volcanoes are just a boat ride away.
Pele + Nguna — People call these islands the “Pacific Island Paradise”, so don’t miss out. Between Pele and Nguna is a protected marine reserve, a safe haven for your favorite ocean friends. It’s one of the best places to snorkel in the country. Or, hop in a kayak and explore the aqua blue coastline. These two gems are just a short boat ride from Efate.
Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo — This spot tops the chart of the world’s best beaches. It’s complete with clear baby-blue water and sugar white sand in a calm cove. Are you totally in love yet? Dip into the water and see if you can spot turtles and manta rays hanging out by the reef. Welcome to actual paradise.
Matevulu Blue Hole, Espiritu Santo — While there are a few of these natural swimming spots dotting the island chain, this one found on Espirtu Santo is our favorite. You can only get here by kayak. Paddle up the river, with the lush jungle on either side of you to get there. And once you make it up the crystal river? Find rope swings strung up in a huge banyan tree and the most picture perfect swimming spot, all to yourself.
Tanna — A remote island home to black sand beaches, and the chance to trek to hike up to an active volcano. Peer over the edge to see lava spitting out from the crater, then glimpse rural villages home to local tribes, with a bright and vibrant culture. Adrenaline junkies can try ashboarding, here too! It’s kind of like snowboarding on the ashy slopes of this volcano.
New Zealand — Choose between the Northern and Southern islands for a vacation full of rugged mountains and gigantic glaciers. Spend time on golden sand beaches, too. Then cap it off, visit sites made famous by the Lord of the Rings.
Fiji — Another island chain home to baby blue water and Instagram-famous bungalows. You’ll find similar ocean views, beaches, snorkel adventures, and more tourists on a quick vacay over here.
Australia — Take a trip to Australia, visiting big modern cities like Sydney to see the world-famous Opera House. Or, explore their Golden Coast. Before leaving, hang out with koalas and kangaroos. We have a feeling a vacay in the world down under is going to be hard to resist.
New Caledonia — A quick, 90 minute flight and you’ll feel like you’re visiting the tropical version of France. This set of islands has a huge French influence, so stop by the capital for fresh baked croissants and European architecture. Lastly, fit in some white-sand beaches and island hopping.