Cook Islands Teaching in Paradise

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1. In Brief

Imagine a beach of ivory sand, stretching as far as the eye can see. As the crimson sun sets over a vast horizon, tropical birds dip and soar through the sky, skimming the tranquil waters of the crystal clear Pacific Ocean.

The tiny and remote Cook Islands are scattered across the heart of the South Pacific, a place of intriguing and mystical heritage where the people live totally in harmony with the fertile landscape that surrounds them. You will see a multitude of unforgettable sights, including intricately sculpted natural caves where tiny multicoloured birds nest and roost.

The fifteen Cook Islands really are paradise on Earth. Joining this project, you will not only be able to immerse yourself in the staggering natural beauty of this astonishing location, you will also be able to make a significant difference to the lives of youngsters that live amongst the communities of these far flung islands.

   

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Develop lifelong friendships
  • Visit this tropical paradise
  • Immerse yourself in the local community

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 17 years

FAST FACTS

Location Cook Islands
Activities Teaching English
Play sports & games
Rejuvenation & rebuilding work
Community environmental programmes
Soak up your surroundings!
Transport Pick-up from the airport
Transport to the project site
Accommodation Hostel or homestay

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
FREE Frontier TEFL Certificate
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
In-country Accommodation
Project orientation and training
Airport pick-up & drop-off
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

Students will be interested in life where you come from. You may be able to get involved with teaching other activities such as sports, music or science, if you are interested and have the relevant skills. Rather than just seeing teaching as a way of transferring knowledge, you are inspiring and shaping young minds. By investing your time and skills with the children of the Cook Islands, you are creating a lifelong legacy that will create and open up opportunities in their futures. This is an incredible experience that will hugely benefit the local communities, whilst building your skill base and giving you an absolutely unforgettable Frontier gap year, year out or career break!

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Your teaching or community work will bring you into your host community as a welcome new member. You'll teach children basic English and other subjects of your choosing, and you'll have ample opportunity to play sports and games with them, and a range of other fun activities; the only limit is your own imagination and creativity. Whilst being some of the most flawlessly beautiful places in existence, the Cook Islands are economically limited and largely dependent on tourism for growth and income, which is a precarious and unevenly dispersed source of financial security. Outside of the central larger islands, many of the smaller atolls suffer and education is under-funded and very poorly resourced.

As well as teaching, you may be carrying out vital rejuvenation and rebuilding work, getting involved in community environmental projects and other community activities depending on your skills, interests and what you would like to organise! As this project is not strictly structured it gives volunteers a great opportunity to really make a difference in their own way. You will need to be aware that school holidays, which do not always follow a clear structure, can sometimes coincide with volunteer placements. In these situations you will be able to lend your hand to important community development work in general, broadening your experience and contributing in a different way that is just as worthwhile.

At the end of the day you are free to explore the islands, try a range of activities, or simply relax in the heavenly surroundings!

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will fly into Rarotonga, the main island in the Cook Islands group, from where you will take a short internal flight to the island of Aitutaki where you will be met by friendly local staff.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

You will be lucky enough to stay in a local house right in the heart of the community, where you will be provided with mosquito nets and electric fans and where you will have access to all the basic facilities that you could need. Although basic, the house will be warm and welcoming, and you will soon feel fully immersed into local life.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

This is a self-catered project, and you will be able to buy local food from the nearby grocery store. The house has kitchen facilities for you to use. This gives you a great opportunity to experiment with local food such as fresh fish, fruit and vegetables and 'kumara' (sweet potato), as well as chicken and other familiar foods such as rice, eggs, cereal and bread. 

4. The reviews

Over too quickly  | 22 May 2017
I can’t believe it is all over so quickly! Even though the lifestyle on the Cook Islands is...

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Aitutaki is a paradise!  | 21 Mar 2017
I know it sounds cliche, but teaching in the Cook Islands really was a life changing experience f...

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The Sounds of Silence  | 8 Mar 2017
I hear the roar of motorcycles. It is a fine house I’m staying in, all alone, on this beaut...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The striking natural beauty of the islands provides a myriad of opportunities and possibilities for your spare time. Explore the many beaches where you can enjoy a picnic in the lovely surroundings next to luminous waters that are perfect for snorkelling. See shoals of multi-hued and tiny tropical fish by diving or snorkelling one of the spots on the reef that are recommended for their great biodiversity. Other activities you might like to try are Aitutaki nature tours, where you can discover the plethora of birds, insects and much more that thrive in abundance. In the evenings visit one of the "island nights", where you will enjoy the sight of some of the traditional dancing that is very popular here.

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

4 weeks $2,095

Extra week $395

DEPARTURE DATES

This project is unavailable:

Sat 15 April - Sun 30 April (2 weeks)
Sat 22 July - Sun 6 Aug (2 weeks)
Sat 7 Oct - Sun 22 Oct (2 weeks)
Fri 15 Dec

Term dates 2017:

Mon 30 Jan - Thu 13 April

Mon 1 May - Fri 21 July

Mon 7 Aug - Fri 6 Oct

Mon 23 Oct - Thurs 14 Dec

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 4 weeks

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • UK TEFL training day & certification
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)

In-country

  • Accommodation
  • Project orientation
  • Project equipment
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Aitutaki (AIT), Rarotonga (RAR)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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