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VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Hi everyone,

I'd really appreciate your help, advice and possible guidance please.

Our 18 year old daughter has secured a place on the VESA (Volunteer Eco Students Abroad) programme emanating from University College, Cork (Ireland). She is hoping to go to Fiji.

Does anyone know anything about the Fiji programme? (any data I've found on-line is sponsored by the actual company rather than individuals).

Are there any health precautions/vaccinations that would need to be activated before she travelled?

Does anyone have any other information, please, that might be of relevance.

Thanks in advance,

Kind regards.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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1. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Just bumping this up again in case anyone could help please.

Since I posted, someone not from TA, has alerted me to the following travel advisory:

smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/fiji

Is this accurate?

Thanks again.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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2. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Hi

Cannot help with the programme but might be able to give a couple of pointers as no one else has replied so far.

The travel advisory is an official Australian government one so, yes, it is accurate. Having said that most of us on this forum visit resorts so security issues are not the same. You'll note that it just encourages people to be careful - something one should always be.

I won't here go into the political situation in the country.

As far as jabs etc are concerned, many of us on here don't bother except to make sure that our tetanus jabs are up to date. But some take all precautions. But we are careful of drinking water.

But if I was travelling and living outside resorts I would have all available jabs. There are certainly typhoid outbreaks around the country as lots of places don't have a safe water supply.

These are all things which your daughter should be looking into, depending on what she will be doing.

I would suggest that you post these queries on Lonely Planet's Pacific Islands site as there are more people on that forum likely to have experienced the sorts of things your daughter may be about to do. This is the link.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa…

Hope this helps a little.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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25,325 posts
83 reviews
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3. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Nzlilibet,

Thank you so much. I appreciate your help.

We're all having a think about things. The company appears to be a travel company rather than anything more virtuous. And for the cost, she could have a fairly OK holiday in Australia or New Zealand, which is where she'd ultimately like to go.

Furthermore, if she does this trip, she won't be able to work over the summer and supplement her "parents cache of cash for college".

The fact that there are mozzies there has also made her think again (don't ask me why she hadn't thought of that before, sez me raising my eyebrows to heaven!!)

Thanks again.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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4. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Hi again

Hope you get it all worked out OK.

But I think you'd better tell your daughter that there are mozzies in lots of places, including Australia and NZ! LOL

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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5. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Thanks Nzlilibet,

She's home for the weekend and is cooling a little to the idea. No major pressure on us just yet.

Hopefully we'll be able to have a constructive chat with her about the whole siutation. And yes, I'll gently let her know that there are mozzies in New Zealand as well as Australia :o)) She's even been bitten by them in mainland Europe which is why she has an aversion.

Thanks again and happy travels.

Moreton Island...
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6. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

You could advise your daughter to buy some personal insect repellent like tropical strength "Aeroguard" and the mozzies won't bother her here in Australia.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Hi,

Just thought I would let you know that I went on the Ecuador VESA earlier this year and it was the most amazing experience ever! The program was so well organised and we were able to experience things that other tourists would never have gotten to do.

I'm sure the Fiji experience would be the same well organised and fanastic trip.

If you go onto the VESA Facebook page there are thousands of posts and pictures of students that loved the trip, both Ecuador and Fiji.

Perth
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8. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Hey,

I just stumbled across your page, and thought I would mention what I know of VESA- as a uni student, I have had a few friends travel with a range of different voluntour companies, and I did a lot of research into it last year, as I was considering volunteering overseas. VESA is the one that my friends have had the worst experiences with. A lot have said they have felt abandoned on their trips with no safety or support. VESA is a new company and is very much a FOR-PROFIT company. IF she wants to make a difference, I would suggest going with a non-profit such as International Student Volunteers, who have been around for a very long time. I also believe their programs are pretty much the same price for twice as long, and they offer programs in Australia and New Zealand. And as an Australian myself, it really is awesome here! And we have mozzies, but they don't give you malaria like the ones in Fiji do.

fiji
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9. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

Bula beanalainn,

Like Reply Number 8, I just stumbled across your posting. I would like to correct one fact - Fiji does have mosquitoes, but they do NOT have malaria. The information given is totally wrong - there has never been malaria in Fiji.

Just another bit of useful information for your daughter - apart from bringing insect repellant (we recommend "Aerogard, not the natural insecticides because the mossies love them), tell her to bring some 100% Tea Tree Oil. No matter how much repellant you put on, you will still get the odd bite. Put the Tea Tree Oil on the bite and it will stop the itch and the swelling.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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10. Re: VESA Volunteer Eco Students Abroad

I'd just like to thank you all for your help.

Having thought the matter through, our daughter has decided not to avail of the place. Her decision was less to do with prospective conditions and more to do with practicalities. She really needs to get a job over the summber and the travel arrangements would preclude same.

She would still love to travel to Fiji, not next summer.

Thanks again and happy travels.