Nadi, Yawasa Islands, Botaira Resort, Soso village
Fiji is an exotic and fascinating nation steeped in Pacific, British, and Indian culture that spans millennia; it is also often named the world’s happiest country. Our program delves into the cultural conflicts that have defined the landscape with the goal of placing students beyond the “tourist bubble.”
Specifically, we focus on the intersection of sustainable tourism development with service-learning, by staying in a remote island eco-resort and Fijian village. Service-learning has become a cornerstone of higher education and students graduating with an international experience in service-learning strongly improve their chances of finding employment related to their field.
After arriving in the multi-cultural city of Nadi, the following morning we travel by boat to a remote offshore island in the Yasawa chain. Here we combine a village homestay with a rustic eco-resort stay (surrounded by coral reefs) to experience first-hand Fijian village small island life, traditions, subsistence knowledge, and island tourism development. Guys… you will be required to wear a skirt (sulu) during the homestay! We ask that everyone commits to sustainable practices while in Fiji: limiting water consumption (showers, laundry) and power use. This may come as a shock to those who are experiencing a developing country for the first time; however, we see these practices as a small price to pay for one of the most eye-opening experiences you will have the opportunity to partake in.
A significant part of the program are a range of citizen science and service-learning projects to be undertaken in the village and resort. These projects range from ecotourism business ventures to water and environmental conservation to coral reef monitoring. During our time in Fiji there will also be opportunities for other activities such as hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and optional scuba diving, and to participate in traditional Fijian village celebrations including a sevu-sevu.
The program is open to all students from UGA and from other institutions (non-UGA students pay in-state tuition), and no prior knowledge is assumed, but is specifically designed to fit with our Maymester Australia and New Zealand program. Fiji is an easy and often low-cost stopover traveling on a ticket to or from the U.S. and the programs begin as soon as the Maymester programs conclude. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and or/download the Sample Itinerary for more information. Click here to inquire and/or apply now.