CHS Sustainability in Action: Fiji
During this month-long program on the 200-acre Vorovoro Island, students will stay in the home of a Mali villager, allowing them a first-hand look into authentic island life, cuisine, and culture. Students will have the opportunity to visit sugar cane and permaculture farms, engage with local Fijians in a collaborative community project, and gain first-hand knowledge to compare and contrast the wealth of tourists versus the life of an average Fijian. This program will stretch students’ perspectives on sustainability, globalization, economic development, climate change, natural resources management, eco-tourism, and consumerism.
Located in northern Fiji, Vorovoro is a remote island on the Cakaulevu Reef -- the world’s third longest reef. Known for being the gathering place for important tribal and governmental ceremonies, this 200-acre island is inhabited by Tui Mali (chief of Mali), his younger brother Poasa, and their extended family. The boundless natural beauty on this small piece of paradise can be found in its crystal-clear water, white sand, and tropical flora. Accessing the island requires a flight to the most rural part of Fiji followed by a stunning 40-minute boat ride from the mainland.
As part of this full-immersion experience, students will be surrounded by the culture, climate, and community spirit of Vorovoro. Bedding includes a mattress, pillow, sheets, and mosquito netting. Each vale, or private residence, is conveniently located near the kitchen, shower, and toilets.
All undergraduates are welcome to apply as long as they meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.25. Graduate students must meet the 3.0 minimum GPA requirement.
- Space is limited and students must file formal applications as soon as they know for sure they are participating.
- Complete the Auburn Abroad online application and wait for confirmation from the Program Director.
- Non-Auburn University students must also be accepted as transient students by AU ($50 additional application fee).
Formal Program Admission:
- Upon admission to the program, all participants will be responsible for full payment of all fees and costs by the deadlines indicated.
- Students will complete additional application requirements prior to acceptance into the program.
- Review program fees and refund policy. Upon admission to this program, you will be responsible for payment of these fees. Your program deposit is non-refundable, so please make a note of this when paying for your fees. Your program fee will only be refunded according to the schedule below.
- There will be no refunds made when written notice to withdraw is filed with the Director of the program less than 30 days prior to departure.
- Students suspended or dismissed from the program for disciplinary or academic reasons after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund of fees.
- 08 February 2019: Program application deadline
- 08 May 2019: Depart for Fiji
- 13 June 2019: Program end date - Return to the United States
- 13 July 2019*: Program end date (If staying for internship)
PAYMENT AND WITHDRAWAL DATES
With Application: $1000 non-refundable deposit due (Note: This is a competitive application process and if you are not accepted into the program, your deposit will be refunded. Under all other conditions, the deposit is non-refundable.)
March 1: First ½ of remaining balance due to Bursar.
April 5: Second ½ of remaining balance due to Bursar.
April 15: No Refund of second ½ of program fee after this date
OTHER KEY DATES
October 18: Early application deadline for program.
February 8: Final application deadline.
March 15: Have your PASSPORT in your hands.
May 08: Official Program Start Date.
All courses are taught in English. Undergraduates will be registered for Sustainability in Action: Fiji HUSC 5940 (6 credit hours) and Graduate students will be registered for Sustainability in Action: Fiji, HUSC 6940 (9 credit hours).
Estimated cost for this program is $5,700 for the program, and $7,000 if staying on for the internship. All costs are approximate and subject to change depending on the number of students traveling. The program fee includes AU United Healthcare Global insurance, AU trip cancellation insurance (including flight cancellation), transportation within Fiji, lodging, most meals, excursions and cultural visits.
Items not included in program costs: students book their own flights (estimated to be approximately $2,000-$2,500), pay for meals outside of program provided meals (estimated to be approximately $450) and pay Auburn Study Abroad fee of $677 (instead of tuition).
On Vorovoro all participants will be housed either in traditional Fijian Bures or in Fijian Vales. All meals on Vorovoro will be provided by the Bridge the Gap Island Team. Please note that students will be staying in PRIMITIVE shelters and will not have access to consistent running water or electricity. There is a water filter available on the island that provides safe drinking water harvested from rain water, but all showers and the like are via a rainwater bucket shower or if there is enough rain, possibly a waterfall shower. All toileting on the island is via a composting toilet system that does not require any water. Laundry service will be available for an additional fee, once per week.
Started by Tribewanted: Vorovoro and continued by Bridge the Gap Villages (http://btgv.strikingly.com), the island of Vorovoro, known as the sleeping dragon by locals, offers students a chance to live embedded within a local Fijian village. Living in bures just off the sea, students will experience local Fijian life, including a traditional sevusevu ceremony with Chief Tui Mali, local cuisine provided by the weekly cooks from local villages, and a one of a kind sustainability in action experience provided by the local islanders and the Bridge the Gap Villages Team. A stay on Vorovoro includes, among other things, snorkel, spearfishing, and night fishing experiences just off the island on Cakalevu Reef, the world’s third largest barrier reef. Students will also participate in a variety of sustainability projects on the island, such as gardening, rainwater catchment systems, village construction and maintenance projects, and waste management projects (including recycling, island cleanup, trash management, composting, and human waste management). In addition to this, students will participate in a village homestay as well as an overnight visit to a local sugar cane farm and in a local village.
In Labasa participants will be camping for several nights at Cegu Valley Farm and Baleinayaca Family Farm where students will work on the demonstration farm and share meals with the McCay and Baleinaya families. While there is running water and intermittent electricity at Cegu Valley Farm, students will be provided with a a sleeping hammock with brackets and mosquito nets for this portion of the program. The town of Labasa is indicative of a typical Fijian town with a post office, several food stores, a lively market, and several restaurants. Labasa also houses several Internet cafés and will be a place for students to check in with family and friends back home.
For all other locations on this experience, students will be staying in shared hotel rooms (separated by gender). Please note that Vorovoro, Cegu Valley Farm, and Baleinayaca farms are rugged living conditions and require one to be able to hike, walk on uneven ground, climb stairs, climb into and out of hammocks, climb into and out of boats and handle boating on rough seas.
Finally, the program will end on the island of Denaru where students will stay one night at an exquisite Resort and Spa to experience the opposite end of the tourism spectrum. Here participants will share rooms and have access to all expected western facilities.
Various cities and towns across Fiji
As a part of the academic experience, all student participants will participate in various excursions in Fiji. Though some excursions such as snorkeling and reef fishing will be voluntary, visits to the surrounding villages, markets, and farms will be mandatory. If you have time for independent exploration, note that these activities will not be part of the Auburn Study Abroad experience and if considered an adventure activity (i.e. things like sky diving and bungee jumping) will not be covered by Auburn's insurance policy
PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS
If you do not have a PASSPORT: Please check www.travel.state.gov for the nearest local passport office and forms. Auburn Abroad recommends that you apply for a passport as soon as possible. If you already have a passport: Please check the expiration date. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months following your scheduled time abroad.
- U.S. Citizens do not need a visa for this program
- Non-U.S. Citizens should verify visa requirements
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please contact Dr. Kate Thornton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.