Semester in the South Pacific
Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand: three island nations, each with a distinct character, culture, and environment. Informed by Indigenous societies, European colonization, and a remote location deep in the heart of the South Pacific, each location provides a unique insight into the complexities of diverse communities, stewardship of resources, and the importance of having a balanced and harmonious relationship with our environment.
From the majestic Abel Tasman region of New Zealand, to the fertile mountain valleys of Fiji; to the largest tropical rainforest of Australia, to exploring marine ecosystems while scuba diving the waters of Savusavu, Carpe Diem Education offers a unique opportunity to discover diverse island communities, learn about the importance of environmental conservation, and to cultivate a strong sense of leadership and engagement through outdoor recreation.
Where We Travel
February 12 – May 4
September 9 – December 2
2 Overseas Educators and up to 12 students
Our typical student is between 17-22, though we sometimes work with students slightly outside that range depending on circumstances.
College Credit & Financial Aid
Program tuition includes all food, accommodations, scheduled program activities, and international travel insurance for the duration of the program. International airfare and spending money are extra. International airfare estimated at $3500 - $4000; visa fees estimated at $50-$100.
About Our South Pacific Semester
Known to be a leader in environmental policy and stewardship, New Zealand boasts an incredible landscape of fertile green valleys, rugged mountain scenery, and access to incredible ocean environments. We’ll explore these landscapes through outdoor adventure, working on an organic farm, and living in communities who are making conservation a way of life. Throughout the journey, we’ll examine the role of the Māori culture in the context of post colonial reconciliation, environmental awareness, and relationship with the natural world.
Traveling to Fiji, we’ll explore a vastly different island culture. Comprised of over 300 islands, Fiji offers a diverse landscape of tropical beaches, coral reefs, rugged mountains, and majestic waterfalls. The Fijian culture is characterized by warmth and kindness towards visitors, and an emphasis on bonds of family and kinship. Here we will discover remote Fijian village life, exploring the intricacies of village social structure, the amazing hospitality of host families, and the daily life of Fijian villagers. After our homestay, we will take time to explore the colorful coral ecosystems while obtaining our PADI Open Water Diver Certification.
Saying farewell to host families and the beauty of Fiji, we arrive in Australia. Already a land of environmental extremes, Australia now faces the impacts of increased drought, endangered marine ecosystems, and other realities of climate change and human activity. We’ll work alongside scientists and activists in the field of environmental conservation and education, all the while exploring the largest contiguous rainforest of Australia, the Daintree. We end our journey with a reflective retreat, taking time to digest our experience and to understand how this will inform our next steps.
Questions We'll Explore:
- How will the global community respond to climate change and environmental degradation?
- Who is leading this movement?
- How are current governments contributing to (or undermining) reconciliation and human rights movements specific to Indigenous cultures?
- What do Indigenous perspectives tell us about how to relate with people, planet, and self?
The Carpe Diem Education South Pacific program addresses these questions and provides a means to reflect on these inquiries, participate in solutions, and understand how you too can be a leader in creating positive change.
"Some favorites for my group were attempting to ascend Mt. Doom in New Zealand, hanging out on a secluded island in Fiji, and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef."
"What I love about this program is how much engagement there is with the outdoors and natural environment."
"Hands down the most meaningful and powerful journey I’ve ever been on."