South Pacific gap semester:
Fiji, Australia & New Zealand
Environmental Conservation and Leadership
How will you Carpe Diem?
From the tropical forests of Australia to the lush mountains of New Zealand and the fertile valleys of Fiji, discover the beauty and magic of the “edge of the world”—the South Pacific. Each region has a distinct character, informed by indigenous culture, European settlement, and the reality of their remote location—deep in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean.
Engage with local Maori communities and farmers who are leaders in environmental sustainability. Experience Fijian village life. Sleep under the same stars that the Aborigines have gazed upon for over 40,000 years. Build community through shared experience and intentional travel on your South Pacific gap semester with Carpe Diem Education.
Hone your outdoor leadership skills during a week-long experience of outdoor adventure, including hiking the famous Abel Tasman trail, one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks.”
Live in a traditional Maori marae (community house), discover ancestral stories and indigenous ways of living, and engage in local environmental and sustainability efforts.
Work with key players in the world of environmental conservation and animal rehabilitation in the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent.
Accepting Applications For:
I learned more in the past three months than I have in 18 years of school. It is a new type of learning that most people just aren't accustomed to. We are used to sitting in classrooms and learning by memorizing, but nothing compares to going out into the field and experiencing it for yourself. I would highly recommend a Gap Year to anyone that is unsure of what they want to do, anyone who feels like they need a break from school or anyone who just wants to explore our beautiful world and create as many meaningful connections as possible.
I've learned more about myself and my personal values in the past three months than I had in my whole life. By being on my own and having to speak my mind, I reassured myself of everything I believed in. I stood up for what I believed in because people were asking. By saying what you want out of life and what you believe in to people who just met you, you are embedding your values. Being in a new country makes you feel invincible and as if all the possibilities you've imagined for yourself are obtainable realities.
This is the best decision I could've made. Carpe Diem became part of my life at a time when I wasn't confident in my ability to achieve because I was tied to an outdated timeline for my education. Through Carpe Diem, I was able to grasp the true meaning of lifelong learning; everything is a process, and if the only objective is the end goal, what happens to the focus on the lifetime in between? Life should be lived moment to moment, each day as an individual goal, else we'd lose the little experiences that enhance us as people.
Seize Your Journey
- Build your group community and clarify your intentions for the journey. Discuss cultural norms and how to be a respectful and responsible guest.
STUDENT DIRECTED TRAVEL
- Put your traveling (and budgeting) skills to the test as the group designs and implements their week of “free travel”. Depending on your itinerary, the group may choose to hike the Southern Alps, kayak through Milford Sound, or journey to Queenstown. Perhaps you’ll surf on the chill beaches of Raglan or hike the famous Tongariro Crossing. Whatever the group chooses, it will be epic!
COMMUNITY BASED SERVICE LEARNING
- Experience village life in rural Fiji. Live with a homestay family, sharing meals, learning local customs, and creating lasting friendships. Participate in a community development project in the day, enjoy a game of rugby with local children, and take a weekend day to hike to a brilliant waterfall. Enjoy the relaxed pace of Fijian life.
Organic Farming and Conservation
Learn about organic farming principles and practices by working on a farm alongside the inhabitants of Aotearoa (New Zealand), a community who cares deeply for their land and remain world leaders in organic farming efforts. Topics will include permaculture, biodynamics, food systems, and the connection between humans and the natural world.
In Northern Australia, the group will live and work on a permaculture site that emphasizes forest regeneration, animal rehabilitation, and the importance of pollinators. This site is operated by two young scientists who are role models for local environmental activism and solution-based approaches to environmental issues.
Learn the history of the indigenous peoples (Māori) of Aotearoa. Emphasis is placed on language, traditions, culture, and social/political activism. Live on a Marae, a communal and sacred site that serves as a meeting place for social and religious gatherings.
Outdoor Leadership School
Answer the call to adventure by spending eight days at an outdoor leadership school. Activities vary depending on season, and may include: trekking, kayaking, outdoor navigation skills, ropes course, rappelling, and traditional Māori waka (canoe). Learn team building concepts and develop your personal leadership style while discovering some of New Zealand’s most amazing landscapes.
Discover an incredible underwater world as you take four days to earn your PADI Open Water certification. From sea turtles to reef sharks to manta rays, every dive is a unique encounter with many of the planet’s most amazing creatures.
Take time to reflect on your experiences and bring the focus back to your inner landscape. The group will spend five to six days learning different spiritual practices: either meditating at a peaceful Buddhist monastery or stretching ourselves at a yoga ashram. The group will engage in daily “seva” (selfless service) as an aspect of expressing gratitude.
The Student Experience
Explore the following links to learn about the South Pacific student experience.