Fun in Fiji Past Review

By (Biology, General., Truman State University) - abroad from 07/16/2012 to 11/23/2012 with

ISEP Exchange: Fiji - Exchange Program at University of the South Pacific

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile! I learned a lot about myself and Fiji and the South Pacific. I made lots of friends with internationals as well.

Review Photos

ISEP: Suva - University of the South Pacific Photo ISEP: Suva - University of the South Pacific Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Not bad. I learned a lot in classes, but some classes weren't that challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Poonam Santiago and the rest of the international office were all incredibly helpful. A little slow to answer emails, but understandably because of all the emails they get. But they will go out of their way to help you make travel plans and more.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Pretty nice. You get a private room and kitchen with fridge and stove top. Sharing one fridge among 8 was a bit much and equipment wasn't great, but it was nice to have a kitchen to cook in and you met a lot of people.

* Food:

Meat and cheese is pretty expensive. But eggs, yogurt, and milk are good sources of protein. Veggies are inexpensive as are delicious tropical fruit such as pineapple and papya.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Not bad. You go to classes with locals and live with them as well, but its a little hard to make friends outside of the international group. Also Suva city is more of a mash-up so you aren't living in a village with Fijians.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The student health center is on campus (very conveinient) and all prescribed medications or referrals are free. However, complex problems you may have issues finding advanced health care services. Also the doctors tend to just prescribe antibiotics for any issue.

* Safety:

Suva and most of Fiji are incredibly safe with very very low rates of violent crime. I've heard of a student off campus getting robbed (theft is more common here), but I always felt safe walking on campus at night and even in the main parts of downtown.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Fiji is incredibly cheap living. Transportation is cheap, both buses and taxis (35 cents for an in town bus, 3-8 dollars to go to resorts, taxis start at 40 cents, all in US dollars). Food is pretty cheap as well as are movies (4 bucks!)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy fruits and veggies are the market. And just eat yogurt and eggs for protein.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Travelling
* What could be improved?
  • Academics
  • Integration with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It isn't near the beach! 45 minutes from the nearest beach by bus. Also it rains a LOT, bring a rain jacket AND an umbrella.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Conservation Biology

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Brodie
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great course! Learned all about conservation in a very good way. Weekly quizzes helped you stay on top of things. Group projects were a little annoying. Essay tests were fair, but graded hard.
Credit Transfer Issues: