Experience of a lifetime Past Review

By (Human Biology/ Foresnsic Investigation, University of Wisconsin - Platteville) - abroad from 02/03/2015 to 06/24/2015 with

UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the University of the South Pacific (USP)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that you truly can make the best out of every situation. Money and material things are not true happiness. You can only have true happiness from within and life is really what you make of it. Be appreciative for the things that you have and don't sweat the small stuff.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were not as rigorous as in the states, but the class sizes were a lot bigger, but I come from a very small campus. They have discussions which you MUST attend that are a lot smaller and more one on one so you can ask questions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kris and Kyle, the on-site coordinators are very helpful and always there if you have any questions or need anything. I once got one the wrong bus and didn't know where I was, called Kris crying and he got me where I needed to be!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

You live in the dorms, you get your own room and your own space which is very nice. You have hot water for showers! And the security on campus is very very good.

* Food:

Go in with an open mind and don't have any expectations. I really enjoyed some of the dishes there and I miss them. Take advantage of the markets and the little BBQ stands that you see, the best food you'll ever have!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The local people make you feel so welcomed, they are always smile, and make joy out of even the most painful situations. They always see the good in everyone. They make you feel very apart of their culture and are very religious.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare is always readily available on campus. The doctor will see you and give you a prescription, then you go and get it filled at the pharmacy just as you would here.

* Safety:

Get used to carrying as little as possible. Carry with you only what you need. For example, do not carry your iPhone with you if you do not need it. Just be aware of your surroundings and do not draw attention to yourself. It's no different than any city here, just be careful.

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

I wish I would have went to Fiji for a whole year rather than just the semester. I truly fell in love with the culture, the people, and the country itself. If it weren't for finishing school I would have never come home.


* 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)

This all depends on what you feel like doing. If you want to stay in nice resorts and eat out all the time, it can be expensive. If you want to get the full experience, I highly suggest meeting people and going to hostels. They are much more fun and cost like $12 FJD a night ($6 American!) I also hitch hiked and took mini buses frequently, just be aware of your surroundings.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20-30 FJD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring a credit card for money emergencies and it you for some reason run out of money. Just have an idea of what you would like to do when you are there and do that first. That way at the end when you have no money left you did the things you really wanted to do while studying abroad.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Culture
  • Landscape/Scenery
* What could be improved?
  • Course Enrollment
  • Campus Map
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you plan on studying abroad, save some gen ed classes to take abroad. The last thing you are going to do is study, so do not fill your schedule with challenging classes.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'