Fiji: Change Your Life in Paradise Past Review

By (Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, University of Wisconsin - Stout) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad changed my outlook on life in so many different ways. I am so much more culturally aware now. After living in an underdeveloped country for five months, I have learned to appreciate what I have, but live with less. While abroad, I gained a strong passion for traveling and can't wait until my next journey. My mind is filled with various options of where life might take me next.

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.

There was a lot of pressure to do well on the final exam because typically 40-60% of your final grade is based on that exam. I was not fond of that. Also, the lectures weren't very interactive.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Dorms are very basic. They give you new sheets and toilet paper every Monday, but it would have been nice to have a soap dispenser in the bathroom. Also, there is absolutely no privacy because there are no actual windows (just screens). The "no males" rule is a bit ridiculous as well.

* Food:

Sometimes it was a bit difficult to eat vegetarian (in the villages). The sanitation of dining facilities is not what it should be, but you learn to overlook it. Definitely eat at Copper Chimney and the on-campus coffee shop as much as you can.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe majority of the time, even downtown. Make sure that if you're walking from night club to night club, go in groups and try not to carry a purse.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably about $200 a week. It is cheap to travel on the weekends, but we did take a few expensive trips.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It would have been nice to know that living in the dorms makes it very hard to prepare your own food. Therefore, you're going to be eating at restaurants frequently.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? DO IT. Now that I have returned back home from Fiji, I look back and realize that if I could have picked anywhere else in the world I would not have. My experience in Fiji was beyond any words can describe. The only thing I'm concerned about now is how I can return. If you're an adventurous, outgoing, fun-loving person who isn't afraid to live a completely opposite lifestyle than you're used to, than Fiji is absolutely the place for you to study abroad.