Semester Spotlight

Fiji, New Zealand & Australia

Funding Your Semester

Verto Education is proud to offer federal financial aid (loans, scholarships, grants) for all of our semesters.

The Semester At-a-Glance


13 Weeks

College Credits

16 Credits

Program Cost

$25,000 plus Airfare


Mix of hotels, hostels, homestays (fall 2021), base houses, and student residences

Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Anticipated Course Selection

  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Sociology of Identity
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Special Topics in the South Pacific
  • Rhetoric & Research
  • World Literature

Upcoming Program Dates

September – December, Fall 2021 Semester

Fiji, New Zealand & Australia

Location Focus


On the Edge of the World

Verto Education’s South Pacific semester is designed to explore the complex impact of humans on the environment and animal populations across a variety of ecosystems.

Students examine environmental management practices, critical issues in environmental and cultural conservation, the relationship between organisms and their environment, and species conservation and management. Students spend 13 weeks abroad, including 5 weeks in Fiji, 4 weeks in New Zealand, and 4 weeks in Australia. Please note that the below itinerary is a sample – students are placed in small group cohorts with staggered itineraries to support their experiential learning!

Arrive in Fiji

Week 1: Orientation

Spend the first week orienting yourself to Fiji and your new cohort. Get up to speed on how to stay safe and healthy in Fiji, spend time building your sense of community, and begin diving into the complexities of culture and ecology in the South Pacific. This week you’ll live together with your cohort at a local Eco-Lodge in Momi Bay on Fiji’s western coastline.

During your time in Fiji, you’ll study Cultural Anthropology and your travels will take you to different parts of the islands to experience all kinds of Fijian culture. You’ll travel to Suva, Fiji’s capital, where you’ll experience the most developed part of Fiji and gain insight into the contrast between urban and rural Fijian life. You’ll spend time in a Nausori village deep in the Fijian Highlands and participate in centuries-old customs and ceremonies.

During the Fiji block, you’ll also head to Somosomo island. Here, you’ll explore the white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush surrounding hills while you contribute to grassroots projects that focus on the distribution, diversity, formation, and conservation of the coral reefs and surrounding environment.

Continue on to New Zealand

Fly into in Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island and travel down to the lakeside town of Rotorua, stopping along the way to explore the world­ famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

While in New Zealand, your academic focus will be on Identity, Politics, & Equity from a sociological perspective. You’ll examine the sociological and ecological impact a growing city has on the surrounding natural and human environment while getting a taste of Maori cultural traditions.

You’ll also travel to the South Island where you’ll engage in a typical farmstay to observe the ways in which agricultural and Maori culture and heritage is preserved and celebrated in New Zealand.

Continue on to Australia

While in Australia, you will focus on Environmental Science and Conservation. Fly into Brisbane and work with our partners at Australia Zoo to understand what wildlife conservation done well looks like. Explore the sunshine coast, and spend time in Brisbane for a taste of Aussie city living in Queensland’s capital.

Take a tour of the great barrier reef to see first-hand the effects of climate change on the world’s largest living organism, and learn how local actors are organizing and mobilizing to protect this important resource.

WRAP UP: Review & Reflect

For the final week, travel to Coral Bay where you’ll work on your Capstone project in the culmination of your experience abroad. Here you’ll have time to reflect on your semester, pulling together the most influential moments and experiences into your final Capstone project. Celebrate everything you’ve done this semester as a group, and participate in workshops facilitated by your Program Leaders to help get ready for the transition back home and onto campus.



College Readiness Curriculum Seminar

In collaboration with Verto faculty, Program Leaders will facilitate workshops to help students develop study habits to help them be a successful college student. They’ll learn how to manage their time, study efficiently and effectively, read academic text, prepare for exams, and build confidence in their academic capabilities. Activities in the College Readiness Curriculum are hands-on and directly related to creating strong academic habits that will serve students well beyond their Verto semesters.

Purpose-Finding Workshop

Throughout the semester, Program Leaders will facilitate small group workshops to help students discover their purpose and create an action plan for how to follow through on their goals. Each student is assigned an individual Program Leader mentor who helps students set goals for the program and meets with the student regularly to provide feedback and support around the challenges associated with being abroad. This workshop will help students understand culture shock, cross-cultural communication, mindfulness, and help put their semester abroad into the context of their life and the future.

Community Building

Verto Program Teams will create purposeful activities to build a strong community amongst Verto students. The connections you make during your Verto semester will last a lifetime! In addition to the College Readiness and Purpose-Finding workshops, Program Teams will cultivate a community of acceptance, connection, openness, and support amongst Verto students. There are built-in opportunities for students to learn and grow together as a group with an emphasis on peer relationships and teamwork.

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Think this might be a good fit?

Let us know and we’d be happy to send you over a detailed overview of the semester and what to expect.

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Important Information

Details about Verto South Pacific Semester:


Students will live in a mix of hotels, hostels, homestays (fall 2021 only), base houses, and student residences. All accommodations are approved through Verto’s thorough vetting process and deemed safe and appropriate for students.


3 meals / day are included in the semester fee.


Students are responsible for booking their flights to and from their homes at the beginning and end of the semester (international airfare).

Verto will book flights between countries and will send an invoice 1 week prior to the beginning of the semester. Internal Flights are flights that occur between or within countries as part of program itineraries. The approximate cost of flights for 2020 in the South Pacific are $600 – $750.


Excursions built into the semester include whitewater rafting, a farmstay in New Zealand, visit to the Australian Zoo, Great Barrier Reef, Glowworm Caves, and many more! Your Program Leaders will make sure you know your itinerary at the beginning of each week.


Recommend ~$100 per week. Because all expenses are covered in this semester, students should not need much spending money aside from for snacks or personal items.

The Cost of Your Semester Includes:

  • 3 meals per day during the semester
  • Drinking water
  • All accommodation while overseas
  • All scheduled events
  • Park entry fees

The Cost of Your Semester Does Not Include:

  • Internal Airfare
  • Snacks
  • Fruit shakes, soft drinks, additional drinks at mealtimes
  • Souvenirs and gifts
  • Medical insurance and treatment
  • Laundry
  • Visa fees
  • Optional activities and associated equipment
  • Food, travel, and accommodation when traveling to, from, or between programs
  • Airline change fees or new tickets for flights to and from programs
  • Any costs associated with early departure from the program
  • Books and other course materials


Classes delivered in the South Pacific are, in no particular order:

  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 
  • Sociology of Identity 
  • Introduction to Environmental Science 
  • Special Topics in the South Pacific
  • Rhetoric and Research / World Literature (full semester)

Safety & Covid-19

The health and safety of our students is always our top priority. We’ve developed stages of planning to address the specific concern of Covid-19. Please read about our Covid-19 safety plan here.

We remain committed to the highest quality programming and success of our students. Please see Verto’s Programming Scenario Plan and Enrollment Guarantee for more details.

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Ready for the Experience of a Lifetime?

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