13 Weeks • 16 College Credits
The Semester At-a-Glance
- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- Identity, Politics, & Equity
- Rhetoric & Composition
- World Literature
- Environmental Science
Upcoming Program Dates
February – May, 2021 – Spring 2021 Semester
Fiji, New Zealand & Australia
YOUR SEMESTER IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
On the Edge of the World
Verto Education’s South Pacific semester is designed to explore the complex relationship between human actions within 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, living with homestay families to experience the unique Fijian culture, and participating 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.
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.
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.
Students will live in a mix of hotels, hostels, homestays, 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 unless they wanted to purchase snacks, souveniers, or personal items.
Classes delivered in the South Pacific are, in no particular order:
- Rhetoric and Composition / World Literature (full semester)
- Cultural Anthropology (Fiji)
- Introduction to Sociology: Identity, Politics & Equity (New Zealand)
- Environmental Science (Australia)