Surround yourself in sun, sand, and surf as you travel to the far reaches of the South Pacific. Visit Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia on this marine- focused, high-energy semester. In Fiji, splash in waterfalls, soak in the laid-back island life, and live with a homestay family in the rural highlands. Venture through New Zealand, and find incredible adventures at every turn. Spot dolphins and penguins and marvel at breathtaking landscapes. In Australia, learn how to surf and scuba dive, and earn certificates in Wilderness First Aid and surf life saving.
Throughout this semester, you’ll experience a balance of community-driven service, adventure, and experiential learning. You’ll hear the legends of the South Pacific from the local people and return their kindness through a variety of service efforts that may include agricultural, educational, and public health-based projects.
Your journey begins in Fiji at our ecolodge base house with sweeping views of idyllic Momi Bay. Complete a three day intensive Wilderness First Aid certification that will prepare you to assess and manage medical emergencies in remote environments. Spend a week in the picturesque Yasawa Islands working on marine monitoring and educational service initiatives with a few exciting excursions to search for manta rays, fish with the locals, explore some other islands along the way.
Next, it’s off to Rustic Pathways farmhouse base, tucked among the hills in the rugged Nausori Highlands. Live with a homestay family while working on the farm, help with ongoing construction to build an elementary school, and tutor local children. Our local program leaders will teach you how to live the laidback island lifestyle and enjoy the paradise of the Fiji Islands.
Leaving Fiji, a short flight will bring you to New Zealand, where jaw-dropping landscapes and action-packed adventures await. Your journey in the Land of the Long White Cloud will begin in the bustling metropolitan capital of Auckland. You’ll learn to surf in Raglan before visiting the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and travel to Rotorua, famous for Maori culture and boiling mud pools. Whitewater raft the foaming Kaituna River, and try luging, zorbing, and agrojetting! Spend your last day on the North Island kayaking on the Coromandel Peninsula before returning to Auckland.
Next, it’s off to the thrill-seeker’s paradise of the South Island. In Te Anau, cruise through spectacular Milford Sound, looking out for penguins, seals, dolphins, and whales. Road trip to Wanaka to experience even more of the natural beauty that makes the South Island a top destination for any adventure seeker. Finish in Queenstown where you’ll find heart-pounding optional activities such as bungy jumping and skydiving before flying to Brisbane, Australia, where the adventure continues.
Your month of aquatic adventures begin with a challenging but very rewarding Surf Rescue Bronze Medallion certification course taught by expert Aussie lifeguards. Living within walking distance of the beach, develop valuable skills in the fields of surf rescue, ocean safety, and first aid. Take surf lessons taught by local experts. Next, spend three days aboard a yacht in Moreton Bay, learn the basics of sailing, and earn a Royal Yachting Association certificate. Learn about knots and sailing techniques by day and relax under a sky of endless stars at night.
More adventures await in the city of Cairns, the gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Check out the intricately connected ecosystem of the Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest surviving rainforest. Embark on a multi-day dive boat trip and obtain your Open Water Diver certification. Before finishing your semester, experience Sydney. Visit stunning harbors and the famous opera house, take an optional climb atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge. By the end of your journey, you’ll have more than just photos of these rewarding and exhilarating three months.
South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills students travel in their group of up to 15 peers and two or three program leaders. Students enjoy a week-long homestay experience in the highlands of Fiji, while the remainder of their semester is spent in accommodations like Rustic Pathways Base Houses, hotels, and hostels. This program is very physically active and features community service during the group’s time in Fiji.
I believe Angelie gained confidence and stronger sense of self. Her ability to adapt was tested and strengthened. Her experience to learn about and immerse herself into other cultures is immeasurable. It's tough to put into word the positive outcome it's made on Angelie. Lastly, her gap year family will be a part of her life forever. A wonderfully treasured family.Gina Mazza, Angelie's Mom
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If you would like more information about the South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills semester program, please don’t hesitate contact us by email or phone at 800.321.4353