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Pacific Discovery New Zealand & Fiji Summer Program - 4 wks

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An eye-opening experience

I had dreamed of studying abroad all throughout university. Unfortunately, my curriculum did not allow for that to happen. I did not want to miss out on an adventure of a lifetime, so I started my research. Not only did Pacific Discovery accept college graduates, they had a volunteer conservation component that I was not finding anywhere else. I was the oldest participant in my program, but I forgot all about that within the first few days. This program allowed us to grow and bond together as a group right away by throwing us into volunteer work (with absolutely no access to wireless internet-an added bonus). We were completely immersed in New Zealand culture for at least half the program, talking to people and completing tasks that a tourist could never imagine. Of course, there was still the outdoor adventure component of the program as well. This program had me doing things I would never imagine myself doing. I went mountain biking, caving, shark diving, skydiving - you name it. I developed such a sense of adventure and confidence that I never thought I could have. I went into the program having little confidence as a result of my life turning a 180. I came out of it ready to take on the world. I am ready to take risks, go places I never would before, talk to people I would normally avoid, rely less on my phone, and make sure every day has adventure. When I got back from my program I immediately moved to another state on my own to start a dream internship. Before the program I was a nervous mess, but after it I couldn't wait to take on another adventure completely on my own. Pacific Discovery not only gave me the experience of a lifetime, but they helped me grow in ways I never thought possible. I even got a tattoo to commemorate the experience! I would recommend Pacific Discovery to anyone who wants adventure. I am proof that the adventure doesn't end with college - it only begins. Thank you Pacific Discovery!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best month of my life (so far!)

Pacific Discovery was an amazing experience. I was afraid that I would get homesick being on the other side of the world for a month, but it went by so fast, and when it was over, I didn't want to leave. I made friends that will last a lifetime, and participated in activities from skydiving to mountain biking, that I will never forget. I was fully immersed in the culture of New Zealand, it was absolutely incredible. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn lots , both about the world around them and themselves, and have an amazing travel experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Go with PD!

"Be the hummingbird" - do our best, however small it may seem, in kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the earth. This was our mantra while planting a seemingly endless parade of flax, cabbage trees, and manuka at Mimiwhangata Coastal Park and Abel Tasman National Park. Though we were hot, cold, tired, wet, and ready to quit at times, I wouldn't trade those days for anything. The New Zealand and Fiji Summer B 2016 program included two weeks of outdoor conservation work, one week of adventures in New Zealand (caving, skydiving, mountain biking, sea kayaking, hiking, ocean swimming, visiting Hobbiton), and one week of relaxing & reflecting time in Fiji (cave swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, crafting, fishing). The program felt like a year's worth of personal growth squeezed into one month. I came away with a broader sense of purpose in life, a deeper appreciation of people, and keener insights on life. I wholeheartedly recommend Pacific Discovery to everyone. It is a meaningful, well-thought-out, enrichment, and educational program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

New Zealand and Fiji 2016

Pacific Discovery changed my life for the better. Through countless activities such as skydiving, camping in untouched wilderness, and spelunking through dark caves, I learned so much about myself and the people around me. Lou and Andy were fantastic group leaders who immediately made you feel like their own family. The views of New Zealand and Fiji were undoubtedly beautiful but would have been less impactful if not experienced alongside the cultural learning facilitated by Pacific Discovery and our wonderful group leaders. We learned a great amount about the places we traveled to and we got to do so many activities in a short amount of time. Before I went on the trip, I researched a lot of different travel companies and I have to say that Pacific Discovery has an impeccably organized itinerary compared to other groups.
It's difficult to say in words how transformative this trip was for me, but it is an experience I would recommend to anyone and everyone. The people are wonderful and the places you get to go will leave you speechless.
Lauren Hoak
College of William and Mary

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible program!

Skydiving, swimming with wild dolphins in the ocean, and planting flax on the protected Maud Island in Marlborough Sounds for a week are just a few of the many highlights of my travels with Pacific Discovery this summer. Traveling with PD is an absolutely amazing experience and I wish I could relive my travels in New Zealand and Fiji over & over again! PD is a very unique program, and really focuses on providing the best experience for the individual as well as the group as a whole-- by the end of the short month of traveling, we felt like a happy little traveling family. The food & accommodations were wonderful, and the company was even better. From the application process to landing on US ground again, PD staff made sure that we had a smooth, safe journey the entire way. They have been running these programs for years now, so they know what they're doing & make sure that you're prepared (and that PD is a good match for what you're looking for)! We had the perfect balance of volunteer work/activities so that it felt like we set out on a new adventure every day. All of us gained so much knowledge about ourselves, our group members, and the local people/cultures that we visited. This experience was truly incredible and rewarding!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best summer ever

I went on the New Zealand, Fiji trip this summer and it was absolutely incredible, so much better than I could have expected! I managed to do so many activities, which I look back on and can't believe that I actually did, such as caving, skydiving, swimming with wild dolphins, and white water rafting. The leaders were so encouraging, positive, knowledgeable and just great! We visited so many amazing places and I made so many memories that I will always remember, and I am so glad that I got to experience it all with such a great group of people.
I've only been home a week and I miss it and wish I was back already, honestly couldn't recommend Pacific Discovery enough!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life Changing Experience

This review is long over-due, as I participated in the 2010 New Zealand summer program. I had the absolute best time of my life with Pacific Discovery. I went on the trip expecting a bit of hiking and some amazing scenery (which I did in fact enjoy), however what I did not expect was to gain so much more global curiosity and self assurance. Throughout my time spent in New Zealand, PC provided the perfect setting for me to push myself, to try new things (um, hello - skydiving?!), and to really explore. I not only decided to extend my stay after the trip ended, but I also returned back to classes with a more vivid drive to learn about the world - a quality that was surely enhanced by Pacific Discovery and their outstanding program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible!

The most memorable 4 weeks of my life! New Zealand was incredible - I had such an amazing time. Being taught about the beautiful country by so many passionate residents was brilliant. It really provided a true insight into life.

The Voluntary aspect of the tour was fantastic and really provided a sense of achievement in helping out!
The travelling and adventure aspects of the programme was also fantastic - eye-opening and great fun!

Programme is run by such a fantastic company, so friendly, organised and really work hard to provide a fantastic experience.