Tropical adventure and a meaningful education await you when you study abroad in Fiji. Whether you are attending the University of the South Pacific, stopping at the islands during a traveling Semester at Sea, or participating in a program dedicated to shark behavior and conservation, Fiji will make a permanent impression on you. Its breathtaking beaches, historical and cultural landmarks, and friendly people never disappoint international students who come here for sun, surf, and study abroad.
Geography & Demographics
Fiji is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,300 miles northeast of New Zealand. The archipelago is made up of more than 300 islands that were mostly formed by volcanic activity. Of the approximately 110 islands that have permanent inhabitants, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are home to 87 percent of the population.
Fiji became a Republic in 1987. Prior to that, it was a British colony for about a century. During that time, the British brought Indian workers to the islands to run the sugar plantations. As of 1942, nearly half the population in Fiji were Indians, along with Chinese and Europeans. As a result of these influences, Fiji is home to a diverse culture and fascinating historical locations. Today, Fiji has a well-developed economy that is supported by tourism and sugar exports.
Food & Culture
Decades of tradition are still apparent in many Fijian dishes. For example, an ancient and popular way of cooking using an earth oven called a lovo is still used today. This is a fire made on a pit in the ground, lined with stones that are heat-resistant. Many dishes cooked using a lovo include palusami, a longtime dish that includes parcels of taro leaves soaked in coconut milk and onions. More modern Fijian cuisine shows influences from Indian dishes and spices. Any time of year, Suva’s street food and variety of cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Italian, and native Fijian) ensure you do not go hungry.
Famous for festivals, concerts, nightlife, and sports, Suva has no shortage of hustle and bustle. The Hibiscus Festival is the largest carnival in the South Pacific islands, held annually along with the New Year’s Street Party and the Fiji Showcase. The latter, a mass trade show, brings out magicians, a circus, carnival rides, and food.
Things to Do
In the capital city of Suva, there are shopping centers, restaurants, the national aquatic center, and the home stadium of the Flying Fijians, the national rugby team. In Suva’s city center is Albert Park, famous for many historical events including the Independence of Fiji. Also in the city center is Sukuna Park, which along with Albert Park is home to many parades, festivals, and weekly performances and entertainment. Suva also hosts many sporting events throughout the year, including the Coca-Cola Games, the Pacific Games, and many of Fiji’s national rugby, netball, and soccer games. The vivacious nightlife also provides for all types of entertainment. Nightclubs, lounges, and bars cater to all tastes.
If you’re looking for a more mellow excursion, just take your pick of the dozens of utterly beautiful beaches around the islands, take a boating or fishing trip, or go on a snorkeling adventure. Fiji offers the best of many worlds.
Studying in Fiji
Most programs will bring you to Suva, the largest city of Fiji. A variety of subject areas can be studied, including, but not limited to: Marine Science, Statistics, Theater, Engineering, and Chemistry. The most popular higher education institute is the University of the South Pacific (USP), which has a campus in Suva. As an internationally recognized university, USP offers a world-class education.
Fiji is the a relaxed, lovely destination to immerse yourself in another culture, enjoy the many splendors of island living, and continue your studies internationally. Study abroad in Fiji and have a tropical education most people can only fantasize about!