Consisting of over 350 islands and islets, of which approximately 100 are inhabited, Fiji, located in the South Pacific, is an ideal site for a field-oriented term abroad with rich ethnic cultures.
Fiji offers some of the best snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking in the world with rich marine life and clear aquamarine waters. Students can experience this distinctive culture while enjoying the beautiful physical environment.
Course of Study
The term will introduce students to the process of doing anthropological research, and the cultures of Pacific Islands, as well as giving them a hands-on experience in schools. Fiji, a developing Pacific Island country, offers a strong local cultural setting while at the same time giving ample material on the relationship between educational systems and society. English is the second language of most Fijians so students can conduct research in English.
Through immersion in the local culture, students will conduct hands-on 'ethnographic' research. Anthropologists feel that it is important to live with members of another culture and to be actively involved in their day-to-day life, ideally through participating in a venture of common interest together. Students will learn this method both through living with a Fijian family and through working several hours a week in a school to gain a thorough appreciation of the social and cultural forces that shape everyday life in Fiji. They will also learn how to analyze educational systems as an anthropologist would.
The courses offered in Fiji are: Peoples of the Pacific
(ANT 285T), Culture and Education
(ANT 226T) and Independent Study in Anthropology
(ANT 490T). Students will meet with Prof. Brison two days a week for classes. Readings focus on Pacific Island cultures and on the relationship between educational systems and society. Weekly structured exercises are designed to help students understand local culture and schools, and students will devise an original longer project in the second half of the term.
Past terms abroad trips to Fiji have included scuba diving at Kadavu Island, white water rafting, hiking up Nakauvadra Mountain and visiting the Fiji water factory.
Successful completion of at least one anthropology course, such as Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANT 110) or Qualitative Methods (ANT 363), before going on the term abroad.
After an initial orientation week, students live with individual host families in Fiji's capital, Suva.
The Fiji term abroad is offered in fall of odd-numbered years.(For specific dates, contact the International Programs Office, Old Chapel, Third Floor.)
- January: Application deadline is the third Friday of winter term.
- February: Non-refundable deposit due at the Cashier's Office in McKean House
- Spring term: Orientation meetings
- September: Program begins
- November: Program ends
For More Information
Union's Anthropology website
displays photos and other information about the Fiji term abroad. Students may contact Karen Brison (x6673).