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Fiji Cultural Immersion in Village Life

Dates: July–August 2023 (approx.)
Application Deadline: 1 February 2023

The central aspect and focus of this program is the cultural immersion of living with a Fijian family in the heart of a traditional village. During the experience, this requires you to expand your comfort zone and embrace a very basic way of life, without many of the known comforts that you are accustomed. You will experience the daily life of rural Fijians, including the intricacies of Fijian communal, subsistence life and the importance of chiefly structures and age-old customs. Students return with increased resourcefulness, resilience, and more understanding of global development issues.

While in the village, you will also engage in efforts coordinated by local NGOs and the Fijian government aimed at youth empowerment, mental health promotion or a community development building project (building a village health center). Students will select one of these three focus areas. These efforts are founded upon a local approach, where local Fijian volunteers, trained by these partner organizations, teach workshops on important development topics (public health, physical activity, mental health, environmental action, leadership & life skills, microenterprise) to villagers aged 18–30 years of age. Within these workshops, you will be called upon to facilitate small group discussions of these development topics with the villagers. To facilitate this discussion, you will implement group activities such as brainstorming, energizers, team building, and leading break outs, group challenges, buddy work, "conversation cafes"’ or other activities to build greater understanding and application of concepts.

In return, the villagers will teach workshops and activities for you to learn critical aspects of their customs, values, lifestyles, and traditions. All of this makes for a very unique cultural exchange between the villagers and students. Students must be committed to experiencing the culture, customs, challenges, and rigors of life in a traditional Fijian village. What you will experience as you live in a rural Fijian village for 3 ½ weeks will contrast sharply from the life in which you are accustomed to in many fundamental ways. But through this experience and from what you learn from local people, you will gain critical cultural understanding and appreciation for cultural differences and in the process develop cross-cultural communication skills and global leadership abilities. You will learn much about yourself (self-awareness) and come away with new perspectives likely to change your life in positive ways. This program is in partnership with Think Pacific, a United Kingdom-based organization devoted to improving the development of Fijian communities.

Click here to apply today!

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Contact Us

Randy Page
2030 LSB
(801) 422-1131
randy_page@byu.edu

PDF

Program Flyer

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
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More Information

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Courses

Students in the program summer term are required to take a minimum of 6 credits from this list of courses: HLTH 496R, IAS 399, LFSCI 199, HLTH 403, HLTH 481, HLTH 492, or HLTH 491R. Graduate credit for MPH fieldwork is available.

Students may be interested in investigating the local culture by taking IAS 380 Cultural Proofs for 1–3 credit hours. This self-guided course allows students to do independent intercultural research, interview locals, and experience local culture.

Students may not take any other courses on this program, including BYU Online courses, without approval by the program director and ISP.
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Cost

$3,000–3,500

Includes undergraduate tuition for six credits, international health insurance coverage, housing, meals during homestay, breakfast and dinner during stay at resort, airport pickup on arrival, orientation, onsite coordination, 24-hour emergency assistance, and local transportation.

Does not include international airfare, preparation course tuition, passport, visa(s), personal expenses, extra meals and snacks, cell phones/international data, or personal excursions.
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Funding Sources

Regular BYU tuition scholarships, Pell Grants, and Federal Insured Student Loans may be applied to study abroad programs.

Students who submit the financial aid section of the ISP application and who have a current FAFSA form on file at the Financial Aid Office (A-41 ASB) will be considered for a Study Abroad scholarship.

Academic departments and colleges may assist with scholarships and grants.

Private grants and scholarships outside of BYU may also assist (see kennedy.byu.edu/scholarships).
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Preparation

Students from many majors are encouraged to apply, particularly those with interests and backgrounds in mental health. Accepted students are required to participate in an international preparation course (IAS 369R, 1 credit hour). This second-block evening course will be held during winter semester.

Accompanying spouses need to be credit-bearing participants on the program; they will need to apply online and take the preparation course.

Students must meet all country- and program-specific COVID and health requirements for travel.
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Housing

Homestay with a Fijian village family. During the briefing/orientation and reflection days of the program, you will be housed in a beach resort. All meals while staying with your family and breakfast and evening meals during your briefing/reflection days at the resort will be provided.
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Travel

Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program sites. Airline reservations must be made through BYU Travel. Students should contact a BYU Travel agent.

BYU Travel
280 HRCB
(801) 422-6293
travel@byu.edu
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Application Process

Students must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

Complete the online application here. A nonrefundable $35 application fee is required; applicants will be interviewed once the application is complete.

Students will be notified via e-mail of their acceptance into the program. The first payment is due upon acceptance; please refer to the Payment Information document.

Applications will remain open until program is filled. If spots remain open, the final deadline is expected to be 1 February 2023.

Students will also be required to complete an enrollment or application with Think Pacific; a police background check may be required.

Priority Deadline: 1 December 2022
Application Deadline: 1 February 2023
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Program Adjustments

International Study Programs (ISP) reserves the right to cancel this program, revise its offerings, or make any adjustments to the preliminary cost.

If it becomes necessary for ISP to cancel a program, all program payments made to BYU ISP will be refunded to the student’s BYU Financial account.

ISP is the only office authorized to cancel any of its programs.
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Faculty

Randy M Page, director of the Global Health Internship Program and professor of Public Health, is the faculty director for the program.

2030 LSB
(801) 422-1131
randy_page@byu.edu

Tana Page, adjunct faculty in the Department of Public Health, will be the assistant director.

2148 LSB
(801) 422-3386
tana_page@byu.edu
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Contact Us

International Study Programs
101 HRCB
(801) 422-3686
isp@byu.edu
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ISP Student Handbook

To see the student handbook, click here.
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Payment Schedule

To see the payment schedule, click here.