Skip to main content

French Polynesia Tropical Biodiversity

Dates: 6 July–15 August 2024
Priority Deadline: 1 December 2023
Application Deadline: 1 February 2024

This study abroad will focus on two different areas within French Polynesia: the Windward Islands and the Marquesas. The Marquesas are one of the most remote island groups in the world. They are the furthest set of islands from any continental land mass. The Marquesan people are descendants from Polynesians that settled the islands around 1000 years ago. The culture is famous for a tradition of intricate woodcarvings, tattooing, and a warrior society. The islands are volcanic and range from 5.7–1.6 million years old. The biodiversity of the Marquesas is unique. It is largely endemic and comparatively complete to other parts of the Pacific. It is a place for students to effortlessly experience rich culture, adventure, and biology all at the same time.

Students involved in the French Polynesia study abroad will combine coursework and mentored research. Research will focus on the evolution of insects with a major focus on dragonflies and beetles. Students will cover a diverse set of island habitats. We will travel mostly by air and sea to document the species present, their distribution, and behavior. The study abroad is designed to not only provide a completely unique mentored research experience but to also result in presentations at national meetings and peer-reviewed publications with student authors.

Click here to apply today!


Contact Us

overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=

More Information

Pencil and paper BIG-01.svg


Students are required to take 6 credit hours of BYU courses while on the program; they may choose from the following courses:

BIO 120—Field Biology (3 credit hours)
BIO 441—General Entomology (3 credit hours)
BIO 494R—Research Credit (3 credit hours)

Students may not take any other courses on this program, including BYU Online courses, without approval by the program director and ISP.
moneystack NAVY BIGsvg-01.svg



Includes Latter-day Saint undergraduate full tuition (increased cost for grads and non–Latter-day Saint students) and international health insurance. The basic program cost includes several small and large group activities throughout French Polynesia.

Does not include international airfare to and from Tahiti, preparation course tuition, most meals, or personal expenses such as souvenirs.
Scroll NAVY BIG-01.svg

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
Backpack NAVY-BIG-01.svg


Students would benefit from taking BIO 130 prior to the program, but it is not a required prerequisite to apply.

Accepted students are required to participate in an international, cross-cultural preparation course (IAS 201R, 1 credit hour).

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

Students must meet all country- and program-specific COVID and health requirements for travel.
House NAVY-BIG-01.svg


Housing will be arranged for students in different settings in each region (e.g., bungalows, hotels, native living). Students will be responsible for their own meals.
Plane NAVY-BIG-01.svg


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
Check mark NAVY BIG-01.svg

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 page.

Priority Deadline: 1 December 2023
Application Deadline: 1 February 2024
Gears NAVY-BIG-01.svg

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.
Faculty NAVY-BIG-01.svg


Seth Bybee is a professor of phylogenetic systematics in the Department of Biology. He has traveled to nearly fifty countries throughout the world to conduct biological research focused on dragonflies and beetle groups. Along with his wife, Libby, and his family, he looks forward to exploring one of the most unique places on earth: French Polynesia.

4057 LSB
(801) 422-3152
Phone NAVY-BIG-23.svg

Contact Us

International Study Programs
101 HRCB
(801) 422-3686
Book NAVY-BIG-21.svg

ISP Student Handbook

To see the student handbook, click here.
Calendar NAVY-BIG-01.svg

Payment Schedule

To see the payment schedule, click here.