Just the name “Tahiti” causes study abroad students to daydream of tropical flowers and exotic adventures. The island is the product of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters, and for decades people from around the world have flocked to see it’s tangled jungles and beautiful coral reefs. Paul Gauguin painted his most famous works on the island, and it’s easy to see his fascination with this magnificent place. As of the largest Islands in French Polynesia, the island still has a distinct French-feel.

Photo credit: Traveloscopy

How to Choose a Program

Modern Tahiti remains influenced by the French, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian peoples – and Pacific Island Studies majors find Tahiti a fascinating place to pursue their studying abroad. This country provides a great setting for the study of human and physical geography.

  • Academics: Most programs offer a wide variety of disciplines. Beyond academia, programs stress cultural exploration and emphasize courses in oceanography and marine biology. Along with academic life, plenty of programs include chances for study abroad students to volunteer and travel to offices and work with local staff.
  • Language:The official language of Tahiti is French, but Tahitian is widely spoken. Programs offer classes in English and French, with language courses in both French and Tahitian.
  • Housing: Rather than living in hotels, students will live in a dormitory with kitchen privileges and will receive a regular meal stipend with which to purchase food for themselves. A couple of weekend stays with host families during the program will give students the opportunity to learn more about Tahitian culture and society first hand.
Social life and Student Culture

Le Marché in the capital Papeete is a two-story market place where students can stop for a traditional lunch. While you’re there, pick up some monoi, a strongly scented tahitian oil which is used to tan and moisturize your skin. You can also update your wardrobe with a pareu. This is typical tahitian clothing that can be tied into many different ways (a cover-up, a dress, shorts, a shawl) and can also be spread out as a picnic cloth or a beach towel.

Scholarships for Study in Tahiti

Don't let the cost of studying abroad deter you- many scholarships are available to help you make your dream of studying abroad into a reality. Be sure to check with your university for other funding opportunities!

Contributed by Julia Brady


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