Summer High School Programs in Fiji with Rustic Pathways

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About

Our community partnerships in Fiji date to 1993. These deep roots mean that we have friends in every village we visit and our expert local staff members make students immediately feel at home. Arriving students are welcomed to their programs with a traditional sevu sevu ceremony and invited to share a taste of kava. Our Fiji programs visit villages on remote islands and in the mountainous highlands, locations not available to the average tourist.

Sailing through the islands of Fiji feels like you’re in a postcard brought to life. Whether you are in the highlands or among the islands, you will constantly be surrounded by calming tropical scenery. The warmth of the Fijian people make you feel at home and you will find yourself easily adjusting to island life.

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Questions & Answers

Hey Sarah! I had the exact same question when embarking on my trip to Fiji. Being my first Rustic trip I followed the packing list completely. Which you should do because some of my friends did not have some of the stuff I had. I wish I brought more lounging, comfy clothing. Everything says on the website "no leggings", but everyone wore leggings and comfy lounging clothes when we weren't in...

I used a huge duffel bag, along with a day pack on all of the Rustic trips that I went on. I found that to work very well rather than a suitcase, as a suitcase would be harder to lug around, and duffels are made to carry easily.

I wouldn't consider the experience as a "tour group feel" whatsoever. You get really close with the other travelers, as you spend all day every day with them. There are activities put in place to break some ice and learn names, but after that initial "awkward" stage of not knowing anyone else, you'll find that you bond with the other kids really easily. Everyone in the group doesn't want to "tour"...

Yes! The entire time I never questioned anything that was going on in terms of my safety. When we stayed on SomoSomo island there was a guard who watched our camp site throughout the entire night.

Reviews

9.55 Rating
based on 93 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 89.25%
  • 7-8 rating 8.6%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 2.15%
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.4
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 93
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Kevin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good Old times

Despite the fact that the program I did only lasted for a week, it is undoubtedly one of my favorite trips ever. I enjoyed every single bit of the program. I enjoyed the time spent with the local community, playing with those innocent kids. I enjoyed the moment I threw the football with perfect spin for the first time, having fun with a group of kids in the village. I still remembered the day when our group went to one of Rustic Pathways' construction project and painted the wooden pillars with pink paint under the blasting sun. It was just such a great time that I could totally recall every single moment.
Indeed, the scope of the volunteering programs held in Fiji goes far beyond merely community service. We served the community, but we also had a ton of fun doing it. The program leaders always kept us busy having fun with all sorts of activities after dinner. We had karaoke, bonfire, dances, and so much more.
Since then, I fell in love with community service, truly.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do this program all over again, with the same group of people, I absolutely would try to talk to as many peers and program leaders as possible. They are all very very nice people whom I desperately wish to have a deeper relationship with.
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sun, Sand, and International Service

My trip to Fiji with Rustic Pathways was absolutely amazing! I couldn't have asked for a better experience in my life. When I first thought about going overseas to Fiji, I was very nervous about flying and going to a country where I knew no one. However, when I met my Rustic staff at the airport, I felt like I was in the best hands. I always felt safe and never worried about not being safe. When I arrived, it was the most welcoming experience I could have ever imagined. Being far away from home made me feel nervous, but the Rustic staff made me feel at home. One thing I take away from my trip to Fiji is that I never had a bad memory or experience. I made life-long memories with life-long friends. I am so proud of myself for taking this huge step and will never regret it!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Personally, I HAD a terrifying fear of the ocean, but that changed due to the confidence and courage that I had built up in Fiji because of the people I was surrounded by.
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Whitney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sun, Sand, and International Service Fiji

When signing up for my Rustic Pathways trip, I had extremely high expectations. My sister had gone to Costa Rica the summer before and she had the best experience of her life. I thought that it would be the same for me. Little did I know, my extremely high standards were completely topped. I do not think I could have prepared for the amazing experience I was about to have. On the first day of arrival, I was placed in a group with ten complete strangers. By the first night, we were already staying up past curfew getting to know each other. Every single day we were given an opportunity to not only see a new part of the amazing country that we were in, but to form connections with the people of Fiji through service. Of course, improving someone's home or building a chicken coop is extremely meaningful, but when you get to meet the people that you are helping, it is a truly incredible experience. By the end of my trip, the girls in my group had become my best friends. Our dramatic goodbye in the airport and the entire trip itself seemed to be something straight out of a dream.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment of my entire trip was when I went skydiving. Anyone in my life could tell you that I am not the one to do anything risky, let alone skydive. Most people did not believe me until I showed them the video! Sitting on the small plane, sitting 14,000 feet above Fiji with my legs dangling in the wind was probably the scariest moment of my entire life. But the second we fell, my scared screams turned into screams of joy and disbelief. The feeling of flying and the ability to see Fiji from the sky was unbelievable. Overcoming the fear in the moment was very difficult. I don't think I had fully overcome my nerves until I actually fell out of the plane. This was another amazing experience that made my trip more unique.
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Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing 2 weeks in Fiji

After spending 2 weeks in Fiji I am dying to go back! The country has much more to offer than only pretty beaches and islands. The highlight of my trip was getting to know the people and their culture. My group was small but that allowed me to get to know everyone which was great. It was one of my favorite experiences to spend time with new people while also going on fun adventures. Small things like bus rides and watching sunrises/sunsets were one of my many favorite parts. Learning the culture being another one. Fiji has many traditions in their culture that you have to be there to understand. And not everything went our way but it is helpful to be open minded. For example it poured on the day we went island hoping. But if you make the best of everything you will have lots more fun.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travels would be to appreciate every moment. I was there for 2 weeks and it wasn’t near enough. Every day since I have been back I have missed it.
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Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 Weeks in Fiji

After spending 2 weeks in Fiji I have become attached to much more than just the beaches and the country. The highlight of my trip was learning about the culture and getting to know the people. Fiji is a country you have to go to to understand. The people and community there are so welcoming and what to teach you their culture. As far as my program went, it was very small but I got to get to know everyone which was great. We had a fun new adventure everyday, but not everything went to plan as you can’t expect it to be. On the day we went island hopping it poured rain and we just had to make the most of it. It is always helpful to be open minded to changes because you can’t control everything. But the overall experience was very memorable and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travels is to appreciate every moment. I was in Fiji for 2 weeks and it wasn’t enough at all.
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Eli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Trip to Fiji with Rustic Pathways

During the summer of 2019, I took the “Sun, Sand, and International Service” trip to Fiji and the “Escape to the Fiji Islands” trip. I was in Fiji for a total of three weeks while doing these trips. I can easily say that these three weeks were the best three weeks of my life. While in Fiji doing the Rustic Pathways trip, I vastly grew as a person from the variety of amazing things that we did. For example, while in Fiji I did lots of community service (which felt great to do), I was immersed in a different culture in the Nausori Highlands (which was life-changing), I went skydiving, and I did much more that was all amazing. I would 100% recommend that somebody take a trip with Rustic Pathways because I can almost guarantee that you will have the same life-changing experience that I did.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I did this program again, I would change nothing
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Paulina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing experience!

My trip to Fiji was one of the most memorable trips of my life! I made countless friends from all around the globe, many of which I am still in touch with months later and I expect to be in touch with many years from now! Rustic provided a safe and comfortable living situation at the base house, while still allowing all participants access to real, authentic Fijian culture in multiple villages-- an experience that not many people who travel to Fiji get. The service aspect of my trip was extremely rewarding and I believe that there is an inherent value in immersing yourself in another person's culture and then working alongside them. The staff was not only welcoming but over the two weeks I was there, they became a second family. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone regardless of how out of your comfort zone it is, because there is no doubt in my mind that the Rustic staff will make it comfortable and worth it for you!

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Abigail
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Incredible Summer In Fiji

Rustic Pathways is the most amazing program you could ever go on a trip with. Even though you are there to be helping with the communities, they always make you their first priorities. On the first day when you get there, they have a one on one talk with each person individually so they can do whatever they can to help make your trip goes smoothly. Everyday they make sure that you have enough food and water and you having fun is always their first priority. Rustic Pathways introduces you to people from all over the world and gives you some of your best friends. They help you to step out of your comfort zone to try new things that you wouldn’t be able to experience back home. Whether I was doing service work or jumping out a plane I was always having the best time. Overall, Rustic Pathways has given me the best summers and the most incredible experiences of my life.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
My summer in Fiji was absolutely incredible however I did have one regret that I wish I could go back and change. I went on two back to back trips and my first trip was so amazing that I was hesitant to go into my second one because I thought it wouldn’t be as good. I went into my second trip very sad and missing all my friends my my first trip. For the first two to three days I felt as though I was holding myself back from having fun. I wish I did not do this because my second trip also ending up being amazing once I stopped living in the past. I learned that I need to not worry so much about the past and that I should live every moment I’m in to fullest and enjoy it while I still can so I don’t have regrets later.