Summer High School Programs in Fiji with Rustic Pathways

Video and Photos

working with kids
working with kids
Skydiving
Skydiving
Mud Pool fun
Mud Pool fun
Fiji 2017
Fiji 2017
Me with the adorable kids at Koropita
Me with the adorable kids at Koropita
Waving goodbye at Koropita
Waving goodbye at Koropita
Volleyball in the Highlands
Volleyball in the Highlands
skydive Fiji
skydive Fiji

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.

Scholarships

Rustic Pathways Scholarships
Rustic Pathways Scholarships and Financial Aid

Rustic Pathways is committed to making life-changing opportunities possible for students worldwide. We know how impactful our programs are, and continually strive to make them more accessible to all students.

Value
$1,000 - $5,000

Want to travel this summer? Enroll up to 8 days before programs depart!

Programs depart weekly through August 6th to destinations around the world. Find out which programs still have space for you to enroll today!

Popular Programs

Our Critical Issues programs are themed learning and service programs designed to immerse students in global challenges as seen in communities around the world. In this program, we take a deeper look into Fiji’s marine ecosystem and the impact that climate change has had on this fragile habitat. With Cyclone Winston having caused massive destruction in 2016, this is an issue that local Fijians and the international community is watching with a close eye.

Work on a variety of community service projects while staying at our beautiful Eco-Lodge Service Base in Fiji. From tutoring at a local school to working on small construction projects, you’ll have the ability to do a range of service work. Get to know Fijian culture through our local staff who will teach you about the country’s history, perform a traditional dance, and show you how to cook delicious local food.

See the best that Fiji has to offer on this one-week adventure. Spend the first part of the program on the mainland at a rural farm hiking through the mountains and experiencing the “real Fiji.” Then spend the rest of your time out on the clear, blue waters surrounding the Mamanuca Islands. Your Island hopping, snorkeling, and kayaking adventureswill show you why Fiji’s oceans are so renowned.

Adventure through Fiji on this jam-packed, two-week adventure. Start your trip by heading out to the village of Somosomo on Naviti Island where you will swim and kayak in pristine waters. Help out on a village service initiative and contribute to the community in a positive way. Spend a few days getting to know the Fiji highlands, hiking across the mountains and experiencing rural village life.

If you’re interested in marine biology or love spending time in the ocean, this is the program for you! Learn about Fiji’s marine ecosystem and how the locals are working to protect it. Identify tropical fish and coral species as you work to conserve and restore the natural habitat. Get a chance to swim with manta rays and observe black and white-tip reef sharks.

This program is for certified or new divers alike. Earn your PADI Open Water Certification, advance your certification (at an additional cost), or rack up fun dives on this week-long diving adventure. Stay at our Eco-Lodge Base in Momi Bay with other Rustic Pathways students from around the world. Go on up to 8 dives, challenging yourself to deeper sites if you are an advanced diver.

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

94%
based on 65 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 65
Default avatar
Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion-Program Review

My experience in Fiji was more spectacular than I could have ever imagined. Fiji is a beautiful country and everyone you meet is so kind and welcoming. From this trip I made lifelong friends and many memories. The service projects are community focused and works in partnership with the village on their specified projects.
The most amazing part is the immersion you have in Fijian culture, living in the village you become a part of the community. My host family warmly welcomed me and my host sister and were so generous to us, we shared many laughs and good times while I was there. Like they say you really do “experience the real Fiji”, learning about the culture, history, and traditions of the community. My favorite times were playing tag or dancing with the children, and playing cards each night with my host family. Some of the best parts of the day are tea time and sitting on the ground for delicious meals! This trip is amazing for everyone, you become connected to the community and become very close with your group.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to embrace each part of the trip as well as talk to everyone you have the opportunity to, keep an open mind going into the experience.
Default avatar
William
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion in Fiji

It was my first time traveling abroad completely on my own. At the time I was a foreign freshman in an American high school, and this trip to Fiji somehow felt more challenging prior to departure because I had to plan the whole trip and convince my parents without being completely sure about how this trip could go. Over the two weeks in Fiji, I had some of the best time in my life. For the first time, I was able to meet people outside of the state my high school was in that year(exciting! lmao). There were just so many cool things. As a boy, I was able to do all the adventurous stuff I wanted: I jumped over huge sand dunes, climbed up many many hilly mountains(challenge accepted!), and went scuba diving. I came to develop really long-lasting friendships over these times spent on the beach, community home, and service center. These memories still make me very happy, so just try and go enjoy it.

What would you improve about this program?
All my memories in the program are really great. Can't think of much to criticize the program.
Default avatar
Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlands and Islands service immersion program review

I could not have been happier with my trip to Fiji, the food was amazing and the service was rewarding. The trip was a truly aversive experience and is meant for anybody that wants to learn about Fiji and experience "the real Fiji". I believe that doing the homestay was the best way to understand and learn about a community and gives you an up-close view into the way that people live outside of the united states. This trip has left me wanting to make more change in the future because of the connection I made with the community. I would tell anyone that wants to take a service trip to take on this adventure because of the endless memories that you make and the rewarding experience during the homestay and during service well living in the village.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
This was a once and a life time opportunity and for travelers in the future I would tell then is to have a completely open mind. Be open to bucket showers and eating on the floor, but always remember to live in the moment and enjoy the people of Fiji and everyone you meet along the way.
Default avatar
Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring to Fiji is Life Changing

The Spring to Fiji program had a great balance of tourism, community service, education, and activities while keeping absolutely every aspect of the trip fun and meaningful. The program leaders were charismatic, helpful, and funny; having them as guides made the trip way more enjoyable. There we about 18 kids on my trip who were divided into two groups with two program leaders each, everyone would do the same things just on a switching schedule. The Rustic Pathways value of inclusiveness made the group dynamic between students completely nonjudgemental and everyone was completely accepting and understanding. I made some of the best friends on that nine day trip because we all came into the situation of being away from familiar surroundings and let our guards down immediately which allowed for us to become very close to each other rather quickly. The other kids on my trip came from all around the world; learning from them about their different cultures, political outlooks, and general perspectives of life enriched the trip for me even further. Every night after all of our different day activities, our group of kids would all hang out together outside the dormitories to share stories and hang out, which was the best way to keep communication with the other half of the group. I went on the trip with the objective of obtaining the community service hours required for my school, without really caring about what kind of work we would be doing. The services we performed were cooking for a women's shelter and a children's home, and constructing a cement walkway to a bathroom in a nearby village. Giving community service always make me feel good about myself, but these services directly impacted people who never failed to show their gratitude. I have never felt a greater reward than the thanks that we got for the services provided in Fiji. The women at the women's shelter were gracious and interesting to talk to, while the kids at the women's shelter were a lot of fun to hang out with; we all played with spare tires, played rugby, and picked flowers to make flower crowns together. As we were leaving, all of the kids were giving us high fives, so in return we gave them our ball for rugby. The kids at the village where we were laying down cement were very sweet and showed us around their houses proudly, showing us the pigs, their bedrooms, and the various things that they liked to do to pass the time. Sharing the experience with them made the service feel more fulfilling since I knew that our work was going to help people that really needed and deserved it more than anything. We all learned a lot about Fijian culture while spending time in the villages and with the people at the women's shelter. Since our program leaders were familiar with the area, they were well informed on Fijian culture, integrating it into our daily routines. Upon arrival, we were all greeted with traditional songs and kava(a root mixed into a drink that is a traditional Fijian delicacy), classic local food, and the cutest dogs on the island! Being immersed in the culture made us all feel completely connected to our surroundings which allowed me to let this trip be a separate experience from anything else I have ever done. Leaving Fiji was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. On the last day of the trip, everyone was in a state of denial, not letting themselves accept that we were actually going to leave. I legitimately asked one of the girls who worked for Rustic Pathways if she could legally adopt me in order to keep me there for just a little bit longer. On the way to the airport we were all singing songs together while simultaneously bawling our eyes out. When we had to say our final goodbyes to our program leaders, I actually started to have a full on melt down and was on the verge of hyperventilating, it got to be so much airport security workers started to look at me weird. I got so attached to those wonderful people, that the thought that I might not ever see them again ripped my heart into a billion pieces. Saying goodbye to the other kids was no easier, with them living all over the world I don't know when I will ever see them again. Once I got home, it was hard to talk about the experience since I really wanted to keep it to myself and not let it be touched or tainted in any way. I have been able to keep in touch with everyone from the trip, even the program leaders, ever since. I would not have done one thing different regarding that entire experience, it is probably the only thing I have no regrets about. Spring to Fiji is definitely worth it.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For me, getting over the fear of meeting new people especially with no one that I already knew was the most nerve-racking moment. At the airport , everyone was wearing their Rustic Pathways t-shirts, thus I immediately knew who my group was when I saw some of them at the gate. I had to just go over and talk to the first four girls who were sitting together and introduce myself. Once I had accomplished this and found how charming and nice they all were, any kind of anxiety I had about this trip just melted away and I allowed myself to relax since I knew that these were genuinely great people. As everyone from the trip was arriving at the gate and I got to see how lovely and interesting they all were, I got more and more excited for what was going to come within the next nine days with every second that passed from then on.
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways Trip to Fiji!

This summer I went on my first trip with Rustic Pathways and had an incredible experience. Before my trip I had never traveled alone before but I was pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt with Rustic's staff helping me at every step of the way. Once in Fiji, I bonded with so many amazing people I met on my trip. I was very nervous about the social aspect of the trip because I knew I was going to be one of the youngest people there. My nerves were quickly calmed once I met the people I would be spending the next 16 days with. The group leaders on my trip were so welcoming and fun. They were great at keeping everything organized and running smoothly while also having tons of fun. With the leaders and amazing organization I never once felt unsafe on my trip. The service part of the trip was so great. It was hard work but I loved every second of it because I was with awesome friends and I knew how helpful my work was. I strongly recommend traveling with Rustic Pathways and hope that everyone has and incredible time like I did!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can not think of anything major that needs to be improved. If anything the packing list was not spot on but everyone had what they needed.
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways Trip to Fiji!

This summer I went on my first trip with Rustic Pathways and had an incredible experience. Before my trip I had never traveled alone before but I was pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt with Rustic's staff helping me at every step of the way. Once in Fiji, I bonded with so many amazing people I met on my trip. I was very nervous about the social aspect of the trip because I knew I was going to be one of the youngest people there. My nerves were quickly calmed once I met the people I would be spending the next 16 days with. The group leaders on my trip were so welcoming and fun. They were great at keeping everything organized and running smoothly while also having tons of fun. With the leaders and amazing organization I never once felt unsafe on my trip. The service part of the trip was so great. It was hard work but I loved every second of it because I was with awesome friends and I knew how helpful my work was. I strongly recommend traveling with Rustic Pathways and hope that everyone has and incredible time like I did!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can not think of anything major that needs to be improved. If anything the packing list was not spot on but everyone had what they needed.
Default avatar
EMMA
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Fiji

My experience in Fiji was amazing, not only did I meet amazing people, but the country itself is beautiful. I truly do miss waking up to the sunsets and the quiet all around, where every local there is so full of life and happy to be there, which shows such a big contrast with the world I live in. The way of life was completely different there, however, I adapted quickly and realized that the little things in our life were nothing, because people here live in such a different way that it inspires us to change how we live and not be so focused on things that do not matter. Being in Fiji for three weeks really did inspire me, being disconnected and far away from home, I was able to look at life from a different, eye-opening perspective. Now that I have this new perspective, I feel like I can accomplish so much more.

What would you improve about this program?
The only problem I had was with my Program Leaders, however, I also met amazing ones that were just not leading my program.
Default avatar
Binney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Fiji

My trip was amazing! I did the Highlands & Islands trip and I will remember it for the great of my life. When they say it’s a life changing trip, they mean it. This trip made me change my perspective on third world countries. On my trip, I did a home-stay which was the best. The family that you stay with is so glad to have you there! My host parents gave up their bed for me and my homestay buddy. We had a little sister who slept in the floor with her parents when we were there. We got to help out the village is ways that seem small to sit but can change their lives. I also got to go out to the island for some beach days. We got to go scuba diving and sky diving! (Its all very safe, don’t worry.) This trip is what prompted me to get more involved I’m my community, finding ways to help more people. I am so excited for my next trip with Rustic!

What would you improve about this program?
Already perfect!!!!!!
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring into Fiji

Living in New England, everyone that I know of goes to Florida for spring break. In spring 2018 I traveled to Fiji with Rustic Pathways for a week that I would always remember. Fiji is the most beautiful place ever and worth the plane ride -I didn't come for the Instagram photos but, I ended up with way too many to post. I came to Fiji for the perfect mix of community service and fun, which was better than I imaged. The community service was meaningful, we helped build a house, made and delivered food for a children's home and farmed on the eco-lodge. One day when we were walking away from the house that we were helping build I saw the mother of the household crying. For that morning we hammered wood and played with her 2-year-old daughter and know that we were apart of helping them get back on their feet is an amazing feeling. When we delivered dinner to the children's home, we spend the night playing games with them and learning more about there culture. Fiji has so much culture to it that was so cool to learn about like it is disrespectful to touch someone's head. Also, there is plenty of time to step outside of your comfort zone, explore Fiji and have fun. With my 10 new best friends and 2 amazing group leaders, every time was the best time! The place we stayed at also had an amazing pool and food! We went to the beach, hiked the beautiful sand dunes, zip lining, went in caves, went to the local markets, went to a mud bath, snorkeling, went island hopping and some of us went skydiving! Island hopping was my favorite as we spent the whole day in a boat seeing all the beautiful islands. Rolling out of the plane 14,000 ft in the air was also amazing too.

There is something special about spending a week in an unknown place with a group of people that become your family, I left Fiji with way too much inside jokes and smiles.
I came to school refreshed with a new perspective of the world, ready to take on the rest of the year.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out, my email is [email protected] or [email protected] :)

(also my computer is broken so my photos won't upload):

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing, this program is perfect for a spring break mix of community service and stepping out of your comfort zone and fun. I just wish that all schools had a longer spring break so that I could stay longer!
Default avatar
Courtney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Courtney’s Fiji Trip

My trip to Fiji with Rustic Pathways was unbelievable. It was truly life-changing from all the service we accomplished to the fun days with new friends just hanging out at the base house. Although hard to pick just one, one of the highlights of my trip that will stick with me forever is when we did our first day of service. My group started their service with a beach cleanup. I remeber not knowing anyone and that beach clean up gave us the most time to connect with all the girls on my trip while still picking up 20 pounds of trash. Little did I know right then that those 11 girls would become my new best friends and people I still stay connected to.

What would you improve about this program?
I would not change anything to this program.
Default avatar
Jill
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sun, sand, and international service

Before the trip, I was excited, yet frankly very nervous. I had never traveled out of the country without my family and was scared of a culture shock. But what I expierenced in Fiji was nothing what I could’ve ever imagined. My outlook has changed immensely from my trip; experiencing new culture and seeing how one thing may seem tiny but made an enormous positive impact put everything in perspective. We often take many things for granted, like running water, restrooms, and even shelter. But, after helping to build compostable toilets I was able to see how much change one person can make. I know it may seem far fetched or dramatic, it really isn’t. Once you take a trip to an amazing and welcoming culture, like Fiji, your eyes will he opened. It wasn’t just service, but even the service was fun and very rewarding. We were able to go island hoping and even to the highlands, which is the “real” Fiji; most people just think of beaches or resorts and look past the locals lives in the villages in the mountains. We took a caravan to our home stay, where we were instantly accepted. The people are just the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet, there’s no words to explain how at home you’ll feel in just a few short weeks. I loved my trip and would do it again in a heart beat.

What would you improve about this program?
The trip was perfect!
Default avatar
Therese
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beyond the “Bula” Smile

The two sweet weeks I spent in Fiji were beyond life changing. I always look past these cheesy posts after international service trips, but it’s one of those things where you have to see it to believe it. I don’t have the vocabulary to express how extraordinary my time there was, but to be honest I don’t think anyone in the world does either. The service did not even feel like service when you were surrounded by so much love and especially so many Bula smiles :) There is not a second of that trip that I will ever take for granted. Going into the trip I was extremely nervous to make friends, but I can confidently say that I am much better friends with the seven people that were in my group that I am with some of my friends back here in Canada. They are so amazing that we are all planning another Rustic trip next summer :). If you do plan on joining the Rustic Family, it will 300% be worth while. PS if you choose Fiji, say Bula to the crew for me :) - T dawg

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing. I loved it :)
Default avatar
Madeline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring to Fiji

My experience traveling with Rustic Pathways was the best experience of my life. I learned so many valuable lessons, made so many new friends (who I still keep in touch with to this day), had SO much fun, and learned so much about myself and the world around me. To be honest, I was nervous before going on this program. I've never traveled without my family before, and I wasn't sure if i was going to connect with the other kids going on my program. But as soon as I met everyone in the airport, I immediately became comfortable because everyone was just so kind and welcoming. I ended up having the best week of my life, did some really meaningful service, and had so much fun. One of my favorite parts of the trip was skydiving, which was absolutely incredible. I still look back on my experience to this day and smile, because I've never been happier than I was on that trip. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything!!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing would to be to put more emphasis on the importance of packing long skirts/shorts for service and being in the village. I didn't bring enough long shorts for service, and because they get very dirty during service, I eventually had to borrow someone else's.
Default avatar
Jordan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sun, Sand, and International Service

I had the best time ever on my trip to Fiji this summer! We completed 60 hours of community service on this trip, which sounds like a lot, but every hour was well worth it. Some of the service activities we did included working in an animal shelter, building bathrooms in villages, making dinner for single mothers and their children, planting mangrove trees, picking up waste on the beaches, and painting a house. With so many different service activities, everyday is different so it never gets boring. There is also an opportunity to do a weekend side trip, and I highly recommend going on the highland side trip because you get to do a home stay and get really close with your host family. I unfortunately got sick on my program, but I am only mentioning this to recognize how wonderful the doctors were at the medical clinic. My doctor at home was in complete agreement with how the doctor's in Fiji were treating me, so you should have no concerns over sending your children to Fiji, they are in very good hands. Overall, I learned so much on my trip to Fiji that I never could have even imagined. Fijian culture is one of the most warm and welcoming cultures I have ever witnessed, making it all the more difficult to leave their beautiful country. Even though they may not have much money or material possessions, they are the happiest and most loving people I have ever met, which was something truly great to experience. If given the opportunity to come on a Rustic trip to Fiji, I would strongly encourage you to go on the trip.

What would you improve about this program?
The trip was so great in every way that the only improvement I can even think of would be the food at the base house. The food was edible and not too bad, but it would have been nice to have more of a variety.
Default avatar
Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways Fiji

I loved my trip and it was very fulfilling. The leaders were great. We did service that felt meaningful and made an impact onto other people. I made great friends with everyone i roomed with and local people and kids. The service was very personal and we were given opportunities to explore the country in ways many people are not. We grew close with the culture and the people living in it. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Location

Location:
Fiji
Currency:
Fijian Dollar
Weather:
Jan-Mar
88 F / 73 F
Apr-Jun
88 F / 68 F
Jul-Sep
86 F / 75 F
Oct-Dec
88 F / 70 F
Airports:
Nadi International Airport
( NAN )
Nausori International
( SUV )

If you love being outdoors and in the water, Fiji will be your new favorite place. Whether you are an adrenaline junky and want parasailing or shark feeding; or you just want to relax and snorkel in the pristine water, Fiji caters all travel styles.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways. Choose from culturally-immersive adventure and volunteer programs in 17 countries. Make lifelong friends from around the world, work on sustainable community service projects, and discover new...