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
  • 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 17 - 24 of 93
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Intro to Community Service in Fiji

The experience I had with Rustic Pathways in Fiji was truly once in a lifetime. From the friends I made, to the amazing group of leaders I had, to the community service work we did as a group, the trip most definitely surpassed all of my expectations. It was inspiring to see how hardworking everyone in the community was and how much they appreciated all the work we did. The trip was a perfect combination of leisure activities, down time, and community service. The friendships I formed on this trip will last forever, and I can say with 100% confidence that anyone who goes on this trip will love it. You can expect to be greatly impacted by how happy all the natives are even though they have so little and how openly they accept strangers into their country. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone considering it because it really is an eye-opening experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on this program would be to embrace yourself in every aspect of the trip. Spend as little time on your phone as possible, take tons of pictures, and keep a journal so you can remember every detail of the trip to tell your friends and family when you get back home.
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Maya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Fiji with Rustic Pathways

I had an amazing time in Fiji with Rustic Pathways this summer. I have traveled with Rustic to other countries like Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Rustic Pathways developed a love and desire for traveling within me. The staff always manages to keep everyone safe, comfortable, and happy throughout the entire trip. Over the summer, I went on the "Pacific Adrenaline" Program with Rustic. This trip was by far one of the best experiences of my life. The way that we are able to see so much culture and lifestyle in only a few weeks is truly one of the best parts. Rustic also encourages not only me, but hundreds of others to get involved and help out the communities and environment as much as possible. Along with the amazing opportunities we get to be involved in to help other people, Rustic also provides an amazing experience to have fun and truly enjoy the beautiful countries we visit. I was accompanied by 5 other girls and 3 boys and we bonded in literally only a few days. We participated in so many memorable activities together like skydiving, bungee jumping, long sunrise hikes, and so many more. I also went onto a connecting trip called "Intro to Community Service". It was only a short week, but I got to participate in helping out the community with community service like building houses for the people who needed it. I really would recommend this trip and to so many people. My trip definitely is full of memories I'll never forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on this program would be to remember to go into each activity with an open mind. You're going to be doing a lot of things you're not used to, but I swear you'll have so much fun. Also, stay in the moment and enjoy it piece by piece because time really flies by so quick.
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Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

my experience with rustic pathways, fiji

Through my rustic pathways trip to Fiji, I was able to discover a new culture, new people from all around the world, and be part of something bigger than myself. As soon as I got to the eco-lodge my first year, I immediately felt a part of a new community and knew I was not alone in this new adventure I was going to take on. I felt so welcomed by the Fijian community that I even went back the following year! Today, I am still in touch with the friends that I made this summer and two summers ago, even though we all live on the opposite sides of the US. If I could go back in time, I would have loved to know about rustic pathways as a younger student so that I could have gone on more trips before college. Community service has always been something I’ve loved doing, and being able to do it in such a wonderful and special country was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I had to do this all over again , I would definitely participate on a longer trip.
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Kathryn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways- Fiji Islands Climate Change Trip

My trip offered a unique opportunity to not only explore the Fiji Islands, but learn about the current climate change crisis and how it is affecting these islands. Seventeen other girls and I snorkeled, swam, and talked about environmental issues throughout the duration of the trip. I got to meet wonderful people and do once-in-a-lifetime activities. Along with the people on my trip, the locals made it even more special. The village of Somosomo housed us for many days and nights, putting tasty food in our stomachs, songs in our heads, and memories I will have in my mind forever. They made it feel like a true home, and I cannot wait to go back. My trip leaders through Rustic Pathways spoke to us about different species of animals that live amongst us on the Fiji Islands. Learning about the marine life and their habitats that we would be swimming in was a very cool experience. Seeing sharks, manta rays, seahorses, and removing Crown of Thorns, an invasive species, expanded my knowledge of the oceans and reefs immensely. Thank you Rustic for making my summer so special!

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Sadie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Big Fiji Explorer June 2019

I traveled to Fiji with Rustic Pathways at the beginning of June 2019. This was my second time to travel with Rustic, the first being to Costa Rica on Intro to Community Service. Big Fiji was easily one of the best trips of my life. The opportunities that Rustic provides on trips would not be possible on an ordinary trip. Rustic also gives you the chance to meet people that you will never forget about. My favorite memories from both of my trips are not the big, high adrenaline moments, but more, the time spent with the amazing native people and my new friends that soon become family. The relationship you make with the Fijians is amazing and teaches you so much about yourself and the world around you. Also, the leaders are so supportive and high energy. Some of my favorite activities over the two weeks include: long van rides to different cities while listening to Fijian music on the radio, watching sunsets on different islands and in the highlands, hiking to the top of a mountain on SomoSomo to watch the sunrise, floating down the river in Fijian built boats and visiting a local village, visiting a local school and playing with the children, hiking the sand dunes, and playing volleyball with the locals in the Highlands.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on Rustic programs would be to follow the packing list closely because it is very accurate. Also, I would advise future travelers to make the most of their time. The first 24 hours of the trip can be very tiring with many long flights and drives but once you reach the end of your two weeks, you will wish you could stay another day.
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Jayden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Fiji Experience

My trip to Fiji was hands down the coolest thing I have done to date. All of the experiences were so special that I will remember the journey long into the future. Despite almost missing my connection in Bangkok when my plane got delayed, the entire trip was both relaxing and exciting. The first thing we did the day we got there was to go to the beach. The beach was beautiful, the sand was warm, and the waves were perfect. I did the Spring to Fiji trip, which is a mixture of service and adventure. In the mornings, we helped rebuild the house of a family who lost their home in a wildfire. We learned the ingenious method of dealing with rain, which was to make one side of the roof 6 cm higher than the other, allowing rainwater to run right off. In the afternoons, we did everything from cooking to ziplining and from going to the mud springs to kayaking. The people were fantastic and incredibly fun to be around, especially our counsellors, Emily and John, who were always so happy and excited that we could not help but be happy and excited too. I highly recommend this trip to anyone regardless of travel experience; the people at Rustic Pathways are so helpful and will make sure that nothing bad happens to you.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I have a huge, irrational fear of heights. However, when I heard that one of the things that you could do on the trip was go skydiving, I figured it was time to get over my fear. Unfortunately, skydiving got cancelled due to rain. But, we went zip lining the next day, and I still got over my fears and had a great time.
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best trips of my life

I went on my second Rustic Trip this past summer to Fiji and it was as amazing as the first. I met a lot of people from all over the United States in my group and was able to make new friends. I really liked the Rustic leaders especially since they were so kind and caring and made all the projects very fun. The food was really good with a lot of options and there was also a snack shack with all sales going to the Rustic Pathways foundation!! I also especially liked how there were many days for volunteer service as well as spending the day in town. There’s also an option for a day activity such as skydiving or island hopping and the last weekend of the two week trip has a option for a weekend getaway. I chose to go skydiving and it was the most exhilarating moment of my life.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I went skydiving and it was an amazing experience that I recommend to everyone, especially adrenaline junkies.
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Eliza
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Real Fiji

My life was changed by Rustic Pathways. I met people that live life in a completely different way. I changed my values and have looked at my daily life with different perspectives. I learned about new cultures and gathered different ideas. I made connections with people across borders and developed deep friendships that I will carry throughout my life. I loved how it took me out of my daily life and immersed me in an educational environment. I made a connection through true friendliness and compassion. I have traveled to many places around the world, but Fiji brought me to tears because I made connections I have never made before. While in the highlands, I met some of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met. I stayed with a family that immediately called me one of their own. They were always smiling and happy to adapt their culture to make us more comfortable, even though we were in their village. In the house I was assigned to, I paticularly bonded with the 2-year-old living there. He would fall flat on his face and cry. But whenever I said "it's gonna be okay" and smiled at him, he smiled right back and would call me "yalewa" (sister in Fijian). It still makes me smile. Even though we didn't speak the same language, we made an immediate connection that I will never forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If I had to give advice to the future travelers on this trip, I would tell them to try everything because the chance to immerse yourself in Fiji for two weeks is a once in a lifetime experience and you need to experience all you can before it is over. It has changed who I am as a person forever.