The Culture and Commerce of Fiji

May 14 - May 31, 2017

Program Highlights

  • Explore Fiji and Fijian culture with a wide variety of active and adventurous activities:
  • Visit authentic Fijian villages, eat lunch with villagers and learn about local customs, history, culture and legends.
  • Explore Fiji's natural resources with a jetski excursion to outlying islands, a full-day whitewater rafting trip through the canyons of the Upper Navua Conservation Area, and a zipline tour of the rainforest.
  • Trek to the Nabalesere Waterfall and Wailotua Caves; spend time with the villagers and learn about local farming practices.
  • Hike the Sigatoka Sand Dunes and climb Mt. Batilamu.
  • Tour the Fiji National Museum, the President's Residence, and municipal markets in Fiji's capital Suva.

Program Description

Fiji is a beautiful, tropical, island nation with friendly and welcoming people. On this program we will explore Fiji's culture and history by traveling to remote villages to interact with the Fijian natives- bringing gifts (as is customary) and enjoying traditional ceremonies and native foods. We will explore the history, landscape, culture and diversity of climate with activities that include jet boating, whitewater rafting, zip lining, jetskiing, and hiking historical sand dunes. The program will include visits with representatives of Fiji's commerce- including tourism and agriculture. We will visit outer islands, waterfalls, caves, two national parks, and several of the most beautiful beaches in the South Pacific. We will also visit Fiji's capital, Suva, to tour the Fiji National Museum and view ancient relics that indicate this was at one time a nation with cannibalistic tribes. We will further explore history and culture by touring the President's Residence, shopping in municipal markets, and touring churches and temples in Suva, Lautoka, and Nadi. We crafted our own custom program to fit in as much as we can in the short time we are there. Near the end of the program, students will have a chance to relax at an island resort where the pace slows and students choose their daily beach activities. 

Course Information

Course Name: The Culture and Commerce of Fiji

Course Code: COLG 280J

Credit Number: 2

Designation: Intercultural

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $3500 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $573 per credit). 

This price includes:

  • Accommodations during the program
  • Local transportation
  • All course related excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Program administrative costs and fees
  • Approximately 60% of all meals
  • Comprehensive accident/sickness insurance

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare from Minneapolis to Nadi (estimated at $1800)
  • Approximately 40% of all meals (estimated at $350)
  • Personal spending money (estimated at $250)
  • Visa and passport fees (passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of departure)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Beach rentals, diving gear and added activities/transportation/excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Personal and other miscellaneous expenses


Students will share rooms (4 students per room) at two resort hotels for 13 nights (one in Nadi and one in Pacific Harbour) and one resort on the Yasawa chain of islands for 3 nights). The hotel resorts both provide breakfast and the island resort provides all meals during the stay. All accommodations are on the ocean and offer beach rentals (e.g. kayaks and snorkeling gear) for small fees. Diving and boat excursions are offered for higher fees. 


Ben Trnka is a 2011 Johnnie and Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance in his 3rd year of teaching at CSB/SJU. Ben is also a swimmer who is completing his first Ironman Triathlon in September 2016. Ben brings a great deal of energy to his classes and is excited to spend some extra time with students exploring the South Pacific. He has traveled to 18 countries across 4 continents and looks forward to his first visit to Oceania with CSB/SJU students.

Janean Kleist is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance in her 6th year of teaching at CSB/SJU. She has a Master's in International Management and has long been interested in travel abroad and studying other cultures. Janean loves helping students and encouraging them to explore both professional and personal opportunities, and she couldn't be more thrilled to co-lead a group of CSB/SJU students to Fiji.