The Culture and Commerce of Fiji

May 14 - May 31, 2018

Program Highlights

  • Jet boating to inner-country villages to take part in the traditional kava ceremony, eat lunch with the villages and learn how they use their natural vegetation for food, tools and basket weaving
  •  Whitewater rafting with native Fijians serving as our raft guides in the Upper Navua Conservation Area- a landmark project to preserve Fiji's most critical resources
  • Experiencing the historical way of travel on a drua
  • Visiting with representatives of Fiji's commerce, including tourism (i.e. restaurants, resorts, and small businesses) and agriculture
  • Hiking historical sand dunes and visiting outer islands, waterfalls, caves, national parks, and several of the most beautiful beaches in the South Pacific
  • Exploring 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
  • Visiting Fiji's President's Residence, shopping in municipal markets, and exploring churches, temples, and other places of interest in Nadi and Lautoka as well as Suva

Program Description

Fiji is a beautiful tropical island nation with extremely friendly and welcoming people. On this program, we will explore Fiji's culture, history, and commerce by traveling to remote villages to interact with the Fijian natives- bringing gifts (as is customary), participating in traditional ceremonies, sampling native foods, and learning about their customs and way of life. We will also be interacting with a wide variety of businesses and business leaders to better understand the Fijian people, their work lives, and how the Fijian culture drives Fiji's commerce. 

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 $3800 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $615 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

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare from Minneapolis to Nadi (estimated at $1500)
  • Approximately 40% of all meals (estimated at $300)
  • Personal spending money (estimated at $250)
  • Visa and passport fees (passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of departure)
  • Any activities not included in the program itinerary


Students will share rooms or dorms at a backpacker resort hotel for 12 nights and one resort on the Yasawa chain of islands for 3 nights. Both hotels provide breakfast and the island resort provides all meals during the 3 night stay. All accommodations are on the ocean and offer some free beach activities and some rentals for additional cost. 


Ben Trnka is a 2011 Johnnie and Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance in his 4th year of teaching at CSB/SJU. Ben is also a swimmer who is completing his fourth marathon in October 2017. 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 19 countries across 5 continents and looks forward to his second visit to Oceania with CSB/SJU students.

Janean Kleist is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance in her 7th 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 once again co-lead a group of CSB/SJU students to Fiji.