Fiji: First Day at University of the South Pacific

It’s the first day of lectures at USP! We arrived on the beautiful campus at 9 am, unsure about what to expect. All I knew was that I was super excited to be taking classes on such a green campus filled with palm trees and sunshine. I thought we would be integrated with other students; however, we were dropped off at Oceania Center for Pacific Studies where professors came to us for each lecture.

First day of school photo!

The material covered was so interesting to me and the professors were all so friendly. The first lecture was about cultural mapping, which is a method of researching peoples’ cultures and knowledge as a way to preserve their history. Unfortunately, traditional knowledge in Fiji is disappearing due to globalization, and the information must be recorded now so it does not get lost through their customary oral passing of history. The second class spoke about the sustainability or unsustainability of eco-tourism in the South Pacific. Finally, the last lecture described how the Southern Pacific islands were occupied.

Walking onto campus from the main entrance

Between the first and second lecture, we had a small break for mini sandwiches and spring rolls. During lunch, we were as American as we could be, and went to McDonald’s (I abstained from eating there). On the way back, we explored campus a bit and found some more dorms, lecture halls and the pool.

I would love to talk on about the lectures, but I don’t think people came here to take a mini course. The first day of class had me feeling positive about our schooling experience so far, and I was excited to learn more about pacific studies and head back to campus.


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