CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR DECISION TO STUDY ABROAD IN Fiji!

We have outlined here TEAN’s six easy steps to studying abroad. Your TEAN Program Manager guides you through the entire process, reminding you when and what we need from you as you traverse along the journey to studying abroad. These six steps also include all the vital information you need to know as you prepare for your time abroad. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, then don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Get Started

Overview

Snapshot

Congratulations! You have applied to the TEAN Fiji semester program, so you are already one step toward the best semester of your college life! This section walks you through how to complete your Fiji application including paying your deposit, how to obtain a passport and check that yours will be valid for the duration you need, the best ways to contact TEAN, and all the important dates to mark down on your calendar now. As usual, if your questions are not answered here, then don’t hesitate to contact us! Step 1: Get Started explained in 60 seconds. 

TEAN Application

COMPLETE YOUR TEAN APPLICATION

  1. If you haven’t already started your application with TEAN, you will need to visit the apply now page to start the process. You will be asked to pay a $95 application deposit that is counted toward your total program fees.
  2. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the application deposit, our team will review your application.
  3. After your application has been approved by TEAN you will receive an email from us with information on how to login to your account and access your application.
  4. Now you can start to work on the checklist items listed for your application. You will see a list of things that need to be worked on including the following: 
      • TEAN Applicant Profile 
      • Copy of Your Passport – see the step by step instructions below (let us know if you’re renewing).   
      • Send the TEAN Statement from University electronically to your advisor at your home institution for completion 
      • Emergency Contact Info  
      • Academic Reference (if marked as required) 

As we move through the application process more forms and items will be added to your checklist by your Program Manager. So continue to check back for updates! 

Submit your most recent transcripts. In order for us to fully accept you into the program, we will need to review your official transcripts. For students studying in the Spring semester, we will need transcripts including grades from the previous Spring semester. For Fall students, we require transcripts including grades from the previous Fall semester.

There are two ways you can submit your official transcripts:

  1. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent via mail to our office:

The EDUCATION ABROAD Network
5301 Southwest Parkway, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735

  1. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent electronically (directly from your Registrar’s office) to TEANtranscripts@teanabroad.org We are unable to accept documents that have been previously opened as they are then considered “unofficial.”

Program Acceptance

TEAN PROGRAM ACCEPTANCE 

Once you complete the required forms in your TEAN application portal, your Program Manager will let you know that you are accepted to the program!  Once accepted, we will provide information on how you will pay for your program. If we do not have a billing agreement with your home institution, you will receive your program invoice at this time. Payment is due by your program’s payment deadline. We’ll send you more information on how to make payment, using financial aid, and the option of a payment plan. Please be prepared to make payment by your payment deadline in order to move forward with the program.  You can review more information regarding finances here 

PROGRAM CONTRACT 

Your TEAN Program Contract will be available in your TEAN application portal once you apply. You must sign and upload your completed Program Contract by your program’s payment deadline. Please familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy below prior to signing your  contract. 

CANCELLATION POLICY 

The below cancellation policy applies if a student chooses to withdraw.  For our policy covering TEAN cancelling the program, please see here. 

This policy applies to all cancellations, regardless of the reason. Your request to withdraw and receive a refund must be made in writing to TEAN. The $95 application deposit is non-refundable. If your application is denied due to eligibility requirements, your deposit will be fully refunded. Alternative payment arrangements (financial aid, payment plans, etc.) do not exempt you from this policy. Payment deadlines can be found on our Dates & Fees page. 

If you withdraw…  

  • on or before the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for the $95 application deposit  
  • 1-9 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf  
  • 10-20 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $1,250 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,000 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.  
  • 21 or more days after the TEAN original payment due date but prior to the final deadline for withdrawal, you are liable for $1,750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,500 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.   

The final deadline to withdraw from any TEAN program is 14 days prior to the start date of the program. If you withdraw after this deadline, regardless of the reason for withdrawal, you are not eligible for any refund from TEAN.  

Signing and returning all documents in your student portal is your responsibility. If you fail to return the documents after repeated notification (email or call), you will be deemed withdrawn and will not be eligible for any refund.  

Housing confirmation fees are non-refundable after the TEAN original payment due date. If you change or defer to another TEAN program after your TEAN original payment due date, but prior to the final deadline to withdraw, TEAN will assess a $500 change fee plus costs incurred. Program changes are not permitted 1-14 days prior to the start of the program. Prior to your official acceptance, please refrain from booking flights for your program. TEAN reserves the right to adjust program dates to accommodate host university calendar changes and is not responsible for airline fare or ticket change fees incurred by program participants.   

Prices and dates are subject to change without notice. 

Passport

APPLY / RENEW YOUR PASSPORT

Obtaining a passport for international travel may take a considerable period of time as the State Department can often have a backlog of applications to work through. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for your passport as early as possible to avoid any last minute complications. You can apply for your passport at your local U.S. Post Office. 

You can obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department,   download passport applications, find a nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. here. 


VERIFY VALIDITY OF YOUR PASSPORT

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months beyond your anticipated return date. If your current passport is set to expire before then, you will need to apply for a renewal.


INFORM TEAN OF YOUR PASSPORT DETAILS

  1. Scan a copy of your passport page with your photo and information on it. 
  2. Upload the scanned image to your TEAN application where it states, “Please upload a copy/photo of your passport (signature and picture page only).” Alternatively, email the scanned copy of your passport to your TEAN Program Manager. 
  3. Enter your passport information under the section titled, “TEAN Applicant Profile”. 

Contacting TEAN

Contacting TEAN

Email is the primary form of communication during the application and enrollment period. Please provide us with an email address you use regularly, as important program announcements and instructions will be sent via email. Also, please check your email on a regular basis and make sure to update your online application if you change your email address. Please also periodically check your junk mail to ensure that messages from TEAN are not being filtered into “spam”. If messages are being filtered into spam, please add the TEAN email address to your contacts. 

In addition, please be sure to include your full name on all correspondence (including emails). We work with many students so providing your full name will ensure timely responses to questions and inquiries. 

Mailing Address

The Education Abroad Network
1405 N Sheffield Ave #14522
Chicago, IL 60614 

TELEPHONE AND FAX 

Toll Free: 1-800-585-9658 (from within U.S.)
Local Number: 1-312-239-3710 (from outside of U.S.)
Fax: 1-312-239-3713 

OFFICE HOURS 

TEAN is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Central Standard Time and observes all major holidays. If these hours are not convenient, you may schedule a time outside of our normal business hours to speak with us. If you are currently international, it is possible to set up a time to Zoom and get to know your Program Managers. 

Important Dates

Important Dates

We finalize our program calendar several months before each semester abroad. During that time, we work with our overseas partner universities in order to determine our orientation schedule. We will provide updated information pertaining to orientation, key semester dates, flights and excursions once our program calendar has been finalized. We will send you an email notification once the updated calendar information has been posted on the website so you can plan accordingly. 

Once the program calendar has been finalized, we will post this information on our website and you’ll be notified by your Program Manager. Once the calendar has been released, all dates are still subject to change. While we do not anticipate any date changes once the calendar has been finalized, we reserve the right to make changes, particularly if one of our partner universities institutes their own date modification. All program participants will be contacted in the event of a date change

DEADLINES AND CANCELLATION POLICY 

If you haven’t already, please start your TEAN application prior to your program’s application deadline.  Your payment for the program (unless we have a billing agreement with your home institution) and Program Contract are due by your program’s payment deadline. You can find both deadlines on our Dates & Fees page. You must also reach out to your home institution’s study abroad office to ensure you meet any of their deadlines to study abroad. 

Please review the cancellation policy in the ‘Program Acceptance’ section above for important dates should you choose to withdraw your application. 

Housing Dates

Housing is provided until one day after the final day of university exams. Study abroad students generally finish their exams before the last scheduled exam date so students should have plenty of time to prepare for their departure. Please also pay particular attention to the housing move-in dates. 

Program Start Dates

The program officially begins at the start of our TEAN Orientation in Pacific Harbor. Students arriving in advance of our orientation will be responsible for their own transportation from the airport and any necessary accommodations prior to the orientation start date. 

Program Dates by University

Diversity & Identity

Diversity and Identity

One of our main goals at TEAN is to make sure all of our students are thoroughly supported from day one of the study abroad process. Embracing diversity in all its forms is very important to us. We’re dedicated to providing the most information and resources possible so students can make an informed decision on what program will best suit them, both academically and personally. We encourage all students to read through our Diversity and Identity page of our website to find resources useful for you directly and learn more about the students you will be studying abroad with. 

Get Schooled

Overview

Snapshot

This section contains information on how to select your University of the South Pacific courses and ensure you get credit for them, financial aid and how to navigate the system to ensure your aid transfers, details of the TEAN and other scholarships you may want to apply for. Step 2: Get Schooled explained in 60 seconds. 

Semester Academics

Read this first

  • The courses you pick at this stage are for pre-approval. Current applicants should select and enter your courses on your online application in order of preference. While this order isn’t set in stone, it will make course registration smoother while on campus. 
  • ALWAYS choose at least 6-8 courses in order to have enough to select from in the event you do not fulfill pre-requisites, courses are not on offer that term, or that courses overlap on the timetable. 
  • USP requires students to enroll in 4 courses for full time enrollment. This equals to approximately 12-16 US credits. 
  • Make sure to review your course selections with your academic and/or study abroad advisor in order to ensure that your credits will transfer back to your home university. 

about the courses

  • The Fijian academic year begins each February. As you select courses keep this in mind to ensure that you select courses from the correct semester.
    • Semester I = US Spring (February – June) 
    • Semester II = US Fall (August – December) 
  • Courses for Semester 1 (February start) are generally not available until early November. Although courses do not change tremendously from year-to-year, please be aware that you may need to make additional selections once courses are officially published. 
  • You will be studying at the Laucala campus so you should only select courses that are taught on that campus. You can determine where the course is taught by looking at the Location column on the USP course finder page. Courses taught at Laucala will be designated by an L or C
  • Timetables at USP are not finalized until just before the semester begins so you will not finalize enrollment until after you arrive on-campus. 
  • The University of the South Pacific has an add/drop period which typically ends the Friday of the first week of classes. 

course Levels

  • Study Abroad students are only permitted to enroll in 100-300 level courses 
    • A 100-level course is the equivalent of a freshman/sophomore level U.S. course. 
    • A 200-level course is the equivalent of a junior level U.S. course. 
    • A 300-level course is the equivalent of a senior level U.S. course. (Note: These courses require a high level of competency and you will most likely need to fulfill numerous pre-requisites.) 
    • 400-level + courses are graduate level and for the most part, are not open to study abroad students. 
  • Courses with a letter F as part of the course code are Foundation Studies only and not available to study abroad students. LWD courses are also not available to study abroad students.

selecting your courses

How to submit your selected courses to TEAN
  1. Meet with your advisor to make sure your course selections are okay. 
  2. Email your TEAN Program Manager if you require any syllabi for pre-approval. 
  3. Submit your course selections on your TEAN Course Selection Form. 
HOW TO FIND COURSES 
  1. Visit the USP Course Finder  
  2. Select the area of study you are interested in from the “Pick a Course” or the “Pick a Discipline” drop down menus 
  3. Select the correct semester from the drop down  
    1. Semester I = US Spring (February-June) 
    2. Semester II = US Fall (August-December) 
  4. Click ‘Search’ and you’ll then see a list of classes. You can click into a class to see a course description. Be sure the course is taught at the Laucala campus by checking the Location column. The Laucala campus will be designated by an L or C.
  5. Once you identify 6-8 courses that match your criteria and you have had your selected courses approved by your home university, enter them into your TEAN application under “TEAN Course Selection” 
Common Fields of Study 

Business – AF, EC, FM, MG, TS
Environment – ES, EV, GE, MS
Humanities & Social Sciences – FJ, HY, LT, PA, PL, PS
Science – BI, CH, PH 


Popular courses

 Business
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
EC101 Principles of Macroeconomics  EC101 Principles of Macroeconomics 
EC102 Principles of Microeconomics  EC102 Principles of Microeconomics 
MG201 Organisational Behaviour  MG201 Organisational Behaviour 
TS207 Marketing for Tourism and Hospitality  MG303 International Marketing 
FM201 Financial Institutions and Markets TS207 Marketing for Tourism and Hospitality
Communication & Media
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
JN201 Print and Online Journalism JN203 Television Journalism
Engineering
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
EE301 Renewable Energy Systems  CS140 Introduction to Software Engineering
Environment
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
EV201 Environment & Society in the South Pacific ES203 Physical Geology
GE101 Physical Geography: Global Biophysical Environments EV302 Sustainable Development
GE205 Physical Environments of the Wet Tropics  GE201 Biogeography: Plants, Animals and the Human Environment
MS204 Tropical Seafood MS301 Ocean Resources Management in the Pacific Islands
Humanities & Social Sciences
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
FJ101 Fijian for Beginners FJ101 Fijian for Beginners
HY201 Pacific History: Colonial Worlds to Independence  HY101 Pacific Islands Prehistory
LT204 Islands 2: Myths and Metaphors LT104 Islands 1: Real and Imaginary
PL200 Pacific in a Changing World Order PL302 International Politics of Asia-Pacific
Science
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
BI201 General Ecology BI205 Genetics and Evolution
BI305 Marine Biology BI207 Tropical Plant Biology
CH201 Organic Chemistry CH203 Physical Chemistry
PH204 Modern Physics CH312 Environmental Chemistry
PH202 Environmental Physics
Visual, Performing Arts & Design
Semester I (February-June)  Semester II (August-December) 
PA102 Pacific Arts Practice I (Performing & Visual Arts Strangds)

FAQs

When will I enroll in my classes? 
Timetables are USP are not finalized until right before the semester begins so you will finalize your enrollment and timetable once you are on-campus during the university orientation. 

How many classes do I need to take to be considered full time? 
USP requires that you enroll in 4 classes in order to maintain full time enrollment. This typically transfers back as 12-16 US credits. Credit transfer is at the discretion of your home university.  

What is the typical course format? 
Courses are typically held twice a week, approximately 4 hours per week Monday-Friday. These 4 hours may be lecture, tutorial or a combination. Some lab and/or language courses may meet more often. You will be in class with other study abroad students, international students and Fijian students.  

Are classes taught in English? 
Yes, classes at USP are taught in English. 

Course Approvals

CREDITS AND CONTACT HOURS

SCHEDULE MEETING WITH ACADEMIC ADVISOR 

It is highly recommended that you have your academic advisor approve your classes before leaving if you wish to ensure you receive transfer credit. If you do not wish to receive any credit when you return home you may be able to forego the approval process. Some students tackle the credit transfer issues when they return from their program, but at the very minimum you should at least meet with your academic advisor/dean before departure so they are fully aware you will be studying abroad. They will be able to help you select courses that will count toward your major and that will be easily transferable for credit when you return. You will want to ensure all courses that are on pre-existing list of approved courses at your home university are up-to-date and offered for your study abroad term. 

SCHEDULE MEETING WITH STUDY ABROAD OFFICE 

Contact your study abroad office at your home university to discuss study abroad credit approval and other specific procedures to be completed for your program overseas. This is an important step as it may reveal crucial details about avoiding complications and making your transition abroad seamless. Additionally, your study abroad advisor will need to sign our “Statement from University” form. You can send this to them from your online application. 

Financial Aid

Schedule Meeting with Financial Aid Advisor

While we strive to keep our programs affordable, we recognize that many students need financial help. The good news is that most financial aid you are currently receiving is applicable toward study abroad. Generally, you can transfer federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, that do not need to be repaid until after graduation. 

See the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 102-325, 106 Stat.448):  The act was re-authorized in the summer of 1992 to include a number of provisions to facilitate the use of federal financial aid for study abroad.  (NAFSA:  Association of International Educators Newsletter, Volume 44, No 3/Dec-Jan 1993). 

The U.S. Department of Education advised that the Perkins Loans, SSIG Grant Program, Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, Stafford Loans, SLS loans, PLUS Loans and Consolidation loans can now be used for study abroad.  Your study abroad experience does not have to be compulsory for your degree program in order to apply your aid.  Please contact your home institution financial aid office to discuss your financial aid options for study abroad. 

FINANCIAL AID AGREEMENT FORM (FAA) 

The Financial Aid Agreement form (FAA) is completed by you and your home university. The FAA acts as proof of incoming funds and allows you to defer a portion of your payment until your financial aid awards are released, even if that is after your program start date. Note: If your entire program is covered by aid, a down payment is still required to confirm your participation in the program. More information will be available via a link in your TEAN portal. 

  1. Download the Financial Aid Agreement from your TEAN application 

2. Read the information carefully and sign and date the student portion at the bottom 

  1. Send your signed FAA to your financial aid office and ask them to either send to info@teanabroad.org or return the form to you to upload to your TEAN application. 
  2. Pay your program’s down payment OR the balance not covered by aid (whichever amount is greater) by your program’s payment deadline.

For example: If your financial aid covers all but $700 of your balance and your program down payment is $1000, you would pay $1,000 by the payment deadline. This $1,000 would go towards your total program balance. 

If your financial aid only covers $5,000 of your $12,000 program balance, you would pay the difference ($7,000) at the payment deadline and then pay the remaining $5,000 once your aid is disbursed. 

  1. Pay your remaining balance once your financial aid is disbursed. Payment is due to TEAN within 5 business days of the date listed on your FAA form.

Your FAA is due by your program’s payment deadline. You can read more about financial aid and payment options here 


Consortium Agreements

If you are currently receiving financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) from your home institution please follow these steps.  The financial aid you currently receive may not be processed in the same manner and the same amounts may not be awarded to you. 

Step 1:  Visit your home university’s financial aid office and inform them you will be studying abroad through The Education Abroad Network.  Ask them how much of your current aid will transfer for a study abroad experience. You will also need to check if there is additional paperwork specific to your home university. 

Step 2:  Ask your financial aid office if they have a “consortium agreement” (do not worry if this is a foreign term to you, they will know what it is!) which essentially means they will complete all paperwork regarding your existing financial aid while you are studying abroad.  This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the whole process easier for everyone.  You will also need to have a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form filled out that will be provided to you by your Program Manager. 

Step 3:  If they have a consortium agreement, most likely they will have an existing agreement that is university specific. TEAN will likely have to sign this for you and send it back to them. It will not go to your overseas institution. The TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form should then be faxed or emailed to us. 

Unfortunately, not all universities will have a consortium agreement nor sign a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form.  If this applies to your school please consult us immediately for further guidance. 

Please note: The financial aid process is very complex and adequate planning is necessary.  You should contact your home institution’s financial aid office if you will, or think you may need to, apply loans or aid to your study abroad program. TEAN is not a lending institution so unfortunately, all financial aid and loan discussions will need to be made within your home university’s financial aid office.   

Scholarships

Scholarships

In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. Each year TEAN awards thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants.  Awards range from $1,000 – $5,000, and we have a range of categories that students may qualify for. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available through several external organizations. Review details of the available study abroad scholarships. If you are a returning TEAN student, review the option to apply for our TEAN Repeat Grant as well. 

Get a Room

Overview

Snapshot

You will live in student apartment style accommodation located on the edge of the USP campus. Students will have a private bedroom within a shared apartment and will live with other TEAN and study abroad students. Step 3: Get a Room explained in 60 seconds. 

Housing Details

TEAN students on the Semester in Fiji program live in shared flats managed by the University of the South Pacific. The flats are simple, on-campus apartments designed into clusters of air-conditioned, fully furnished units. They are made up of two to four single bedrooms with common living spaces, kitchens, and shared bathrooms within the flat. You will live with other study abroad or international students. 

These flats are on the edge of the USP campus and within a 10 minute walk to the middle of campus.  

Your flat includes: 

  • Private bedroom within a shared apartment 
  • Shared bathroom within the apartment 
  • Kitchen including cooking range, toaster, microwave, refrigerator and electric kettle  
  • Air conditioning 
  • 24/7 security onsite 

Near campus, you will have access to a canteen, coffee shop and supermarket. Here are some example photos, provided by USP, of your accommodation. 

Linens

Linens and towels are included in your TEAN program fee and will be provided at your accommodation.  

Internet

WiFi is included in the accommodations though please know that the internet can be slower than you may be used to in the US. 

sample photos of Waqavuka Flats

Note that your actual flat may vary.

Waqavuka Flats ExteriorWaqavuka Flats BedroomWaqavuka Flats LoungeWaqavuka Flats Kitchen


Complete Housing Questionnaire

In order to place you in your preferred housing and match you with a flatmate, you will be asked to complete a housing questionnaire. Your Program Manager will provide you with these details. 

Get Booked

Overview

Snapshot

It’s time to book your flights! It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding booking flights for Fiji. Step 4: Get Booked explained in 60 seconds. 

Flights

BOOKING YOUR FLIGHTS 

TEAN partners with Student Universe to offer students a simple way to book their flights. We recommend booking with Student Universe however it is not a requirement. Please review all the information on this page before booking your flight.   

Important: Do not book your flights until you have received instructions to do so by email from TEAN and you have completed all steps in the TEAN application portal.  

TEAN strongly recommends that you purchase refundable airfare or flights with flexibility. If you purchase non-refundable tickets for the current arrival date and the date changes for any reason including entry and quarantine requirement changes, visa processing issues or COVID-19 test results, you will be responsible for the cost to change your flights.  

 ARRIVAL IN FIJI 

  • You should arrive in Nadi, Fiji (airport code NAN) on Fiji Airways Flight 811 (FJ 811) on the start date of your program which is August 3, 2022.  
  • For students leaving from the US, due to the time difference and overnight flight, you will depart two days prior to the start date:
    • Depart USA: August 1 
    • Arrive Fiji: August 3
  • If you arrive on FJ811 on August 3, you will be met at the airport by TEAN staff and are eligible for the TEAN arranged airport transfer 
  • The official TEAN arrival date is August 3 and all students MUST arrive on this date. If your flight is delayed, you must let TEAN know so that we can make changes accordingly.  
  • If you do not arrive on FJ811 on August 3, you will be responsible for your own airport transfer to the orientation accommodation (approximately 3 hours by bus). Your Program Manager will provide details on this closer to departure.  
  • If you plan to arrive in Fiji before the specified arrival date, you will need to arrange your own accommodation and airport transfer. However, you are still eligible for the transfer to the orientation accommodation, you will just need to meet the group back at the airport by 6:00 AM on August 3. 

 RETURN DATES 

  • Your program end date is December 10, 2022 which is the date we suggest returning to the USA 
  • You cannot leave the program early. If you have special circumstances, let us know so that we can work with you.  
  • You are allowed to stay in Fiji after the program independently as long as your visa permits however you will need to arrange your own accommodation and insurance 
  • We recommend that you purchase a round-trip ticket, if possible  

BAGAGE ALLOWANCE 

  • Each airline has different baggage allowances, so it is imperative that you check with your airline(s) for your luggage allowance. If you do not double check with your airline(s), it may lead to additional baggage charges during your travel days. 
  • Adding your domestic connection to your international ticket helps ensure that you will have your international luggage allowance for all your flights  

 IMPORTANT FLIGHT BOOKING NOTES 

  • TEAN recommends shopping around to find the best routing and airfare from your departing location  
  • Students must arrive in Fiji on the arrival date. Please ensure that you have the correct arrival date when booking your flight.  
  • Accommodation will be provided for students arriving on the arrival date, but it will not be available prior to the specified arrival date. 
  • Be careful when looking at arrival dates/times. Double check dates and times to ensure you arrive on the correct day. 
  • Be sure to allow at least a 3-hour window of time between domestic and international connections. If you need to re-check your bags in any domestic US airport, you should allow 3-5 hours between flights. This may seem like a long time but, considering potential flight details, it is better to wait at the airport for your international flight than to miss your flight overseas. 
  • Airfare costs can vary greatly from one departure city to another. If you live close to multiple departure cities, we encourage you to research flight options through each departure location. You may find that by driving to a slightly farther departure city/airport, you can save a significant amount in airfare costs. 
  • Please note you will fly into Nadi, Fiji and TEAN will arrange your transfer to the orientation accommodation and then on to Suva after orientation. 
  • To complete your application for your Fiji Study Permit (visa), you must provide a copy of your air ticket or an air itinerary with proof that it has been paid in full. You will receive instructions for your student visa application separately. 
  • Pay attention to any cancellation policies, ticketing fees and baggage fees. Many great deals are non-refundable and have quite a few rules and regulations for use. Again, TEAN strongly recommends that you book flexible or refundable airfare. 
  • We recommend booking any domestic flights from your home city on the same ticket as your international flight to get international baggage allowances. This will also ensure that you will be booked on the next available flight if a connection is missed. 
  • We strongly encourage you to do your research before finalizing your flight booking. Keep in mind that sometimes sites like Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, etc. do not always provide the most flexibility or assistance in times of need (missed flights, getting rebooked, changing your itinerary, etc.) We recommend booking with Student Universe or with the airline directly.  

 SPECIAL COVID-19 CONSIDERATIONS 

Planning for an international trip and booking flights during the COVID-19 pandemic presents additional challenges. Please take the following into consideration as you make your plans to study abroad in 2022:  

  • As mentioned above, TEAN recommends that you purchase refundable, flexible or insured airfare, even under normal circumstances. Should your TEAN program be cancelled or interrupted for any reason, TEAN will not refund or reimburse you for non-program costs, such as airfare 
  • Currently, Fiji is requiring travelers to take a COVID-19 PCR test and receive the negative results within 48 hours of departure from the US. Travelers must present the negative test result prior to boarding your flight. Your airline will not permit you to board your flight without a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 48 hours. TEAN will send you additional details on this requirement closer to departure. 
  • All travelers will be required to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test once in-country 
  • Proof of vaccination for COVID-19 may be required for boarding depending on your airline and Fiji government requirements. 
  • Given varying and rapidly changing COVID-19 protocols, TEAN strongly encourages purchasing flights without international layovers, if possible. Flying directly from your home country (US connections are OK) to Fiji will minimize the chance of travel complications. If you must have an international layover, it is your responsibility to confirm any COVID related restrictions, policies, and protocols for the country you are transiting through.   

 HOW TO BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS 

After you’ve reviewed all the flight booking information on this page including Arrival in Fiji, Return Dates, Baggage Allowances, Important Booking Notes and COVID-19 Considerations, you can proceed with booking your flight through the TEAN and Student Universe booking portal here:   

Student Universe Booking Portal 

Please note you are not required to book through Student Universe though we highly recommend it. Student Universe offers student fares and assistance in the event you need to change your flights.     

Once you have booked your flights, please upload your itinerary to your TEAN Application under “Upload Copy of Flight Itinerary”  

If you have any questions regarding booking your flights, please contact the Fiji Program Manager, Kate Hilby, on 312-239-3710 or via email at Kate.Hilby@teanabroad.org   

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

How to Offset your Carbon Footprint

Team up with TEAN to reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from air travel!

What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the action or process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions produced from industrial or other human activity by participating in activities or programs designed to reduce the equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How do I calculate my carbon emissions?
Visit the free Carbon Footprint calculator page to access a user-friendly calculator that will guide you through the quick process of calculating your carbon.  We encourage you to utilize the emissions calculator to estimate how much carbon is entering the atmosphere from your flight overseas. Through TEAN activities or utilizing companies that Carbon Footprint Ltd is associated with, you will have plenty of ample opportunities to offset your carbon throughout your semester abroad and better understand the many ways in which you can make a positive environmental impact.  The Choose Earth Team at TEAN is always happy to assist you with your calculations, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for help!

What can I do to offset my carbon emissions?
TEAN will suggest plenty of opportunities to Choose Earth while you are abroad that will help offset your carbon emissions from your international flight. Following their helpful tips and offsetting your flight is the best way to start reducing your overall carbon footprint while abroad.

If you would like to do more – and we hope that you do! We encourage you to donate the monetary amount estimated by the calculator through Carbon Footprint Ltd.'s partnerships with multiple certified eco-friendly companies. That way, you can directly contribute to programs that help offset the carbon emitted from your flights, helping to make a global impact. Contributions from climate conscious consumers assist in developing projects that promote clean technology. The beauty of this particular program is that you can choose from a variety of charitable causes that are personal to you, as opposed to a single monetary donation to an airline where you may not beg sure if your money is going exactly where you intend it to. Through Carbon Footprint Ltd, you have the power to choose when and how your carbon emissions are offset.

Get Documents

Overview

Snapshot

This section is very important. Before you jet off for the time of your life, you’ll need to apply for a student visa for your program. Please read this section carefully, and when the time comes, your Program Manager will guide you through the visa application process. 

Student Visa

Student Visa

All students will be required to apply for a study permit (student visa) to study abroad in Fiji. Your Program Manager will supply you with specific, step-by-step instructions when you are eligible to apply, but it is important to understand the process and what you can expect. 

The application process is facilitated by TEAN and the University of the South Pacific. Please do not apply directly with Fiji Immigration.  


visa application process

In addition to the Study Permit Application form, you will also be required to provide the following documentation: 

  • Copy of your personal/bio-data page of a valid passport – This is the section of your passport with your photo and signature.  
  • Copy of your return/roundtrip flight itinerary – Do not purchase your flight without instructions from your Program Manager 
  • Letter of Acceptance from USP – TEAN will include this on your behalf 
  • Medical Report – There is a form attached to the visa application that your doctor will need to complete. A medical report form is required regardless of the length of time you will be in Fiji. 
  • Police Report Check – There is a form attached to the visa application that is required 

passport Reminders

If you don’t currently have a passport, you should apply for your passport as soon as possible once you apply for your study abroad experience in Fiji, as this process can take approximately 4-8 weeks and will be required for your study permit application as well.  

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the conclusion of your semester to satisfy Fiji’s entry requirements. All countries have different requirements for passport validity so be sure to check details for any other countries you plan to visit before your final return home.  


cost of study Permit

The Fiji study permit costs approximately USD $325. This is an additional cost that needs to be paid directly to TEAN and is not included in the TEAN program fee. 


processing time

Once all your documents are complete and sent to TEAN, they will be sent to USP and Immigration Fiji for processing. It can take up to two months to receive your study permit approval. 

Get Going

Overview

Snapshot

It’s almost time! Now you just need to review some final pre-departure information including the below quick tips, insurance while abroad, our packing tips, planning how you will manage your money while abroad, reviewing cell phone arrangements, and reading up on details regarding your arrival and Orientation in Fiji. Our Fiji-based staff are looking forward to meeting you when you get off that plane! Step 6: Get Going explained in 60 seconds. 

Insurance

Health Insurance

TEAN requires that all international students possess health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies in Fiji. Enrollment is automatic, and the cost of this insurance is included in your program fee. 

TEAN is proud to partner with Chubb, an established worldwide leader in the educational travel and cultural exchange insurance market. Chubb is committed to providing comprehensive insurance coverage to international students and cultural exchange participants worldwide. Coverage provided through health insurance typically includes: 

  • $500,000 of coverage per injury/illness 
  • 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance 
  • $100,000 for emergency medical transportation, evacuation, and return of mortal remains 
  • Diagnosis, treatment, and surgery by a physician 
  • Operating room charges 
  • X-rays for outpatient services 
  • Dressings, drugs, and medication requiring a prescription 

There are limitations to this medical insurance, including dental and optical services. If you have any existing health concerns, contact your current insurance provider before you leave.  


Personal Articles Insurance

We recommend students put anything of value i.e., digital cameras, jewelry, musical instruments, cell phones, laptops, etc. on a Personal Articles Policy (many homeowners already have this policy so students most likely can add their items onto their parents’ Personal Article Policy). This insurance often covers the full value of the items worldwide, with no deductible. Typically, items valued up to $3,000 can be covered for an approximately $30 premium. We encourage students to take pictures of item(s) and note their model, make and serial number, as well as save receipts when possible. Purchase of this insurance is left to the discretion of the student and his/her parents. 


Travel Insurance

Trip insurance is highly recommended and is NOT included in TEAN program fees. We recommend considering supplemental trip insurance to protect against unexpected mishaps (i.e. lost luggage) that can occur while traveling. Plans range from $100–$350 and can be purchased through various insurance carriers. If you would like to discuss plans with TEAN’s recommended travel liaison, please contact Student Universe at 602-253-4743. 

Health & Safety

Safety abroad

TEAN is committed to the health and safety of every participant. It is very important that students make informed decisions about their study and travel destinations. TEAN continually monitors the safety and security of our study abroad program locations as well as popular student travel destinations. We continue to advise students of the safety and health risks associated with studying and traveling abroad based on the information from the U.S. Department of State travel warnings, local law enforcement, the Fiji government, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the World Health Organization. 

TEAN has created an Emergency Response Plan for our study abroad locations that will be implemented by both our staff in the South Pacific, and our U.S.-based staff in Chicago. TEAN staff will work with students, parents, and study abroad staff at both the student’s home and host institution to provide the most up-to-date information regarding situations that may arise while studying abroad. 


Tips for Personal Safety

Emergency Contacts: Be sure to designate a parent or guardian as your Emergency Contact. This way, information regarding an emergency situation will automatically be passed on to your parents. Also make sure to provide TEAN your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information. 

Communication Information: Provide TEAN with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your mobile phone number, WhatsApp details and email address. Be sure to notify your parents and Resident Director in case of an emergency. 

Keep Others Informed: Tell others (your roommates, your parents, your Resident Director) your travel plans. Keeping others informed will make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency. 

Stay Informed: Research the political, cultural, and social climate of your study and travel abroad destination before heading overseas. While abroad, whenever possible, read local newspapers and watch local news broadcasts for developments that may affect your health and safety. If you have questions, please contact a TEAN staff member either in the U.S. or abroad. 

What about anti-foreign sentiment? Although individuals are generally well-liked abroad, host nationals will often question the activities of foreign governments and may hold anti-foreign views. This has occurred for some time, in periods of both peace and crisis. Participants in the past have found these tips useful: use common sense, dress to blend in, speak softly, avoid overt displays of home country patriotism, and stay away from known established locations frequented by foreigners. TEAN also advises that students avoid all public demonstrations. 


Vaccinations

It is recommended to have general vaccinations up-to-date including tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, etc. 

Please note TEAN requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate on programs. If you have any questions, please contact your Program Manager. 

If you have any health conditions that may cause issues, please make sure to consult a doctor before departing. 


Relevant Travel and Safety Links

US Department of State Travel Warnings
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
US Embassy 

Arrival

Arrival and Airport Pickup

If you are arriving on the specified flight provided in the TEAN Flight Booking Instructions, you will be met by TEAN staff in the Arrivals Hall of the Nadi International Airport and will be transported to the orientation accommodation in Pacific Harbour. After the TEAN Orientation in Pacific Harbour, the group will transfer to Suva and move into your USP accommodation for the semester.  

Specific arrival details will be provided to you by your Program Manager prior to your departure.  

It is your responsibility to notify TEAN in a timely manner if you experience flight delays and/or itinerary changes. 


Contact Information

Prior to your departure, your Program Manager will provide you with contact details for all key TEAN personnel (including your Resident staff), as well as information on your local embassy and emergency contacts.  

TEAN Orientation

TEAN Orientation

Upon arrival in Fiji, our in-country staff will host you for a three-day Orientation to life in Fiji. You’ll be introduced to Fijian history and culture and you’ll also receive tips to help you adjust to life as a university student in Fiji. Your TEAN Program Manager will forward you further details about the Orientation program for your semester abroad approximately 2 – 4 weeks prior to your departure. 


university orientation

Your host university will hold a formal orientation lasting from one day to one week. This orientation is mandatory. Topics discussed may include health insurance enrollment, medical facilities, security, university-sponsored trips and activities, academic enrollment/expectations, and Fiji media and culture. Although there may be some overlap, your university orientation will touch on specific details for your campus. During this orientation most students will also finalize course registration and receive information on how to receive an official insurance card. 

Pre-Departure Tips

PRE-DEPARTURE QUICK TIPS 

Photocopy all important documents – Leave one set of photocopies with your parent/guardian and keep one set with you (on your person) as you travel. Important documents to copy include, but are not limited to: passport, airline tickets, medical insurance details, visa confirmation, inoculation details, etc. 

Bring copies of important numbers/contact details – Details include, but are not limited to: emergency contact details (ie: parents/guardians), TEAN contact details (to be provided), arrival details (to be provided). 

Exchange money in advance of your arrival – If possible, it is advisable to exchange some funds prior to your arrival. You can request from your local bank, but note this may take some time for them to order. Most international airports have currency exchange kiosks where you can exchange funds for a small fee. You may also choose to withdraw local currency at an ATM in the airport – just remember that your bank most likely charges an ATM fee for withdrawals! It is recommended that students have enough funds to get them from the airport to the accommodations (if necessary) and cover any initial expenses – the equivalent of $200 is enough to get you started for the first week. 

Follow Arrival Instructions – Be sure to carry all airport arrival instructions, which will be sent to you prior to your departure by your Program Managers. This will be extremely helpful in the event you are unable to locate your guide at the airport. 

Be Flexible – Students are encouraged to be flexible at all times. You will experience things that are done differently in Fiji, than in the U.S. – embrace the differences and you will have an amazing time! 

Bring a positive attitude and a willingness to experience new people and surroundings! 

Packing List

PACKING ADVICE FOR YOUR SEMESTER ABROAD 

  • Follow the “less is more” theory or, as previous students have advised, “Pack everything you might need, then take half of it out”. 
  • Fiji has a tropical climate, so our advice is to bring a lightweight, casual wardrobe of loose-fitting, natural fabrics (eg. Linen or cotton that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry).  
  • The Fijian winter months (May, June, July Aug, Sept & Oct), is dry season and is less humid. You may even feel a little cool in the evenings so pack a lightweight jacket, wrap or sweatshirt just in case 
  • Put labels on your belongings (especially on luggage) 
  • Please refer to your airline carrier’s website for current baggage restrictions on international and domestic flights. 
  • Past students suggest using a large backpack as your checked luggage, which is also useful for overnight hiking trips 
  • Keep in mind that you will be bringing all of your luggage for the semester with you to Pacific Harbour for orientation. Because of this, try to pack your orientation clothes in a spot of your luggage that is easily accessible without having to unpack all of your clothes. 

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE 

For exact baggage restrictions (including dimensions and weight) check your airline’s website. You’ll want to be sure you check the luggage allowances for all the airlines you’ll be flying. If you will exceed one checked item it is generally more economical, safer, and easier to pay the airlines for additional checked baggage versus shipping items to Fiji.  It’s typically cheaper to pay any additional baggage fees prior to arriving at the airport so we recommend contacting your airline to add any additional bags prior to travel. 

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST 

Please Note: The packing list provided is a suggested list. Triple check to ensure you have everything necessary! TEAN is not responsible for forgotten items. . 

Necessary Items:

  • Shorts and T-Shirts 
  • Light weight, loose fitting clothing – Fiji tends to be more modest so having options you can wear to cover your knees and shoulders is important for any village visits and even shopping in town 
  • Pajamas  
  • Underwear and socks  
  • Two or three pairs of comfortable shoes:  tennis shoes, sandals and casual shoes for school  
  • A fleece, light jacket or sweatshirt (for any cool weather)  
  • Cotton shirts 
  • Bathing suits  
  • Sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants/running pants  
  • Accessories (belts, jewelry, hair accessories)  
  • Sunscreen (UV rays are much stronger in the southern hemisphere)  
  • Bug spray 
  • Beach towel or extra bath towel  
  • Hat (to protect from the sun)  
  • Contact lenses and solution  
  • Glasses: prescription (if necessary) and sunglasses  
  • Smaller backpack for books/weekend travel  
  • Prescription medicine (make sure to keep in original packaging with the prescription and a note/proof from doctor)  
  • Wall adapter for electrical devices that don’t require a voltage convertor (i.e. cameras, your laptop, etc.)  
  • Umbrella or rain jacket – Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb and March are the wetter months in Fiji 

Unnecessary Items 

  • Extra toiletries – you can easily buy these in Fiji so save room in your luggage  
  • Electrical appliances, including hairdryer, straighteners, curling irons, etc. – you can purchase them in Fiji if you need them (otherwise you will need a voltage converter and electrical adaptor)  
  • All kitchen supplies – utensils, pots/pans, crockery/glasses  
  • Bedding/linens – TEAN has arranged for a bedding pack to be provided in all accommodation though towels may not be included 

Clothing Tips 

In Fiji, people will dress like most young people would in a hot climate with plenty of sleeveless tops, shorts, dresses, etc. You’ll find this type of attire will typically be fine however if you’re going on a village visit, it is expected that you will dress modestly with loose fitting clothing that will cover shoulders and knees. If in doubt of the protocol, it’s always best to err on the side of modesty. Students may want to keep a sarong handy to use to cover knees or shoulders.  

Take care not to offend local sensibilities – this is really important, and while it’s fine to wear swimsuits when out on excursions and trips, it’s not ok to wear your swim suit when visiting villages or shopping in town.  

Carry On 

While there is little chance of this happening, if you plan on the airline losing your baggage for at least 24 – 48 hours you will be prepared and avoid extra inconvenience. Pack travel–sized toiletries, medication and change of clothes in your carry-on. This will more than likely not happen, but if it does you will be ready.  

WHAT ELSE 

  • Obtain some Fijian currency before you leave the United States – you can do this at the airport or contact your bank to see if they have currency on hand 
  • Make copies of important documents (visa, passport, driver’s license, credit/bank cards, flight itinerary, travel insurance info, etc.) – bring one set with you, store the others in various places in case your luggage or wallet is lost or stolen and leave one copy at home. We also recommend emailing these documents to yourself so you have electronic versions easily accessible.   
  • If you’re planning to have additional courses approved once you’re on campus, you should bring a current academic transcript that reflects your most recent semester grades. Or, you can plan to use an electronic copy.  

Communicating While Abroad

CONTACTING HOME 

Below are some suggested ways that you can easily stay in touch with your family and friends while studying abroad. 

We recommend setting up a contact plan before you depart, deciding how and when you’ll be available while abroad. Whether that looks like daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ins, it’s good to have a consistent way to get in touch, as well as back up alternatives in case of an emergency. While studying abroad can be a time to spread your wings and become more independent, it’s important to regularly touch base with your loved ones so they don’t worry while you’re away. 

No matter which method you choose, we recommend downloading your preferred applications before leaving home and testing them out to make sure any accounts and contacts are set up properly. 

LOCAL SIM CARD 

Students may opt for a local SIM card that can be used for calls, texting and data. Phone plans vary depending on the SIM card provider in Fiji and you can discuss this with your Resident Director once you’re in Fiji. It is recommended to only use your local phone number to call home in cases of emergency since long distance calls can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to call internationally for free or very cheap (keep reading!). 

UNLOCKING YOUR PHONE 

In order to use a local SIM card, you need to make sure your phone is unlocked and able to accept SIM cards from other mobile carriers. “Unlocking” your phone means that your phone is not locked to one specific carrier. If your phone is unlocked you will be able to use a foreign SIM card while you are abroad. If you’re unsure if your phone is unlocked, it’s important to call your current service provider to check. If you cannot get your current phone unlocked and you want to use a local SIM card, you will need to bring a different unlocked phone from home or plan to purchase a phone while in your host country. 

INTERNATIONAL PHONE PLAN 

While some students may opt for a local SIM card, some may decide to keep their US number and opt for an international phone plan. In most cases, this allows students to utilize their phone domestically in their host country and internationally. The cost of this can vary based on service provider. If you are interested in this option, you should get in touch with your current mobile phone service provider to get the relevant fees and service options. Be sure to consider costs for dialing local numbers as it can sometimes make an international plan undesirable for calls within your host country. 

PURCHASING A PHONE IN COUNTRY 

This would only be a viable option if you do not want to or cannot use your current U.S. phone. Reasonably inexpensive phones can be purchased in all locations for costs anywhere from $40-$100 depending on quality This may be a good option for a student who is looking to use a phone for just texting and calling while in country, as non-smart phones can be purchased cheaply in most countries. If you are worried about losing your U.S. smartphone, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive phone in your host country. 

POCKET WIFI 

The Wifi in Fiji will likely be slower than what you are used to and you may run into connectivity issues around Suva and even on-campus at times. Once you’re in Suva, you may wish to purchase a pocket Wifi device to keep with you. By purchasing the pocket Wifi, it means you will be able to connect to your pocket Wifi device if the mobile phone service or other Wifi network is slow or having connectivity issues. The cost of a pocket Wifi device is around FJD $100 (approx. USD $50) with a monthly top up of around FJD $25 (approx. USD $12). 

FREE INTERNATIONAL CONTACT OPTIONS 

While all students will have access to a local number, there are free ways to get in touch with people across the world while connected to the internet or data. 

SKYPE 

Allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while using WiFi or data. This allows for calls between two parties both using the Skype app downloaded. The Skype app can be downloaded onto you phone, tablet and computer. You can also purchase Skype credit which allows you to call international landline and mobile phone numbers directly (so both parties don’t have to have a Skype account). These calls typically cost around $.05 for the connection and $.03 per minute, making it an affordable option. 

FACEBOOK MESSENGER 

Facebook’s Messenger app allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data. 

IMESSAGE 

While we don’t suggest going out of your way to purchase an iPhone for this option, it is a great feature for any students who have these phones already. iPhones use iMessage and FaceTime while on WiFi or data at zero charge to the provider plan. 

OTHER FREE MESSAGING APPS 

You probably already know or use WhatsApp, which allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data. WhatsApp is popular outside of the U.S. as well. 

EMAIL 

It may seem obvious, but email is a great way to continue to stay in touch with people back home regardless of the time differences. If your host institution gives you a new school email, but sure to update friends and family with the email address you will be checking most frequently throughout your program. 

INTERNET SERVICES 

Internet services will vary for those students living in university managed accommodation, but all students will have access to Internet services in their accommodation and on campus at their host universities though it may be slower than what you are used to on your US campus. 

Finances While Abroad

FINANCES WHILE IN FIJI 

FIJIAN CURRENCY 

Like the currency of the United States, Fijian currency comes in the form of coins and notes. The basic unit of currency is the Fijian Dollar (FJD). Fiji doesn’t have pennies and everything is rounded to the nearest five cents when paying in cash.  Taxes are also included in labeled prices.  

BRINGING U.S. CURRENCY TO FIJI 

We do not recommend bringing large amounts of cash with you for security and safety reasons. However, you may wish to bring a small amount of Fijian currency for any initial personal expense needs. Most major banks in large U.S. cities have foreign currency in stock, but smaller, regional banks may have to order the currency. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to place your order. Alternatively, you can exchange money at the airport before you depart for the overseas flight. This is slightly more expensive than using a local bank (1%-2% higher fees), but much more convenient. Generally, currency exchanges are not open 24 hours in Fiji so you should obtain the foreign currency before you depart. Students can also use their U.S. debit/credit cards in many places throughout Fiji (grocery stores, cafes, etc.).  

MONEY ACCESS IN FIJI 

Cash (ATMs):The use of an American ATM card is a convenient and fast method to withdraw money in Fiji. Most of these transactions are assessed the wholesale exchange rate that applies to large foreign currency transactions, which ultimately means savings for students.  Please check with your bank to ensure your PIN number and ATM card will work abroad. Most Fijian banks currently charge a withdrawal fee for using ATMs, so it’s recommended that when you do pull funds out of your account using a Fijian bank, that you get enough to last for about a week or two. Your TEAN Resident Director will provide more information during your onsite orientation and can answer any questions about this. You should also see if your home bank will assess fees for foreign withdrawals. 

TIP:  Before departing the U.S., determine if your current ATM/bank card is readily accepted at foreign ATM machines. Check if your U.S. bank has an affiliation with a bank in Fiji, by contacting your current U.S. bank. 

Upon arrival overseas, you can also survey ATMs near your residence and university in order to get a good representative sample.  

CREDIT CARDS 

Major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are most commonly accepted in Fiji. Visa and MasterCard are accepted more regularly than American Express.  In the past, students have had issues using Discover cards.  Please keep in mind there must be someone readily available to pay your credit card bill or your finance charges will quickly add up. Most credit card bills can be paid online so you likely will be able to pay from within Fiji without involving a third party.  

TIPS 

  • Be aware that most credit card companies charge approximately 2% for foreign currency transactions. 
  • Be sure to notify your credit card company you will be using your card overseas so as to avoid flagging for theft/fraud. 

BANKING RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUMMARY 

Our recommendation is to use a combination of the methods listed above. Check with your family and review all your options. Just keep in mind the following: 

  • Major US credit and debit cards are accepted in Fiji’s more populated areas, like Suva, but students should not rely on paying with a credit card everywhere. We recommend carrying a small amount of cash with you in case a credit card payment is not an option.  
  • It’s important to check with your US bank about any international transaction fees and to let them know you will be traveling. We recommend Visa and Mastercard. 
  • If possible, bring some Fijian currency with you from the U.S. in case you arrive overseas during non-business hours, e.g., when banks and currency exchanges are closed. 

PERSONAL SPENDING 

For day-to-day spending, excluding any major travel plans, students should budget approximately the same as they would for a semester at their current U.S. institution plus an additional 10-20% to factor in variances of cost of living and extra activities. General day-to-day living expenses are comparable in Fiji to that of major cities in the US, however students tend to spend more on weekend travel and entertainment when abroad.