Fiji has hosted IGS interns since 2001. We partnered with a world-renowned reef ecologist and to allow students to research and document MPA’s (marine protected areas). After a three day training period they begin their research. Living in a Fijian village is one of the highlights. Student results on reef health and fish counts are sent to UCLA for their mapping project. Other popular internships include teaching at a local school. Students teach a subject of their choice as well as provide English lessons for the class. A third project that students have helped with is work at a local dive resort. They assist clients on dive trips and work with the office to promote their tours. Student excursions Taveuni and Beqa Islands are favorites among our clients. Beqa is home to the legendary fire walkers.

Famed for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons the major islands include Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The capital, Suva, serves as the country’s principal cruise-ship port and a city rich in British colonial architecture. Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific thanks to its abundant forest, mineral, and fish resources. Its main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry, remittances from Fijians working, and bottled water exports.

ATTRACTIONS

Suva  Suva is the capital and largest metropolitan city in Fiji. It is located on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu, in the Rewa Province, Central Division. Suva is the political, economic, and cultural center of Fiji.  The city has a thriving arts and performance scene. A well-known landmark is the Suva City Carnegie Library as well as many other colonial buildings. Suva has a number of parks that host performances, historical events, parades and carnivals. Takashi Suzuki Garden at Suva Point is popular for viewing sunrise and sunset. The Fiji Museum houses the most extensive collection of Fijian artifacts in the world. It is a research and educational institution specializing in archaeology, the preservation of Fiji’s oral tradition, and the publication of material on Fiji’s language and culture. The Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific is the largest of the many USP campuses dotted throughout the South Pacific and the largest university in the Pacific Islands outside Hawaii. It offers courses which are internationally recognized and endorsed. A short drive from the city center you will find the Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve, where many city residents go for a swim under the cascading waterfalls. With its growing reputation as the region’s fashion capital, Suva is one of the most shopper friendly cities in the Pacific and has long been known for its affordable and unique offerings, often duty-free. Suva has a vibrant nightlife that caters to all tastes, moods and likes. 

Nadi is Fiji’s third largest city. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu. A bustling tourism hub on the west coast, Nadi is the principal port of entry for air travelers to Fiji, Home Nadi International Airport it is a great place for travelers to eat, drink and shop. Main Street offers the latest Hindi or Fijian music playing from every storefront. Nadi is the perfect South Pacific stopover city. A center for Hinduism and Islam, it is the location of Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami – the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere. Pilgrims from Fiji’s large Indian population. Nearby, is Natadola Beach, Fiji’s most popular for swimming and surfing. Fijians are renowned for their handicrafts, particularly carved kava bowls, war clubs, cannibal forks, woven baskets, mats, pottery and masi cloth. Nadi Handicraft Center carries a range of of these as well as clothing, leather goods, jewelry and black pearls. Nadi has an almost unlimited supply of restaurants. Local and international culinary delights can be found downtown, while a number of resort restaurants are held in high esteem. With the Pacific Ocean and a number of lagoons lapping at Fiji’s west coast, seafood is in abundance and a notable specialty in Nadi.

The Mamanuca Islands  The Mamanuca Islands are Fiji’s most popular group of islands, located west of Nadi. Here, you will find a group of twenty stunning palm fringed islands, that are home to some of Fiji’s most exclusive resorts, seven of which are covered by the ocean at high tide. They are perfect for those wanting to enjoy a relaxing vacation for time on the beach. Water sports include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, semi-submersible coral viewing, surfing, scuba diving, boating, swimming with reef sharks, spa, hiking, visiting villages, mini golf and discovering secluded beaches. Mamanucas feature stunning white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, amazing coral gardens, warm turquoise sea and swaying coconut palms. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break, an affordable holiday or some family time, there’s an island in the Mamanucas for everyone. For the adventurous, there are high-speed jet ski safaris to tropical islands, skydiving from 14,000 ft., coral reefs, or testing your skills on Fiji’s most iconic surf, the world-famous Cloud Break. 

TRAVEL ADVENTURE

Fiji is a fantastic holiday destination, renowned for its breathtaking sandy beaches, friendly locals and aesthetically pleasing islands with all-year-round tropical weather that lures travelers to unravel. It has a variety of world class five-star resorts and hotels. CNN named Fiji’s Laucala Island Resort as one of the fifteen world’s most beautiful island hotels. Many sought after experiences are found right here in Fiji, enjoy exploring Fiji’s spectacular beauty from above or below the surface. For an iconic Fijian seaside escape, few places can rival Castaway Island, is a cocktail of swaying palms, tranquil waters and bleach-white sand. It’s also home to one of the most popular resorts in the country – Castaway Resort. Castaway Island is fringed by spectacular coral reefs. There are over 30 stunning dive sites within just 20 minutes of the Castaway Resort, making it one of the most popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling in Fiji. Finding the perfect Fijian island to host your adventure is only a matter of research. Despite of its considerable size, in many ways Kadavu Island feels like Fiji’s forgotten corner. The southern island is a remote outpost of lush forest, winding rivers, virgin beaches, quiet local Fijian villages, and the world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef – one of the largest and healthiest coral reefs in the world. Kadavu’s unspoiled landscape has inspired a number of eco-friendly accommodations, like the Matava Resort. The award-winning resort has a strong reputation as a leader in sustainable tourism in Fiji. While the world class snorkeling and diving available on Kadavu is enough to keep any nature-lover occupied, the local culture offers one of the best experiences on the island.  Denarau Island is an upscale resort area with a golf course and marina. No list of go-to Fijian islands would be complete without Denarau, the largest integrated resort in the South Pacific. Denarau began as a resort development in the 1960’s and has now grown into an extensive playground for holidaymakers with a taste for the finer things. Hilton, Sheraton and Sofitel all operate resorts on the island. As you’d expect with a high-end resort town, Denarau has no shortage of activities to occupy yourself in between meals. A championship golf course, jet ski safaris, game fishing, scuba diving, village tours and even an inflatable water park are all available to guests.

THE PEOPLE

Fijians are a nation and ethnic group native to Fiji, who speak Fijian and share a common history and culture. Fijians, are the major indigenous people of the Fiji Islands, and live in an area informally called Melanesia. Indigenous Fijians are believed to have arrived from western Melanesia approximately 3,500 years ago, though the exact origins of the Fijian people are unknown. Indigenous Fijians are predominantly of Melanesian extraction, with some Polynesian admixture. Fiji’s culture is a rich mosaic of indigenous Fijian, Indo-Fijian, Asian and European traditions, comprising social polity, language, food, costume, belief systems, architecture, arts, craft, music, dance, and sports. The various cultures of Fiji have come together to create a unique multicultural national identity.

Housing & Commute
Cost
Visa
Safety
Languages

You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get around Fiji. You will need a road transport to explore the island or visit the attractions. There’s a good network of buses, carriers (trucks) and ferries for travel within Fiji’s main islands. Taxis are available in abundance and they are the most popular and convenient transport in the island. If you plan to tour around, a car rental can be much more economical than a taxi, or charter a boat or a small plane to get between islands, but this mode of transport is more expensive. If you’re planning on island-hopping, taking a ferry is the cost-effective way to go. Yachting and cruising are also great ways to explore the country. But if you’re planning on keeping a close radius to your resort, taking a walk is your best means of exploring.

Living in Fiji can be just about what you make it. It can be cheap or expensive depending on the lifestyle you choose to follow. The cost of living depends on where on the islands you choose to visit or live. If you want the city life but on a smaller scale, then Suva, the capital, is for you. It is surprising how expensive day-to-day costs can be living in Fiji, especially if you are trying to live to a similar standard as your home country. There is a vast difference between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in Fiji.  If you are willing to drop your standard of living, you can have a relatively cheaply life. However, to keep a standard of living similar to that of home, it will not be cheap.

When you choose to migrate to another country, one of the key factors influencing this decision is the cost of living. In Fiji, this is one aspect that tempts many immigrants and expatriates to make their mark Down Under. In the past few years, an increasing number of people have tried their luck in migrating to the country, so the cost of living in Fiji is already one of the most affordable in the world. The overall standard of living in Fiji is among the best in the world. Would defeat the same migration goal if the standard of living is worse or worse than your current home. This makes a conjunction with the weather, landscape, employment, culture, and social opportunities makes Fiji a utopia in the middle of the ocean. Another aspect of Fiji life that affects the cost of living is the cost of ownership. This varies from place to place, with the most expensive areas located in urban cities.

The official currency of Fiji is the Fijian dollar

When you are travelling to Fiji with a U.S. Passport, a Tourist Visa is not required for a stay of up to 3 Months. When you are travelling to Fiji with a Non-US Passport, a Tourist Visa is required.

Visitors to Fiji must obtain a visa from one of the Fijian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the 107 visa exempt countries. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months. Citizens of the following 107 countries and territories do not require a visa for Fiji for visits up to 4 months. They are issued with Visitor Permits on arrival for stays not exceeding 4 months, which may be extended on application for up to two months at a time for an aggregate of six months. All visitors from non-exempted visa countries require a visa to enter Fiji. All visa applications are considered on an individual basis and may be granted for holiday, business, joining a vessel as a crew or passenger purposes and representatives of foreign governments. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements from exempt visa countries guarantees admission into Fiji. Immigration officials make the final determination upon entry into Fiji. Approvals cannot be guaranteed and all applications are considered on an individual basis. If your visa has run out, or you are found to be working or living in Fiji on the wrong visa, they will not accept any excuse. You will be removed from the country, or banned from coming back upon departure, for breaking the rules of their visas.

Tourists have no reason to be overly concerned about safety in Fiji, as it is a very popular and accommodating destination. The level of serious crime is generally low, but petty theft is fairly common. Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in cities and other popular tourist destinations. Much of the country is still developing, and therefore common sense and basic safety precautions are always recommended. Tourists moving to Fiji should be aware that some parts of the country have high crime rates. Most of the crime that takes place in Fiji is petty, and therefore tourists can ensure their safety by being cautious. Much of the criminal activity in Fiji stems from its wealth gap. Robbery, theft and crime have been known to occur in Fiji and tourists have often fallen victim to these incidents. While most of the crime is opportunistic, foreigners are advised to be vigilant and avoid displaying valuables. Take particular care when walking at night in cities and towns and when visiting isolated areas. Women travelling alone should take extra care. There have been cases of serious sexual assaults against foreign nationals in Fiji. Take extra care when driving at night particularly in rural areas as roads are mainly in a poor condition and can be dangerous due to a lack of street lighting, the presence of pedestrians and stray animals on roads.  Minibus, bus and taxi drivers rarely adhere to normal traffic laws in Fiji, which makes travelling on the roads dangerous.

The native Fijian language belongs to the Central Pacific (Fijian – Polynesian) branch of the Austronesian family.

Fijian is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. It has 350,000 first-language speakers, which is less than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language. The 1997 Constitution established Fijian as an official language of Fiji, along with English and Fiji Hindi. Fijian is a VOS language. The Fiji Islands developed many dialects, which may be classified in two major branches – eastern and western. Missionaries in the 1840s chose an Eastern dialect, the speech of Bau Island off the southeast coast of the main island of Viti Levu, to be the written standard of the Fijian language.