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About Fiji
Country Handbook

University of the South Pacific

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Program Snapshot

Located in the hub of the Pacific Ocean, The University of the South Pacific [USP] is one of the only 2 regional universities in the world. It is made up of 12 countries in the South Pacific region. Given its vibrant and culturally diverse community, USP provides a rich and unforgettable experience for international students. We are proud to offer hundreds of courses through face-to-face and distance learning education, especially courses with topics currently relevant to the Pacific region like climate change, global warming and sea level rise.

Got questions? Contact an ISEP Student Ambassador who studied in this region.

Fiji consists of 332 islands. About 110 of these islands are inhabited. The two largest islands are Viti Levu (4,109 sq mi; 10,642 sq km) and Vanua Levu (2,242 sq mi; 5,807 sq km). Fiji is located just at the rim of the International Date Line; therefore it is one of the first countries to see the dawn of each new day. USP’s main campus [Laucala pron Lau tha la] and headquarters is in the capital city of Suva. There are plenty of other things that you can do and see while studying at USP from shopping to island hopping. Fiji and the Pacific have a lot to offer in terms of the natural environment – landscape, marine life, flora and fauna .

ISEP Exchange: Undergraduate programs available for semester placements only
ISEP Direct: Undergraduate and graduate programs available for academic year or semester placements

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.

Chance of Placement
Excellent chance of placement on ISEP Direct.
Very Limited chance of placement on ISEP Exchange. To increase your chance of placement on Exchange, ISEP recommends listing this site as your first choice. Also consider the Direct option.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
USP observes the southern hemisphere calendar. Applicants for ISEP's SM1 will be abroad during USP's Semester 2. Applicants for ISEP's SM2 will be abroad during USP's Semester 1.
Academic year: February to November
Semester 1: February to June
Semester 2: July to November

For more information go to ISEP Direct Fee page.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Full Year 16-17: $23,950
Semester 1 16-17: $12,950
Semester 2 16-17: $13,500

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: May 1, 2016
SM2: December 1, 2016

Fast Facts
Suva, Fiji (pop. over 800,000 but less than 1 million)
Student Enrollment: 22,000
Language of instruction: English
University Home Page
Course Catalog
USP International

Accounting, Agriculture, Banking, Business Studies, Development Studies and Governance, Economics, Finance, Business Administration, Management & Public Administration, Official Statistics, Tourism, Pacific Studies, Education, Library/Information Studies, History, Journalism, Law, Literature & Language, Media Studies, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Interdisciplinary (CIMS), Computing Science, Electrical & Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Technology, Environmental Science, Geography, Geomatics, Geospatial Science, Information Systems, Land Use Planning, Marine Studies, Mathematics, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Physics, Real Estate, and Statistics.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Students can take graduate level courses in any of the following areas of study: Business Administration, Commerce, Computing and Information Systems, Education, Information Systems, and Law. Students can only take graduate level courses through ISEP DIRECT.

Academic Notes
Recommended areas of study include: Marine Science/Studies, Geography, Tourism, Land Management and Environmental Studies. Courses in these subject areas offer students insights into the development issues and challenges faced by Pacific Island Countries. Many of the courses include field trips and excursions in the curricula.

There are 18 weeks per semester- 14 weeks of lectures, 1 week for mid-semester break, 1 week for study break and 2 weeks of exams. The typical courseload is three to four classes per semester equating to 12-21 hours in class per week. Classwork and assignments throughout the semester account for 40-50% of the final grade and the final examination counts for 50-60% of the final grade.

Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations. For semester 1 and semester 2 students, transcripts are issued four weeks after final exams. For full year students, final exams are issued six weeks after final exams.

Language Notes
Language Courses: Fijian language courses are offered at various levels.

ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
Institutional TOEFL accepted? No
IELTS: 6.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing
Other tests accepted: None
Additional comments: Students who are not native English speakers should check with USP International at international@usp.ac.fj to find out if they must submit proof of English language proficiency.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
Remember that USP follows the southern hemisphere calendar. Students wishing to study for a full-year in the southern hemisphere should consider starting their program at the beginning of the academic year in February. Some institutions offer annual rather than semester courses.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
Students must complete the ISEP course request list and indicate up to 4 courses they would like to take during the semester. Once a student is accepted, USP International will seek approval for courses and register the student. Online registration is not available to exchange and direct students.

Hints for Researching Courses
REMEMBER that this site operates on the Southern Hemisphere calendar! Be sure to search for courses using the correct semester parameters: Southern hemisphere SM1 (NH SM2) is February – July; Southern hemisphere SM2 (NH SM1) is July – November.

1. Click here and select "programmes and courses". This shows a list of all courses within the faculties. Click on specific subject links to take you to the individual courses for descriptions, course coordinators, semester availability, etc.

Please keep these tips in mind when searching for courses:
  • Mode: choose F/F (face-to-face)
  • Semester: I = semester 1; II = semester 2; I/II = both semesters
  • Campus: choose L-Laucala [Main campus in Suva, Fiji]
Email USP International if you are unsure about your courses: international@usp.ac.fj.

Housing and Meals
ISEP Direct students are housed in shared apartments on campus. The apartments have individual bathrooms, fully furnished kitchens, and laundry facilities. ISEP Direct students do not receive meal benefits, but can use the cooking facilities (microwave, stove, refrigerator, utensils, etc.) to prepare meals.
ISEP Exchange students live in the Resident Hall rooms on campus. All residence halls are single-sex and have shared bathrooms, common rooms, and coin operated laundry facilities. ISEP Exchange students receive a monthly meal stipden which can be used to purchase food to prepare and/or purchase meals at the cafeteria and campus restaurants.

The University does offer housing for dependents. Please note this request in your ISEP application.

For southern hemisphere programs, ISEP benefits do apply during the recess between semesters (June-July), whereas they do NOT apply between the end of one academic year and the beginning of a new academic year (December to February).

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: fees not required of all participants (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: FJD $400-1000.

The International Students orientation is mandatory for ALL NEW STUDENTS. It is organised by USP International the week before the commencement of lectures over a 4-day period. Prior to your arrival, all students are sent Offer Letters detailing all aspects of student life and enrolment. The orientation programme covers academic advice, housing, health, emergencies, safety and general information. A guided local tour will help students get acquainted with our campus, city and surroundings. The orientation programme is inclusive of museum tours, and village stay or an excursion to a local attraction. All ISEP Direct and Exchange students should arrive at USP on the International Student Arrival Day. The date will be given to you in your offer letter. Students will be met at the Nausori/Suva airport or bus terminal by a USP International staff member and transported to USP.

Airport pickup is offered. Please contact USP for more information.

Student Activities
International students have many opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities as there are more than 15 student organisations available. The University of the South Pacific Students Association [USPSA] brings together international and local students for cultural and social activities. The International Students’ Association is affiliated with the USPSA and organises activities for all its members throughout the semester. Why not join them on Face Book and start your USP experience NOW! Just click here

Campus Life is responsible for all activities on campus which are free to all students. Faculties also organise poetry slams, movie nights, lunch time seminars and public lectures.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
Campus Life coordinates volunteer activities during the semester. Additionally, the International Office organizes a volunteer day to the SPCA and an orphanage for any interested students. Certain conditions under a study permit limit students from volunteering with other organisations not associated with USP. Internships are restricted and approval must be obtained from the Department of Immigration –Fiji.

The University of the South Pacific is the premier institution of higher learning in the Pacific region, uniquely situated in a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity. Established in 1968, USP was a former New Zealand Air Force base for allied forces in the Pacific during the war. The twelve member countries that conjointly own USP are Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tokelau. The University has campuses in all the member countries. The School of Agriculture and Food Technology is based at the Alafua Campus in Samoa while the School of Law is based at the Emalus Campus in Vanuatu. The main campus and headquarters is based in Suva, Fiji.

Ms. Poonam Santiago is the Manager of USP International. Poonam holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of the South Pacific and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of New England. She is also working on a Master's programme focusing on the experiences and expectations of international students. Poonam has a passion for student development and growth, and feels extremely fortunate to work in an area which allows her to genuinely help individuals from all walks of life. She is a firm believer of "the student is the most important person on campus", which is part of what makes her an excellent ISEP Coordinator. Poonam's best advice for international students at USP is to prepare and travel with an open mind, get out of your comfort zone and be ready to immerse yourself in local communities and cultures, make local friends, and enjoy your study abroad experience because adventure begins outside your comfort zone. Learn more about Poonam and her colleagues in USP International.

What Past Students have to Say
“Studying at USP gave me the opportunity to interact with so many people from incredibly diverse backgrounds, and I will never forget the adventures I went on during my time in Fiji”.

Jess Deleconio, Spring 2012 student from Roanoke College