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We are so lucky to have such diverse, beautiful, and culturally rich countries close to both New Zealand and Australia. This diversity, and deep historical connection across the Pacific, binds us all together in our region. While our programmes have a number of key components, the travel experience and ability to explore Pasifika culture up close, is one of the most important.

Course Locations

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Cook Islands

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The Cook Islands is an island country in Polynesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands whose total land area is approximately 236.7 square kilometres. 

The Cook Islands is self-governing while in free association with New Zealand. In recent decades, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly assertive and distinct foreign policy. Most Cook Islanders are also citizens of New Zealand. The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga. The Rarotonga International Airport, the main international gateway to the country, is located on this island.

The census of 2021 put the total population at 14,987. There is also a larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand and Australia: totalling 80,532 people said they were Cook Islanders. With over 168,000 visitors to the islands in 2018, tourism is the country's main industry and leading element of its economy, ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports. Read more.


Flag of Samoa waving flag on sunset view.jpg

Samoa, is a Polynesian island country consisting of two main islands (Savai'i and Upolu); two smaller, inhabited islands (Manono and Apolima); and several smaller, uninhabited islands. The capital and largest city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan Islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a Samoan language and Samoan cultural identity. Samoa is a unitary parliamentary democracy with 11 administrative divisions. It is a sovereign state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976. Because of the Samoans' seafaring skills, pre-20th-

century European explorers referred to the entire island group as the "Navigator Islands". The country was a colony of the German Empire from 1899 to 1915, then came under a joint British and New Zealand colonial administration until 1 January 1962, when it became independent. Read more.


Waving flag of Vanuatu in beautiful sky. Vanuatu flag for independence day. The symbol of

Vanuatu is an island country in Melanesia, located in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island, Espíritu Santo, in 1606. Queirós claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies and named it La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo. In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906, they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through an Anglo-French condominium. An independence movement

arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. Since independence, the country has become a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, and the Pacific Islands Forum. Read more.


Flag on Fiji flag pole and blue sky, Flag of Fiji fluttering in blue sky big national symb

Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which about 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets. About 87% of the total population of 924,610 live on the two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in the capital city of Suva, or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi (where tourism is the major local industry) or Lautoka (where the sugar-cane industry is dominant). The interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited because of its terrain. The majority of Fiji's islands were formed by volcanic activity starting around 150 million

years ago. Some geothermal activity still occurs today on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Humans have lived in Fiji since the second millennium BC—first Austronesians and later Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. In 1874, after a brief period in which Fiji was an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji. Fiji operated as a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence and became known as the Dominion of Fiji. In 1987, following a series of coups d'état, the military government that had taken power declared it a republic. In a 2006 coup, Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power. In 2009, the Fijian High Court ruled that the military leadership was unlawful. Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific through its abundant forest, mineral, and fish resources. The currency is the Fijian dollar. Read more.

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