Fiji Islands

Our Fijian Islands component explores the rich cultural and natural history of the Fiji Islands. The 8 day program is 3 credit hours and may be combined with the Australia program.

Summer I
May 13 - May 23

Australia

Our 6 credit hour Australian component provides a diverse range of field-based opportunities that examine the natural (and related social) history of the landscape. May be combined with the Fiji program.

Summer I
May 21 - June 15

New Zealand & Sydney

Our 6 credit hour New Zealand & Sydney program compares the natural and social history of the South Island and Sydney, focusing on issues related to sustainability, biodiversity and conservation.

Wintermester
Dec 26 - Jan 15

fiji2

SOUTH PACIFIC STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences Texas A&M University
Program Mission
The mission of our South Pacific Study Abroad Programs is to nurture and foster a global citizenry. This rests on a respect for the diverse cultures and environments of the world in which we live and belong. More specifically, through engagement in these programs, we anticipate that our students will be better prepared to use this global knowledge in their home community with both short-term and long-term implications. This objective is accomplished by creating a learning environment that:

  • Is accessible to a diverse body of students by providing affordable programs for a range of majors;
  • Emphasizes a global knowledge, connectivity, and understanding of human – environment interactions (from multiple disciplines and geo-cultural perspectives);
  • Promotes service-learning opportunities and student peer-learning;
  • Encourages faculty-student interactions;
  • Supports faculty collaboration and networking;
  • Is at the forefront of redefining study abroad as not only a valid academic enterprise, but an extraordinary one that far surpasses the impact of traditional campus-based instruction. As such, to provide intellectually and personally challenging academic experiences for students and faculty that foster a body of future scholars and leaders equipped to work in a global society.

In part, our mission is achieved through a service-learning, community-based approach which combines classroom instruction (with faculty from various prestigious universities in the South Pacific including University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, James Cook University, University of Queensland, and the University of the South Pacific) with field excursions and cultural activities (ranging from half-day to multi-day/week experiences) including guided outdoor activities (refer to field destinations in the syllabi and itineraries),family homestays, and directed/applied field work (refer to field modules).

Our Programs 
All programs focus on a mix of social and environmental sciences. More specifically, they relate to the theme of “Sustainable Development - Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment” and utilize a combination of classroom-based study with field coursework. This model is academically demanding, yet also maximizes the potential for learning in a foreign culture and environment. Students enroll in summer session 1 (RENR400: Study Abroad In Natural Resources – 6-9 credit hours). The South Pacific programs are run in May-June each year.

Current Programs

Tropical North Queensland, Australia (Summer 1: 6 credits): This 3.5-week program uses the theme of sustainable development to explore the relationship between people and their natural environment. The program is based of Townsville at James Cook University (JCU). Students spend about 70% of their time in the field studying the region’s national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, coastlines, and islands. Supporting lectures are provided by field guides and faculty from the University of Queensland, James Cook University, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Fiji (Summer 1: 3 credits): This ten-day program explores the complex relationships between Fijian cultural practices (both indigenous and Indo-Fijians), conservation of the natural environment, and eco-tourism. The program includes two days of introductory lectures at the University of the South Pacific, followed by a six day field study which includes several days exploring the coral reefs of the Mamanuca offshore islands and a two-day homestay at a Fijian village. Some additional pre-departure directed reading and independent study is also required. This program is run in conjunction with the Australia and New Zealand programs for a total of eight credit hours.
Sydney, Austalia/New Zealand (Winter: 6 credits): Similar to the Australia program, this 21-day program uses the theme of sustainable development to explore the relationship between people and their natural environment. The program begins with seven days in Christchurch, followed by a 2-week field study of the South Island. A typical itinerary includes Mount Cook, the west coast, Kaikoura, a guided kayak of Abel Tasman National Park, a guided hike on Fox Glacier, a sheep farm visit, a visit to a Maori marae, and a boat cruise on Milford Sound. Like all of our programs, our experiential education focuses on learning through guided action. Students spend about 60% of their time traveling the national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, coastlines, and islands of the Pacific. The remaining time is spent in the classroom with supporting lectures from leading experts at New Zealand universities (Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury), government departments (Department of Conservation), Maori tribes, and research centers (Landcare Research).

Marine Protected Area Management - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia (Summer II: 3 credits):

Benefits

The benefits of our programs are wide-ranging for the students:

  • Personal Growth: Students completing the programs universally comment on the program being a “life-changing experience”. To this point, we have not received any feedback implying that the program is failing to meet its goals.
  • Intercultural Development: As noted, one of the goals of our study abroad programs is to train future global leaders to be more effective, respectful of other cultures, political, and economic systems, and be willing to take a stand for the world’s welfare, not just what benefits a specific country. Our program evaluations indicate that these programs are succeeding in this regard.
  • Education and Career Attainment: Participation in these programs also increases students’ employability. These programs encourage the development of life-long learning skills that help them compete for positions in an increasingly diverse and international workplace.

Fiji Islands

RENR400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources – Fiji  (3 credits – Summer I)

Program Dates 2015: May 13 - May 23

Course description
The Fiji component cannot be undertaken separately, it also includes the Australia component as well. Program Itinerary - click to view the 2012 syllabus and itinerary Course description The Fiji program will examine human and cultural aspects of Fijian ecology and the conservation, preservation, and management of Fiji’s unique system of marine, coastal, and mountain/rainforest natural resources. Students will use applications in cross-cultural analysis and techniques to explore the management and conservation of natural resources with a focus on issues related to human use of plant, forestry, wildlife, ecology, recreation and tourism, and/or costal/water resources. The impact of humans on these resources will also be emphasized, including a long term historical perspective. Like the Australian program, The Fijian program will also focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises. The goal of this course is using the Fijian case to integrate the different perspectives of diverse natural, biological, and social science disciplines to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment. The impact of humans on natural resources and their sustainable use and conservation will be emphasized.

Course Objectives

FIJI

  1. Understand the geography, ecology, natural history, and social and political contexts of the Fijian islands;
  2. Understand the impacts of humans on the natural environment;
  3. Develop a working understanding of traditional Fijian knowledge of the natural environment, such as in plant use and maritime and subsistence practices;
  4. Be able to address relationships between human societies and their natural environments form multiple disciplinary perspectives and to develop a complex, multi-faceted and holistic view of human – environment connections that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Credit 
Students must register for a total of 3 Summer I semester credits in “RENR:400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources (Fiji).”

Prerequisites
There are no pre-requisites, but eligible students must be in good academic standing (GPR > 2.0).

Attendance and Lateness Policy 
Punctual attendance at all scheduled, program–related activities is required, including group meetings, discussions, field excursions, as well as lectures and any other scheduled activities. Participation in field activities (such as hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, etc) is voluntary and at the discretion of the student; however, should you wish not to participate you must inform the instructor and an alternate activity will be assigned. An excused absence or decision not to participate in one or any of these field activities will not affect your grade for the course. During the field studies, no student is to leave the group without the consent of the faculty supervisor. Unless an absence is approved by one of the instructors or the program directors, students will lose 10% of their final grade for each day or part‐day they fail to participate. Any unexcused absences or continued late arrival to program activities may, at the discretion of the faculty supervisor, be grounds for dismissal from the program.

Academic Honesty
Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit: http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/

On all course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, the following Honor Pledge shall be preprinted and signed by the student:

“On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” Cheating encompasses the following:

1. The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.
2. The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to the following: fraud; duress; deception; theft; trick; talking; signs; gestures; copying from another student; and the unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information.
3. Attempted cheating.

Plagiarism encompasses the following:
1. Presenting as one's own the words, the work, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
2. Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
3. Depending on the severity of the indiscretion, cheating and plagiarism may result in automatic course failure.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement 
The following ADA Policy Statement (part of the Policy on Individual Disabling Conditions) was submitted to the University Curriculum Committee by the Department of Student Life. The policy statement was forwarded to the Faculty Senate for information. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room B118 of Cain Hall or call 845‐1637.

Australia - North Queensland

RENR400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources – North Queensland (6 credits – Summer I)

Program Dates 2015: May 21 - June 15

Course description

This Australia study abroad program will examine the natural (and related social) history and environmental conservation of Queensland, Australia. Queensland has a wonderful year-round tropical climate and boasts some of the most diverse and remarkable natural resources in the southern hemisphere. An initial stay at James Cook University (Cairns) will be followed by an exploration of the network of national parks, reserves, offshore islands, and coastal areas of norththeast Queensland, before returning back to Cairns for a couple of days to complete the program. In the field, we will snorkel (scuba diving is optional) and explore the marine wildlife and coral of the Great Barrier Reef, learn about Aboriginal culture and history, investigate costal management practices of the offshore islands, and explore the rainforest of Daintree National Park to study the diverse flora and fauna of northeastern Australia. Our program will focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises.

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the natural history, biogeography, ecological diversity, and related social and cultural contexts of Australia through an exploration of Queensland’s network of national parks and protected areas, which encompass the Outback, rainforests, coastlines, marine reserves, and offshore islands;
  2. Understand the impacts of human actions on the natural systems, and human responses to those changes, using the case of Queensland, Australia;
  3. Develop an understanding of ecological education practices, integrated natural resource management, and conservation actions throughout Queensland, Australia;
  4. Be able to address relationships between human societies and their natural environments from multiple disciplinary perspectives and to develop a complex, multi-faceted and holistic view of human – environment connections that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Credit 
Students must register for a total of 6 Summer I semester credits in RENR:400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources (Australia).

Prerequisites 
There are no pre-requisites, but eligible students must be in good academic standing (GPR > 2.0).

Attendance and Lateness Policy
Punctual attendance at all scheduled, program–related activities is required, including group meetings, discussions, field excursions, as well as lectures and any other scheduled activities. Participation in field activities (such as hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, etc) is voluntary and at the discretion of the student; however, should you wish not to participate you must inform the instructor and an alternate activity will be assigned. An excused absence or decision not to participate in one or any of these field activities will not affect your grade for the course. During the field studies, no student is to leave the group without the consent of the faculty supervisor. Unless an absence is approved by one of the instructors or the program directors, students will lose 10% of their final grade for each day or part‐day they fail to participate. Any unexcused absences or continued late arrival to program activities may, at the discretion of the faculty supervisor, be grounds for dismissal from the program.

Academic Honesty
Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit: http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/ 

On all course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, the following Honor Pledge shall be preprinted and signed by the student:

“On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” Cheating encompasses the following:

1. The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.
2. The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to the following: fraud; duress; deception; theft; trick; talking; signs; gestures; copying from another student; and the unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information.
3. Attempted cheating.

Plagiarism encompasses the following:
1. Presenting as one's own the words, the work, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
2. Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
3. Depending on the severity of the indiscretion, cheating and plagiarism may result in automatic course failure.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement 
The following ADA Policy Statement (part of the Policy on Individual Disabling Conditions) was submitted to the University Curriculum Committee by the Department of Student Life. The policy statement was forwarded to the Faculty Senate for information. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room B118 of Cain Hall or call 845‐1637.

New Zealand & Sydney

RENR400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources – New Zealand and Australia (6 credits - Wintermester)

Program Dates 2014: Dec 26 - Jan 18

Course description
This course uses two distinct contexts to explore issues of sustainability, conservation, and biodiversity. Beginning on the South Island of New Zealand, we explore topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises. The goal of the New Zealand Program is integrate different perspectives drawn from the natural, biological, and social sciences to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment.

In Sydney, the program’s focus moves from the remote natural environments of New Zealand’s South Island to an urbanized, human‐influenced context. The Sydney program focuses on urban sustainability in/around the metropolis of Sydney, a city that is home to nearly a quarter of Australia's population. Topics include urban sustainability (including energy use, carbon emissions, and global climate change), conservation of natural resources for human use (tourism/ recreation, agriculture, and preservation), and urban planning (land use and transportation).

Course Objectives
By the end of the program students will:

  1. Understand the natural history, biogeography, ecological diversity, and related social and cultural contexts of New Zealand through an exploration of the South Island’s network of national parks and protected areas;
  2. Understand the impacts of human actions on the natural systems, and human responses to those changes, using the case of New Zealand’s South Island and the Sydney Metropolitan Area;
  3. Develop an understanding of ecological education practices, integrated natural resource management, and conservation in both wildland and urban contexts;
  4. Be able to address relationships between human societies and their natural environments from multiple disciplinary perspectives and to develop a complex, multi‐faceted and holistic view of human – environment connections that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries;
  5. Know and appreciate the impacts of human actions on natural systems and human responses to those changes;
  6. Understand social change and urban planning in/around Sydney.

Attendance and Lateness Policy 
Punctual attendance at all scheduled, program–related activities is required, including group meetings, discussions, field excursions, as well as lectures and any other scheduled activities. Participation in field activities (such as hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, etc) is voluntary and at the discretion of the student; however, should you wish not to participate you must inform the instructor and an alternate activity will be assigned. An excused absence or decision not to participate in one or any of these field activities will not affect your grade for the course. During the field studies, no student is to leave the group without the consent of the faculty supervisor. Unless an absence is approved by one of the instructors or the program directors, students will lose 10% of their final grade for each day or part‐day they fail to participate. Any unexcused absences or continued late arrival to program activities may, at the discretion of the faculty supervisor, be grounds for dismissal from the program.

Academic Honesty
Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit: http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/

On all course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, the following Honor Pledge shall be preprinted and signed by the student:

“On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” Cheating encompasses the following:

1. The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.
2. The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to the following: fraud; duress; deception; theft; trick; talking; signs; gestures; copying from another student; and the unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information.
3. Attempted cheating.

Plagiarism encompasses the following:
1. Presenting as one's own the words, the work, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
2. Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
3. Depending on the severity of the indiscretion, cheating and plagiarism may result in automatic course failure.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement 
The following ADA Policy Statement (part of the Policy on Individual Disabling Conditions) was submitted to the University Curriculum Committee by the Department of Student Life. The policy statement was forwarded to the Faculty Senate for information. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room B118 of Cain Hall or call 845‐1637.