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South PAcific
JUNE-JUly 20



Cultural Currents: Building Classroom Connections Across Cultures and Worldviews

This program focuses on the following components of happiness: Belonging, Peace and fun!


From the indigenous sea-faring adventurers that originally navigated the stars to explore the vast Pacific, to more recent colonizers with contemporary nautical technology, the islands of the South Pacific have experienced waves of rich history. Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia, each with their unique histories, share the common thread of pre-romantic-period Pacific colonization, which brought with it new societal systems and values, often in conflict with the existing cultural and community practices of the first settlers of these lands. The complexity of reconciling different traditions and worldviews is highlighted in the education systems which are evolving to fit the needs of the diverse populations that inhabit the South Pacific. 


It is in this backdrop that we will be learning what it means to bring the Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) to the classrooms of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Join us, as we have the privilege to peek behind the curtains of the curriculum “refresh” -Te Mātaiaho- and participate in the conversations of the challenges, opportunities and rewards this approach offers. 

Quick Links

Program Curriculum and Continuing Education Credits/Units

Explore the South Pacific curriculum, designed to introduce key concepts we will explore while traveling in the region.

Reflective Journal

This section outlines GEA's approach to critical reflection during our visits, to ensure that participants maximize their exploratory experience.

Teacher Funding

Learn about funding opportunities for teachers. At GEA we hope to support your educational projects and professional development endeavors.



Sydney, Australia

Australia: June 16th - June 21st (6 days); $2140

Join us on a pre-trip to New South Wales, and one of the metropoles of the Southern Pacific: Sydney. We explore the Australian experience through a hike to the Blue Mountains, a whale watching tour on the Tasmanian sea, a petting zoo with kangaroos and koalas and a Sunday morning market at the famous Rocks.


Learn about the importance of art as a vehicle for preservation and transmission of culture as we create our own art work under an aboriginal artist, visit the New South Wales Museum of Art and discuss the topic with local educators. 


Main program: Queenstown, New Zealand

June 21st - June 27th (7 days); $1895

We then venture to New Zealand, examining the integration of the Māori language, culture, and values into various facets of education as schools work to recognize the important heritage of the original settlers of Aotearoa. New Zealand has long been integrating an indigenous Mãori worldview in its early childhood programs, with success. Learn how these programs have benefited many, not just a few, and what these advantages may be outside our classrooms.

The South Island offers a breathtaking setting for our program, with Lake Whakatipu and the beautiful vineyards of Central Otago nestled right next to mountain ranges familiar from the Lord of the Rings movies. We will also have time to enjoy the vibrant brewery and restaurant scene in Queenstown with live music.

Nadi, Fiji

Fiji: June 27th - July 2nd (6 days); $2170

Finally, join us as we explore the islands of Fiji, and learn what the phrase “It takes a village” truly means in the holistic education of Fijians. Engage in dialogue with village elders, teachers, and students on topics such as access, and opportunity as well as the evolving paradigms of school discipline.

Participants will also get to experience Fiji the way it is best experienced: from the sea. We will have opportunities to responsibly snorkel some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and enjoy the white sandy beaches of Fiji's smaller islands.


Cultural Highlights

Pre-Trip to Sydney, Australia

  • Sydney Opera House tour

  • Harbor cruise

  • Petting zoo with kangaroos and koalas

  • Three Sisters overlook and hike in the Blue Mountains

  • Aboriginal art lesson

       Add-on options:

  • Concert performance at the opera house

queenstown, new zealand

  • A Māori Welcome with the Haka

  • Cruise on Milford Sound, a UNESCO world heritage site

  • Visit to historic towns of Arrowtown and Glenorchy
    Add-on options:

  • Shotover river adventure boat ride

  • Japanese onsen with overlook

Nadi, Fiji

  • Fijian cultural village and performance

  • A village home stay on one of the small islands and discussions with village elders

  • Tour at Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple in Nadi 

  • Snorkeling in the clear waters of the South Pacific 

       Add-on options:

  • Snorkeling with sharks

  • Sabeto mud pools


Note: Details on the itinerary may still change


Fiji 1_edited.jpg

All interested educators, administrators and community leaders are welcome to apply. Non-educator guests will be considered based on availability. An additional fee of $150 for non-educators will be charged to cover additional expenses.
Full Program: (New Zealand, Australia/Fiji): June 16th - July 2nd (17 days)

Australia: June 16th - June 21st (6 days)
June 16th - June 19th: Sydney, Australia 
June 19th - June 21st: Blue Mountains, Australia
New Zealand: June 21st - June 27th (7 days) 
June 21st - June 26th: Queenstown, New Zealand
June 26th - June 27th: Christchurch, New Zealand 
Fiji: June 27th - July 2nd (6 days)
June 27th - June 29th: Nadi, Lautoka, Beach Hotel along Western shore
June 29th - Aug 1st: Naviti Island 
Aug 1st - Aug 2nd: Nadi 
Pre-trip to Australia: $2140 
Main Program in New Zealand: $1895
Post-trip to Nadi and Suva, Fiji: $2170
Total: $6205

​New Zealand & Australia package:  $3885 (savings of $150)
​New Zealand & Fiji package: $3915 (savings of $150): 
​Full package: New Zealand & Australia & Fiji package: $5855 (savings of $350)

For applying before NOVEMBER 30th we will offer a special discount
of 5% off the entire package.


*For people applying after the application deadline (if space is still available), we may need to add an additional 5-10% fee over the program cost, to offset the higher prices of late bookings.
Shared accommodations, most meals and program activities (including sightseeing and entrance fees), all transportation while on program, including flights between countries.
Airfare to the program location and back home, airport transportation to and from our meeting and ending locations, some meals, travel insurance, add-on or upgrade options.
Early bird special: November 30th
Priority consideration: January 15th
Final deadline: March 1st (if spaces are still available)
Zoom interviews will be held starting mid-November and through mid March and all selection decisions will be made by March 15th. A program deposit of $250 for each leg of the program will be due upon acceptance. Program balance must be paid in full 2 weeks before departure.



Learn more about travel grants available to teachers!

Health and Safety

It is GEA’s goal to always navigate our programs safely and comfortably with our participants and partners in mind. We believe the benefits of travel outweigh the discomfort and possible uncertainty of travel, and also that they can often be appropriately managed. GEA will be doing everything to help our participants feel secure and comfortable. There are also many ways you can personally manage a safe and happy travel experience and GEA will help remind you along the way.

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