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South PAcific
JUly-august 20



Exploring the Intersection of Culture, Community, Colonization and Education  

From the indigenous sea-faring adventurers that originally navigated the stars to explore the vast Pacific, to more recent colonizers with modern nautical technology, the islands of the South Pacific have experienced waves of rich history that reflect a cultural divide as wide as the contrasting vessels and tools that brought man to their sandy shores. 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 differing traditions of being, of modernization and westernization, is highlighted in the education systems which have evolved to fit the needs of the diverse populations that inhabit the South Pacific.


The South Pacific is home to unparalleled tropical beauty and presents cultural experiences that will be truly unforgettable. Be a part of GEA’s first South Pacific Program; be a part of the cultural exchange and gain valuable insights into the education systems of this region while experiencing the richness of the islands with us.


Sydney, Australia

July 20th - July 24th (5 days); $1690

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

July 24th - July 29th (6 days); $1460

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.

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

July 29th - August 3rd (6 days); $1960

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

  • Whale watching on the Tasmanian Sea

  • Petting zoo with kangaroos and koalas

  • Three Sisters overlook and hike in the Blue Mountains

  • Aboriginal art lesson

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:

  • Helicopter ride to glacier with Lord of the Rings helicopter guide

  • Shotover river adventure boat ride

  • Japanese onsen with overlook

  • Skiing the Remarkables

Nadi, Fiji

  • Fijian cultural village and performance

  • Boat trip to the Castaway Island

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

  • Afternoon tea at the Grand Pacific Hotel

  • Tour at Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple in Nadi 

  • Snorkeling in the clear waters on the South Pacific 


Note: Details on the itinerary may still change


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All interested GEA ALUMNI and friends are encouraged 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.



Sydney, Australia: July 20th - July 24th

Queenstown, New Zealand: July 24th - July 29th

Nadi, Fiji: July 29th - August 3



Various communities around Sydney, Queenstown, Nadi and Suva



Sydney, Australia: $1690 

Main Program in New Zealand: $1460

Nadi and Suva, Fiji: $1960


​Option 1: New Zealand + Australia package:  $3000 (savings of $150)

​Option 2: New Zealand + Fiji package: $3270 (savings of $150): 

​Option 3: Entire package: New Zealand + Australia + Fiji package: $4750 (savings of $360!)



Shared accommodations, most meals and program activities (including sightseeing and entrance fees), flights during the program, local transportation.


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 or any covid-related testing costs.



Priority consideration: January 1st

Final deadline: March 1st (if spaces are still available)


Those hoping to do the Australia and Fiji programs are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline. Post-trip price may increase for late applicants as prices of flights increase. 


Zoom interviews will be held through mid March and all selection decisions will be made by March 15th. A program deposit of $250 per trip leg (refundable in case of Covid) will be due upon acceptance. Program balance must be paid in full by July 1st.


Learn more about travel grants available to teachers!


It’s a new world of travel and GEA is ready to navigate it safely and comfortably with our participants and partners in mind. We believe the benefits of travel outweigh the risks - when appropriately managed. GEA will be doing everything to navigate the situation on all our 2023 programs and to help everyone feel secure and comfortable. This means we may sometimes go above and beyond safety protocols in the US and abroad. There are also many ways you can personally manage a safe and happy travel experience and GEA will help remind you along the way.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary in consideration of Covid-19 and other unforeseen circumstances.

Funding Opportunities
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