Study tour Coordinator
School of Engineering
School of Science
School of Education
- Rick Ryan (College of Science, Engineering & Health)
All students accepted on this study tour will depart Melbourne together to travel Nadi, Fiji. From Nadi we board the Yasawa Flyer (ferry) for a three-hour journey to Drawaqa Island in the Yasawa group of islands to arrive at the remote Barefoot Manta resort (a certified member of The International Ecotourism Society) in time for lunch. Barefoot Manta resort will be your home base throughout your two weeks in Fiji, except for a couple of days when you will visit Barefoot Kuata resort for ‘a weekend off’.
While in Fiji, students will meet and work with Barefoot Manta staff, including embedded scientist villagers from neighbouring islands as well as visit villages on the neighbouring Naviti Island to participate in a traditional Fijian Sevu sevu welcoming ceremony at Mouira village.
Depending on your project (see the list of projects below), the study tour will also provide students with opportunities to observe/investigate community lifestyle, communal and private dwellings, agriculture, freshwater harvesting and storage, sanitation, energy management, food preparation, land and waste management practices. Students may also visit and engage with staff at the local community health centre, primary and secondary schools.
To join this study tour: contact staff listed above (from your school) about the following project opportunities...
For PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS and PROJECT AVAILABILITY (by study tour) see here
Project titles & Project Leader (PL)
- Appropriate Technology Assessment (PL: Nick Brown)
- Assessing vulnerability of buildings to natural hazards (PL: Tariq Maqsood)
- Building teacher capacity and identity (PL: Tricia McLaughlin)
- Community Strategic Development Plan (PL: Nick Brown)
- Effectiveness of a marine protected area (PL: Jeff Shimeta)
- Food waste recycling (coconuts, food, etc., for mud crabs, aquaponics...) (PL: Graeme Allinson & Jeff Shimeta)
- Low-cost solutions to glass bottle processing (PL: Peter Stasinopoulos)
- Renewable & waste energy assessment of a remote Fijian tourism operator (PL: Peter Stasinopoulos)
- Scope constructed wetlands demonstration system (PL: Graeme Allinson)
- Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment (PL: Graeme Allinson)
- Survey of plastic litter on islands (PL: Graeme Allinson)
- Software to support a study of marine wildlife in remote Fiji (PL: Katrina Neville)
- Solar-powered, clean-water solutions for remote Fijian communities (PL: Peter Stasinopoulos)
- Water supply assessment of remote a Fijian community (PL: Matthew Currell)
- What to do with/about Vaivai (Leucaena leucocephala) (PL: Graeme Allinson)
Learning outcomes will focus on:
- Cultural awareness: This study tour is set in a developing nation where you will observe and participate in a cultural setting that is new to you. Engagement with local communities and the local eco-tourism industry will increase your capacity to appreciate the social and environmental challenges the indigenous people and western tourism operators face together.
- Teamwork and communication: By working on a real-world project as part of a multi-disciplinary team (a range of engineering and science backgrounds) you will be exposed to team management and dynamics as experienced in the industry. Additionally, by working with a team from different technical backgrounds and working with local communities you will practice communicating your ideas to both experts and lay audiences.
- Project Management and Delivery: By working on a real-world project which forms part of a bigger development strategy you will strengthen your knowledge and skills in managing project work, managing stakeholder expectations and delivering a safe and ethical project.
The cost of this program is $3750 (14 days) or $3250 (10 days), additional days cost $150 per day.
Included in the program costs are:
- Airfares: Flights will be arranged by the School, all students will travel from Melbourne to Fiji together but are able to extend their stay/vary return dates at no charge prior to ticketing of flights.
- Once flights are ticketed students who change return flights will be subject to the airline's changes policy and any associated charges are payable by the student.
- Students extending their stay are responsible for making and paying for any arrangements that divert from the study tour itinerary.
- Transfers: Students are responsible for getting to and from Melbourne Airport. All other transfers including travel to and from the Yasawa Islands and airport transfers in Fiji are included in the program cost.
- Accommodation: All accommodation in Fiji during your study tour is included in the program cost. Students will stay in shared accommodation in Nadi, and the Barefoot Resorts
- Meals: 3 meals per day are included in the program cost. Other food, snacks and drinks can be purchased by students. (It’s recommended that students bring their own snacks as there is very little that can be purchased at Barefoot resorts).
- Administration and community engagement costs: The cost of all in-country logistics, travel between islands, tour guides, access to embedded scientists, cultural/community and project partner engagement and liaison, and administrative activities such as risk management and travel arrangements costs are included in the program.
- Non-motorised water sports: Use of snorkelling and non-motorised water equipment at Barefoot Manta and Kuata is included in the program cost.
- Students are required to complete a swimming/snorkelling risk management statement prior to departure.
Additional costs to consider:
- RMIT tuition tee (HECS)
- Host Country Visa (if applicable)
- Personal expenditure varies depending on individual choices in regards to purchasing snacks, drinks, souvenirs, etc.
- International roaming phone costs
Students enrolled in a RMIT course during your entire overseas study tour are covered by the complimentary RMIT travel insurance. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to read the RMIT travel insurance website
for details of insurance coverage, e.g. there is a $1,000 excess fee for claims involving laptops and personal computers.
Scuba diving is available for experienced and first-time divers and you may choose to acquire their SCUBA licence from Reef Safari Diving
who operate the dive shops at Barefoot Manta and Kuata, however, Scuba Diving:
- will be done in the student’s free time
- is NOT an official part of the study tour
- is at the students' expense
- Will be undertaken on a contractual arrangement between the student and the resort – not RMIT.
- Scuba Diving price list available on request
- Once your application is approved, you will be required to pay $750 deposit within 5 days to confirm your place on the study tour.
- If withdrawing from the study tour after deposit is paid but before flights are ticketed (7 weeks prior to departure): $250 cancellation fee, i.e. you will be refunded $500
- If withdrawing from the study tour after flights are $750 cancellation fee PLUS any additional costs imposed by the travel agency, accommodation or other study tour providers. This total cancellation fee will vary according to date cancelled and may be up to 100% of the airfare or other pre-booked travel arrangements.
- There are up to 20 x $3000 New Colombo Plan grants available per study tour to RMIT Undergraduate and/or Honours students (Australian citizens) to go towards study tour costs. Minimum stay is 14 days overseas.
- These grants will be held by the College and used to pay for study tour costs as outlined above.
- Eligibility for NCP scholarships will be checked once applications have been submitted.
There may be alternative ways to fund your trip (e.g. OS HELP). Please check the Scholarships website
and Global Experience website
for funding options.
To be eligible to participate in this study tour students must demonstrate that participation will count towards credit for an RMIT course. Before applying for this study tour, applicants should discuss this study tour with and have approval in writing from the course coordinator and/or program manager. See which course each project is associated with here
Recognised courses include:
IMPORTANT: Approval for the study tour to count towards course credit DOES NOT constitute automatic acceptance on the study tour or awarding of a scholarship/ grant.
Final determination of places for the study tour will be made by the study tour program leaders (listed above) and based on documentation provided via the study tour application process. Some students will be offers funded places such as a NCP grant and others may be offered a self-funded place (see Program cost above for self-funding options, e.g. OS HELP loans)
See course guides from the list of eligible courses above
APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
Students will be required to apply via Mobi by clicking on the above "Apply now" button and completing the following questionnaires in full:
- Outbound Student Mobility: General Information
- Include a copy of your Passport ID page
- Short Term Mobility: General Information (max 100 words per criteria)
- Students are required to include a letter of application about why you wish to go to Fiji as a part of this study tour. Please tell us about:
- Your intention and a formal commitment to continue to participate in the project if part of a capstone project. The formal commitment could be an email that shows that you have found a supervisor and committed a relevant project.
- Evidence of skills or capability to make a useful contribution to at least one of the three projects (listed above).
- If you are applying for the WINTER 2019 tours - you must specify whether you are applying for Study Tour 3 or Study Tour 4
Selection will be determined by the study tour leaders who will consider the following criteria:
- course/class contribution
- evidence of communication skills
- evidence of ability to work in a team environment
- capacity to manage study load
- evidence of interest and relevant track record and/or compatibility with projects
- Other criteria for specific projects as determined by the project leader.
To confirm your place on this study tour: Once your application is approved, to accept your place you will be required to commit to the program in Mobi, and pay $750 deposit within 5 days. If the deposit is not paid within 5 days, the offer of a place on this study tour may be withdrawn and offered to the next student on the waiting list.