Sean Kelley spent spring semester in Fiji
Sean Kelley, a senior in environmental management systems, shared his experiences spending the spring semester in Fiji.
Kelley went to the University of the South Pacific located in Suva, the capital of Fiji. He said the university offered a great environmental program and a different culture of which he was eager to be a part.
Kelley took four courses while there — one management course, two environmental courses, and a geology course, all of which expressed the effects the Fijian environment has on its inhabitants.
Kelley stayed in a real Fijian village for over a week, was a part of a traditional kava ceremony and interacted with other students from the Pacific Island countries.
Kelley learned of a local saying known as “Fiji time,” meaning take your time, move a little slower, and not rush everyday life.
When comparing life in Fiji to here in the U.S., for Kelley it came down to one word, simplicity.
A study abroad experience always has a lasting effect on the student. Kelley said the biggest impact for him was made during his stay in the village.
“It was such a humbling, positive experience as everyone from the children to the elders always had a pure sense of joy anytime I saw them,” he said. “Many people in these areas might not have a lot, but they are so happy no matter the conditions they may be living in.”
It was in that week that Kelley became a part of the culture.
He highly recommends experiencing all that you can when you travel abroad.
He enjoyed every day by traveling to different islands, visiting the waterfalls, going hiking or surfing, visiting villages and becoming friends with the locals.
Kelley returned ready to promote going abroad and travelling as a part of learning. It is because of this that he decided to spread a little bit of his own positivity.
“You may have some doubts before you go. I had a few myself but it was single-handedly the greatest decision of my life, and I absolutely do not regret my decision,” he said.
Kelley’s travels didn’t stop at Fiji, while abroad he also visited New Zealand, Australia, and even the small island nation of Vanuatu.
Writer: Amari Baker, LSU College of Agriculture EXPLORE intern