Living in Fiji can be fun as well as worthwhile experience. The information and tips below can help ease your stay in your new country. The new experiences you will gain while studying in Fiji will be quite rewarding for you.
Fiji is a Melanesian country in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii and consists of an archipelago of 332 islands, a handful of which make up most of the land area, and approximately 110 of which are inhabited. The capital of Fiji is Suva.
Fiji straddles the 180 degree longitude line (which crosses land on a remote tip of Vanua Levu and again near the centre of Taveuni). The international date line is configured to pass east of all of Fiji, placing it all in one-time zone and “ahead” of most of the rest of the world.
Fiji is the product of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters. It has tropical marine climate; only slight seasonal temperature variations. Tropical cyclonic storms (The South Pacific version of Hurricanes) can occur from November to April.
Fiji has three official languages, English, Hindi and Fijian. However, the main medium of communication in schools, universities and at work places is English.
Some common Fijian terms which can be handy for you are:
Fiji offers a variety of shopping experiences in different towns and cities. You will find shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience shops, dairy shops, restaurants, 24-hour service stations and road side stalls in any town or city in Fiji. Most shopping centres open from 8am till 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays. There are a few shopping malls that are open 7 days a week from 9am till 9pm.
The best deals on fresh fruit and vegetables can be found in the food markets and roadside stalls of Fiji’s larger towns and cities. Not only are the markets cheaper, but the money goes directly to farmers and producers, rather than through big corporations.
Suva has a few popular shopping malls like MHCC, Tappoo City, Damodar City, Sports City, Nakasi Rups Plaza and FNPF Plaza to name a few. Suva market is also located in the heart of Suva, next to the bus stand, thus quite convenient for shoppers. For more information on food outlets and shopping experience in Suva, visit here.
It is very likely that you will need to open a Fijian bank account during the course of your studies at FNU. Fiji has a number of banks where you can open an account to safeguard your money. Following is a list of banks in Fiji that can help you with your banking needs:
The bank you choose can advise you on the different types of accounts it can offer, direct debits, how long it takes to transfer money to other bank accounts (inside or outside the Fiji) and more.
When you arrive in Fiji, you will need Fijian currency for immediate expenses, such as bus or taxi fare, buying food and other essentials. You can approach the money exchange booths at the airport or for currency exchange and money transfer, you can click on the following links for more information:
The international phone code for Fiji is +679. You will need to buy a local SIM card (you have to have an unlocked phone of course). A sim-card is inexpensive, but you need to register your sim to keep it active and to get access to data. Buying a sim-card gives access to cheap data-packages for easy internet access using your phone as a hot-spot.
There are a few mobile phone companies operating in Fiji that you can choose from:
Internet cafes are also available in cities and towns and other popular areas. Some places also have free Wi-Fi as well. Sometimes you need to pay a fee or usage is for a limited amount of time or for customers only.
Buses are the main modes of transport in Fiji, apart from hiring a taxi or Viti Mini (mini bus). Travelling by taxi and mini buses require cash while travelling in buses require passengers to have a valid eTicketing card. Disposable tickets can be bought with the driver in exchange for cash. Travelling in taxis can be more convenient. All taxis have a meter, ask the driver to switch it on.
For information on how and where to get your eTransport card made, you can visit this link.
A national speed limit of 80km is usually observed. Village speed limits are controlled by several speed humps distributed within each village. Seat belts are compulsory while driving. Drinking and driving is also a severe breach of road rule.
It is illegal to drive without carrying your valid driving licence in Fiji. Failure to produce your licence upon request will lead you to spot fine.
Land Transport Authority is the governing body responsible to regulate and administer road regulations. It allows overseas driver’s licence to be converted into Fiji driver’s licence, however certain fees can be charged. You can get more information regarding this page.
Nadi International Airport is the main gateway to Fiji and handles almost all of the country’s international flights, with Nausori Airport being the second International Airport in Fiji, providing some international and regional flights. It is located in the Eastern side of Viti Levu and is about 30 minutes drive from Suva. For more information on its services click on the following links:
Fiji is a secular state, allowing freedom of worship to all religious. Different prominent religious in Fiji have their own places of worship that include churches, temples and mosques.
To find out if you qualify for a Student permit in Fiji while you are studying, please visit this link.