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Mi casa, su kava as students visit classmate’s Fijian home

Bill Viliame Seruvakula is a proud Fijian.

He loves the rich traditions, values, and customs of Fijian culture that have been passed down through generations.

So when the opportunity arose for his classmates to visit his home in Fiji as part of their South Pacific Study Tour, he jumped at the chance to show off his culture’s charm and hospitality.

Blue water and palm trees
Beautiful Fiji

“Having everyone visit my family home and learn about my culture was incredibly rewarding,” Mr Seruvakula said.

“It felt like a unique opportunity to share a piece of myself with my classmates.

“Witnessing their interest and curiosity about my culture was heartwarming. It fostered a sense of connection and understanding among us.”

The South Pacific Study Tour is an undergraduate and postgraduate Bond Business School class that provides an immersive experience and insights into the management of business in the Pacific.

According to lead educator and Associate Dean of External Engagement Lisa Gowthorp, students in the class learn from organisations across a variety of disciplines, including sport, hotels, and tourism, while also gaining insights from the not-for-profit sector.

“On this specific tour, predominantly Sport Management students experienced educational seminars from national sporting bodies, government, commercial, and educational organizations, as well as enjoying cultural village homestays to fully experience life in the Pacific,” Dr Gowthorp said.

The educational seminars included two days at the University of the South Pacific where students were fortunate enough to meet with Fiji Rugby, Fiji Paralympics, and Fiji Netball to learn about their pathways, structures, policies, and how they develop grassroots-level players into professionals.

For Bachelor of Sports Management student Zoe Piper, the trip showcased just how important sport is to countries such as Fiji.

“Fiji's sporting culture is driven by passion, enjoyment, and a deep-seated connection to their culture and ancestry,” Ms Piper said.

“Their sporting stars are absolutely idolized and represent the dedication and hard work required to reach such high levels of sport.

“I see profound similarities and a connection to the Australian landscape.”

For many on the tour, visiting Mr Viliame Seruvakula’s home in the capital Suva was the highlight of the trip.

“That was an amazing experience where we took part in our first kava ceremony and enjoyed some great traditional food in a Fijian family home,” Dr Gowthorp said.

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