University of Oregon

Investigate French Polynesia

Program Overview

Travel to French Polynesia with leading Pacific island archaeology expert Dr. Terry Hunt for a special study abroad course aboard the ship Aranui III. You will spend over two weeks travelling by boat throughout French Polynesia engaged in reading, lectures, discussion, and island excursions to learn about the prehistory and culture of these remarkable islands.

Academic Details

You’ll study and research natural, cultural, linguistic, archaeological, and historical aspects of the Pacific, and the islands of French Polynesia specifically. Readings from a variety of sources archaeology, environmental change/climate change, paleoecology, history, and popular literature will be critically discussed.

Prior to departing to the program departure point of Tahiti, students will have three days on the University of Oregon for a predeparture  orientation and to start the academic portion of the trip.

Students will enroll in one course for 8 credit hours. This program is open to Clark Honors College (CHC) students as a special study abroad summer colloquium.

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Terry Hunt currently serves as Dean of the Clark Honors College and professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon. He taught for 24 years at University of Hawaii, where he served as the Director of the University of Hawaii Honors Program. Dr. Hunt has conducted archaeological research in the Pacific Islands for more than thirty years, with extensive work in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

Dr. Hunt’s recent book, The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the mystery of Easter Island (Free Press, New York, 2011), co-authored with Carl Lipo, revisits the dramatic story of Rapa Nui’s prehistory. The book won the Society for American Archaeology’s book of the year award (2011) in the public audience category. Dr. Hunt’s research was the focus of a National Geographic Magazine cover story (July 2012) and a full-length Nova-National Geographic TV documentary that aired on PBS in November 2012.

Housing Description

You will spend two nights in a hotel in Papeete, Tahiti, prior to boarding the Aranui III. On board the Aranui III, students will be travelling C class, sleeping in bunk berths on board. On board facilities include public lounge and deck areas, a swimming pool and a dining room where all passengers have their meals together.

Additional Requirements

You must be a Clark Honors College student.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.