Study Abroad Program Overview

This University of California program is run through the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department (ESPM) at UC Berkeley and is based at the UC Gump South Pacific Research Station, located in Moorea, French Polynesia. Gump Station is host to renowned scientists from around the world and has been providing educational opportunities to UC students for over 30 years. The Island Sustainability program provides an exceptional place-based field learning experience for advanced undergraduates. It draws on the diverse interdisciplinary research carried out at the Gump Station by leading researchers from around the world, blended with the traditional wisdom and culture of the Polynesian people. The incorporation of the cultural and traditional aspects of the program is made possible through the unique partnership between UC Berkeley and the Tahitian community via the Atitia Center. This partnership is with a Tahitian community-based organization, the Association Te Pu 'Atiti'a, which is made up of local educators and traditional experts. Students will also have the exception opportunity to live and study on to the nearby atoll of Tetiaroa for several weeks and explore Tahiti during shorter excursion(s). Students will also be exposed to a variety of local and international NGOs working in the region and will benefit from the blend of European, American and Polynesian perspectives affecting all aspects of life and sustainability on the beautiful, tropical islands of French Polynesia.

Moorea is an island located 11 miles north of Tahiti. It is a rural island with several villages and towns. The island and its nearshore marine ecosystem are one of the best-studied systems in the world. Moorea is recognized as an unusually resilient coral reef; current studies are examining the factors that underpin this resilience.

The Island Sustainability program in French Polynesia is appropriate for students in majors relating to environmental science/studies, ecology, biological science, or anthropology.

Instruction will be in English (French and Tahitian spoken locally)

Island Sustainability French Polynesia – Program Outline

  • 5 courses over intensive 11-week field program + independent capstone project online (4 weeks) completes the semester

  • Credits: 15 semester units

  • Students will start the program on nearby atoll Tetiaroa, then be based on Moorea for the remainder of the program, with an excursion(s) to Tahiti part-way through the program.

  • Cost of the program is similar to a semester on campus. Financial aid is available.


Applications for the Spring 2023 Program are open!

Go to 'Berkeley Study Abroad' to apply   


Get all the details in the Mo'orea Spring Semester Policies

Interested in joining this Program in 2023?

Join program advisors and faculty in one of our information sessions to learn more about the Moorea Spring 2023 study abroad program, a 14-Week Intensive Field Semester at UC Gump South Pacific Research Station. We will provide a program overview, discuss coursework, eligibility requirements, the application process, and more! We will also have open Q&A time when you will be able to pose any questions about the program you may have. View the dates and times, and register for the info sessions below:


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