Cook Islands

Professional experience in Cook Islands

Cook Islands, Rarotonga

Coconut palms, idyllic beaches and a warm local welcome characterise an international placement experience in the Cook Islands, but so does thinking differently about learning and teaching as you adapt to the challenges of managing a more informal learning environment without many technological resources.

Program overview

  • Where: Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands
  • When: 9 June - 2 July, 2020
  • Who: Pre-service teachers in early years, primary and secondary courses
  • Cost: Approx $4000 - $4400, plus spending money ($600-$1000).

Relationships will underpin your learning and teaching adventure in Rarotonga – those you form with your mentor teacher, your students, your peers (other preservice students) and the wider community. The Cook Islanders are famously hospitable, generous and proud of their culture, which highlights the importance of relationships as well as creates a very supportive environment for your personal and professional growth. The early learning, primary and secondary settings we work across offer you the opportunity to go outside your comfort zone and learn about teaching in this context. These settings vary in size, religious affiliation and resourcing, but each one provides unique insights into teaching in a different social, cultural and educational setting. There will be numerous opportunities to further build relationships in the school community by participating in a range of extra-curricula activities.

Please note: the finer details will be finalised before the trip, and might be subject to change.

What's included in the cost

The cost includes:

  • Round trip airfare to Rarotonga
  • Accommodation – double room share in self-contained villas
  • Transfers to and from Rarotonga airport
  • Daily breakfast
  • Escorted day trip to Aitutaki – another island in the Cook Island group
  • Transport to/from school

Items not included that students need to budget for:

  • Meals
  • SIM card
  • Toiletries and personal items
  • Tours and local travel
  • Vaccinations
  • Spending money

See what Financial support is available to you.

Opportunities to explore

After school hours and on weekends, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Experience the natural, rugged beauty of Rarotonga by hiking the cross island track or participating in a safari tour;
  • Enjoy the amazing watery delights of the region through snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding or simply having a swim;
  • Take in the local buzz, lots of colour and delicious food by heading to the Saturday morning market or one of the many night markets;
  • Roll out of bed early on a Sunday to admire the hats and be overwhelmed by incredible singing at a local Church service;
  • Watch out for whales as they migrate into the South Pacific waters of Oceania and visit the Whale and Wildlife Centre to learn more about the 4,000 mile journey they make; and
  • A trip to the Cook Islands would not be complete without attending a cultural show and getting your groove on dancing and drumming in the local style.

How to apply?

Recruitment for overseas placements runs from March to April and July to August each year depending on the location.

See Applications, selection process and cancellations for more information.

Who to contact?

Academic questions
Dr Sarah Rutherford

Logistics/Financial Questions
Ms Rochelle Mayer, IPE Coordinator

Moments from previous trips