SIT Samoa: Social & Environmental Change in Oceania

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Study Abroad in Samoa with SIT
Study Abroad in Samoa with SIT
Apia

About

Examine the social, economic, and political impacts of and responses to westernization and globalization in the Pacific Islands.

Through interdisciplinary coursework, field study, and independent research, students explore processes of change in Samoa and other Pacific communities. Students consider the impact of new and different values on Pacific Island communities and social structures in light of development and globalization pressures.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

70%
based on 1 review
  • Academics 6
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7
  • Housing 7
  • Safety 4
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Anonymous
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SIT - Samoa (Social and Environmental Change in Oceania)

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this program. Orientations in Hawaii and the excursion in Fiji were absolutely amazing - stunning and beautiful islands with delicious food! Although the beauty of the islands and the culture of the people is very loving, there were many difficulties I really wish I was more prepared for. Samoa has a culture that is very inclusive and you feel as though you truly are family with your hosts. I had two host families and by far they were more than kind to me and welcome me into their homes and hearts with open arms. During the week long event in the Amaile Village I was blown away by the native Samoan culture and most of the the love I experienced from my host family. I really did not expect to become so emotionally attached to the people I encountered.

I felt as though women are viewed and approached much differently than in America. I was constantly catcalled and men I did not know always approached me and asked me to follow them or would huddle around me. I felt extremely uncomfortable at times and in a particular instance very unsafe at one point. During orientation it would be a huge improvement if the staff would warn students of dangers we may not know about such as how to tackle issue of extreme heat, unsettling moments with people, and how to navigate yourself on the islands and staying safe. ALSO very important to warn students of what they CAN and CAN NOT EAT. I can not stress this enough.

Staff was very supportive and understanding - I loved the program directors truly out of the bottom of my heart and I felt like they viewed me as family as opposed to just a student. Near the end I think frustrations boiled up a bit both amongst students and with the staff (just a bit) but the same overall feelings of love and support remained.

Academics were interesting but many times staff showed up late or in one instance the professor didn't show up at all. I was really frustrated by how relaxed people always seemed to be - including professors who I'd sometimes try to reach out to or staff at restaurants and fale resorts.

Excursions to fale resort was very memorable and I'm glad for those moments. However, I honestly did not feel like the program invested enough in bring enough water for the three days we were at the resort. We had 12 students in our program and the amount of water we brought for that really was not enough and many students became sick from dehydration or drinking tap water from the bathroom faucet. We were not warned to bring money to buy our own water at the shops because we were assured there would be enough. There was not.

Overall 7/10 - Memorable program but I really wasn't prepared for it or warned of things I thought were crucial. Loving people and staff - amazing experience but be careful.

What would you improve about this program?
During orientation please warn students of dangers.