WorldTeach: American Samoa Volunteer Teaching - Year

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from WorldTeach.

Video and Photos

Fish, it's whats for dinner.
My front yard
With some students on White Sunday
Tutuila Island taken by Jessica Ploen
The children will look up to you
The children will look up to you
The colorful nature of American Samoa
The colorful nature of American Samoa

About

Volunteer with WorldTeach from August to May in American Samoa (AmSam), an American territory in the Pacific. AmSam is a country of natural wonders with a culture that places great value in family, community, and religion. On all the islands of American Samoa, you will find government agencies & StarKist Tuna Cannery mainly support the local economy and yet find families who still live off the land, planting and fishing to sustain their families; it is a complex unique dichotomy which many to stay past their time of service.

Here, you serve as either a co-teacher in elementary schools teaching English, or a high school teacher teaching science, math, or social studies. WorldTeach volunteers are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and community life with projects such as tutoring programs, math and science clubs, and participating in student governments.

This program is fully funded, excluding flights, by the American Samoa Department of Education.

Highlights
  • Experience island life
  • Engage in extracurricular activities and community life
  • Fully funded, excluding airfare
  • Varied housing options
  • Earn an accredited TEFL certification (optional)

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 18 reviews
  • Benefits 9
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 7.9
  • Facilities 8.6
  • Safety 8.6
  • Instruction 7.8
  • Support 8
  • Value 9.3
  • Academic Rigor 6
  • Job Assistance 4.5
Showing 16 - 18 of 18
Default avatar
garnet58
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Paradise

My roommate and I lived on Ofu Island, accessible only by boat or private plane. We lived in one of the nicest houses in the village and were immediately welcomed into the community. Teaching the children was tough--the school schedule was often inconsistent and the children have a lot of attitude, but helping my students achieve their goals and compete in national competitions was an incredibly fulfilling experience. WorldTeach was an excellent support through the entire year--our Field Director was always around to help when we needed it. The American Samoa program is fully funded, so airfare and all official travel is covered.

Living on a remote island is hard but the lifestyle is so laid-back that it's definitely worth it. If you're looking for an island adventure this is certainly the way to go.

Default avatar
Cat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WorldTeach - Manu'a Tele, American Samoa (outer-island life)

My year as a WorldTeach volunteer on the small island of Ta'u has been incredible. I taught eight second-grade students at Faleasao Elementary. My students were incredibly well-behaved and such a pleasure to teach. Many elementary students do not speak English beyond a basic, intro level, and are very much behind in other subjects. Words cannot express how incredible it was, as a first year teacher, to see improvements in my students' skills. I was able not only to teach foundational knowledge (reading, addition and subtraction, etc) to my class, but also to begin preparing them for their educational careers (how to be a student--how to study, how to ask questions about a text, etc.) It was difficult at times, but teaching here has been one of the most important things I've ever done.
The schools in American Samoa are under the American Department of Education, and due to the small enrollment at outer-island schools, elementary resources were abundant. We had up-to-date text books for most subjects, new computers and other technological resources, and regular professional development training from the Department of Education.
We lived in a small village, in one of the nicest houses on island, about 30 yards from the ocean. There is no night-life to speak of on Ta'u, but we were surrounded by beautiful beaches, lush vegetation, and a welcoming community of Samoans. We had every opportunity to learn traditional cultural practices--spear fishing, baking in an umu, weaving, Samoan dances (siva Samoa), and speaking the Samoan language. As far as safety goes, there is very little crime on our island (some teenagers broke into a store once but that's all that's happened in 11 months), and there is a tsunami warning system and evacuation procedure in place. I never felt unsafe here. The community is incredibly welcoming.
While is much harder to get certain basic items on an outer-island, the WorldTeach field director was always available to ship whatever resources (either classroom or personal) that we needed. We had extensive cultural and classroom training during orientation, and knew that our Field Director was just a phone call away. I never felt unsafe, unprotected, or alone in the program. Every effort is taken by WorldTeach to ensure that all volunteers are given the information and help they need on island; I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have the support of field staff while living in a new country.
I would recommend this program to anyone who cares about global education and wants to travel with a purpose. WorldTeach is a wonderful organization, and American Samoa is an incredible place to live. I've enjoyed living here so much that I've decided to stay on as a contracted teacher.

Default avatar
Quinn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life as a teacher on the tiny island of AmSam

I am a current WorldTeach volunteer in American Samoa. I teach English to 105 high school juniors and let me tell you - each and every day is a new, exciting, and challenging adventure. Upon arriving in AmSam, I was nervous to start teaching and to become part of the Samoan community. Now that I have lived here for almost three months, I feel as if I have been here for many years. While the island is extremely small, I always know someone wherever I go and the Samoans are always quick to help or even just say hi. The WorldTeach program has been incredible. Our Field Director and the home office keep in contact with the volunteers and make sure that we are comfortable and happy with our teaching placements and with our living arrangements. No question goes unanswered and there is always someone to talk too if we need to ask for teaching tips or resources! Besides teaching, American Samoa has a lot to offer. I have already climbed mountains, snorkled in turquoise blue water, eaten delicious food from the Samoan umu (the underground oven where they cook their food), and met many friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. What better way to spend a year of your life than on a tropical island in the South Pacific? You won't regret it!

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