Culture External Programs Mental Health Samoa Sustainability

Samantha’s Pacific Adventures: Studying Abroad in Samoa 

Hey everyone! My name is Sam and I studied abroad in Samoa during the Fall 2022 semester. I studied with an external program called SIT, or the School for International Training, in the program Samoa: Social and Environmental Change in Oceania. SIT’s model is around experiential learning, and fully immersing yourself in a new culture, which I definitely did. This is my vlog series about my time in the Pacific and the many ups and downs I experienced while studying abroad. As a student with mental health issues, I was scared to study abroad, but I didn’t let that stop me. Sometimes things were challenging, but also so rewarding. The hardest parts made me a stronger person and I am so thankful every single day that I decided to study abroad. Follow along with me as I experience a semester unlike any other. It was the most exciting and at times difficult, but ultimately the best semester of my life. 

Episode 1: Preparing to study abroad with mental health issues 

In this episode, Samantha prepares to study abroad in Samoa and discusses how it will affect her as a person with mental illnesses. 

Watch Episode 1 on YouTube

Episode 2: Hawaii: Stepping Stones to Samoa 

Sam begins the program in Hawaii and goes through orientation. She discovers that Hawaii is a nice transition into life in the Pacific. 

Watch Episode 2 on YouTube

Episode 3: Culture Shock 

Sam arrives in Samoa and experiences culture shock. She navigates new surroundings and adjusts after a bad case of food poisoning. 

Watch Episode 3 on YouTube

Episode 4: Living in the Moment 

The SIT students visit a conservation center and plant trees. They also do new things they never tried before like hiking to waterfalls. 

Watch Episode 4 on YouTube

Episode 5: Exploring Fiji 

Sam travels to Fiji where she is introduced to the wonderful and friendly Fijian culture. 

Watch Episode 5 on YouTube

Episode 6: Going Outside my Comfort Zone 

Sam and the other students travel to the village of Amaile where they have homestays. Sam details her experiences of having a host family. 

Watch Episode 6 on YouTube 

Episode 7: Connecting With Nature 

Sam discovers the power of connecting with nature and its healing energy. 

Watch Episode 7 on YouTube 

Episode 8: Savaii: Samoan Legends 

The SIT students had their last excursion in Samoa’s biggest island of Savaii. They learned about Samoa’s history and legends. 

Watch Episode 8 on YouTube 

Episode 9: Holidays Away From Home 

Sam discusses the struggles of being away from home during the holidays and how she and the other SIT students made the most of it. 

Watch Episode 9 on YouTube 

Episode 10: Doing Research 

Sam gives a brief introduction into the process of doing a research project in an international country. 

Watch Episode 10 on YouTube  

Episode 11: Queer Conversations 

Lena Kennel discusses her research and experiences as a lesbian in Samoa. 

Watch Episode 11 on YouTube   

Episode 12: Last Days in Samoa 

The SIT students make the most of their final days in Samoa. 

Watch Episode 12 on YouTube 

Episode 13: Returning Home 

Sam reflects on her semester abroad and how she feels to be back at home in the U.S. 

Watch Episode 13 on YouTube  

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