Program Details

The program’s thematic seminars provide the student with a broad understanding of contemporary life in Samoan culture and of the physical and historical forces that have shaped the Pacific Islands region at large. The courses focus on culture and social c
Location:
Apia, Samoa
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
Explore traditional society and social transition in Oceania. 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. Topics for study in the context of the Pacific include:
•Impacts and incorporation of Christianity
•The shift from a subsistence to cash economy
•Introduction of human rights into a communal society
•Migration patterns and the role of remittances
•Social changes resulting from globalization, migration, and development in Samoa, American Samoa, and Fiji
•The current "coup culture" in Fiji

The program’s thematic seminars provide the student with a broad understanding of contemporary life in Samoan culture and of the physical and historical forces that have shaped the Pacific Islands region at large. The courses focus on culture and social change and examine some of the impacts of westernization and globalization on small island states. The Research Methods and Ethics course introduces culturally appropriate, ethical field research methodology, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP). Language study opens a window into Samoan culture, aids in field projects, and allows students to engage more fully with their homestay families.

Setting Description:
Students in the SIT Samoa program gain a broad understanding of the physical and historical factors that have shaped life in the Pacific, an appreciation for the region's rich cultural traditions, and insights into how Pacific communities historically have responded to and continue to respond to a myriad of social changes caused largely by external forces. Orientation in Hawai'i The semester begins with an orientation in Hawai'i at the East West Center (EWC). Lecturers from EWC and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa share their in-depth understanding and passion for Pacific issues. Hawai‘i was one of the last places in the Pacific to be settled, and its history differs from other Pacific communities. Students examine the diverse challenges Hawai‘i currently faces as a Pacific Island including having a tourist-based economy that has commodified traditional culture and made it dependent on food imports. Indigenous Hawaiians currenly face a rising cost of living, sovereignty issues

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
Please see our website for more information.

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