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Volunteer in and Intern in Samoa

Volunteer projects destination map of Apia, Samoa
Volunteer Samoa Schoolchildren at All Saints Anglican Pre-school in Apia, Samoa Scenic view of Samoan beach A scenic view of the Pacific Ocean from Apia, Samoa A volunteer plays a game with the children at his placement in Samoa
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  • Location: Apia
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Local languages: Samoan & English
Country Info

A Projects Abroad volunteer project in the South Pacific islands of Samoa will give you a different perspective of the islands compared to most people who visit as tourists staying in the lavish beach resorts. Projects are available for anyone interested in volunteering, including those taking a gap year, career break, or volunteer vacation.

Volunteers use their leisure time to explore the rainforest in Samoa

Samoa is located in the Pacific Ocean, south of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. The country is on the UN’s least developed countries list and its low GDP means that it relies heavily on international aid from many countries. You will find that resources and facilities are much more basic than what you are used to in North America.

Samoa is still recovering from the effects of the devastating tsunami which struck in 2009, and the process of rebuilding and reconstructing infrastructure is ongoing. There is also a great deal of poverty in Samoa, but because of the support of village culture, it is not as overt as what you might see in Southeast Asia. As a volunteer, you can help improve the quality of life for many Samoans by taking part in one of the worthwhile volunteer projects.

Staff Profile Seumanutafa Alex McCarthy, Country Director
Seumanutafa Alex McCarthy
Country Director
“There is no place further on the globe to visit then Samoa in the South Pacific. Samoa is the first country to see the sun rise each morning and so the first to see each new day begin. We are a developing nation filled with warm and hospitable people who love to sing, laugh, and celebrate life. The Samoan people have a strong culture of family and village and each volunteer experiences a sense of belonging and acceptance that is becoming harder to find in a world facing so much adversity. Volunteers are always welcome to our shores. I look forward to you visiting us soon!”

Where You Will Live in Samoa with Projects Abroad

Sunset and trees in Samoa.

Projects Abroad Samoa is based in the capital, Apia. The city is the largest in the Samoan islands and is located on the central north coast of Upolu, Samoa’s second largest island. We work in some of the poorest areas of Apia, where volunteer efforts are needed the most. All Projects Abroad volunteers live with a local host family during their stay. Your host family will introduces you to the Samoan culture and provide you with support in your day-to-day life.

The traditional Samoan way, known as “fa’a Samoa” remains a strong force in all aspects of Samoan life. Despite centuries of European influence, Samoa maintains its language, historical customs, and social and political systems. As a volunteer living in Samoa you will have the chance to explore the many facets that make up modern Samoan culture and gain a greater understanding of the issues affecting Samoa today.

You could find yourself joining the locals for a game of kirikiti, the local version of cricket, or visiting one of the many festivals celebrating everything from fire dancing to traditional Samoan tattoos.

Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in Samoa

A view of a beach at the volunteer destination in Apia, Samoa

Volunteers in Samoa have immense choice in terms of travel opportunities, both on the weekends or after finishing your volunteering project. Idyllic beaches with diving, snorkeling, and blue holes to explore are within a five minute walk from Apia. Also close by are more beaches for swimming, surfing, or fishing, like the stunning Lalomanu beach. The center of Upolu Island has rainforests where you can trek through the jungle to spectacular waterfalls - some complete with natural rock slides perfect for a cooling swim or picnic.

Did you know? Samoa is of no relation to American Samoa. They are two separate island groupings, one a U.S. territory, and the other an independent state.

Although you could easily spend weeks just exploring Upolu Island, there are nine more main islands within the Samoan archipelago. Manono Island and Savaii are both easily accessible by boat and ferry, and smaller boats will take you on to the quieter outlying islands.

As a Projects Abroad volunteer, you will have the opportunity to enjoy everything Samoa has to offer, while taking part in a sustainable and worthwhile project.

Projects for All Ages in Samoa

High School Specials for Teens in Samoa

Projects for professionals available in Samoa

Most recent blogs from Samoa

Week 3

My second full week of work is over and I can't believe I'm half way through my trip already!I've been working alongside the school's physio, in a kind of consulting role, and also did a short workshop with the teachers on why we do physiotherapy with mentally disabled children. On Friday there wasn't ...

Week 2

Just finished my first full week and it was amazing. I worked alongside the teachers and Physio at Fiamalamalama school for mentally handicapped children, and I now know all the staff as well as the children. They love singing and dancing and have a sports day every week. I also went to the Rugby Academy ...

First few days // die ersten Tage

I've been here a couple of days now and they've certainly been pretty Eventful! I had my induction and orientation tour (in the pouring rain) on Thursday and my first day at work on Friday. I spent the day observing the kids and getting to know the school. There was a group of Australian nursing students ...

Hello from Samoa!

So I finally made it to Samoa! After about 40 hours of travelling and around 50 hours of not sleeping I arrived at my host family. The flight from London to LA was great - it was so empty I ended up having 4 seats to myself (yes, 4!!) which meant I could try as many different sitting/sleeping positions ...

Here we go // Jetzt geht's los!

English So I'm sitting in the departure lounge in Heathrow - I've managed to check in, drop my luggage (after much last minute packing and repacking to get it to 23kg) and buy lunch, now I just have to wait! My flight leaves in 2 hours, but luckily Heathrow offers enough entertainment (just don't tell ...

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