Volunteer in and Intern in Samoa
- Location: Apia
- Accommodation: Host families
- Local languages: Samoan & English
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.
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.
“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
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
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.
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.