Examine the social, economic, and political impacts of globalization, westernization, and climate change in Oceania.

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  • Enjoy a weeklong orientation in Hawai‘i.

    Orientation in Honolulu, at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s East-West Center, will help you transition between mainland United States and Oceana. Indigenous Hawaiians currently face a rising cost of living, sovereignty issues, and social, economic, and environmental struggles. Other challenges include a strong military presence and a tourist-based economy that has commodified traditional culture and made Hawai‘i dependent on food imports. Orientation will include lectures from Hawaiians, Samoans, and other Pacific Islanders; a short work experience at a traditional taro lo‘i; and visits to the Iolani Palace and the renowned Bishop Museum. 

  • Hear diverse perspectives on the human dimensions of climate change and social transitions in the Pacific.

    Educational excursions include rural Samoa; Savai‘i, Samoa’s largest Island; and Fiji. In each location, you’ll be able to discuss issues with Pacific Islanders themselves. You will be encouraged to compare and contrast issues in Pacific Island communities and to connect meaningfully with a wide array of individuals. You will hear diverse perspectives, particularly in relation to social and climate change.

  • Study in the cradle of Polynesian history and culture.

    The program is based in Apia, the capital of Samoa. Traditionally considered the cradle of Polynesia, Samoa was the launching point for the wider human settlement of Polynesia, the last region to be settled in the Pacific. In 1962, Samoa became the first Pacific Island to achieve independence as a sovereign nation-state.

  • Experience Pacific Island life during a homestay.

    You’ll stay in a village in ‘Upolu for five days and share in the daily life of your host family. Eat Pacific Island food, participate in activities, and see family dynamics firsthand.

  • Spend significant time interacting with young Pacific Islanders.

    Your home base for the program will be the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala Campus in To‘omatagi, Apia. You will meet young Samoans who are studying at the university. These interactions will introduce you to the issues important to young, educated Samoans.

  • Spend nine days in Fiji.

    See Fiji’s beautiful landscapes and experience its richly diverse society.

  • See the effects of climate change and tourism on Pacific communities and landscapes on a variety of excursions.

    The program will take you to diverse landscapes, including lava flows, waterfalls, sea arches, and sand dunes. You’ll understand threats to ecosystems and witness efforts to protect the environment.

Critical Global Issue of Study

Migration | Identity | Resilience

Migration | Identity | Resilience

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Key Topics of Study


Key Topics of Study

  • Climate change, vulnerability, and resilience in Oceania
  • Changing values and perspectives on wealth, poverty, and social class
  • The intersection of contemporary social and environmental issues
  • The economic, social, and political position of Samoan women
  • Youth, education, and social change
  • Varying perspectives on communal, individual, and human rights in Samoa
  • Freedom of religion in a predominantly Christian society
  • Environmental issues related to water resources, soil conservation, and invasive species
  • The development of sustainable tourism
  • Changing land use patterns and the development of local agri-business
  • The changing matai system and the rule of law
  • Comparative perspectives on program themes in Hawai‘i, Samoa, and Fiji




Access virtual library guide.

The program’s thematic seminars provide students with a broad understanding of contemporary life in Samoa and of the physical and historical forces that have shaped the Pacific Islands region at large. The courses focus on the interplay of social change, climate change, and development and examine 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. Language study opens a window into Samoan culture, aids in field projects, and gives students the opportunity to engage more fully with their homestay families.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Pacific Communities in Transition – syllabus
(ANTH3010 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
This course explores challenges Pacific Island communities face as they transition from traditional societies to more modern globalized ones. It focuses on culture and values and examines how small island Pacific states have adapted to development, westernization, and, more recently, climate change. The course examines key aspects of traditional Pacific societies as well as the physical and historical forces that have shaped the Islands region of Oceania at large. Lectures are complemented by orientation in Hawai‘i and excursions in Samoa and Fiji.
Climate Change and Resilience in Oceania – syllabus
(PACI3020 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
This course examines the relationship between climate and environmental change and social issues in the small island developing states of Oceania. The economic, social, environmental, and cultural impacts of tourism and other aspects of development are also examined and refracted through the new lens of climate change. Homestays allow students to see and discuss these issues and examine mobility, urbanization, and agriculture, in particular. Definitions of concepts such as vulnerability, poverty, and resilience are explored in local contexts. Lectures and discussions are conducted in conjunction with the University of Hawai‘i; the East-West Center; the National University of Samoa; and the University of the South Pacific in Alafua, Samoa, with additional support from local professionals.
Samoan – syllabus
(SAMO1003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
The Samoan language course emphasizes beginning speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Everyday communication forms the foundation of this course. By the end of this course, students should be able to engage in everyday Samoan conversations that facilitate interactions during the Independent Study Project (ISP). Bilingual surveys can assist with data collection during ISP.
Research Methods and Ethics – syllabus
(ANTH3500 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
This course introduces students to learning across cultures and field experience, which prepares them for their Independent Study Projects. Topics include cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning / SIT Human Subjects Review Policy. Students also develop contacts and find resources, practice observation and information gathering skills, organize and communicate research findings, present a mini-ISP, and maintain a work journal.
Independent Study Project – syllabus
(ISPR3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
The Independent Study Project is an opportunity to conduct independent research in an appropriate location in Samoa. Sample topic areas: sustainable agricultural practices and their impact on local villages; youth culture, social change, and globalization; the impacts of climate change on livelihoods, language and sustainable agriculture, microfinance, social networks, and local impacts; poverty, food security and hardship in Samoa; perspectives on religious freedom; human rights, law, and Samoan traditions; the role of coconut products in the Samoan economy; indigenous business development.




Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

On excursions, you’ll see the Pacific’s exceptional beauty. You’ll also observe firsthand the impacts of westernization, tourism, and social, environmental, and climate change on different Pacific Island communities.


canoeDuring a week on Savai‘i, Samoa’s largest island, you’ll learn about plate tectonics and the formation of volcanic islands, then visit the most recent (1906–1911) lava flows and blow holes and hike across the 1906 lava flow. You’ll also see how siapo, traditional bark cloth, is made and spend a weekend at a beach fale (traditional thatched hut). You’ll also visit a volcanic crater to watch for flying foxes, swim at Olemoe Falls, and take a coastal tour that includes blow holes and sea arches. At Tanu Beach, you’ll see the impacts of climate change and adaptations to it.


Witness the impact of social and climate change on local communities during a nine-day excursion to Fiji. You’ll discover how the environment sustains Oceania’s way of life. You’ll also examine the symbiotic relationships within ecosystems and recent social and environmental action efforts in response to the impacts of climate change and development.

Experience Fiji’s culturally and religiously diverse society. Visit the Silana village Tailevu and learn how this indigenous community derives its identity from the environment and the belief that the dolphins are their ancestors. Get an up-close look at the work of NGOs focused on gender justice, disaster risk reduction, and ecological sustainability.

Faculty and Staff


Faculty and Staff

Fetaomi Tapu-Qiliho, PhD, Academic Director

Fetaomi Tapu-Qiliho, SIT Academic DirectorFetaomi earned her PhD in Pacific studies from the University of Otago. Her thesis focused on Tuvaluan communities in Samoa and Fiji and their ethnic identity and belongingness in diaspora within Oceania. She earned an MA with honors in Pacific studies and a BA in sociology and anthropology from the University of Auckland. Fetaomi worked as an academic director for SIT in Fiji from 2005 to 2011. She has experience working in the CSO sector in Fiji and helped found two local NGOs that specialize in conflict transformation and peacebuilding in the Pacific. She also has experience working with the Pacific Conference of Churches as a lecturer at the Pacific Theological College. Her voluntary work has concentrated on issues such as HIV and AIDS, poverty alleviation, youth and women’s empowerment, and advocacy and community education.

Luamanuvae Lise T. Higgs Tafuna, Program Assistant

Lise TafunaOriginally from Savai‘i, Samoa’s big island, Lise migrated to Utah in her early teens. She has a BA in psychology from Columbia College in Missouri and has worked as a rehabilitation services counselor for troubled and at-risk youths in Utah. As a certified law enforcement officer, she conducted public awareness programs in cognitive restructuring, anger management, and cultural competency for law enforcement agencies. She volunteered with the American Red Cross and Salt Lake County Mayor’s Council on Diversity Affairs. In 2011, she returned to Samoa and has worked as a social worker/counselor at National Health Services and clinical counselor at Fa’ataua Le Ola, a suicide prevention organization. Lise is a member of the Alcohol and Drugs Court of Samoa steering committee, Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival, and GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). She has been working with SIT since 2015.

Ronna Lee, Homestay Coordinator

Ronna is currently pursuing a master’s in education. She was recently the student welfare and campus life officer at the University of the South Pacific’s Alafua campus in Samoa. She also taught Foundation Pacific History and Pacific Politics and presented local news for TV1 Samoa. Ronna returned to Samoa in 2011 after serving as head teacher of an international community school. She has led and managed diverse teams of teachers and taught a range of age groups from preschool to university and adults. Ronna has a bachelor’s degree in business (marketing and management) from Manukau Institute of Technology, New Zealand, and postgraduate diplomas in tertiary teaching and education from the University of the South Pacific. She has been with the program since 2013. 

Lecturers for this program typically include:

Safua Akeli Ama’ama, PhD

Safua is the director of the Centre for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Otago University; an honors in history from Victoria University of Wellington; a master’s in history from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand; and a doctorate in history from the University of Queensland.

John Mayer, PhD

John is associate professor of Samoan and chair of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He founded the Samoan language program there in 1976. He was a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer and holds two Samoan chiefly titles (Fepuleai from Savai‘I and Lasei from Manono), an MA in ESL, and a PhD in linguistics. He is a charter member of the International Samoan Language Commission formed in 2000.

Frank Thomas, PhD

Frank is an anthropologist/archaeologist and works as a senior lecturer at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus in Suva. His main interests are environmental archaeology, tangible cultural heritage management, and human ecology on Pacific atolls. He also has research and teaching interests in ecological anthropology (human behavioral ecology, historical ecology, traditional ecological knowledge), rural development, management of common property resources, ethnoarchaeology, comparative island studies (Caribbean/Pacific), and Pacific atolls.

Anita Latai-Niusulu, PhD

Anita is a geographer and senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She has a bachelor of arts from the University of Queensland and a postgraduate diploma in arts, master of arts, and doctorate from the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Tuifuisa’a Patila Amosa, PhD

Patila is a biochemist and dean of the Faculty of Science at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She has a bachelor of science and diploma in education from Flinders University, South Australia. She also has a postgraduate diploma in science, a master of science, and a doctorate from the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, PhD

Tarcisius is currently the director at the University of Hawai‘i’s Center for Pacific Islands Studies. He is a political economist who has written extensively on development and governance issues in the Pacific Islands, with a focus on Solomon Islands. He has researched and written on governance, natural resource development, rural development, conflicts, conflict resolution, and post-conflict development. Prior to joining the East-West Center, he was a lecturer in history and political science at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Born in the Solomon Islands, he is a leading expert on the Solomon Islands. He has a PhD in political science and international relations from the Australian National University.

Joshua Cooper

Joshua lectures at the University of Hawai‘i Oahu West and the Center for Hawaiian Studies, and has taught courses on nonviolence, ecology, human rights, social justice, and media literacy. He has presented papers on the environment, women’s rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights and speaks at the United Nations and NGO assemblies on discrimination, women, torture, children, migrant workers, disabilities, and disappearances. He served on the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, linking human rights to climate change in Pacific and Asian states. He advocates with Pacific Island governments to protect and promote human rights.

Paul Geraghty, PhD

Paul is an associate professor with the School of Language, Arts, and Media at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji. He graduated from Cambridge with an MA in modern languages (French and German) and earned his PhD from the University of Hawai‘i with a dissertation on the history of the Fijian languages. He was director of the Institute of Fijian Language and Culture in Suva from 1986 to 2001. Author and editor of several books (including The History of the Fijian Languages, the Lonely Planet Fijian Phrasebook, and Borrowing: A Pacific Perspective) and numerous articles on Fijian and Pacific languages, culture, and history, he is also well known in Fiji as a newspaper columnist and radio and TV presenter.

Penelope Schoeffel, PhD

Penelope has a PhD in anthropology from Australian National University, specializing in cultural transformation in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Samoa. She has collaborated with her husband, Lesasiolagi Dr. Malama Meleisea, on publications on Samoan history, including Samoa’s Journey 1962–2012 Aspects of History (2012). She taught anthropology and sociology at University of the South Pacific, University of New South Wales, and University of Auckland and was visiting lecturer at Thammasat University in Thailand and International University of Bangladesh. She has consulted on gender and social impact assessment for international development agencies. She lectures at the Center of Samoan Studies at National University of Samoa.

Warren Jopling

Warren, from Sydney, Australia, has lived in Samoa since 1982. He holds a diploma in gemology from the Gemological Association of Australia and a BS from University of Sydney in geology and agricultural chemistry; he studied geology in an honors year. He’s worked at oil fields in Canada and oversaw well site geology for Australian Oil and Gas. He’s done petroleum exploration in the Amazon Basin in Brazil, and has traveled extensively. Warren conducts educational tours for the Samoan Tourist Authority, emphasizing natural history, culture, and ancient archaeological sites. Warren’s acclaimed tours have been part of SIT Samoa since the program’s beginning.

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My time in Samoa with SIT changed my life forever.

My time in Samoa with SIT changed my life forever. And almost 10 years later, I’m still close with the students and professors from the program.

Haynes R. Contee, BA, Trinity College, JD, George Washington University

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The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.

The program offers a nine-week homestay in the home of a Samoan family in the capital city of Apia and a five-day village homestay in ‘Upolu. These experiences offer you a closer look into Pacific culture, customs, identities, and issues.

Other accommodations during program include hostels in Fiji, beach fales in Savai‘i, and dormitory housing at the East-West Center in Hawai‘i.

Amaile, Samoa

Lotofaga homestayYou will stay for five days in rural Amaile, a village on the eastern coast of ‘Upolu. Families are typically large and extended, often including four generations, but some are small single mother families. Most families live subsistence lives, and many depend on remittances from relatives overseas. You will experience a traditional way of life with little privacy and few material comforts and learn about Samoan foods, cooking, weaving, traditional agriculture, and entertainment.

You’ll participate in making a Samoan umu (stone oven)—a customary family activity. You will peel taro and breadfruit; get smoke in your eyes from heating stones; make palusami, a Samoan delicacy; and roast and pound Samoan cocoa. You can even observe the slaughter, baking, and serving of small pig if you wish to see the way Samoans do it. You will witness labor-intensive food preparation and observe how Samoan families use resources in their environment. A typical Samoan meal may be prepared entirely with foods from local plantations, gardens, or the sea.



During the semester, when not on excursion or the village stay, you will live in the home of a Samoan family in the urban Apia area. This homestay experience will enable you to be absorbed into a wide network of a Samoan community and immersed in a Samoan family context daily. This homestay is contrasted with the rural village homestay and enables you to see and experience the similarities and differences within Pacific communities.

You will study at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala campus in urban Apia and interact with local Samoan students on a daily basis. In Apia, there are various locations where you can enjoy a cosmopolitan experience in a Pacific Island setting, though Samoan culture and traditional living still informs the family life of urban Samoan family groups and the lives of Samoans in general.

Independent Study Project


Independent Study Project

In the final month of the program, you will complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) in which you will pursue original research on an issue or topic of particular interest to you. The ISP is conducted in an approved location in Samoa appropriate to the project. You will work with advisors who have expertise in your chosen area of study.

Sample topic areas:

  • The impacts and future of technology in Samoa
  • Sustainable agricultural practices and their impact on local villages
  • Attitudes of youth to tradition and change
  • Resilience and adaptation to climate change
  • Natural disasters and vulnerability
  • Microfinance and the importance of social networks
  • Impact of climate change on the Samoan language
  • Poverty and hardship in Samoa
  • Changing definitions of class
  • Perspectives on religious freedom
  • Human rights issues in Samoa
  • The role of sustainable tourism development
  • Indigenous business development
  • Unemployment among Samoan youth
  • Migration, remittances, and social change

Browse this program’s Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.


Back yard at homestay view images full screen

Alumni Testimonials


Alumni Testimonials

Here's what alumni are saying about this program:

The first two months of coursework offer breadth and introduce you to new mindsets, with speakers who come from various, and usually very prestigious, backgrounds. Samoa is small, and it is not unusual to find yourself in the company of prominent UN officials, university directors, or the head of state.

Emily Gove, University of Richmond

Samoa is truly a life changing experience. It challenges you in ways that you never knew you could be challenged, and exposes you to experiences that you would never otherwise be exposed to. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking for an unconventional study abroad experience! Thanks!

Margret Doemland, St. Michael’s College

I learned more about life, culture, problem solving and human interaction in four months in Samoa than I did in my previous four years at college.

Joe Casale, Commander in the United States Navy in Hawaii, BS in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University, MA in International Relations from Salve Regina University



Student Video: Samoa - Social and Environmental Change in Oceania

Student Video: Samoa - Social and Environmental Change in Oceania

Career Paths


Career Paths

All kinds of students with all kinds of majors have studied abroad in Samoa. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect to their experience abroad with SIT.

Positions held by alumni of this program include:

  • Peace Corps volunteers in Samoa, Fiji, and Madagascar
  • Graduate student and East-West Center fellow at the Center for Pacific Studies, University of Hawai‘i, Honolulu, HI
  • Independent filmmaker and director at Making Waves Films, a documentary film company, Honolulu, HI
  • Intern doing human and indigenous rights work for a United Nations–funded project, Honolulu, HI




This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT’s Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.


During the coursework phase of the program, you will generally be in class five days per week for three to five hours per day. You will have short breaks between classes approximately every hour. Learning is typically assessed through written assignments/exams, oral presentations/exams, individual assignments, group assignments, journals, and reflections papers. Course readings and in-class materials are typically available in a digital format.

If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Program Center

The program office and its classrooms are on the ground level and is fully air conditioned. The restroom is located on the ground level. The building’s entrance, doorways, and pathways/hallways are spacious. The program does not have a separate study/library, computer space, or student lounge.


The program includes multi-day excursions involving hiking across a lava flow, visiting a volcanic crater, and touring the coast in Samoa. A nine-day stay in Fiji and weeklong orientation in Hawai‘i also take place. You should expect to stand, walk, and hike for long periods of time. A pair of comfortable, rubber-soled, waterproof shoes is recommended. Program excursions may occasionally vary to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.


You will live in the home of a Samoan family in the Apia area for nine weeks of the semester. The program’s other accommodations include a homestay in a village, beach fales in Savai‘i, and hostel dormitories in Hawai‘i and Fiji. The program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing you in your nine-week homestay in Apia. These placements are made based, first, on health concerns, including any allergies or dietary needs, to the extent possible. Homestays offer regular access to a refrigerator for storing medication. The physical accessibility of homestay options is currently limited. If you have questions about homestay accessibility, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Dietary Needs

Main food staples include taro, breadfruit, and green bananas. Imported rice has also become a mainstay of the diet. Fish — both canned and fresh — and local vegetables are available. Papaya and ripe bananas are available year round while other fruits, including oranges, pineapples, mangoes, and guava, are seasonal. There are few grains, beans, or sprouts, but many leafy greens. Typical meats served are chicken and pork. Maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet may be possible.

SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please review the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.


In Apia, you will travel by ferry between the islands of Samoa. At other times, you will travel in vans, trucks, or private vehicles. Buses and taxis do not have wheelchair lifts or ramps. This is also true in Fiji.

Urban roads in Apia and the main roads circumnavigating the island are all generally kept in fair condition, although bumps and potholes are common. Side streets tend to be gravel or dirt, and their condition varies considerably, particularly during the rainy season when ruts and bumps develop. Roads outside Apia are often narrow, winding, relatively steep, with no sidewalks or shoulders, and poorly lighted.


Computers for word processing with spellcheck, printer, copier, and scanner are available at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala campus. Internet connections are slow and not always reliable. Computers and hours are limited. Wi-Fi connections or Lava Spots are available in numerous places including the SIT office but may not be compatible with Macs. You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptops, recording devices, flash drives, and assistive technology. High humidity and unstable electric currents can impact electronic devices. It is recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft.

If you have questions about assistive technology, note-taking accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the SIT Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Health Resources

The national hospital is located in Apia, and there are several small district hospitals on Savai‘i and in outlying areas of ‘Upolu. Healthcare facilities in Samoa are adequate for routine medical treatment but are limited in range and availability. Treatment for complex illnesses and emergencies, as well as related laboratory work, generally need to be done elsewhere. Payment for medical services is covered by your health insurance if the provider is notified prior to or during the medical service. Pharmacies may not carry prescription or over-the-counter medicines typically available in the United States.

Once admitted to the program, you are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the summary of benefits for student health insurance.

Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations

To request disability-related accommodations once admitted, you should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.

Additional Support Resources

MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.

Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.

Cost and Scholarships


Cost and Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students. 

SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.


Tuition: Not yet available.

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Lecture and venue costs for the two Pacific seminars:
    • Pacific Communities in Transition
    • Climate Change and Resilience in Oceania
  • Research Methods and Ethics and Human Subjects Review
  • Language instruction in Samoan
  • Orientation in Hawai‘i
  • All educational excursions to locations outside of Apia, including Amaile village, Savai‘i island, and Fiji, including all related travel costs and meals
  • Independent Study Project (including a stipend for accommodation and food)
  • Health insurance throughout the entire program period

Room & Board: Not yet available.

The room and board fee covers the following program components:

  • All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Apia), on all excursions, during the Independent Study Project, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly or through a stipend provided to each student or through the homestay.
  • The homestays (nine weeks in Apia and five days in a village on ‘Upolu, Samoa)
  • All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student or through the homestay.

Estimated Additional Costs:

Airfare to Program Site

Airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.

Visa Expenses: $140

Immunizations: Varies

Books & Supplies: $100

International Phone: Each student must bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.

Discretionary Expenses

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.

Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.

In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.

Speak With An Admissions Counselor

Speak With An Admissions Counselor

Contact A Former Student

contact a former student
Samoan food preparation view images full screen


Lecture view images full screen