Samoa Immersion Summer Seminar (grades 10-12)

Samoa Immersion


This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to move beyond the postcards and beach resorts and to immerse themselves in Polynesian culture. This two-week study abroad/experiential learning program offers high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors the unique and transformative opportunity to explore, research, and experience life on the island of Samoa. The program will provide the necessary training for meaningful, productive learning and service work abroad. The seminar will focus on the concepts of well-being and development and will explore the many methods used to measure different aspects of well-being and development in a small Samoan village.

Participants will be expected to:

  • Keep daily ethnographic observations and interview field notes
  • Attend Samoan language sessions and complete a language competency exam
  • Perform an ethnographic research study and community survey
  • Participate in daily lectures and excursions with American and Samoan faculty

Program Highlights

  • Training and experience in anthropological research methods
  • Eight-day homestay in a Samoan village
  • Courses in Samoan language
  • Guided tours of Apia city markets
  • Hiking in local tropical rainforests
  • Attend a Fiafia festival
  • Snorkeling in Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve and daily during our homestay
  • Seminars by local experts on agriculture, spirituality, development economics, culture, history, religion, and public health
  • Community-service work on small-scale development projects
Important Dates and Deadlines
Application DeadlineFebruary 1, 2014
Flight Deposit DeadlineMarch 31, 2014
Session DatesJuly 18-August 2, 2014*

*Dates are subject to minor changes based on flight availability and cost.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is $3,975, which includes:

  • All in-country travel, meals, lodging, and fees
  • An eight-day village homestay in Falealupo
  • Travel health insurance
  • All lectures and educational activities
  • Research methods training
  • Samoan language instruction
  • All museum admission fees
  • Excursions to the Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve

Additional fees (not included in the price of tuition):

  • Airfare from the US to Apia, Samoa (approx. $1,850)
  • Required vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Typhoid (approx. $150 each)
  • Passport
  • Textbook ($15)
  • Personal travel supplies (luggage, flashlights, etc.)
  • Souvenirs

Student Application Process

  • Pre-College Summer Study Abroad Supplement (including short essay responses)
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor at your school
  • Current transcript
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee (checks payable to the University of Rochester), applied to the final tuition bill
  • Interview (applicant will be contacted via email after materials are submitted)