Semester in Samoa
Ohio Wesleyan Student Studies How Oceanian Youth Learn Cultural Identity
Why I Chose this Experience
“I chose this program because it was an immersive experience that allowed me the opportunity to visit many places in the Pacific like Hawai’i, Fiji, and two of the Samoan Islands -- Upolu and Savai’i.
“Even though I had many academic lectures, places like the ocean, mountains, villages, and heritage sites became my classrooms. The active learning helped me understand the Samoan way of life and more broadly the Pacific Islander identity.”
My Favorite Moment
“There are so many to pick from, but I would have to say all the Samoan words and values I’ve learned from Samoan children, whether it was my host sister, village kids, or my time with preschool children. Illuminating the importance of children and their position in society, it inspired me to do my independent research with them at the center.”
“Through ethnographic research of observation and interviews, I analyzed the context of the pedagogy (teaching) of Samoan identity in Early Learning Education.
“Throughout my days here, I quickly learned the importance of child development and its intersection with cultural identity. I worked closely with the educator community and the little minds that are being taught every day.
“My close relationships that I developed allowed me to also have the opportunity to tell this story through photographs. My goal was to not only do research on this essential topic but also share the story of some of my best teachers (and) kids.”
“I want to pursue a career in people, as that is my biggest passion -- learning and listening to people who see the world from a different point of view than my own. I want to be an educator who inspires others, much like the ones who have been part of my journey.
“There are so many different paths that I see myself taking but I’m open and ready for them all.”
Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan
“The OWU Connection was one of the driving factors that helped me choose Ohio Wesleyan. The emphasis on experience learning through world travel opportunities was not valued like it was here at any other school.”
My Plans After Graduation
“Grad school in Anthropology, Americorps, and work in Humanitarian sectors all seem so appealing to me.”