I am currently taking classes at the University of the South Pacific in Apia, Samoa. The USP is a fascinating and extremely unique organization. Because the islands of the South Pacific are scattered throughout thousands of miles, and many of the islands are extremely small, there had been difficulty throughout the years in establishing a university setting in any one of the countries. Therefore, the USP is co-owned and co-operated by many different island nations. The main campus is located in Suva, Fiji (the biggest city in the South Pacific), with other campuses scattered throughout the Pacific.
The campus I am studying at is the Alafua Campus of Agriculture. Therefore, all of the students here study agricultural sciences or agricultural economics, and are from a variety of countries including Samoan, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, and others.
As an SIT student, I take classes only with other SIT students about issues and culture in the Pacific region. However, we each have a room mate who is a Pacific Islander (mine being Solomon from the Solomon Islands), and we get to interact constantly with other Pacific Island students. I have gotten to do so much already with students from all across the region. I have learned how to cook Indo-Fijian food, sing in Tongan, and play Samoan “suipi” (a card game). I look forward to learning more about the Pacific through my friends at USP this semester.