Samoan Australian Awards Scholars Settling into Fiji

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Photo: Australia High Commission.

Samoan students awarded scholarships under the Australian Awards, have settled into Fiji and have started off the year’s academic journey.

Speaking from Suva, undergraduate law student Tauva Lefauaitu said they have settled in well, with everthing they need, all found on campus.

“We have comfortable dorms here and students have found it very easy to settle in..

“It is very affordable, and our allowances are good – enough to provide for all our needs..”

Having only just arrived, however, other students share that although they’re well looked after, the feeling of missing home can be difficult, especially in the evenings when they wonder how their parents and siblings are doing.

“Yeah badly missing home sometimes and adjusting slowly..”

Each year, students from Samoa move abroad for tertiary studies, to undertake degrees under the scholarship programmes for a minimum of three years depending on the course.

Feeling homesick can affect a student’s overall performance in their studies and Tauva says the Samoan and Pacific students look after each other as a way of coping.

“All Samoan students here are very close, and become each other’s family here. Thank God for technology, we get to video call and talk to our families and friends back home” said Tauva.

Scholars are slowly getting used to being independent and learning to do things for themselves. A Bachelor of Engineering student tells SGN, “Being away from home really hits at night when you’re having dinner”.

The new group of scholarship students sees an array of different fields being studied, from Engineering, Law, Science, Commerce and Arts.

Classes have commenced for the scholars, who say they are eager to settle into Suva as their adopted home for the next few years, all eager to make the most of the opportunity. 

The Australian Award recipients say they wish to thank the Australian government and the Australian High Commission office in Samoa for the opportunity given to them. They also thank their families who continue to support them while they are abroad.

Josh Afamasaga who is enrolled for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry, says to  students in Samoa vying for scholarships this year, “do your best, and God will do the rest”.

Photo: Australia High Commission.

Julius Netzler