New members of the Samoa forum, introduce yourself here

Hi all,

Newbie on the Samoa forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Samoa if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Hey , my name is Judy and I am a school teacher who might be volunteering in A Samoa. I want to find out what its like to live there and how safe it is for a woman alone, how much fun/ friends/ activities/ healthcare/ etc there is there for an expat-Im American Ty

Hi I am moving to Samoa next month...I am super excited as it's something I've always wanted to do. But also super nervous as I don't know anyone there and haven't really organised anything. I will be staying for a few months to begin with and then reassessing for long term. How can I find somewhere fairly cheap to stay for June and July? Also I really want to be able to do some volunteering to help the community. How can I get involved in this? Any information would be great. Thanks.

Hey guys!

My name's Robbie and I'm moving to Apia, Samoa for work in January 2015. I'll be staying there for 12 months and looking forward to the experience (exploring, meeting new meeting, immersing myself in the culture) - EVERYTHING BASICALLY

Anyways, this is just my introduction, hope to hear from other expats living there or who may be moving (or thinking of moving).


Hi There, we are not new members but have now relocated to Savaii in Samoa from the Cook Islands, Rolling stones gather no moss! As expected the people are kind and generous like all Polynesians, once you get to know them. Should be here for at least a year. Savaii is without a doubt the better of the two islands, even though it is a little more remote.

Loving it.


Hey Derek,

Without  a doubt hey? Very interested to hear what if offers as i'm keen to do some travelling there on weekends and breaks (I'll be staying in Apia). Have you done much travelling to the other island?

Keen to hear of your adventure thus far,


Ok. here we go new here also My name is Bob I am looking for a place to live for a year or so I am hoping for Somoa

Hi Derek , how long have you lived there? did you have to get a visa?...Bob

Hey so how was the move?  and do you like it there?   Bob

unfortunately you need to be sponsored to work in Samoa, that's because they don't want hordes of people taking jobs that Samoan's can do. Its a 12 month permit system renewable after that time as long as you continue to be employed by the same sponsor.

I ( Bob) will be coming over to live for several months living on retirement,  I am looking for housing or a room to rent? where do I look ? I diid not see a craigslist on there ?

Bob, Rental Housing is expensive in Apia, anything decent will cost you plenty. My advise is to move to the villages either on Upolo or Savaii and rent off the villages, much cheaper and you will get to experience the culture first hand. You would not be disappointed.

The maximum time you can stay here on a visitors visa is three months then you will have to leave for a day then come back for a further 3 months.  Most people fly to American Samoa 30 minute plane ride stay a night or just come back on the afternoon flight. My staff that I spoke to say that they would take you in, the accommodation is relatively basic but true Samoan. If you are not married they would look after you by finding you a Samoan Wife hehe.

I am 74 years old,married, income from ss and u s navy retirement. am certified gunsmith and pc a+ certified..
spouse is seamstress and experienced upholsterer. we have been looking into a more relaxed and safer lifestyle.
monthly income is $3150+. we have Tricar Medical care.
Actually we are more interested in American Samoa

Hello married, moved here to Samoa from West Auckland NZ a year ago, my husband is working contracted for 3+1 years, I also moved here for a reason to rebuild my mum's business (accommodation) it has been hard as you need the contacts over here it's who you know and def not what you know but in some ways it does help and most of all you need money.

My daughter attends the Pesega Middle school and is struggling to fit in as some students are quite rude and of course she misses our other older children who are all back in NZ. Is there other wives whom are finding it hard to adapt don't get me wrong I love and embrace our culture so proud to be Samoan but it is hard when the people make it that way.

Majority of the time I spend saying hello how are you but they are so rude especially the woman, I am so grateful to finally have my car here it arrived last week, the taxi fares differ all the time and most of them are filthy.Anyway I am NZ born Samoan 48 years of age have many children and grand children am missing all of them back home.


I just moved to Samoa from NZ  week ago. I'm living in Manono-uta. Just looking to find some cool people to hang out with :)

Hey Guys,

New to this forum, do you guys know basically how much it is to rent in Apia, Samoa? What is the cost of living like there? Food etc... If anyone can help me out that would be fantastic, would really appreciate it as I know nobody there. Aucklander, here.

I'm an Aucklander looking at relocating back to Apia 'part time' next year or sometime. I've spent a bit of time there over the last 5 years and lived there for a year as a child, but it's changed so much and its always different on holiday. I'm looking closely at Robert Louie Stevenson school for my son's 10 and 12 as they apparently teach the NZ curriculum. The school website looked old and dodgy so I wondered if anyone has kids going there and what they thought? also what the fees are for the college.

I'm looking at living in Tiavi where there seems to be more expats and it's safer.
I'm thinking about some kind of home and income there. What is needed??

I was surprised how much Samoa has changed over the years. There seems to be a lot of children trying to sell you goods and people trying to rip you off outside the resorts. There's a lot of corruption now. I don't think you can be casual about mixing with the locals anymore. Theft is common. Opportunists everywhere. Dogs are hungry and out of control, you need to carry a big stick.

My Aunty runs a tour guide business and has accommodation close to the treehouse resort end in Tiavi if anyone is looking for a safe, clean place to stay or a contact. It's a bit more rural from the CBD with lovely beaches close-by but you'll need transport. It's about 20-30 minutes from Apia CBD heading down towards Maninoa way where we also have a basic room to rent with my uncles.They were looking for some maintenance men to work on fencing and moving cattle etc on our Tiavi farm, if anyone has experience in that field in return for lodging and meals.

I caught a cab home last month in Auckland with two European ladies, who live the city end of Apia, they seemed quite happy in Apia although have the usual frustrations with getting foods (lettuce/carrots) one said and medical help another mentioned. Also the pace of Islanders using the excuse they are on 'Island time' but really just quite lazy. Those that work hard and know customer services seem to do well. Any thoughts on business ventures??

Mama Ro.
New Zealand


How's life going in Samoa "now"?

Has your daughter settled in Ok? I also found people can be rude. I think life there can be hard for some people struggling to get by. The kids can be quite rough and women may find you a threat. Some kids are taught to take what they can and use opportunities, it must make them streetwise. Have you had a look at Robert Louie Stevenson School at all? I'm keen to put my two boys aged 10 and 12 in there but not sure if that's a wise move.

My family are from Maninoa and I have land in Tiavi (close to the treehouse resort) where I will be building and developing the land "slowly" as money becomes available with my sisters -all of us from NZ.

I hope to spend time there more frequently from winter 2017.

Where is your hotel and how is it going?

Sista Ro

Robert Louis Stevenson School is expensive and poor teaching ability and quality. My kids have been there before and I was highly disappointed. We are now moving back for another contract starting Dec 2016 and have chosen to send my kids to Vaiala Beach School. Yes it's more expensive, but most teachers are nz/aus trained. $1000 per term per child. I have 3 kids but cost is not an issue when it comes to their education.


Thanks so much for the advise.

I had spoken to another lady who's kids went to Vaiala School, but didn't realise it was private schooling. I'm the same, education and of course happiness come first for my kids too but school fee's are a pain. I wonder if there's any bullying. My older boy starts College next year and the younger one intermediate. I'm quite shocked at the price of living over there, food and house hold needs are out of control. I don't know how the locals manage. Actually, I think over the last 10 years as I'm traveling back and forth there seems a desperation that I haven't witnessed previously, especially in the villages. I don't recall people approaching me in Apia trying to sell their crafts coming straight up to the car windows before I've even stepped out. It shouldn't be allowed. The resorts feel safer which is sad for the locals who miss out on tourists. Barbed wire seems to be everywhere on private properties now, everywhere but the jails! I'm looking to head over Dec 2017 but I need to build which may be another hurdle.

How's life going in Samoa? have you settled in OK? enjoying it? I'd love to hear your opinion.

Talofa All,

Does anyone know of private tutors available for teaching the New Zealand Curriculum to 10-13 year old's for home schooling please? Intermediate/College age. We are looking to move into the Tiavi area. Also are there any other people interested in home schooling?

Hi there,

I move to samoa in January for a 2yr contract and am bringibg my.3 children with me 10, 7, 4. To find a decent affordable tutor is like finding a needle in a haystack. My kids are enrolled at Vaiala Beach School, seems to be the best education. But if it was possiable to find a private tutor that was qualified enough i would look at some type of home school.

Gosh your going to be busy- reading "how to dad"?? I'll get my feelers out. Might not be heading there till winter - early Dec 2017 but if I hear anything from tutors I'll keep you in the loop. My kids will be part timers over there, I'll be living there in 3-6 month slots. I'd like to keep them up-dated with the NZ curriculum. I was told it's only 4 hours of tutoring a day that they need. My older boy starts College 2017 so might just bring my 10 yr old son. What area are you living in? I'll be living in Tiavi close to the treehouse resort.

Greetings, I am considering a move to Samoa. Was happy to see the interest in tutors which is what I do. I'm NZ trained,  with experience teaching children, teens and adults in schools, community education and home tutoring. Consider myself a foreigner/visitor, not an expat which conjures up colonial hangover mentality. Hope I can use the forum while seriously opposed to the expat terminology. If not - fare thee well...

My great grandmother was born in Samoa.

Hey Kiwi Teacher!

Thanks for the contact. I'm wrapped you replied.

I'm just talking to a few ex-pat parents about home schooling potential for their kiwi kiddies in Samoa.

I'm based in Auckland until my Samoan mother has an operation 20 Dec 2016. We will then consider the move over to Samoa, my mother most likely leaving before us Jan 2017. She will either stay in Maninoa or Tiavi. I'm half Samoan/English NZ born. I have just received my Samoan Passport.

I most likely won't move till mid 2017 and only on/off. I have two son's 10 and 12. We will be building in Tiavi mid-late 2017 if not sooner and my Aunty has a 5brm house next-door that we can stay in as she wants to visit her son's and grand daughter in NZ. She also runs a tour business so may need me to help run that in her absence. Maybe you could assist with that also. She has 5 horses and does horse trails through the bush behind her house. Can you ride horses at all? I certainly can't lol.

Have you got a family or are you single?

Our property is rural. Based on Cross Island Rd, Tiavi. My mother's village is Maninoa and we often live there around the corner as well.

My older son Starts Selwyn College, Auckland 2017, my other son goes to Orakei School currently year 6 and will continue there 2017 unless we are based in Samoa. Our daughter gets married next May 2017.

My sister also has two kids and currently lives in Brisbane. I'm not sure if she will want her kids learning the NZ curriculum in Samoa, but I suppose that may be her only option. She has a son 11 and daughter 9. She is still considering when she will move to Samoa as she's wanting on a contract to finish.

A big deal breaker for both of our families was the kids education in Samoa. Their education comes first.

Where are you teaching currently?

When were you considering the move to Samoa?

Keep me posted on your thoughts. Maybe private message me.

Kind regards,

Hi Tim,

When are you heading off to Samoa? Where will you be based over there?

Did you see this post for a potential Kiwi Teacher? any luck yourself?


Hi Mama Pauline,

How's Samoa going? have you settled in OK? Any regrets?

Is your daughter doing at school now? settled in alright?

Any other issues?

Mama Ro. Auckland.

Hi Ro
Thanks for the message, great to hear from you so quickly. Today, I heard that I have probably secured a homeschooling job in Samoa for 2017. If it all goes ahead, I would be committed to the family for a year.

My degree is in NZ primary teaching BEd, and I have experience teaching both children and adults in schools, bridging to tertiary education and community literacy education. Not a veteran but I have a good overview of education, theories and practice. My area of skill is school literacy, academic literacy, social studies/history. For 2017 I will be back into the NZ curriculum and I'm looking forward to becoming clued up again, as my last 5 year stint teaching was in academic literacies for teens and adults. 

All your plans sound very exciting,  Sorry, I'm terrible with horses, but I am living on a farm now, with 3 horses and I'm loads more confident than I was growing up with horses as a child.

Can give you more details about my age (I'm old), experience etc but not for all to see. Is that possible? I could  send you my CV.

My commitment to the job and family who bring me to Samoa, would be for at least a year. So If that all goes ahead, they would be my priority, taking me out of the loop somewhat. I could maybe do some weekend tutoring, but would need to discuss with my employer. I would  love to develop a working life in homeschool teaching/Samoa.

I hope your Mum's recovery goes well.  Fa'afetai na Amy.

Hi- Talofa and Happy New Year.

Sorry I missed this reply and time has gone by so fast now it's 2017...! Thanks for the information and I'm a 60's baby my husband 50's -I hear Retro is in.

I will most likely be heading over mid this year, definitely December and most likely 2018 so this could still possibly work. My sister is thinking of venturing over this year but is yet to confirm, she has two kids (12 and 10 I think) Aussie curriculum.

Our property is on Cross Island Rd, Tiavi near the Treehouse resort but we are also based in Maninoa. My son's are 11 and 12 one starts Selwyn College in NZ this year, he has a trip to China in April and we are off to Spain in May to visit our daughter who's 24. Samoa would be after all that. We will be in Samoa December so are happy to meet you then. If your not committed to the family in Sa maybe we can meet up in New Zealand? we are currently in Auckland.

Please keep me posted and we can take things from here.

Glad you found a family in Samoa and perhaps we can all meet up for socialising the kids.

Fafa tai ma alofa

Hi Talofa Tim,
Are you currently in Samoa? Looks like we won't be heading there to Samoa till mid to end of this year although I may venture over without the family to settle in my mother.

What industry are you in? we are considering building a home and income shop/cafe or something in Tiavi by the tree-house resort end.

Did you manage to find a tutor for the kids?

Regards, Ro

Hi everyone and welcome on board  :)

Just to remind you that this thread is only dedicated to the introduction of New members.

@ Idreamofspain, feel free to drop a private message if you have anything particular to ask a member.

Click on his avatar > Select "Send a message" > Send

All the best,

Talofa, are you still in Samoa? hows things going? your mum's accommodation business going ok? daughter more settled in?

I'm looking for some shipping containers in Apia, do you know anyone who has any there? otherwise I will bring one over from Auckland but need to fill it. If you or anyone needs items brought over from Auckland to Samoa in shipping containers let me know. The container is 40 foot we need 4 and then a couple more. I'll bring them over one at a time as it's cheaper but need them filled for the cost of freight. Any building materials such as wood needs to be fumigated.

I'm looking to develop my land in Tiavi Cross Island Rd. I hope to have a shop there as well maybe a cafe too.


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Talofa! are you in Samoa? are you teaching? I've got two boys NZ curriculum 11 and 13 hope to start developing over there 2018. Fa

Talofa all and happy new year!

Thank you for the intro, happy to be a part of this network. I currently reside in Am Sam and travel to Samoa frequently.



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