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.

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