Dr Michael Seamer and Donna Reedy, along with ten Business and Commerce students from the Newcastle Business School spent ten days in Samoa as part of a government-funded initiative under the New Colombo Plan. The International Study Experience course encourages Australian students to understand the impacts of culture on business and governance in other parts of the world. As a developing country in the Pacific Region with close ties to Australia, Samoa was an insightful and unforgettable destination for the students.
Staff and students received a traditional welcome at the National University of Samoa (NUS), attended lectures and met with students from the University and Samoa College. The visit was significant for the NUS and the community, receiving coverage on national television and a full page spread in the Samoan Observer.
The students played an active role in the first UON Alumni event held in Samoa, and attended workshops and sessions with local business leaders. Cultural experiences highlighted how Samoan culture is inseparable from business practices.
As a result of the time spent at NUS, the Faculty of Business and Law will work towards signing an MOU in the coming months to continue the relationship. There is mutual benefit for staff and students in regard to academic and student exchange as well as research collaboration.
The Business and Commerce students are in the process of conducting a textbook drive and will organise to donate these much needed resources to the NUS library.
Given the success of this trip, the Business School plans to send another group to Samoa in 2016 and further develop the relationship between the two universities.