Samoan diplomat in Fiji hosts students
Samoan students studying at the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) and the Fiji National University (F.N.U) were hosted to a dinner reception by the High Commissioner of Samoa to Fiji Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia on Saturday.
The reception was hosted at the Central Cuisine Damodar, Suva and was the first official ‘Feiloaiga’ between the students and the High Commissioner since he presented his credentials to the President of Fiji earlier this year.
Over 60 students were able to attend the event, then followed by traditional Samoan dances by the U.S.P Samoa 4th Year cohort.
The reception was to provide an opportunity for the High Commissioner to meet with the Samoan students studying in Fiji and also to encourage them to make use of the services provided by the newly established Samoa High Commission to Fiji.
The event was an opportunity for many of students who were not able to visit families in Samoa since their arrival in 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. And for the USP students in particular, it was a fitting way to start their one-week mid-semester break.
During his remarks, Ali’ioaiga reminded the students that educational opportunities are rare to come by, hence the need to utilise them optimally to build a solid foundation for a future career.
He explained that University education provides a level playing field and an environment dedicated to a student’s success where the student is in charge of shaping his or her own future, no one else, and that being on scholarship is a privilege and should therefore not be squandered.
He had encouraged the students to think of the High Commission as their home away from home and their first place of call to share both the highs and lows of their educational journeys, mindful of the challenges associated in being away from home.
President of the F.N.U Samoa Students Association Jarred Lameko spoke on behalf of Samoan students in Fiji to thank the High Commissioner and the High Commission Office for the “Feiloaiga”.
A total of 84 Samoan students are registered at U.S.P Laucala Campus and F.N.U respectively for Semester 1, 2021.
Students at U.S.P totaled 74, of which 54 of are sponsored and 20 are private students.
The other 10 students attend the FNU College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (C.M.N.H.S) in Suva.