The Independent State of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa until 1997) gained independence from New Zealand in 1962. Samoa is the first Pacific island country to become independent and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.

As part of Polynesia, Samoa is located south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean [13°50’S 171°45’W]. It is made up of seven islands but only four of these are inhabited. The two large islands of Upolu and Savai’i have a total land area of 2,934 km² (1,133 sq mi). The only international airport (Faleolo International Airport) and the capital, Apia are both situated on Upolu Island. The islands are surrounded by narrow coastal plains, with volcanic and rugged mountains inland. All islands are almost entirely covered by green and lush vegetation.

Samoa was rated as one of the friendliest countries in the world. The most relaxing place on earth where Samoans are experts on the ancient art of faifai-easy, which basically means take-it-easy. A place where the only obligation is a gentle slow pace, where smiles are infectious and effortless laughter fills the air. Family is everything.

Quick Facts:

Population – about 190,000

Climate – Average temperature is 29°C. Tropical with only two seasons. The wet (rainy) season is from November to March and the dry season runs for the other months.

Official language is Samoan. English is widely used in commercial activities.

A few words to learn:

Hello – TALOFA (tah-lo-fah)
Please – FA’AMOLEMOLE (fa-ah-mo-leh-mo-leh)
Thank You – FA’AFETAI (fa-ah-feh-tye)
Yes – IOE (eee-ooo-eh)
No – LEAI (leh-ah-iiii)
Goodbye – TOFA SOIFUA (toh-fah soy-foo-ah)