Two generations of women educated at USP
Travelling to another country to study can be a challenging experience. Still, for many who have studied at The University of the South Pacific (USP), the concept of culture shock can be nonexistent.
For 21-year-old Morenika Nineta Enosa, she had a lot of advice from her mom and aunts before travelling to Fiji, as they all studied at USP’s Laucala Campus in their time.
Ms Enosa said, “I am very blessed in that my mom and her sisters also studied in Suva; I was given all the advice I needed before I even made the trip from Samoa to Fiji.”
“Knowing that I was new, it took time to settle in once I got to the Laucala Campus. However, I learned very quickly that Fijians are super helpful, and this made me feel a lot less homesick during my time studying in Fiji,” she added.
Ms Eonsa said, “Being in Fiji helped build my self-confidence and independence. I didn’t have any parents around, and I made some wrong decisions, but I quickly learned and remembered the goal I had come to study in Fiji.”
“So I had my mom and her sisters come to Fiji to study at USP before me. My mom, Ianese Faasisila, was finishing off her studies when her sister, Morina Faasisila, joined USP to study. As she finished off, their youngest sister, Karene Faasisila, also attended USP in Laucala,” Ms Enosa explained.
Ms Ianesi Faasisila-Enosa is currently the Principal Advisor to the Samoa Prime Minister, Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet; her sisters, Morina Faasisila, are an Auditor with the American Territorial Audit Office in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Karene Faasisila is the Principal of Samoa College.
The three USP alumni left a legacy that Ms Morenika Enosa followed. After graduating from USP in August 2022, Morenika is now a Finance Officer with the Finance Team at USP Samoa Campus.
Meanwhile, Ms Ianesi Rene Faasisila Enosa shared that her overall studying experience at USP was excellent and was mainly in a familiar Pacific island environment.
“The concern of culture shock was nonexistent. The curriculum taught in the programmes reflected on Pacific Island backgrounds, successes and challenges,” Ms Ianesi said.
Ms Ianesi completed her Bachelor of Arts (History / Politics and Tourism) in 1999 before completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies in 2001. Then she got her Master of Arts in Development Studies in 2005 and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management in 2015.
Ms Ianesi said, “I am a Samoan by birth and reside/work in Apia. I studied primary and secondary education in Samoa. I continued my tertiary studies at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. I returned to serve in the Samoa Public Service through various Ministries – Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Office of the Public Service Commission, Samoa Water Authority, Central Bank of Samoa and Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.”
“While studying at USP, in hindsight, the challenges were few. What stands out now is the challenge with the computer labs. At the time, there were few computers, and they proved inaccessible for typing and printing assignments. The level of support was adequate and met the study requirements then,” she added.
Ms Ianesi said, “The USP qualification I attained is professionally recognized regionally and abroad. This serves as a validation of the level of academic achievement that I hold. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking a pacific-oriented tertiary academic experience.”
“USP provided a pacific perspective to regional and global issues. This is important as it is part of our identity, our culture as people of the Pacific Islands,” she added.