With 22 programs in 16 countries to choose from, it can be challenging for WorldTeach applicants to decide which program to apply to. Alexandra Savinkina chose American Samoa for a variety of reasons and her arrival at her site gave her a serendipitous surprise that solidified her belief that she made the best choice. Read on to learn about why Alexandra chose American Samoa and to hear about what she discovered when she moved to her site…


I have been asked that question probably a million times, and I’m going to be honest: there is no Reason. Oh, there were a million reasons why I chose AmSam: I wanted to go abroad for at least a year (but the Peace Corps 26 months seemed daunting), I wanted to work with youth, I didn’t want to live in the middle of nowhere all by myself (and WorldTeach American Samoa promised roommates), I wanted to go somewhere I’d probably never get the chance to go otherwise (and the South Pacific definitely qualified), and, after I had decided on WorldTeach, the American Samoa program was fully funded (and I was a broke college grad). Those are all reasons, and decent ones…but they’re not a Reason. There was just something inside me that told me it was what I needed to do; maybe I’d feel the same way if I was in Tanzania or Costa Rica right now, but I guess I’ll never know.


Anyway. When I give people the above reasons, they’re never quite satisfied. So I have another story.


Way back when I first started looking into WorldTeach, my friend Melodious and I were clicking through programs on the website and we got to the AmSam main page and saw this:


Little kids smiling up at camera


And I thought, man. Those kids are cute. I can see myself teaching kids like that. So I put AmSam on the list, and as the list got shorter and shorter, Samoa moved farther and farther up. So, I’m not gonna say I moved here because I saw a picture of cute kids. But, I mean, maybe a little bit?


The cutest part of this story though: the kid in the front? His name is Nainoa. He’s my neighbor. And it’s his 9th birthday today.


Happy birthday, Nainoa! Thanks for being so adorable! If not for you, I might be anywhere right now. That’s why I always try to remember… everything happens for a reason.

Alexandra Savinkina, WorldTeach American Samoa 2013-2014

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