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Pu’e-o-Manu is a special study abroad program based in Samoa that focuses on issues of cultural and ecological sustainability. Pu‘e-o-manū provides students with experiences and activities that explore themes of education and development paradigms within Pacific Island cultures. Pu’e-o-manu is a four week faculty led study-abroad cultural immersion experience. Pu‘e-o-manū is a Sāmoan expression that translates into English as “capturing serendipity”. “Pu‘e” means “to catch” and “manū” describes a favorable or serendipitous outcome. This course is based on the power of integral transformative learning, where inquiry of a serendipitous nature is a core goal. Pu’e-o-manu integrates inquiry into human consciousness and understanding, participation in sustainable environmental practices, and exploration of educational frameworks and paradigms.
Understanding is enhanced through home stay experiences with Sāmoan families in traditional villages, where weekend activities, include harvesting food for the traditional Sunday lunch. The structure of the Pu‘e-o-manū
experience creates space for students to pursue an inquiry related to their discipline or interest within the overall themes of the course, and culminates in an independent research project . Through engagement in the course, students will experience Pu‘e-o-manū
itself, capturing serendipity through unpredictable intersections.