Note: this program has been suspended.
What is the Micronesia and South Pacific Technical Assistance Program?
Each year the Micronesia and South Pacific Program (MSPP) fills a variety of technical assistance requests from public agencies in American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We match job requests with qualified graduate students and professionals and prepare about 25 technical assistants (TAs) to live and work in the Pacific islands for 3-month assignments. Most placements (95%) occur in the summer.
What expenses does the MSPP cover?
Round-trip airfare from Eugene to your destination in the Pacific islands, lodging, $25 per day living allowance for meals and miscellaneous expenses. You will receive a $150 advance during spring term for immunizations and pre-departure expenses.
What are the requirements to obtain a technical assistant position?
Why are PPPM 626 and PPPM 607 required courses?
PPPM 626 "Experiencing Crossing Cultures" (Wednesdays 3-6 p.m, 3 credits) helps prospective TAs increase their awareness and develop communication skills to make an effective transition into island culture. The PPPM 607 "Pacific Islands Orientation" seminar (Wednesdays 3-6 p.m, 2 credits) provides basic information about living on Pacific islands (what to pack, living arrangements, etc.) while students begin gathering information for their skills transfer project.
Since I have traveled abroad, is it possible for me to waive the course requirements?
In a word, no. This program is based on the premise that learning is a lifelong process, including learning about oneself in different environments. The course focuses on gaining an increased depth of understanding of cross-cultural interactions and is useful regardless of the cross-cultural experience you have had.
I already have a full courseload winter and spring terms -- what will your courses require of me?
Graduate students often find PPPM 626 and PPPM 607 a refreshing change from their other classes because of the experiential and process focus. While short papers are required, these tend to be about assessing learned adaptive skills and self-awareness, and generally do not require library research.
I am not currently a graduate student -- can I still participate in this program?
Community professionals are welcome to apply and can register for the requried courses (PPPM 626 and PPPM 607) through the University of Oregon Continuing Education Program (541-346-5614; firstname.lastname@example.org). We conserder graduate students first for projects, however, if an acceptable TA-project match is not made then professionals are chosen to work with agencies.
Is academic credit available for this experience?
Yes you can sign up for up to 12 internship credits through the PPPM department. These credits can be taken concurrent with the assignment or allocated throughout the next academic year (i.e., 1-4 credits Fall term, 1-4 credits Winter term, etc.).
Are there any other courses that will help me prepare for work in the Pacific?
Courses on Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia are often offered through the University of Oregon Anthropology Department. There are also interesting Art History courses for this region.
How do I apply for the technical assistance program?
1. Read the TA application procedures.
2. Think hard about whether you have a genuine interest in living and working in a developing country.
3. If so, submit the following to
Nancy Peyron, Associate Director, Micronesia and South Pacific Program, 5244 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-5244:
More questions about the Micronesia and South Pacific Program?
Contact Nancy Peyron, Associate Director, at 130 Hendricks Hall, (541) 346-1425, email@example.com