BYU Should Not Adopt This Program Past Review

By (Epidemiology, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/07/2013 to 08/07/2013 with

Brigham Young University: Ukraine - International Connection Internship

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Personally, I grew a lot. I would never take back this experience. However, I wish that I had done a different study abroad experience. I would not recommend it to others because of the disorganization. Please, go through an actual BYU Study Abroad Program. Not this one.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic work was not hard, per say, but it definitely was not easy. It took diligent work and focus in order to produce the expected outcome. Because BYU was in charge of the academic portion of the internship, everything was clear and well constructed. The professors were willing to help and take into account personal needs.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Here is the downfall of this program: the administration was awful! The company that this internship is through, International Connection, has a lot that they need to work out before they should be associated with BYU. The head coordinator here in Ukraine does not speak English, so if I need help I need to go through a translator. Wires are often crossed and everyone is confused. In addition to this, I usually find out my schedule a day in advance. I might get a monthly schedule, but it will change daily. None of the students here have had a good experience with the on-site administration and we would not recommend this program because of all of the issues we have had with it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was great. The interior had all the amenities we needed and was well taken-care-of. However, when I came on the program, they told me I would be "right in Kiev." I was foolish and did not realize that being "in Kiev" is a very loose term. I am about an hour away from any place of importance. I have to ride public transit for 3-5 hours a day. Because of this, it is difficult to experience any cultural things in the evening because all the buses stop running at 10:30 p.m.

* Food:

Ukrainian food is good, but be prepared: You must pay for all of your food. None is paid for by the program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program promised to pay for us to go to "cultural events," but they almost all got cancelled. Because I was doing this for school, I had to search for cultural events myself. It is possible to find them if you look for it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30-40 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Please note: There is a hidden cost with public transport!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

BYU encouraged me to use the language, but International Connection did not.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The other students
  • Trips to other countries
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Schedules
  • Personal Treatment from Others
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.