Experience Tanzania like a local! Past Review

By (International Relations, Eckerd College) - abroad from 09/15/2014 to 12/20/2014 with

IPSL: Tanzania - Global Health & Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program changed my life in so many ways. It changes how you look at the world and the culture you live in, and you realize that Americans have so much to be thankful for that other people don't have, yet these other people are so much more content with their lives.

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 side of this program is not up to American standards. However, this allows you to put more focus into your service placement and to really explore the city and create relationships with the people around you because you aren't swamped with school work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Evans and Joyce are the best coordinators you could ask for. They are always available to help you with anything or to just meet up and hang out.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was absolutely wonderful. The only downside was that they lived on a mountain and didn't have a car, so you better like to get your exercise! Power was also inconsistent, and there was no running water in the house.

* Food:

The food is very repetitive and bland, so it is a strange adjustment from eating a variety of things in America. But it's not actually bad food - a lot of rice, beans, plantains, and vegetables.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is so easy to meet local people and have great experiences. Plus, there were always other internationals around to go experience things with!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I really didn't have any experience with this. The hospitals there aren't great and you wouldn't want any major treatment there for anything. But the program has protocols in place for which hospitals to take you to if there is an emergency so that you get the best care.

* Safety:

It's a city. You'll be safe if you're smart. I never once felt truly unsafe, but there are dangers there. Don't take pikipikis or strange cabs. The program provides you with the numbers and contacts to keep you safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* 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)

It is so cheap to live here. Definitely won't break the bank.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You have free food at the house, so take advantage of that. Also, bargaining is fair game almost everywhere, so don't be afraid to ask for a lower price.

Language

* 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

I had Swahili lessons, but the program itself is not set up to become fluent in another language. Almost everyone speaks English, so you're never really forced to use it.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use every opportunity to use the language - especially with your host family.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • On-site Staff
  • Host Family
  • Local Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Food
  • Transportation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known that I would be the only student in the program.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'