It was the experience of a lifetime. September 15, 2018

By (Berea College) - abroad from 06/16/2018 to 07/07/2018 with

KIIS: Israel & Egypt

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned not to listen to stereotypes that exist about a place. It's important to experience it for yourself before making any assumptions. It's important to never let fear hold you back from something that could be amazing. It's also really important to go out and experience the world as much as possible. This experience was so worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I am giving this 5 stars because it was an overall amazing experience. We got to see and do so many different things and learned a lot while we were in the program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The professors both did a great job of teaching us while abroad. We had class meetings where we would discuss different topics. The local tour guides also gave us great insights to the places we were visiting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The places we lived in were both in great locations. The place we stayed in while in Israel made us feel very immersed. We got to stay in one of the 14 stations of the cross on Via Dolorosa, which is full of history. I like that we stayed in the heart of the old city of Jerusalem rather than a heavily touristed area. The place we stayed in Egypt was very nice, and had air conditioner which was great because we were there during the time when the temperatures are at their highest. It was also in a nice location and really close to the Nile River.

* Food:

The food was good, but very different from what we're used to here in America. I really loved some of it, but some of it I wasn't that crazy about. Our professors always made sure we were fed and had snacks though, and overall the food was good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture. I feel as if through the program we were able to experience a lot of things that the typical tourist would never really get to experience. We got to have a homemade meal with locals in Egypt, talk to a lot of shop owners, and got to even ride out into the desert with local tribes. We also met locals who taught us dances. Doing all of these things made me feel as if I immersed myself in the culture very thoroughly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health issues were addressed well during the program. During the program the participants had some stomach issues, but several of us brought medicine with us and were able to take that. The professors always made sure to check on us if we weren't feeling well and allowed us to miss out on activities if we needed to so we could rest. If something happened, they told us to tell them and they would come to us immediately. There weren't major prevalent health issues. We did have to have a couple vaccines for it-Typhoid and Hepatitis A. We also had to wear insect repellent to protect ourselves from mosquitoes, but we didn't have any issues with this.

* Safety:

I can say honestly that I never felt like I was in any danger during the program. The most important thing to do is just be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whenever you go out, make sure to go out in groups of at least 3 people.

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

I would choose this program again because I learned and experienced way more than I even imagined.

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)

Our food was included in the program, so the only thing I had to worry about paying for while abroad personal items such as souvenirs or water or snacks that I wanted to buy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe around $100, sometimes not even that much.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It's a good idea to eat a smaller meal for lunch and then that way you can spend a little more on dinner if you want. Don't go too crazy with souvenirs because not only are you spending a lot of money, but you need to make sure you have enough room in your suitcase and carry-on to be able to take them all back home with you.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hostel
* 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 fun learning atmosphere.
  • The adventures that we went on.
  • All of the sites we visited.
* What could be improved?
  • It should last longer.
  • Not having class too late at night.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That everything would work out and not to be worried about anything.