The most wonderful, challenging, exciting, and confusing semesters of my life Past Review

By (Peace And Justice Studies, Berea College) - abroad from 02/03/2014 to 05/18/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Belgrade, Budapest, and Vienna - Comparative European Perspectives on Conflict and Democracy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It is nearly impossible to write in this box what I learned from this experience so quickly after it has ended, but I will say that it is certainly worthwhile. If you want a fulfilling study abroad experience both academically and socially/culturally, I would highly recommend choosing an SIT program (especially the Balkans!)

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

One of the most academically intense and challenging semesters of my college career.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Each staff member comes from the region, which automatically gives one a sense of comfort about studying there. Additionally, the staff was extremely helpful a very available the entire semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Each student is placed into a homestay family with careful consideration. Living with a family made my experience all the more meaningful.

* Food:

Food in the Balkan region is wonderful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

SIT does a great job integrating students into the local culture. Also, living with a host family allowed me to make friends and build relationships with local people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Belgrade is one of the safest cities that I have ever been to. Whether I was walking home at 2 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, I never felt a sense of insecurity or fear in the city.

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


* 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)

Compared to the prices in the U.S., Belgrade is very affordable. Additionally, SIT gives students a stipend for food each week. So, depending on how much one spends, it is very possible to live off of the stipend SIT provides.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20


* 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

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? N/A
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? Do not be afraid to speak it in public (in stores, restaurants, etc). It may seem like a very difficult language, which it is, but if you honestly try to speak it, people will appreciate it and you will begin to feel more comfortable talking with others.

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

  • 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?
  • Classes
  • Food
  • Local People and Culture
* What could be improved?
  • I cannot
  • think of anything
  • that I would improve
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think most of the things I learned/experienced on this program could not have been known before going on this program. Belgrade is a place where you figure things out while you are there.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!