indispensable Past Review

By (Columbia University) - abroad from 08/23/2016 to 12/05/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad: Bolivia - Multiculturalism, Globalization, and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
i learned so much about myself, about bolivia, and about what i want to do in the future.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Heidi, the academic director, is amazing. So is the entire team. Noemi and Patty (assistants/administrators) are also amazing, and it is insane how tirelessly the whole team works just to make sure the semester is the best it can be. Cannot speak more highly of the staff.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family system is one of the best things about the entire program. SIT Bolivia has an institutional rule that each host family has to have at least one child that is our age---so you get really close to your host family siblings and hang out with them all the time, and get close with their friends too. it's amazing. i became friends with a lot of other people's host siblings as well. the host family arrangements on this program are consistently one of the things i rave about the most.

* Food:

the program tries really hard to match you with a family who will be compatible with your dietary habits. I am vegetarian and was matched with a family who is all vegetarian, so that was extremely amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You start to feel extremely integrated in Cochabamba, especially if you spend a lot of social time with your host siblings and their friends. During excursions this element is lacking, however.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Cochabamba is a relatively very safe city, I never had any problems.

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

ABSOLUTELY this program will change your life


* 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)

Bolivia is cheap!!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? maybe $5-$10/week on food. really not a lot at all.


* 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

There is way too much english on this program, that is something i found frustrating.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I have been close to fluency in spanish for over a year now. I took quechua classes in Cochabamba, which was awesome!
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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?
  • host family
  • independent study project
  • bolivian friends i made
* What could be improved?
  • too much english
  • chaotic at times
  • some frustrations re. the academics
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? that there would be so much english

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.'