You get what you put in. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/08/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

SIT Study Abroad: IHP - Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges and Advocacy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program was humbling; though, it became increasingly difficult to connect with my peers on the program because there was an obvious misunderstanding of privilege. However, what made it worthwhile was that I was able to befriend locals from each country and connect with them.

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.

Because there is an emphasis on experiential learning, there is very little theory that is taught in the academic setting. Thus, academics - for the most part - are not seriously taken, as there is an obvious lack of factual information that we learn.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This depends on each country. Chile was incredibly over-programed, and many of the programs were repetitive. The programing in Jordan was phenomenal, and the programming in Nepal was mediocre.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was able to adjust really well to my living accommodations in Jordan and Nepal. My home in Chile was also fine, but because the home was a bit small, the two pets, that the family had along with their children, made it difficult for all of us to have our own space in the home.

* Food:

Jordan and Nepal had many food options to choose from. In Chile, however, bread is a staple, and aside from empanadas, it was quite difficult to find food with spice and flavor.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program is what you make of it. If you choose to integrate in the local culture, you will feel integrated. I definitely felt integrated in all three cultures.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Can't comment on this, as I was not ill.

* Safety:

Depends on where you are. In Chile, I felt safe, but pickpocketing was such an issue, that it became cumbersome to travel in the large, very obvious, IHP group. In Jordan, knowing the language helped a ton, and though I have only had some exposure to Arabic, I found that I felt much safer than a few of my friends, who felt unsafe in situations like taking the cab by themselves. In Nepal, safety was not a problem, as I felt always.

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)

Depends on each country. In Chile we got more money than I think we needed, and therefore, I had money left over. I think the budgeting needs to be reallocated and more money should be designated for the Jordan program, as prices tend to be higher. Also, because Nepal was the final country, the program underestimated how much money students were to receive there, and therefore, I found I was using my credit card a lot more to purchase meals.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$30-50


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Other
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?
  • Visiting refugee camps in Jordan.
  • The hospitality in Nepal.
* What could be improved?
  • Smaller group size.
  • A look at corporate social responsibility.
  • Taking away student-led debriefs and allotting this task to country coordinators.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The first country will be rough in terms of group dynamic. Not everyone will be on the same page about going abroad, and therefore, it is important to keep an open mind, and when it is necessary, to remove yourself from negativity.