One of the highlights of my life January 14, 2020

By (Hamilton College) - abroad from 09/02/2019 to 12/12/2019 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 opened my eyes to the complex livelihoods of people as they are shaped by different entities, whether they be political, cultural, social, etc. Overall, the significance of empathy and taking concrete action to help others was evident every day of this program.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I adored each of my homestay families. I genuinely felt a part of my homestay family in each country.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Aside from the glimpse of each country's culture I experienced through my homestay families, I also appreciated each country coordinator's effort to include cultural events and activities that we could partake in during our time there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

- I learned so much even after I left each country and eventually arrived in the United States, so I would like to apply that knowledge in a new way if I participated in the program again. - I would have budgeted better - I would have talked to more locals at the markets, temples, schools, etc. - I would have spoken more in class - I would have shared more of myself with the group in a way most natural, but still challenging for me

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? In Chile: $60-80, in Nepal: $35-50, in Jordan: $50-70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Create a budget and keep track of your expenses so that you are aware of where your money is going! I, unfortunately, did not do either of those things, so I definitely spent more than I anticipated without realizing it.

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

In Chile: very encouraged because about 95% of the country only speaks Spanish In Nepal: not really encouraged (although this might depend on your host family situation) In Jordan: fairly encouraged by the country team

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? 2 semesters of Chinese
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Ask your host family to speak to you in their language! Attend all of the language classes offered in each country. Download language apps and watch videos- practice every day!

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
  • International 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?
  • Host families
  • Academic content- I learned so much
  • Cultural activities
* What could be improved?
  • Distributing stipends based on students' traveling needs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? No matter how difficult it can get, do what you can to stay fully present at all times!