a challenging, exhilarating and emotional look into food security Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/22/2016 to 12/12/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad/IHP: Food Systems: Agriculture, Sustainability, and Justice

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to ask better questions, to advocate for myself, and how to tell meaningful stories. Definitely 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.

We were provided with informative and thought-provoking readings, and our experiential learning component contributed significantly to our learning. Not all classes were of the same caliber, however.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

A few sites were incredibly well-coordinated, but some coordinators were new and still figuring out their jobs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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 about myself and food security in general. It was such a hard semester, physically and mentally, but I came out stronger and wiser.


* 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? twenty to thirty dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? if you don't buy souvenirs, you won't use much money at all


* 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?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • staying with host families
  • forging a strong learning community
  • comparing situations in different countries
* What could be improved?
  • programming in Italy
  • time for self-care
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You aren't going to have as much time to do homework or sleep as you want, so steel yourself.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

People, identity and Food

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: varied by country
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was not challenging, but I participated a lot and the material was relevant. We were mostly assessed through papers and class participation.
Credit Transfer Issues: I still don't know if the credit will transfer...
Course Name/Rating:

Agriculture, Ecology and Sustainable Futures

Course Department: Environment
Instructor: varied by location
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was challenging, but instructors varied by location and some were not well-prepared or did not offer relevant information, so I tended to participate in class less than I do at Middlebury. We were mostly assessed with papers and presentations.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am hoping to transfer this environmental studies course for my minor, but transcripts haven't come in yet so I haven't had the opportunity to try.
Course Name/Rating:

Getting From Field to Fork

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Katharine Bradley
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was challenging, but tied in our locations and site visits. The professor provided engaging readings, motivating me to participate in class. We were assessed through a semester-long group inquiry project that gave us a new lens through which to view food systems change.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Politics, Ethics and Food Security

Course Department: Politics
Instructor: Katharine Bradley
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was challenging, but with excellent material touching on a wide variety of topics. I participated frequently in class, and we were assessed through papers, posters, and a creative final project.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.