Jaipur, India- Sustainable Development and Social Change Past Review

By (Sociology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/30/2015 to 12/12/2015 with

SIT Study Abroad: India - Sustainable Development and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So incredibly worthwhile. Going abroad and going to India specifically was one of the most challenging things I've ever done, but if you handed me a plane ticket back there I would go in a heartbeat. I learned more about myself, my expectations for myself as an individual, and how I see the world and its people than I ever have before. Studying in India gave me so much perspective on the life that I live back home in the United States, and more specifically at Middlebury. I think about India every day, and I will always carry the experiences I had and the relationships I established with me.

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?

* 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

Absolutely. India, the experiences I had there, and the places I was able to see and visit have totally changed my perspective on so many different aspects of my life. SIT does an incredible job of getting students out of the classroom and in the field, doing hands-on work, having real conversations, and conducting meaningful research. With SIT's experiential learning approach, I felt like I really got to truly experience India, rather than sitting in a classroom simply talking about it.


* 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? Maybe $10/ week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can buy pretty much everything anywhere in Jaipur, and people are always going to say they're "giving you the best price". If you see something you like or want, wait a little bit. Go explore some of the other nearby shops (which will probably have the exact same thing) and see what their prices are. Don't get caught up in buying tons of stuff at one store- explore your options.


* 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? French V in high school
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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?
  • The opportunities to travel across India
  • My homestay families
  • the city of Jaipur itself
* What could be improved?
  • More engaging academics
  • More diversity in class speakers
  • More interesting readings
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that the program would provide us with pre-paid cellphones to use while we were in India. A point of stress for me before leaving was what I was going to do about my cellphone plan, but if they had told us we were going to each receive a cellphone, it would have been one less hassle.

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:

Shaping Sustainable Development

Course Department:
Instructor: Trilochan Pandey & Tara Dhakal
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was one of my favorite courses I took at SIT. The fieldwork portion was my favorite, as I loved getting out of the classroom, going to visit different organizations and NGOs, and the focus on experiential learning. We only wrote one paper during the class so assessment was very dependent on class participation and a group presentation project. Not a very challenging course, and the readings weren't very exciting, but having guest lecturers come to class every day was a really unique way of engaging with the various levels of material.
Credit Transfer Issues: