Excellent! Past Review

By (Occidental College) - abroad from 02/06/2014 to 05/21/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: India - Sustainable Development and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a profound wake up call to American culture, Indian culture, and the human experience.

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.

Phenomenal education. Very challenging, definitely not a party semester. The academics are rigorous--lots of reading and papers. Accelerated Hindi classes. I really enjoyed the excursions and exposure to different communities and organizations throughout India.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Great staff. Very friendly and fun, felt like a family. We felt very taken care of.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family! And I loved staying in hotels with the other students when we were on excursions.

* Food:

Delicious! Daily chai!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't feel fully integrated with the local culture. I hung out with the students on my program mostly. I was worried for my safety to socialize alone.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got E-coli my first week there so I had to go to the hospital many times. The staff was extremely supportive, checking in on me, driving me to the hospital, letting me miss class when I was too sick.

* Safety:

They warned us not to date local men. This was challenging for some of us to accept because we wanted to integrate into the local culture. But eventually we realized, the cultural norms are very different. My friend went to a movie and kissed an Indian man, he then thought they would get married and called her multiple times a day and waited outside her home.

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

I miss the program often! Life was extremely invigorating and adventurous. I loved my friends on the program and loved learned everyday!


* 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)

Very affordable.


* 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

Hindi is a challenging language, so we learned mostly street usable language--like shopping and getting a taxi. We had to speak Hindi daily to get around town.

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? Intermediate French
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Start studying the alphabet and practicing the sounds before the program. And practice the words and grammar with your host family.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling to parts of the country
  • Month independent research
  • Immersive learning
* What could be improved?
  • More time practicing Hindi
  • Ways to make local friends
  • Ideas to bond with host family
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Buy clothes on the street--just $3, rather than in malls for $30.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.