This study abroad experience changed my life. February 13, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/01/2017 to 12/11/2017 with

SIT Study Abroad: Indonesia - Arts, Religion, and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So very much. A completely different perspective on the world from the SE Asian vantage point, learning first hand about the problematic nature of post-colonialism and tourism, wonderful friends, teachers and contacts and a love of this part of the world that I didn't really know existed.

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.

* 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

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? It depended on the week, because of the amount of travel and different things that we were doing.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to Indonesia, it's really really cheap in comparison to Europe or the US.

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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None in Bahasa Indonesia, the language that we were studying.
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? Speak it all of the time, don't use english as a crutch or as a privilege.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The Academic Director, Ni Wayan Ariati, and the other teachers that run the program
  • The set-up of the program, traveling and learning for the first two months, and then independently living and working in Bali.
  • The people I studied with and met along the way, the beautiful places I visited and discovered there.
* What could be improved?
  • Organization of reading materials and assignments at the program center in Bali
  • Middleburg's organization of how to apply and attend SIT or non middlebury programs
  • Letting the local Balinese team of teachers dictate how the program is run rather than the SIT team in Vt headquarters.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Historical background of colonialism in Indonesia and Bali, to compare to all that I learned there, western perspective vs. non-western perspective.

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:

Thematic Seminar

Course Department: Sociology/English/History etc.
Instructor: Ni Wayan Ariati
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the overall seminar in my study abroad program and included reading material, cultural excursions, lectures, discussions, presentations, essays and written responses and two written exams. it was sort of the core/backbone of the academic portion of my program and was an important baseline to integrating into the culture of Indonesia in an authentic and aware way.
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Bahasa Indonesian

Course Department: Language
Instructor: Pak Yudiana
Instruction Language: Bahasa Indonesian
Comments: This course was extremely important during my study abroad experience, intensive language study that started in the classroom and then was transferred into real life experience and practice, as we needed to speak the language to all of the Indonesian people that we interacted with. By the end of the program I had a substantial amount of confidence with this language and felt comfortable speaking it to all of the people that I interacted with.
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Field Methods and Ethics

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments:
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Independent Study Project

Course Department: n/a
Instructor: Ni Nyoman Sani
Instruction Language: English & Bahasa Indonesian
Comments: This course was an independent study project that was self-directed for the last month of my study abroad program. I did independent research on the subject of Birth and Maternity in Bali as well as a painting apprenticeship with a Balinese female painter, Ni Nyoman Sani, where I created a body of work, watercolor and ink paintings, that corresponded to my research. The opportunity to work with a professional artist as well as conduct my own research, interviews and writing was an amazing one, and this independent study period is absolutely what makes this program so unique and incredible.
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