A Valuable Experience Despite It All March 05, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/01/2017 to 12/15/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a great deal about overcoming personal adversity, as well as about the wonderful archipelago of Indonesia, especially beautiful Bali and Java and the wonderful people who made me feel welcome there.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Academic Director, Ni Wayan Ariati, was fantastic! She went above and beyond on every level, including taking me to the hospital and helping translate when I got sick.

* 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?

I had to take a medical withdrawal since there was no access to the correct type of antibiotics for the strain of typhoid I had. When I got back, my doctor at home also flagged a small parasite I had, which the Indonesian doctors had all missed (I went to the hospital 5 different time and saw 4 different doctors while abroad.) Though the program staff handled everything excellently, and I'm sure the doctors did the best they could, the healthcare system is just a tad behind.

* Safety:

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

Despite everything, I would absolutely do it again! I learned so much during my short time in Indonesia.


* 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? $15


* 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
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
  • 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?
  • Travelling
  • Homestays
* What could be improved?
  • Medical care
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring 3rd-gen antibiotics! And lots of bugspray and an open mind.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Bahasa Indonesia

Course Department:
Instructor: Pak Yudi
Instruction Language: English, Bahasa Indonesia
Comments: Challenging, yes, especially in orientation when we had upwards of 5 hours a day -- but satisfying to be able to use what we'd learned immediately in our homestays and while out and about in the village.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Field Methods and Ethics

Course Department:
Instructor: Bu Ari
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A great class, especially as someone keen on anthropology and ethnographic research. Though I didn't stay long enough to do the ISP, what we learned was very helpful for the mini Research Project, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I took a medical withdrawal from the program before the ISP period, but all the staff were very helpful both in organizing that and, before I decided to leave, organizing contacts for my ISP and helping me with my topic.
Credit Transfer Issues: