Transformative Program! October 04, 2019

By (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 06/18/2018 to 08/03/2018 with

SIT Study Abroad: Madagascar - Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience in Madagascar was truly incredible. The orientation portion really prepares you for integrating with your homestay families, and the subject matter of the courses challenges you in a new and unique way. You get to explore three very different areas of the island country, from Tana to Morondava, and all three have something new to offer. The program director, Nat, is one of the purest and kindest people I have ever met, and is incredibly accommodating. This is a very hands-on program, and with the homestay component, you have the opportunity to dive even deeper into the local culture should you so choose (I recommend that you do). You'll eat a lot of rice, but I love rice so that was fine by me. I wish I was able to stay longer than the 6 & 1/2 weeks.

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:

Lots of rice!

* 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)

I think I spent $300 over 6 and a half weeks (not including program costs)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$50

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

Program taught you a bit of Malagasy, but there was no pre req for French. I spoke French and it was immensely helpful.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 host family experience
  • Using the language
  • The subject matter
* What could be improved?
  • Program had to be adjusted due to some safety concerns
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Exactly what the weather was going to be like. I could have packed more efficiently.

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.'