A great intro into freelance journalism from abroad Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/29/2017 to 05/12/2017 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Multiculturalism and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Competency as a foreign correspondent. Good friends. Confidence in my journalism abilities. Great clips for my portfolio.

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

Academic Director was great. The journalism mentors were very helpful but largely only available over email (with exception of one week during the semester when they arrive in person). Still, I found them to be a tremendous resource.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being surrounded with American study abroad students didn't help me integrate--and the fact that we learned Fusha rather than Moroccan Arabic in our language classes didn't help me navigate the country. I would have been happier and better able to integrate into Moroccan society had I taken Moroccan Arabic classes, I think.

* 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

I was intent on doing freelance journalism for U.S. or European media outlets from abroad. This program provided me with the mentorship and contacts to make that happen. It was great.

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)

Very easy. SIT's an expensive program, which means all of your necessary costs are covered while you're in the country. However, if you hope to do additional traveling, you should bring an additional $200/week.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Street food and share lodging with other students from the program..

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? Beginner
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? Advanced Spanish, but that's not really relevant. I did beginning Arabic and intermediate Arabic, too.
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? Host families.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Journalism
  • ISPJ
  • Mentorship
* What could be improved?
  • Language Study
  • Excurisions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I'd strongly recommend that people go in knowing that the program is a tremendous opportunity to get your freelance work out there, but that it won't happen without above-and-beyond effort. You have to be thinking on a different level if you want to produce work on a different level!

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:

Independent Study in Journalism

Course Department: SIT
Instructor: Aida Alami
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Aida's a great journalist and provides good feedback if you give her good work. If students are expecting that she'll be present in person throughout the semester, they should know that they'll be able to contact her by email, but she won't physically present for the majority of their time in Morocco.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A