Sewing the seeds for the rest of your life July 20, 2023

By (Anthropology, Skidmore College) - abroad from 02/07/2023 to 05/22/2023 with

SIT Study Abroad: Nepal - Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Aside from the obvious topics that I learned which was the focus of this program, one immediate gain that I can name was the ability to travel on my own. I had done some light travel on my own before but nothing to the extent of this program. During the program, you are required to be on your own for a month and study a topic of your choosing. I had to provide and look after myself without anyone I knew around me for the first time in my life. After doing so successfully, I gained a certain rhythm to it and felt comfortable with traveling. Right after the program ended, I traveled to 5 other countries on my own! The program gave a safety net to experience solo travel before I took I went out and did it on my own.

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.

This program made sure to keep all of us engaged with the topics that were introduced. We always had knowledgeable speakers who come in, we were given assignments drawn from interesting reading material, and we responded to them in writing and group discussions. If any of us became interested in a particular topic, we could always ask the instructors who had various resources including books, articles, and contacts. We were all encourage to indulge in our curiosity while having a the safety net of the program to fall back on.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Whenever I came across any sort of problem, like when I was feeling particularly sick I would contact a program staff member and they would comfort me and tell me where I could buy medication. Overall, they were always helpful when you asked. They would be hands off at times so that we could figure out things on our own and explore the local area for places to eat or shop.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is sort of up to the person on how involved they want to be and integrate. You only have roughly 3 months in country and we go out on excursions. You can choose to hand out with your classmates or to go out and meet new people. But no matter what, you will meet new people and will be a part of socializing with everybody around you.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not use many of the services but I heard from all my friends that did have good experiences and were taken care. I ended up getting my full set of rabies vaccines and that was pretty cool to get and now I am set for life.

* Safety:

We were not out at night often due to curfew during the homestay period, but if I was walking back after sunset, I felt very safe and comfortable being alone as a woman.

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

Ideally, I would attend another study abroad program. Unfortunately, I am a rising Senior and can not afford to study abroad again. I would not want to give up this experience of being in Nepal and miss out on the people that I got to meet along the way.


* 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)

The Nepali rupee is less than the US dollar. Studying abroad in Nepal, you spend a whole lot less than you ever could in the US. We would go out to get coffee most days and a cup is around $1. Plus a lot of living expenses are included like breakfast, lunch, and dinner which takes care of meal expenses in general. I did not buy much throughout the semester other than snacks, a meal out occasionally, and souvenirs.


* 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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Latin 3
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Topic
  • Structure
* What could be improved?
  • More Pre-arrival Information
  • Updated Packing List (which I think will be)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? My plane arrived in Kathmandu at 12 am the night before and I planned on sleeping in the international airport till the pick-up time in the morning. I learned that the airport staff were very confused by this and I had to leave the arrival lobby. I had no way to book a hotel because I did not have a sim card. Eventually, a taxi driver approached me and took me to a hotel nearby for the night. I paid with my card without any problem but I was completely unprepared for that. I recommend that if you arrive the day before the pick-up, you book a hotel ahead of time while you have service/wifi.