Such a great experience! June 25, 2015

By (Occidental College) - abroad from 02/22/2015 to 06/05/2015 with

SIT Study Abroad: Peru - Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish got better, I learned so much about indigenous rights, and I think most importantly the program challenged me to think differently about development and the way we view the earth and its resources in general. It was definitely worthwhile, and I'm positive this experience has impacted the future I envision for myself.

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.

Had an absolutely incredible experience with the SIT program. Everything is just super hands on. Theres the regular reading and lectures (most of which I really enjoyed), but theres also so many excursions that allow you to really immerse yourself in the topic of indigenous rights, and the ISP period is a really good time to explore in-depth the topic that interests you most. Definitely would recommend the program to everyone!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Had an AMAZING home-stay family. Everyones homestay is different, but my family made me feel instantly welcome and I got to know them really well over the course of the semester. They were also a huge help when it came to figuring out directions or the way things worked, and my host dad loved talking to me about current events in Peru which I really appreciated.

* Food:

All I can say is that my host mom is an AMAZING cook.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My host family helped with this a lot, but I will say that it can be a little bit harder to really get to know youth from around the area because all classes are with other students from the SIT program, but the opportunities to connect with people outside of the program do exist.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The staff and my host family were really good about keeping us generally aware of what was safe and how to prepare for all of our outings. For example we learned what kinds of taxis were safest to take. I'm happy to say that I don't feel that my safety was ever threatened in the 3 1/2 months I was in Peru.

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)

Everything is super affordable. Expenses were basically optional, because meals are included with your home-stay. Even if you do decide to go out, a meal is 30 soles tops- about 10 dollars. Taxis for transportation are also very affordable- 4-7 soles (a little over $1).

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? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The excursions
  • Homestay
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to interact with other University students from Peru.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had thought more about my ISP project beforehand so I could be more prepared for the ISP period and take full advantage of my time.