this experience completed my liberal arts education. December 26, 2019

By (Berea College) - abroad from 08/26/2019 to 12/08/2019 with

SIT Study Abroad: Rwanda - Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
it was very worthwhile. I was really interested in interrupting some common misconceptions and obsolete thinking about African countries and I think I did that. I also got to see how much of a privilege it is to have an American passport. I think I really needed to have this experience to make choices about my career and life in general.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had a really awesome time and I learned a lot through this experience abroad. I feel more like a global citizen because of this and my interests have expanded much more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Celine Mukamurenzi was a wonderful resource and advocate for me during my time abroad. she was willing everything to do she could when I had an issue to be sure things were in place for me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very taken of in my housing arrangements throughout the entire semester.

* Food:

the food always well served and prepared.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to integrate well into the population and I learned a lot while working through cultural differences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues but we were provided international insurance and if we needed to go to the doctor, the cost would be reimbursed to us.

* Safety:

Kigali was very safe and I did not have any scares with safety! On the other hand, when we took an excursion to Uganda for two weeks some of the students in my program were actually robbed. However, I felt safe the entire time.

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

I am so happy I chose the program that I did. I would definitely do it all over again if I had the choice.

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 easily.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? split/share as much as possible with the students in your program. Food especially!

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

In Rwanda, there is a lot of English but definitely places where there is only Kinyarwanda, so we had to know a bit of it to get around.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 102
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? Use it when you are out on the town. even if there are English speakers around, use whatever language for that country.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • people
  • content
  • city
* What could be improved?
  • more academic rigor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? just breathe. things will work themselves out.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.