Hidden gem of a study abroad location Past Review

By (International Relations - Economics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/08/2014 to 12/21/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Serbia, Bosnia & Kosovo - Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Living independently, adjusting to new cultural environments, greater insight into the history and politics of the region

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.

The program places greater emphasis on learning outside the classroom by incorporating excursions and such, which was a nice change of pace from the experience at my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our language classes were very beneficial in helping us break down many barriers that would've otherwise limited our experience of the city. At the same time, many people there do speak English and were mostly willing to help.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city is very safe compared to most major European capitals. I never felt unsafe walking back home at night, although I still would not recommend it. However, when it comes to political and politicized events in the city, listen to the program staff. They have a better grasp on the local situation so that students don't put themselves unnecessarily at risk.

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)

The meal stipend provided is more than enough, so save the rest for leisure/other purposes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30-40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you cook often or plan to live on your own during ISP, shopping at the local green market means you save money and fresher produce.

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? 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? n/a
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 as much as possible when out and about in the city and with your host family.

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?
  • excursions
  • ISP
* What could be improved?
  • greater interaction with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The amount of racism/racial discrimination varies greatly depending on one's perspective, and oftentimes boils down to misunderstanding. This is another reason to interact more with locals.

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 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.