A breath of fresh air in terms of academia and culture. Past Review

By (Biology, General., Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/24/2013 to 05/08/2013 with

SIT Study Abroad: Tanzania - Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile, learned not only about a new culture and a new way of life but got serious biological research experience under my belt.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* 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?

* 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


* 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)

Not that easy, I think the daily budget should be increased to 25,000 Tsh a day (for Arusha). Housing costs 10-13 thousand leaving just enough for the cheapest food available for 3 meals a day, leaving nothing for transportation to and from school headquarters.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 20$


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I have taken Spanish and completed a 350 level class (but this was Swahili...)
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? Speak with you homestay family, even if they speak English. Speak Swahili with any TZ even if you think you're not good, it cuts down barriers between locals and students.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Learning the language
  • Getting research experience
  • Having Tanzanian teachers (only one American teacher)
* What could be improved?
  • Hire female staff
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing! Go in with an open mind and no expectations!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Course Department:
Instructor: Reese Matthews
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Swahili Language

Course Department:
Instructor: Bitrice
Instruction Language: Swahili
Comments: AMAZING language instruction during our village homestay. Morning class followed by the rest of the days/nights with our homestay family really gave us a chance to practice what we had learned that morning. We had a written and oral mid term and then a final oral exam after we'd gone off on ISP.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Research Methods and Ethics

Course Department:
Instructor: Reese Matthews, Babu Liki, Alex Engamela
Instruction Language:
Comments: Field based learning in the National Parks and other conservation areas. Prepared me extremely well for my ISP.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department:
Instructor: Reese Matthews
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues: