Broadening My Horizons July 06, 2016

By (Stephen F. Austin State University) - abroad from 06/01/2016 to 06/28/2016 with

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA): Traveling in Central Europe - American Government - Theory

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about different cultures, how to deal with challenges when traveling (transportation, communication, language barriers, etc.), and that I'm capable of doing things I didn't think I could do.

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.

The learning environment was great! The lectures were engaging and offered plenty opportunity for the students to participate in the discussion.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms were alright- not the nicest, but not the worst either. The staff was mostly friendly. There was trouble with the washing machines, and the community kitchens didn't seem very clean.

* Food:

We ate in the cafeteria for lunch. Although there were only three options of meals each day, all the food tasted good, and we were able to experience some traditional Slovak foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Having Slovak students in the class with us really helped us with being a part of the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in the host town we stayed in. I walked around by myself and didn't feel uncomfortable at all.

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

Great area and professor that was familiar with the area

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)

If wanted, breakfast and lunch were provided. Other food there could be found for relatively inexpensive prices.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50

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

We tried to use a few Slovak phrases when interacting with the locals, as this pleased them to see that we were trying.

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
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice saying phrases out loud.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Seeing different areas
  • Experiencing a different culture
* What could be improved?
  • A little more structure in trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Relax- everything will work out one way or another. See each challenge/setback as an adventure.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Political Science 141

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Dr. Tkacik
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course offered a lot of opportunity for discussing and interacting in the foreign area. The professor was very knowledgeable on the subject and area. I felt I was able to participate more in class here than I would have at my home institution because there was more opportunities for it here. For assessment, we had one group project and paper and an oral final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: No trouble