Seeing With New Eyes Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Bethel University) - abroad from 02/01/2012 to 05/29/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Guatemala

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to how to see the U.S from an outsiders perspective and to see differently than how my culture has taught me. I also grew closer in my relationship with God and learned how to better trust Him.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Anoka Ramsey Community College
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Enjoyed the one-on-one Spanish classes, but was not thrilled with the economics class we all took. It was redundant, and not (I believe) a very good use of our time there.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Centro Linguistics Maya and Students International were both wonderful to work with. Very welcoming and ready to offer help whenever we needed it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Enjoyed staying with host families.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The internships especially helped with integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was very unhappy about the health care we received. The doctor was quick to make a diagnosis (She seemed to have a list of a about three conditions that she would pick from. Everyone who went to her "had" (yes I am skeptic) either a parasite, bacterial infection, or irritable bowel syndrome). She was also overly enthusiastic about making prescriptions. The one time I went in to see her, she came to the conclusion that because of certain circumstances we could not know for sure what was wrong with me at that time, and yet I still left with three different prescriptions. Other people who had samples done at the lab to test for parasites received negative results but were given prescriptions from her anyway (with different excuses).

* Safety:

I believe that Bethel did all that they could to make sure that we were safe. The only unsafe situations we encountered happened because rules were broken.

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)

Almost all living necessities were covered with the cost of the trip.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On average, per week, I would have to say probably less than a dollar (more during excursions though).
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn how to barter efficiently.


* 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

Only Spanish with our host families, but I wish it would have been stricter Spanish-only at our internships.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPA201
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? When you come across an opportunity to use the language, don't miss it! You will regret it later.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • the internships
  • the Christian aspect through Bethel and Students International
  • the opportunity to use Spanish
* What could be improved?
  • health care
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Cannot think of anything.