Fantastic Field Work Experience Past Review

By (Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/01/2014 to 04/24/2015 with

Study Abroad Programs in India

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained a sense of the magnitude of development issues facing India and the need for my role as a western student to be as informed in the classroom as on the ground.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic program was a good overview of issues but the in depth portions of class could have been more organized. The teachers were great and from a variety of institutions. The number of guest lecturers could have been less for the India County Analysis course.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was ESG's first time hosting a program of this length and rigor. There were a lot of organizational flaws but the connections they had with organizations and individuals for student internships/projects were invaluable. The program need more clarity and to take on responsibility when things go array. Students also need to be sure to be pro-active with any issues they may have or they may go untended.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There was some shuffling around with housing due to disorganization but my longterm hosts were phenomenal. In the village there were adjustments but that goes with the territory of choosing to leave the city.

* Food:

Always fantastic

* 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)

Because I was there for a year I had some financial trouble come spring because I didn't have the opportunity to work. But of course, the cost of living was much less.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? French 3
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go North if you want to use Hindi

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?
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Location
  • Program Structure
* What could be improved?
  • On ground organization
  • Communication
  • Relationship between on ground site and home institution
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack light