SIT Coastal Kenya Past Review

By (International Relations, Tufts University) for

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was minimal- a few short essays, a midterm, and a final; the grading system was less harsh in comparison to my American university's. A majority of the educational experience is focused on the Independent Study Project which takes place during the last month of the program and is meant to involve field research.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Both the Academic Director and Assistant Director are locals and therefore extremely knowledgeable about the country. The Academic Director received degrees at a top American university and top British university, so he has a good understanding of the system. Both directors cared very much about the students and acted as father figures throughout the entire program. Also, the program size was very small so the group became very close as a whole.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

It is sometimes difficult during meals with host families because the portion sizes are extremely large, and family members will be shocked or disappointed if you don't want to eat everything they put on your plate. You should ask to serve yourself if you feel comfortable or stress that you don't eat as much before your food is served.

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


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had taken two years (four semesters) of college-level Swahili prior to going on the program.
Language acquisition improvement?

We had lessons with a Swahili professor, mostly in the beginning of the program. In one location, we had class for five hours each day for a total of three weeks, but the professor made sure to have breaks between lessons and vary the topics. We could practice the language with mostly anyone as Swahili is the language spoken by all locals. Most locals didn't expect us to use Swahili, but it was definitely necessary in everyday interactions. Locals' knowledge of English varied widely; many are fluent, many don't know any English, and many know a little.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Urban Homestay
  • Independent Study Project
  • Excursions (Tsavo National Park, Zanzibar, etc.)
* What could be improved?
  • Informing the students of smaller details prior to traveling