Alhamdullilah Past Review

By (Anthropology/Sociology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/05/2012 to 05/19/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of confidence and the feeling that I can cope with any situation. I felt for the first time that I understood a completely different way of looking at the world still entirely consistent with itself. I learned a lot of language. I realized how much where you grow up irrevocably shapes the way you look at the world. It was absolutely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

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?

Not always extremely comfortable, partly just because of the lack of privacy, but certainly part of the experience and real glimpse into life there, and that is what it should have been.

* Food:

The best. Miss it like crazy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Amazing. It think it let you integrate as much as you wanted to--you didn't always have to, but you always could.

* 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)

* 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? $5
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can get whatever clothes you need there really cheaply--don't worry about trying to find long skirts and other difficult things in the US. Also the packing lists can be a little outdated or over-prepared--check with someone on the ground if you can.


* 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

Lots of opportunity, but sometimes the assumption that we wouldn't want to speak outside of the classroom just within the group.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? "Intermediate" Swahili, but really the equivalent of one intensive month
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? Never use your home language. Talk on the streets, even to people who know English. Surprise them--never consent to just fall back into English because you can. Don't be embarrassed to make mistakes. Try new constructions even if they might not work.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • The ability to really get into the culture and be independent
  • The language and the best language teacher ever
  • The food!!!
* What could be improved?
  • More chances to get away from the American group if you wanted to--not that I didn't love them, but the chance to sit with a stranger on the bus and talk to him, for example
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing--I feel like I needed to learn whatever I know now from that experience.