Life-changing experience with SIT in Kenya Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/03/2012 to 05/20/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A completely new way of looking at difference and tolerance for other ways of living life. It was definitely worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got very sick in the rural village in Taita. There was no hospital near by, just a general clinic. The medicine, care and accessibility were pretty minimal. But everyone was friendly and generally tried as hard as they could to make me feel safe and comfortable. Malaria pills are very important when traveling to this region- there are a ton of mosquitoes!

* Safety:

My house got broken into, but my host mom handled the situation and the police came within a matter of minutes.

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? The entire program (4 months) I spent 200 dollars, and that was mainly purely for souvenirs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a budget early and stick to it.


* 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

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? The intro to Swahili 1 Middlebury offered during J-term
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? Don't care about sounding like an idiot in the beginning and just try to speak it!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
  • Other
* 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 cultural understanding and teaching
  • The language instruction
  • The activities our program offered
* What could be improved?
  • Packing list/general advisories
  • Host family
  • Research and Ethics academic course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring more bug spray! And to speak the language a lot in the beginning when you feel okay about making errors.