Incredible and worthwhile experience Past Review

By (Business Administration, University of Southern California) - abroad from 06/17/2011 to 08/19/2011 with

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya

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

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.

The program is an opportunity to practice skills in leadership, prototyping, and teamwork. The experience promotes personal and professional development, while simultaneously giving you access to experience what it's like to live in a culture vastly different than our own.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program advisors were good at keeping to the program curriculum and providing suggestions and ideas throughout the process. I appreciated going through the curriculum with participants from other communities on a weekly basis to provide consistency in our experiences and our approaches. It may have helped to have more familiarity with the curriculum before arriving in-country so that we could better prepare ourselves for any challenges.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were basic and similar to the experience of camping. Living with a host family was one of the best parts of the program.

* Food:

The food is basic but good for the most part. Quantity isn't as much as we may be accustomed to, but that's the nature of where you are.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are a number of differences between the local culture and our own that make integration a slow process, but I ultimately left feeling very integrated with the local community and happy to have been a part of it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have any health issues during the program, but advisors were extremely responsive to any health issues of participants.

* Safety:

ThinkImpact worked hard to ensure we did not participate in activities that may put us in any danger, and the community we were in was for the most part very welcoming of us.

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)

Food is very inexpensive, and there are not many other costs associated with living in-country

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I brought an entire pack of Clif Bars for additional food


* 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

The program included weekly classes in Swahili and very much encouraged learning the language to communicate with our host families and the community

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
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? Learning basic pronunciations and phrases may help as preparation for the trip

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • 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
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?
  • Living with host family
  • Focus on sustainable projects
  • Fellow participants
* What could be improved?
  • Consistency in experiences
  • Expectations on time spent in community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The different issues locals faced so that I could have done more research in advance

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'