Human Centered Design in a developing country. BEST THING EVER! Past Review

By (Mechanical Engineering., Pennsylvania State University - University Park) - abroad from 06/19/2013 to 08/14/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how most of the world lives, works, eats, and sleeps. By working together with community members I realized how much untapped potential is just waiting for the right opportunity. This will be a defining moment of my life.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya Photo Study Abroad Programs in Kenya Photo Study Abroad Programs in Kenya Photo Study Abroad Programs in Kenya Photo

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 best way to learn is by doing, and this is exactly what you do for these 2 months.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everything was provided for us, from water to food to bug nets. We always knew who to contact and what to do in case of an emergency.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If you want to experience how most of the world lives, there is no better way to do it than with a host family in one of their homes.

* Food:

While the food was not 'delicious' it was authentic.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is hard to blend-in in sub-Saharan Africa, but the program was set up to help us dive in and participate in the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I became sick enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, and our country director took me to one of the best private doctors in Kenya. It is not an 'American' doctor but much better than I would have expected

* Safety:

I had no concerns all trip, a first for me traveling abroad.

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)

For two months I spent around a total of $150, and that includes food, drinks, and souvenirs.


* 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

Since you are immersed you will need to speak the language to some people, but I wish we spent more time learning the language as a group.

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

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

  • Other
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?
  • Immersing in the culture
  • Prototyping with community members
  • Making friends
* What could be improved?
  • Pre-Departure training
  • Keeping scholars up to schedule
  • Follow-up with design teams upon returning home
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I realized that even though we are coming to help and work with community members, some simply will not want to work with us. It would have been good to identify those that were not receptive early on, so as not to waste our or their time.

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.'