Transformed minds Past Review

By (University of Northern Iowa) - 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?
It was the best program that I could have done to advance my career at this point in my life! Africa is not a scary place and is full of amazing people!

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in Kenya Photo

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.

I learned more about social entrepreneurship and international development through doing this program than any course would have ever taught me. My life philosophies have changed because of this. The diverse group of scholars that you work with is phenomenal!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Most concerns were handled in a timely matter, but we were frequently not told about important details until it was almost too late.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a host family was such an incredible experience. They have so little, but they go out of their way to do as much as possible to make you feel like you are at home. Living in a mud hut is not exactly the most comfortable place in the world, but it teaches you how much is actually needed to be happy - which is practically nothing. The home stay was one of the most memorable parts of the summer!

* Food:

You eat the same 5 foods all summer. It was bland at times, but I felt much healthier, and practically went vegetarian! I would recommend bringing multivitamins, chocolate, and beef jerky (if you will go crazy without meat!).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You will always be an outsider, but you begin to feel like a part of the family. Certain parts of the culture you will never be a part of daily, like waking up before dawn everyday to fetch water and work in the fields, but most cultural practices you will be able to try. Two months goes by very quickly, so I would suggest making a list of things you want to do, and make sure you are checking in weekly with your progress. These make great stories to tell your friends and family back home! Sometimes they will never believe you that you milked a cow, slaughtered a chicken, or plowed a field!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any major illnesses that required medical attention, but a few others did, and their concerns were handled quickly and adequately.

* Safety:

I never felt any safety concerns! My village felt like the safest place that I had ever been! The biggest thing would be to not bring anything that you would be upset if it got's rural Africa, things are going to happen (I.e. slipping in a mud puddle!)

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)

Everything is so cheap in the village! It all depends on how much you want to buy to bring back home.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You are going to spend a lot more than you think on airtime for your cell phone! It is not that expensive to call and text the US, but it adds up very, very quickly!! Plan to budget for this and talk with your parents and friends about how much contact they would like to have with you before you leave (I.e. once a day, once a week, etc.)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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
  • 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?
  • Learning from other scholars
  • Living with a host family
  • The beauty of the village
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of program
  • Staff transparency
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You hardly need anything to go! Pack as light as possible!

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.