The Best Decision I Could've Made October 18, 2017

By (SUNY - Stony Brook) - abroad from 09/07/2016 to 11/20/2016 with

SUNY Stony Brook: Kenya - Field School in the Turkana Basin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained many many professional contacts and friends from around the world on this program, something that I honestly wasn't expecting to happen on a program like this

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.

TBI employs some of the best professors and researchers in their respective fields, from Craig Feibel to Sonia Harmand, you're not going to get any better than that.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There will always be someone who will stay with you throughout the entire program to assist and provide support

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Honestly, for being based in a very rural area in northern Kenya us students live like royalty. TBI has two campuses, one on the west side of Lake Turkana and one on the East, both have running water, beds equipped with fancy mosquito nets, a building for the classrooms, mess hall, and dorms. No other field school is going to have such nice amenities as TBI has to offer

* Food:

Generally the chef at TBI will serve traditional Kenyan food as well as the weekly spaghetti nights and occasional pizza and burrito nights (if you ask nicely). All the food is great though and they even accommodated for a vegetarian girl we had on my program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Generally we would take weekly trips to the local town/village and were able to buy food, soda, and souvenirs at small shops run by locals. It was really cool to see how people lived out there and play with the kids by the lake shore.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We didn't have any issues with the health of any students on my field school, but I know that in the past a girl had appendicitis and they flew her to Nairobi to be treated immediately. She was fine after that of course.

* Safety:

I never once felt unsafe in any part of Kenya. The people who run this program know the country as if it were their second home and I felt very safe knowing they were in charge and running things.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* 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)

Living on campus you don't really have to pay for anything except for a $2 soda or beer on Sundays (which is our day off). Any other expense is going to be your choice, I brought $200 spending money with me and it was more than enough. It really depends on how many souvenirs you want to bring back, Kenya is a really cheap country.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Each week? probably less than $5
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just make sure you have more than you need in the case that you loose your money somehow. I also recommend bringing it all in cash, at the airport it's easier to change bills that way.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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 hands on learning
  • The professors
  • the local community
* What could be improved?
  • information pre departure about living arrangements
  • more info about the courses offered and the instructors
  • two days off instead of one
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How many clothes to bring and exactly what kind, that was mostly my fault though

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!