An unexpected adventure! November 27, 2018

By (SUNY - Stony Brook) - abroad from 09/08/2015 to 11/18/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I remember more things from these courses than from any lecture hall I sat in at my home university! I am always looking back fondly on this experience, sometimes disbelieving how closely I worked with ground-breaking scientists, paleontologists, and the like. You won't find a better place to learn history as it's discovered! Though I am not on the anthropology scene at this time, the experience I had in Turkana made me realize how much I like fieldwork, and inspired me to pursue other experiential learning opportunities in Madagascar and on the ocean! 10/10 program :)

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.

Very rigorous, but I was able to do well with no prior background in the material. Professors and TAs are very willing to assist.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

State-of-the-art facility

* Food:

Even as a lactose-intolerant vegetarian I was always provided with proper meals (that were delicious!)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were able to take visits to the village whenever we had time, play with the children and participate in soccer games.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Any issues we had were swiftly addressed.

* Safety:

Everyone looks out for each other!

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

When I signed onto the Human Origins program as a sophomore in college, I had no background in anthropology (or strenuous physical activity), and I really had no idea what to expect. As soon as I got there, my fears dissipated. The structure of the program is such that each class is taught consecutively on a two-week rotation, instead of concurrently. This really aided my ability to stay on track and submerse myself in the material. At least half of the scheduled class times were in the field doing hands-on activities. The professors are incredibly patient and willing to answer any questions you have, no matter how basic. Since all students are on the same track, comradery and productive study groups form naturally.

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)

No mandatory expenses during the trip.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 0
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go in with a souvenir budget

Language

* 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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Learning the language is not necessary as classes were taught in English.

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?
  • Hands-on learning
  • Everyone's at the same pace
  • Group activities
* What could be improved?
  • Better structure to do independent research
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be prepared to get fit! There is a lot of physical activity, but nothing that's unreasonable for an able-bodied individual.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.