People & Wildlife Sharing the Land January 21, 2023

By (Environmental Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/02/2022 to 12/12/2022 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Kenya – Endangered Species Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a culture entirely different than what I know in the US. I got to meet amazing people and see so much wildlife. These parts were worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Not rigorous especially compared to Wellesley. Sometimes intense because of short learning semester to leave time for research for the last 5 weeks.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very organized, well-connected, and willing to help with individual student needs. I wish there had been more direct communication between administration and incoming students before the start of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Comfortable and safe.

* Food:

Yummy but very oily.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most of our time was spent on campus. Exposure to local culture felt very controlled/ filtered.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I fell sick and saperately had a yeast infection. Both instances were cared for kindly and with much understanding by staff and professors. Medical treatment was readily available, though not as extensive as in the US. Yellow fever vaccine was required to enter the country, and a rabies vaccine is highly encouraged.

* Safety:

Wildlife sometimes created unsafe situations, but I always felt safe on campus surrounded by the electric fence, and in cars.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

The classes taught were not the classes advertised on their website, which I was interested in. The classes that were taught were ok, but have fewer applications to my interests than I had hoped for. I also felt very isolated from my friends and family at home.


* 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)

We could have gone the whole semester without having to pay for anything. All purchases were non-essentials.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 30 dollars/wk, mostly 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

All staff on campus spoke Swahili, and we were encouraged to speak Swahili with them and people off campus.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 202
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Homestay
  • Trips to national parks
  • Research
* What could be improved?
  • Being more integrated with community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring more snacks from home.

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.