Amazing Experience Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/29/2016 to 12/08/2016 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Peru – Amazon Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the region, as all of our classes were based around local conservation and ecological issues. I also really learned to push my own personal limits socially, academically, culturally, and just as a whole. All the people I met were very inspiring, and I feel like the program has really changed my perspective on the world, and my goals for the future.

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.

It is pretty rigorous mostly because there are lots of scheduled academic activities (classes, outings, etc.). For the majority of the program you are in class from 8:30am to 4:00pm six days a week, and then have additional homework to complete.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very meticulous with safety, almost to a fault. There isn't a lot of freedom given to students in this program for safety reasons.

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

This was overall a wonderful program. Like everything, it wasn't perfect, but I had so much fun living and learning in the rainforest.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? maybe $15 at the most


* 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

The amount that you use Spanish is largely based on the choices you make. If you can't speak any Spanish, you won't have to speak it at all out of Spanish class, but because you live with Spanish speaking staff, there are many opportunities for you to use the language if you choose.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish III in high school
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you want to improve your Spanish skills, it's all a matter of putting yourself out there.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The setting
  • The field excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Lack of Freedom
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You have to be flexible and understanding with the program management. They're trying their hardest to comply with policy and still give the students a rich experience, but sometimes that results in strict rules and arbitrary decisions. You need to be flexible, but if you have a good attitude you'll be fine. It's also important to realize that you will be spending almost every waking moment with the same people, including your professors, for three and a half months—something that also takes patience and flexibility.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Tropical Ecology

Course Department:
Instructor: Adrian Tejedores
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was especially challenging for me because I had a difficult time focusing on lessons when they were given out in the field on hikes or excursions. Our professor had grown up in Cuba, and had worked in the rainforest for the vast majority of his life. He was very passionate and qualified, and extremely knowledgable about tropical ecosystems. It was slightly disorganized, but all in all was a very comprehensive course on the ecology of the Amazon. We were assessed with labs, homework, papers, and exams.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Conservation Science

Course Department:
Instructor: Will Helenbrook
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was very challenging because the field excursions and class discussions did not directly relate to the exam material. The material that we were tested on we were expected to learn from a textbook and lecture videos on our own time—a difficult task when the majority of your days are packed with activities and classes, and you're left with very little free time. The field trips were very cool, and somewhat pertinent to conservation science as a whole, but were unrelated to exam material. We were assessed through labs, papers, homework and the final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Political Ecology

Course Department:
Instructor: Katie McDonald
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a great course—very challenging, but very organized and informative. I definitely feel like I learned the most from this course. We were assessed with papers, homework, exams, and field activities. For all classes, participation is necessary because there aren't many other students. All field trips were extremely relevant and informative. The teacher was extremely well qualified, knowledgable, and prepared.
Credit Transfer Issues: