SFS Center for Amazon Studies, Fall 2018 Past Review

By (University of Richmond) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 12/05/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about environmental justice and how ecology is so tied in to people's well being.

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.

The content of the courses itself was not terribly challenging, but was almost all new. Studying politics and conservation in Peru is totally different form how it is studied in the US and was probably one of the most useful things to me personally. The tropical ecology courses were all fantastic and unique to the area.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All done by three wonderful people. A student advisor, intern, and health officer. Like everyone else, they were fantastic and did a super job taking care of everyone physically and mentally.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Four people to a room. I though the dorms were quite good.

* Food:

Food was delicious and fresh. The fruit drinks were the best.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was the one critique I have of the program. I felt that because of the packed schedule and location of the center, there was not much motivation to speak Spanish much.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health issues were swiftly addressed and a clinic was swiftly available near the center. I got giardia in the last month and was able to get the appropriate anti-parasite medication fairly easily.

* Safety:

The center itself is very safe. Although we didn't see any, venomous snakes are a risk. Just watch where you're going. I fully back the recommendation to travel in groups in Iquitos. Not threatening, but theft does happen.

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

I learned so much on this trip and my entire way of thinking about conservation and humanity changed because of it. This was so valuable to me.


* 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? Usually, nothing.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The nights away and the week in the Andes are the most expensive times. Save for then.


* 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

There was some encouragement to use Spanish, but I personally felt that there was not enough opportunity to speak it during the program and not enough time outside of it to practice.

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? 200
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? Just go out and talk to people. I'm very bad at this, but everyone is different.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Trips
  • The people
  • Histo
* What could be improved?
  • Language involvement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack less, seriously, I only needed two pairs of pants. Everything should be light and just for the sun. Except in the Andes, then it gets cold More Spanish.

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!