Indescribable, unforgettable, unbelievable Past Review

By (Environmental Studies and Anthropology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/02/2013 to 12/08/2013 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
SO VERY WORTHWHILE. such a life-changing experience, especially with the research focus. I loved it.

Review Photos

SFS: Kenya & Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies Photo SFS: Kenya & Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies Photo SFS: Kenya & Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies Photo SFS: Kenya & Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies Photo SFS: Kenya & Tanzania - Wildlife Management Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program was extremely rigorous. I loved loved LOVED it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is unsure about the subject matter, or who isn't passionate about research and African wildlife.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very well organized, but most of that is due to the Student Affairs Manager, who changes every couple of years.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

definitely rustic, but I appreciated that. It wouldn't have made sense to be in a more upscale place because of where we were. Camping experience definitely helped with this.

* Food:

excellent! very accommodating for people with dietary restrictions, but the food tends to be high in oil and salt. if you ask the cooks to change something, they will.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

More so in Tanzania than in Kenya, but overall we were very integrated. The staff at both sites were local and friendly, and the homestays definitely helped. Students have to make individual efforts to go to markets and into town, but it's easy to do those things if you want to.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The local clinics were great, especially the one near the Tanzania site. It was very easy to get medical care, and much cheaper than we would get at home. All doctors were very competent and helpful. The staff was well-trained to give medical care when necessary. There are definitely health issues, and I had to get vaccinated for yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, hepatitis, and take anti-malarials.

* Safety:

very safe. as long as you follow instructions and stay with each other/local guides, there are no safety concerns whatsoever.

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


* 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)

super easy, since all food is paid for. all money spent was on souvenirs, drinks, non-program day activities, and the occasional health center visit.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $30 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? make a plan and stick to it! figure out exactly what souvenirs you want, and only buy those. try not to impulse buy things.


* 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 staff all spoke Swahili, and they encouraged us to use it with the staff exclusively. we also used it consistently with locals, and at the market.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Spanish, no Swahili
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? make sure you practice on your own time, not just in class! it's definitely worth it. the staff is great for practicing, if you tell them that you want to practice. locals love it (and will give you better prices at the market) if you speak Swahili!

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the staff
  • the local people
  • the animals!
* What could be improved?
  • nothing at all. it was great.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how rigorous it is! it's a tough program. we only get one day off a week, and that day off is very busy most of the time. It was fascinating and I loved it, but it was exhausting. Students really need to be invested in and passionate about this program before applying.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.