A dream come true and so much more! Past Review

By (Washington State University) - abroad from 06/06/2016 to 08/10/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad in Tanzania for two months was the best decision I have ever made. I went into the program with uncontainable amounts of excitement for what my life would entail in the following weeks and was welcomed with equal amounts from both the staff and my fellow peers. Not only did I gain a sense of awareness about the issues involving the environment and the wildlife that inhabit it, but I also gained knowledge about the local people and culture and the role they play with the environment and conservation efforts. I learned so much more than just environmental and wildlife aspects though. I learned about different cultures, how to communicate with limited Swahili skills and a language barrier, how to be happy with the little things, how to navigate a different country, and most of all I learned how to have increased confidence in myself and others. I gained a family, life long friends, a place to call home, and valuable skills as well as resources that I will carry with me for years to come. My experience abroad was more than a dream come true, in my eyes it was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself and for our future.

Review Photos

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

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 educational experience was wonderful. With the mixture of in class lectures and field exercises/traveling lectures I was able to gain a better understanding of wildlife conservation and management, and all that it entails, than I would have from just reading it in a book.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of our programs professors lived on camp with us as well as the center director. I found this to be very helpful when it came to answering any questions that us students may have had. Having the professors living in the same area as the students made them feel not only more approachable but more available to help out.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was perfect, we had just enough to where it was exactly what we needed. Housing was very safe and secure as well.

* Food:

There was always enough food to be had and never did I feel like I was lacking in any sort of nutrition. The food was possibly even too good because I always found myself eating more and stretching my stomach to its fullest capacity.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our camp of Moyo Hill was located right in the town of Rhotia. With this location we were in walking distance of family houses and the town. With such close proximity to the locals I felt like we were very integrated into the culture and the way of life. The visits to the other nearby towns and the local tribes also enabled us to be more involved with the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was very easily accessible. There was a local clinic just twenty minutes from our camp that was always available for our needs. I myself visited the clinic twice within my two months abroad and had a very pleasant experience during both times. The staff was friendly and the doctors were very open to listen to what was going on. A blood test along with urine and stool samples were taken during both visits and this seemed to be a routine occurrence. Labs were run quite quickly and there was an on site pharmacy that stocked a variety of different medication. The cost of visit, labs, and medication altogether was very cheap as well making it affordable for anyone. There were multiple vaccinations needed before entering the country and malaria pills had to be taken throughout our stay as well. The clinic also housed these malaria meds if anyone ran out.

* Safety:

All in all the towns that we visited during our stay seemed pretty safe. Everyone was very friendly and would always greet you. I personally didn't feel in any danger when walking in town and would even feel safe waling alone during the day. The only safety concern that there could be is that of the dogs when out on morning runs near camp. Sometimes the dogs weren't as friendly and there was risk of getting bitten. Running with others was advised for us to help deter this risk.

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

I would 100% choose the same program again. The people, the country, the atmosphere, the culture and everything in-between was more than I could have ever hoped for. Everything was so well planned out and organized and the classes along with our field exercises were so interesting. I actually felt like I was a part of something that could make a difference.


* 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)

Living on a budget was very easy, if you didn't want to spend money on food you didn't have to because there were three meals provided a day with small snacks available as well. The only other expenses were that during our non-program days once a week where you could pay to do an activity or not which was generally quite cheap as well. Personal spending on souvenirs could also be managed to be as little or much as you wanted to also due to the fact that you could barter down the price of many items.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-$40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat the food prepared and provided for you to save money on spending and try to barter down prices as much as you can to avoid over paying for 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

The language classes were optional so not everyone took part in them but basic words and greetings were known among all students, and it was encouraged to use the greetings and polite phrases when communicating with the local staff and when in town.

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
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? I advise to just talk with the local staff, they are very excited to teach you new words and phrases. Trying to talk with the locals in town when at the markets is also a good way to practice as well as practicing with your fellow students and having fun with it.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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 field expeditions
  • The sense of inclusion in the community
* What could be improved?
  • More language classes for the summer program would be wonderful.
  • More offerings of community service projects.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Coming out of the program I wish that I knew how little the quantities of clothing were that I would actually need to bring. Life in Tanzania is very simple and there is no need to give yourself multiple options of clothing to wear for each day. You can easily get by with just a couple shirts and bottoms to rotate and mix up. I also wish I practiced more common Swahili phrases before the program so I could have started communicating with the staff and locals better and at an earlier time.

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.