Absolutely life changing! October 13, 2022

By (Environmental Sciences, University of California - Berkeley) - abroad from 06/03/2019 to 07/03/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile. I learned about international wildlife management, cooperative management techniques, animal identification, and so much more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Not the most intensive academic program I've been a part of from an assignment perspective, but definitely an appropriate level given the other priorities we had (exploring the local town, learning the language, socializing with peers, doing field work, etc.). The in-field lectures were absolutely incredible and the ability to practice something like animal identification on safari was one of the most incredible things I've ever done during my academic career.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Excellent hosts - the director and all of the support staff were incredibly kind, accommodating, and supportive. They went above and beyond, helping us celebrate birthdays, cook special meals, and helping us practice Swahili. Scheduling was super clear and had a great balance of structured activity vs. open free time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were great! I had one bunk-mate and we got along well. Space was plentiful and they gave us cleaning supplies whenever we needed. I forgot a few small items and was helped out by the on-site staff to purchase at the market or get from previous items left by students, which was such a relief as well.

* Food:

Amazing! I'm a vegetarian and was afraid I wouldn't have enough food, so I stocked up on protein bars and other snacks, but rarely ever needed it. They served 3 meals a day + a snack on some days as well. If you're maintaining a really high activity level (morning runs, weightlifting), you may want to bring some supplementary food, but I was so tired after most of our days that it felt just right!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt so welcomed by every group we were in touch with - staff, local residents, and even folks that hosted our weekend excursions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Moyo Hill is very safe - fully fenced in with front gate guards and rotating night guards as well. They also have a check in/check out system and you have to have at least 1 buddy with you at all times in town, meaning you're never alone and the staff at Moyo Hill always know where you're going. That being said, I've been into Rhotia in the early morning all the way through curfew, and have never felt unsafe. The only thing to be smart about is wildlife after dark, which applies anywhere you go, and we also never had an issue with.

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

I would do this program again in a heartbeat. What an incredible experience with amazing people. I don't know how I'll ever top it!


* 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)

Easily - weekend excursions were never cost prohibitive (<$30-50), so you could fully participate in anything social without an issue. The only reason you would spend a lot of money is because you want to, either to buy art, clothes, etc.. You could even go get coffee everyday at the local shop, get snacks from the station at Moyo Hill, buy postcards and stamps and you'd still stay under $100 a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Used gear - the biggest expense I had was before I left. I bought supplies the week before, meaning I didn't have time to look for anything used, but definitely could have saved on things like binoculars or outdoor chairs.


* 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

It was really great. Staff consistently greeted you in Swahili and would encourage you to use it as much as possible in day to day conversation. We had regular classes in Swahili, where we learned a mix of wildlife-specific language and regular conversational topics.

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? None
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? Practice as much as you can. Lessons are regular but languages take time. Talk to anyone you can in Swahili for as long as possible and try to pick up as you go.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • On-site staff
  • Travel opportunities (camping in the Serengeti)
  • Immersion
* What could be improved?
  • Academic pacing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To not be nervous! This program was a really great blend of independence, while also know there were always people you could talk to and get help from.

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.