#SouthRocks Past Review

By (Marine Science, University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 02/03/2015 to 05/07/2015 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Turks and Caicos Islands - Marine Resource Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about who am I without social pressures that we have here in America while learning valuable information about my degree. I was able to learn about species that we did not cover in Maine and actually see their impacts firsthand. I was also able to have a research project that will be used to benefit the local lobster fishery this year and in the future after creating a system for the region.

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.

Classes were difficult but the environment helped us learn the material because what we were learning in the classroom we could see in the field later that day or week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone lives on site and is always available to help with anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had assigned roommates and the rooms were very nice, and if anything happened the problem was fixed usually that day.

* Food:

All of the meals are prepared by two cooks, and they had a variety of foods and catered to all dietary needs.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had community engagement twice a week where we helped teach the younger kids and we also joined in some of the local community's events such as a soccer and softball league.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There is a doctor down the street but there is also a first aid kit right on campus. I got stung by a fireworm in the first couple weeks of the program and I was helped by the staff immediately so the injury was not as serious as it could have been.

* Safety:

They take a lot of care to make sure that we are always safe, they briefed us before any activity that might cause us harm and we were very aware of the dangers.

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)

The only time we spent money was on Saturday nights, where nobody spent more than $30 a night, and while snacks were more expensive on the island, all meals were covered so we didn't really need to buy food that often.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If going to an island, bring snacks with you, peanut butter was about $8 for a small jar, to give perspective.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • How close I became with everyone
  • The field experience
  • The research project
* What could be improved?
  • More recreational dives
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Every once in a while, it's okay to do something for yourself. It's easy to always put others first and work endlessly for others' happiness, but at some point, you have to look at yourself and ask if you are happy, and to accept that the answer is no, and change something about your situation in order to make yourself happy.

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.