ThinkImpact Summer Institute: Growth Beyond Boundaries Past Review

By (English; International Studies; Business, Indiana University - Bloomington) - abroad from 06/19/2013 to 08/13/2012 with

ThinkImpact: South Africa Institute for Health or Social Innovation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew personally and professionally from my time abroad. By managing a Design Team, becoming immersed in a rural community, and creating a social enterprise, I found the experience to be truly enlightening and worthwhile. I recommend it to any university student or post-graduate career person.

Review Photos

ThinkImpact: South Africa - Institute for Social Innovation Photo ThinkImpact: South Africa - Institute for Social Innovation Photo ThinkImpact: South Africa - Institute for Social Innovation Photo ThinkImpact: South Africa - Institute for Social Innovation 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.

During the Institute, your learning reaches beyond the academic packet you are provided with. Learning occurs much more through the work you complete with your Design Team and with your fellow Scholars - and those lessons are full of ideas you will never forget.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a "home-stay" scenario made the ThinkImpact experience so fulfilling and culturally enriching. You feel truly immersed in your environment, and you form bonds with your family that last long after the Institute's conclusion.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My host city's overall safety was phenomenal. Because I stayed with a home-stay family in a rural African village, each participating student was well looked after. Our scheduling was established in a way that we would know where our family was at all times, and we were able to keep in touch - and keep safe - throughout the trip.

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)

Budgeting was not an issue. Our food was provided by our home-stay family and by our in-country advisors. Otherwise, a small budget to purchase local items was sufficient.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15.00 or less
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? In a rural community, funds should not be an issue. Don't be afraid to spend a bit more on off-site excursions.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Full Immersion in Local Culture
  • Education through Real-Life Problem-Solving
  • Personal and Professional Growth
* What could be improved?
  • Logistical Details In-Country
  • Communication with In-Country Personnel
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? ThinkImpact is not simply an opportunity to travel to a new, exciting place. ThinkImpact is an opportunity to work with local individuals to solve complex problems. ThinkImpact is an opportunity to change the world.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'