Past Review

By (Biology, General., The College of William and Mary) for

University of Minnesota - MSID: International Development in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The best part of this program is that it really allows you to fall in love with the local people. Some of the Kenyans I met in this program are now among my closest friends. I now plan to move back to Kenya and work there for several years after I graduate.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: University of Nazarine
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

A lot of writing was required but the grading was extremely easy. Most of my teachers were really engaging and passionate about their subjects

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in homestays with two different Kenyan families. For a wide variety of experience the program puts you with a host family in Nairobi for the first half and with a family in a rural town for the second half. I loved both of my families and I am still in touch with them.

* Food:

Kenyan food took some getting used to since it can be very repetitive but overall I really liked it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I did not feel safe at all at the start of the program but I got more confident as time went on. I was placed with a family in Kibera right on the edge of a massive slum. It was never safe to walk at night but I really loved walking around the area during the day. It was much more interesting and rewarding than living in a rich neighborhood. I needed a lot of vaccines for this study abroad as well as malaria prophylaxis.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Everything in Kenya is much cheaper than in the United States. Try to get a feeling for how much things cost before you start bargaining for your souvenirs.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

I dreaded learning Swahili but now I absolutely love it. I tried to use it whenever I could though it was usually not necessary. In my home stays it was very helpful because I had some family members who were not comfortable with English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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* Who did you live with?

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