An experience that calls for you take initiative to explore and discover Past Review

By (Education, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/14/2014 to 12/15/2015 with

University of Minnesota - MSID: International Development in Kenya

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to have connect with others around me and look outside of what has been given to me. It was fun to experience my own learning through experience within the community. The people of Kenya were very open and were more than welcoming in sharing there culture and customs. It was a worthwhile exhange.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was a lot of information given. I really appreciate what we discussed in class and felt informed. However, I feel that the classes had a linear by-the-book approach which made it seem quite dense and statistical at timess. I feel that more student to teacher dialog could be encouraged through more open discussion.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were all very open and ready to assist in any way. They made me feel welcomed and at home. I did have one teacher that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. He often strayed away from the subject of social science. Instead he would ask innappropriate questions and make assumptive remaks about women. The rest of the staff were truly great and were completly invested in MSIDs mission.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Both of my host families were amazing. They treated me like I was apart of the family and made me feel like I was one of their own.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There was once when I had a horrible rash. Though they seemed concerned, it was only after I asked several times for them to take me to a docter.

* Safety:

I felt very safe within my own domains at home. Both of my host families made sure to keep door locked and took special care for my protection. However, I did feel that once out in public I wasnt as safe. As a women it was hard to move around without feeling uneasy.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have a reasonable budget that works for you.


* 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

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 a little every night and be sure to use the language with locals. Many Kenyans speak english but you should challenge yourself by using Kiswahili.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My warm host family
  • My Country Analysis course
  • Allowing us to travel with one another.
* What could be improved?
  • Pollution (I understand this issue is outside of MSIDs hands)
  • A more diverse student body (race, culture etc.). We only really interacted with University of Minnesota students.
  • A more focused professor for the Social Services course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew how much security was placed upon us. Sometimes, I wanted to go out and meet locals to gain some cultural experience but this was very difficult to do.

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.'