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SIT Study Abroad

About

SIT has been providing immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates for more than 50 years. SIT offers more than 70 programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs in multiple locations. In addition to its rich history, SIT Study Abroad has a number of unique qualities that make it an ideal choice for an extraordinary, transformative study abroad experience.

SIT students step beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom to analyze critical issues shaping local communities around the globe. Students become deeply engaged in a topic and undertake their own research, case studies, in-depth practica, or community projects. SIT Study Abroad is deeply embedded in local communities around the world. Program components are designed to respect the strengths of local partners to foster enduring relationships.

Founded
1932

Scholarships

SIT Robert Kantor Memorial Scholarship

Each year one student will be granted $10,000 in scholarship aid to study abroad with a SIT program. Funded by individual donors and foundations, the requirements are tight: seeking first-generation college students who've never traveled abroad before, currently attend an HBCU, and demonstrate strong financial need.

Value
$10,000

Reviews

Default avatar
James
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Extremely Immersive and Fast-Paced Experience

SIT's Social and Political Transformation program in Durban was a truly unique experience that checked off all the boxes for studying abroad. Durban is a very diverse city with a significant Zulu, Indian, Mixed-Race, and Afrikaner population, and as such has an abundance of culture to offer. The program is truly invested in creating a field-based experience, and much of our classroom time was spent on field trips to different organizations, museums, and historical sites in Durban. In addition, we went on various excursions to places such as Mozambique, Johannesburg, Cape Town, rural KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg Mountains, and the Eastern Cape province. These excursions included a variety of activities, including hikes, safaris, prison visits, and bartering at local markets. Classes were very engaging and consisted of lectures from our professors as well as guest speakers, and assignments were both straightforward and meaningful. The final 4 weeks of the semester consisted of an independent study, which could be conducted in the form of an internship or our own project. The independent study allowed us to deeply explore a social issue of our choosing, and allowed us to gain professional experience. My independent study consisted of an internship with a local radio station, where I served as an on-air news host and explored the state of the press in South Africa. My internship experience was truly invaluable and is a fantastic addition to my resume.

Pros
  • Very diverse area and friendly locals
  • Staff and Professors invested in our development
  • Amazing Nature and Scenery
Cons
  • Poor and Expensive Internet Access
  • Not an Abundance of Healthy Food Options
Default avatar
Dulcie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad in Jordan

This study abroad program is truly life changing an extremely unique experience. It incorporates the perfect balance between academics and free time. The homestay factor enriches the experience beyond measure, allowing students to really gain an understanding of Jordanian culture and practice Arabic. The food is amazing and there are plenty of American, Filipino, Italian and other restaurants in Amman if you need a break from local food. Jordanians are extremely welcoming to foreigners. The administration and staff are amazing; by the end of the program they all felt like old friends of mine. I definitely want to go back to Jordan after my study abroad experience!

Pros
  • Beautiful country
  • Amazing people
  • Arabic language acquisition
Cons
  • Daily cost of taxi/uber
  • Dealing with inappropriate taxi drivers(rare but happens)
Default avatar
Jeromel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ahlan Amman!

The SIT Jordan was very formative for me. I have never travelled abroad apart from the time I moved to the United States in 2011. The SIT staff are very welcoming and hospitable, and I appreciate the academic rigor especially with Arabic language learning and the opportunity for students to do independent research or internship! From January to May, we got to go all over Jordan from the north to the south as well as have a one-week excursion in Istanbul, Turkiye. Our group became tight-knit. And each of us stayed with a host family who I keep in touch with after the program. I appreciate all of these opportunities in SIT Jordan that made for a transformative education experience!

Pros
  • Community
  • Arabic language learning
  • Opportunities for research and internship
Default avatar
Elaine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best study abroad program!

I absolutely loved my time in Jordan! All of the staff were so friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable - I felt very comfortable reaching out to them for anything. The other students on my program were equally lovely and we all got so close by the end. Amman is amazing if you like exploring new cities, trying new foods, and meeting new people outside your program. I learned so much about Jordan, the program theme, and myself (both inside and outside the classroom). I highly recommend SIT Jordan if you're interested in study abroad!

Default avatar
Tricia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A unique and wonderful semester in Prague!

My semester with SIT was truly amazing and so memorable! I am so glad I chose a small program that focuses on building a strong community between students and encourages cultural engagement. The classes I took were so interesting, especially Czech theater and literature, where our lecturers both had personal ties to the subject matter. We spent a lot of time looking at the arts under communism in the Czech Republic. The school is located in a wonderful part of Prague (Letna) with lots of great coffee shops and a cool art scene. Letna park is right across the street and has a great beer garden with views of the whole city! Going to class each week felt more like an adventure than school, since we got to visit museums and galleries so frequently. Everyone working for the program is so welcoming and I felt supported from the moment I arrived in Prague (our advisor even called us at the airport to check in)! One of the best parts of the program is definitely living with a host family - it is so special. I spent the weekends joining my host family on long walks, visits to local pubs, and watching local theater performances. My host mom even taught me how to bake Czech desserts! I highly recommend this program if you're looking for a semester that is art centric, culturally meaningful, and a fun time all around!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of all the cool opportunities available through the school! The program gives us tickets to super interesting performances around the city (dance, music, theater) and they were really worthwhile. Even if the event itself wasn't the best, it was a great reason to explore the city and visit unique cultural centers. Also, the public transportation in Prague is so great, so it's really easy to get around, especially since the school gives us a three month transportation pass!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 46

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I knew I wanted to go to Peru for my semester abroad, but also for its theme and academic focus.

Indigenous people and their cultures are a topic rarely discussed in academia, even though they have made many important contributions to societies all across the globe. I wanted to learn more about indigenous groups in Peru and how they are adapting to a constantly changing world.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The SIT website had several pre-departure documents, checklists, and other prep materials available in order to help me feel more ready for my semester abroad. The program admissions counselor and alumni contact I had were both very helpful in answering all of my questions as well. The syllabi for the academic courses were also clearly outlined on the program site.

On my own, I had to put in the effort to practice my Spanish before leaving. I was also in charge of determining my own flights and how long I would stay after the program ended.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

It's okay to be nervous or anxious! Although adjusting into a new culture and language will be challenging, once you settle down into a routine the city you're in will feel like home in no time. Overcoming any personal obstacles that arise during your time abroad will make you a stronger, more confident person.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

During the week, you'll typically have classes from 8:30 AM to around 12 PM or 12:30. These classes include Spanish language, history, research ethics, and more. After class, you'll eat lunch with your host family.

You can spend your free time in the afternoon doing a number of things. You can relax and study at a cafe, go see a movie, or walk to the Plaza de Armas to do some shopping. There are lots of nice gardens and parks all around the city, too. I took dance classes (hip hop and salsa) at a local dance school, which was super fun!

On the weekends, you can spend a whole day traveling to the mountain outskirts of Cusco and go see some pretty cool sights. My favorites were the famed Rainbow Mountain and the incredible Lake Humantay. Both are great sites for doing some hiking! There are also several Incan ruins close to the city that you can visit, including Saqsaywaman and Puka Pukara.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear going in was feeling isolated or lost. I was worried that I wouldn't make any friends in my program, or that I wouldn't like the feel of Peruvian culture. I was also concerned that I wouldn't feel safe in Cusco.

Contrary to my fears, I made friends quickly. Everyone in my program (a small group of 11 people) was kind, friendly, and easy to get along with. We all became very close after a short period of time. These people became my biggest support in Peru, and we had a lot of fun hanging out at cafes together or going on hiking trips.

Thanks to my new friends, my transition into Peruvian culture was much easier. I also had a lovely host family that made me feel very welcome and accepted. It did take a fair amount of time, but eventually, I became much more comfortable and settled into my life in Cusco. The city was also much safer than I expected, so I felt silly after worrying so much about safety.

The most important thing about adapting to a new culture is to have an open mind. If you don't open yourself up to new opportunities to interact with people and learn about their ways of life, then you aren't taking full advantage of the joys of being abroad. Be accepting of any new chances that come your way!

What was your favorite thing about Peru?

It's hard to pick just one! From the abundance of adorable llamas and alpacas to the delicious variety of maracuya (passionfruit) flavored foods, I loved practically everything about Peru.

I think I felt truly happiest when I hiked to the top of Lake Humantay with my friends. It was a really tough hike and we were all very tired when we reached the top, but the beautiful view made it worth it.

Living with a host family was also a wonderful experience. I became really close with them and we are still in touch today!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Eric Wirth

Nothing goes better with a cup of morning/afternoon/late night coffee than getting to know Eric Wirth, the director of admissions for SIT Study Abroad, and the culture of SIT Study Abroad a little bit better.
Mountain Watching

Tell me a little about yourself. What has been your career path so far?

My passion for education abroad began after spending a year abroad in Elche, Spain during my junior year of high school. I landed my first job after college as an admissions counselor for a study abroad provider. After several years in the work force, I returned to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where I had the opportunity to serve for a year as the resident director to one of the university’s programs in Spain. After finishing my MA, I reentered the world of international education with greater knowledge and an enhanced perspective on higher education and learning abroad.

Did you study abroad after high school?

I’ve studied abroad a total of four times; once in high school, twice in college – one semester and one summer – and then for a year as a graduate student. Each time in Spain. Through each experience, I learned more and was able to take my level of cultural and linguistic understanding to a deeper level. I suspect one day I will work toward a doctorate, and I can guarantee I will study abroad again. My first instinct would be to return to Spain to delve back into the culture and languages I adore.

As for SIT, what are the core principles that you strive to achieve?

At our core, SIT Study Abroad programs foster academic rigor, intensive cultural immersion, substantial community involvement, and an emphasis on field-based research.

What does the future hold for SIT? Any new exciting programs to share?

This spring we are running two new programs in the Middle East: one in Egypt focusing on urban studies and the other in Morocco focused on journalism and new media. We have also launched a new summer program that explores traditional approaches to healthcare in India. We continually strive to provide our students with the most interesting and relevant coursework and locations.

And the future of the industry - how do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

We’ll see the usual demographic shifts in mobility as a response to global politics, world events and markets. What will be interesting to watch is how governments and individual institutions address these shifts to meet demand and capitalize on market share. My hope is that more and more we will learn to become better citizens of the world and will travel abroad because we crave learning and connection with one another. Talking to people around the world is increasingly easier, but meaningful communication and understanding remains a challenge.

I'm continuously impressed with the depth and variety of programs offered by SIT Study Abroad. Their emphasis on field base learning is especially intriguing, as well as their commitment to cultivating relationships locally in host areas. I sincerely admire and hope to echo their attitude for turning every experience into a learning experience!

Over the last 10 years working in the field of international education, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Cuba, Czech Republic, England, Greece and Serbia. There are many fascinating countries and continents with amazing things to teach us.

Professional Associations

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