SIT: School for International Training Study Abroad

SIT Study Abroad

Why choose SIT Study Abroad?

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.

Ready for the next level? Take your graduate studies abroad with SIT Graduate Institute: https://www.gooverseas.com/organization/sit-graduate-institute-reviews

Scholarships

SIT Available Scholarships & Grants

SIT Study Abroad awards need-based scholarships and grants. Average awards range between $500 and $5,000 for our semester programs and between $500 and $3,000 for our summer programs. Our scholarships and grants are available to all students accepted into an SIT Study Abroad program irrespective of citizenship, national origin, or home school. We do not require a separate scholarship application for each scholarship fund; eligible students will be evaluated for all funds for which they are eligible.

Diversity & Inclusion

Reviews

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Sophia
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned a lot and loved it.

If you want a study abroad experience where you can spend the whole time traveling on your own, this will be too academically intensive for that. I loved all the excursions that the program took us on to visit different public health institutions. Additionally, I learned a lot from the individual study portion at the end when I did an internship. I loved my host family, them, and the administrators in the country made me feel like I had a home there. I would recommend this program to anyone looking for practical development in different ways to work in Public Health.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Llama. Tasted like a mix of steak and chicken!
Pros
  • Locals
  • Academic opportunities
  • Professional Development
Cons
  • Program disorganization
  • Long classes and many classes per day
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Isleen
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Had the BEST time!!

My time in Valparaiso was amazing and exactly what I needed. I felt so at peace and comfortable there. The program paired me with the perfect host family for me and they are a big part of why my experience was so amazing. I created a great relationship with my host family and had the funniest host brothers ever. The food was pretty good and things in Chile are a lot cheaper than the U.S. I will say I had an advantage in the language as a native Spanish speaker and did not really feel out of place.

What was your funniest moment?
My most funniest moment was when my host mom took me out to eat for my last weekend in Valparaiso. My host brothers were extremely funny and would keep making jokes.
Pros
  • good public transportation system
  • not too much homework
  • opportunities to be engaged in the community through volunteer and internship.
Cons
  • people got sick on an excursion so we couldn't do certain things that were planned.
  • there was sometimes a lack of communication on certain things from administrators.
  • living with two brothers could get messy in terms of sharing a bathroom lol
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Romita
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

What a time to be in Buenos Aires!

I participated in this program between Feb - June 2024, right in the middle of political and economic instability that Argentina was facing under a new presidential administration. I really loved that our program, by virtue of focusing on social movements and human rights, was able to relate what we learned about in the classroom to what was going on right around us during our stay in Argentina. The program does a great job of bringing in guest speakers and planning trips both within and outside BA to help us engage with the topics we study in a hands-on manner. I loved being able to travel so often with the program and especially liked that the ISP period gave students the flexibility to travel independently.

In addition, the onsite staff are incredibly supportive and kind. It is very clear that they care about students and are always open to chat about anything. I chose this program because of the level of onsite support (which non SIT programs do not always guarantee) and I was very satisfied with my experience. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city and filled with so much to do/see. Although living in any foreign country has a bit of a learning curve, I did not find it a huge culture shock compared to the US, largely due to the support provided by the program and fellow students in your cohort.

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Thomas
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Most amazing 3 months of my life!

This program was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. I learned so much, got to visit so many beautiful and unique places, and made lifelong friends! I think what sets this program apart is the incredible opportunities for field research, like studying amphibians in the tropical cloud forests of El Valle, as well as the cultural immersion opportunities, like spending a night in the Naso Comarca. You will get to visit some of the most beautiful habitats in the world and learn from instructors who are experts in their respective fields. Outside of the classroom, this program made me much more confident in social situations and taught me to go with the flow and take in each experience. You will undoubtedly emerge from this program a more well-rounded person and take the lessons you learned in Panama with you for the rest of your life! Don't miss out, seize the opportunity to visit this beautiful country and experience its many amazing cultures!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared to be unprepared, as that's a feeling you will encounter frequently throughout this program. Take in each moment as this program is very fast-paced and you will be moving around all the time. Be open and willing to go out of your comfort zone and talk to people you don't know and talk to your homestay families as much as you can! You can learn so much from them!
Pros
  • Amazing opportunities for cultural immersion
  • Unique academic experiences and field research
  • Visiting tons of beautiful, unique places
Cons
  • Course workload varies drastically
  • Fast-paced nature of classes
  • Lack of information pre-arrival
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Elliote
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Awesome Semester in Argentina & Antarctica!

Studying abroad with this program was such an amazing experience. The program staff are kind and professional and made a huge effort for us to have the best possible experience. The other kids on my program were so much fun and we had a great time exploring Ushuaia. The academics were interesting and kept us busy. It's definitely more work and more classroom time than many other study abroad programs. The excursions were super fun and a great way to see more of Patagonia, and the chance to visit Antarctica was incredible and once-in-a-lifetime.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
We went to Antarctica and it was so awesome!
Pros
  • The city & community is very friendly and welcoming
  • There is lots to do in the outdoors
Cons
  • The food can be monotonous and challenging to get veggies & variation
  • The weather can be challenging

Programs

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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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