SIT Study Abroad
94% Rating
(124 Reviews)

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. Program components are designed to respect the strengths of local partners to foster enduring relationships.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Sarah
Female
21 years old
Allentown, PA
Muhlenberg College

An Experience in Chilean Traditional Medicine

7/10

I enjoyed the variety of experiences I had doing this program. We took several trips so we got to see a good portion of the country. The host families were all nice and wanted to help their students and have them be involved with family activities. It was difficult to adjust to all of the sudden changes at first, but the staff were all helpful at in country orientation. The academics weren't very rigorous, most likely because you are encouraged to do a lot of investigating on your own time and experiencing the culture beyond books. I would have liked a more detailed methods course that gave more practical examples, but the traditional medicine and public health courses were interesting, with a fair number of guest speakers. I loved the ISP (independent study project) period, as it allowed for the most freedom and you can investigate a specific topic that really interests you.

How can this program be improved?

Improving the rigorousness of the academics

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Fiona
Female
21 years old
United States
Yale University

Amazing academic and personal growth!

9/10

I had an incredible experience abroad through SIT Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change. The staff and all our professors were knowledgeable, caring, and enthusiastic about the program and helping us learn and grow. I found that most of our academic and personal learning happened outside the classroom—SIT’s emphasis on field experience was one of the main reasons I chose to go abroad through their program. Through the vast range of school visits, tours of museums and human rights sites, and political and social marches and demonstrations, I was able to immerse myself in the culture, history, and current events of the country and learn in a way that would have been impossible to do in a university classroom in the U.S.

One of the most important parts of my abroad experience was living with a homestay family. I had the most amazing family who truly made me feel welcome, loved, and cared for during my entire time there. It was also the best way for me to practice and improve my Spanish in a low-pressure environment where I constantly felt supported and encouraged. I really felt like a part of my family, and we still have a group text where we write and send each other pictures regularly!

Some of the most unique and valuable parts of the SIT program were our group excursions to Valparaiso, Temuco, and Buenos Aires. Not only were we able to compare education systems and key social movements first-hand among the different regions, but we also got to connect with incredibly thoughtful, brave, and dedicated students, teachers, and activists. Our homestay experiences in Temuco and Buenos Aires allowed us to have closely personal relationships and intimate insights into the unique cultures and current challenges facing different communities we had learned about in a classroom context. I feel extremely grateful that I was able to travel to these different places and learn from so many amazing people—opportunities I probably would never have had outside of this program.

The ISP period at the end of our program was one of the most intense, challenging, and valuable academic, social, and personal experiences I have ever had. I had to make huge leaps in my confidence in my Spanish language skills and social capabilities in order to conduct effective research that I felt was truly beneficial to the communities I was so generously welcomed into. Ultimately, I built strong connections with members of the educational community in Santiago, and felt a sense of pride for what I had accomplished through my ISP. This project is something I hope to continue on in the future, and hopefully I have the chance to return to Chile and re-connect with some of the amazing educators, students, and administrators I worked with!

Overall, this program facilitated an amazing study abroad experience for me. Chile is a beautiful country with so much to explore, and I met so many wonderful people who shaped my experience and influenced the person I am today. I had to acknowledge that I was just scraping the tip of the iceberg with how much I had to learn (and still have left to learn) about the country’s past and present, but this program helped me learn and grow in countless ways and I am very grateful for that!

How can this program be improved?

I think we could have benefitted from more structured opportunities to reflect on our emotional and psychological growth throughout the program. The staff did have us reflect on the academic content of our program occasionally, but we also had a lot of intense new experiences (human rights tours, political demonstrations) that I think would have been worth reflecting on as a group.

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Morgan
Female
25 years old
United States
Bowdoin College

Incredibly immersive, authentic and fun program!

10/10

I participated in this program in the Spring of 2013 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made! SIT Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change was incredibly immersive. I came into it just average at Spanish, and left feeling extremely confident in my speaking availability and very close to fluent. The design of the program is structured so every day is different and you are constantly seeing new schools, speaking to students of all ages and seeing how different the education system can be in different areas of Chile. The group was small which made it feel that much more authentic, and the support by the director and our professors was very strong and they were always available by phone or email. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in education and wanting to have a very authentic and local experience in Santiago!

How can this program be improved?

The staff of SIT Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change were all great and incredibly supportive, but most of them did not speak much or any English, so at first it was a bit hard to communicate! I think this ended up being a good thing because it encourages you to speak Spanish, but it was a bit intimidating at first!

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Alyssa
Female
21 years old
Boston, MA
Colby College

Awesome semester full of biodiversity, culture, and new friends to last a lifetime

10/10

This is a science-focused program with a significant field-based component, but what makes this program special is that it also gives you the chance to get to know intimately Ecuadorian culture. In addition to swimming among river dolphins in the Amazon and with sea turtles, sharks, and sea lions in the Galapagos, some of my favorite memories include hanging out with my host brother and his friends on the weekends, going with them to the discoteca or a pick-up soccer game. Living with an Ecuadorian family while in Quito was at first a daunting idea to me, but this was one of my absolute favorite aspects about the program. What is at first somewhat of a challenge comes to feel like home, to the point where I felt homesick when I returned to the US. There is no better way to learn the hidden details of a culture that tourists will never see. Not to mention the other great part of this program, which is the month-long independent study project that you conduct in the field in a topic of your interest. I worked with rare magnolia trees in the cloud forest, and this was a truly unique experience to learn and utilize field methods as an independent researcher.

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Megan
Female
20 years old
California
Claremont McKenna College

A unique, life-changing experience

8/10

I came back from this program a more passionate, educated, and confident individual. This program truly helps you grow academically, socially, and culturally. It is definitely a unique program that is unlike any others. The program excels at improving your language skills and encouraging experiential learning. The focus on human rights and social movements matches perfectly with the location of Buenos Aires. The city really becomes your classroom. I learned about Argentine history and the human rights issues of the dictatorship in a way that I would have never had the opportunity to learn about in the U.S. The subjects that the courses cover are incredibly interesting, but hard to learn about; however, the professors and guest lecturers do not shy away from anything. The visits to local organizations, museums, and historic sights really help to put what you learn in the classroom into context. There is no way you can come away from the semester without changing your perspective on the world.

The home stay aspect of the program is also fantastic. Almost everyone had a great experience with their host family. They are so welcoming and really make you feel like a part of the family. They act as a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and get comfortable in a new city and country. Outside of your host family, it is pretty hard to make local friends because you end up spending most of your time with the other students in the group. The size of the program tends to be small (my program only had 25 students) and the excursions to the north and south result in you spending a lot of time together. The program does have its weaknesses, but they are all outweighed by the overall experience. In the end, you get out of the program, is what you put into it. If you are looking for a unique study abroad experience and are a self-starter, I would highly recommend this program.

How can this program be improved?

One of my few problems with the program was its organization and structure. Often, there seemed to be problems with the flow of communication between program staff, teachers, and students. This would often lead to lots of confusion about due dates and assignments. Additionally, scheduling was often a problem. Time between classes were often short, making it hard to have time for lunch and get to our next class in a different part of the city. Time and locations of classes or visits were often changed at the last minute. To be fair, my semester had just had some staff changes so the team was still adjusting to working together. Additionally, a lot of the frustration was just due to cultural differences when it comes to timing and it was good to learn how to adapt quickly.

Program Listings

Peru

SIT Study Abroad
Examine traditional and contemporary societies in Peru, home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the Americas. To...

Ecuador

SIT Study Abroad
Ecuador is home to more than 1,600 species of birds and 10 percent of the world’s known vascular plant species. Students on S...

Argentina

SIT Study Abroad
Discover the diverse social movements and struggle for human rights in Argentina on this program. Argentina is a country reno...

Panama

SIT Study Abroad
Experience the critical environmental and social issues affecting one of the world’s most diverse ecological systems. This pr...

Nicaragua

SIT Study Abroad
Explore Nicaragua a generation after the revolution and investigate how young people in Nicaragua and Cuba are creatively adv...

Chile

SIT Study Abroad
Gain unique insight and exposure to healthcare policies, politics, and delivery methods as well as traditional medicinal prac...

Tunisia

SIT Study Abroad
In Tunisia and Italy, crossroads of the Mediterranean, study the interplay of regional politics, migration, and religion. Exa...

Chile

SIT Study Abroad
Explore Chile’s recent political and social history and discover how Chileans are working to reconcile with the past while st...

Chile

SIT Study Abroad
Study educational policies and pedagogies in Chile and Argentina, exploring the relationship between education, society, and...

South Africa

SIT Study Abroad
Examine community-based health concerns from a South African perspective, exploring the roles of the South African state, the...

Indonesia

SIT Study Abroad
Explore the evolving relationships among religion, fine arts, performing arts, and social organization in contemporary Indone...

Argentina

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SIT Study Abroad
SIT offers a variety of programs specializing in the subject of social work including:

Bolivia

SIT Study Abroad
Explore how concepts of development and cultural identity are being creatively re-defined in Bolivia, a country with 36 ethni...

Ecuador

SIT Study Abroad
Study Ecuador's development processes while considering the relationship between power and discourse as the country's multili...

Uganda

SIT Study Abroad
Examine theories and practices of current concepts, challenges, and debates in development studies in the dynamic context of...