There were many aspects of the program that I loved. Morocco was such a great experience and really cool that it was covered by SIT and that we were able to all go as a group. We had classes where we learned about the medical system in Morocco and were able to talk to traditional midwives and healers which was very interesting to me. We would also go on excursions and one of them was this hike up this massive sand dune which was amazing; I felt like I was on a different planet! We also learned about their culture through a homestay.
The program is really comprehensive and I learned so much regarding global health from experts in the field. We had guest lecturers from the International Red Cross, the United Nations, governmental organizations, and NGOs all working in the health sector. The academics were so interesting and we had two projects where you picked what you were interested in and conducted research based on that which was really cool that we could research almost anything we wanted. Some lectures inspired me so much to the point of helping me figure out what direction I want to go in for my future!
This program is focused on academics I would say which I enjoyed but was challenging at some points because class started at 9 and would go sometimes until 5. We would have 3-hour lectures from 9-12 then a lunch break from 12-2 then either a French class or a field trip from 2-5. For me, my homestay was an hour bus ride away so my days were pretty busy. That was the most challenging adjustment for me because I did not have a lot of free time during the week or time to exercise. But, some of my friends lived closer to classes so they were able to have more free time, it just depends on where you get placed for your homestay. And, eventually, I decided to romanticize it because my bus ride included beautiful views of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps!!
I have friends that went abroad to a university and they barely did any school work and just traveled and did whatever they wanted which they loved and sometimes I was jealous of that but I am really happy that I decided to do this program in the end because the staff was amazing, the people in my group were so kind and because it was a small group we got really close, traveling from Switzerland was easy because it’s in the center of Europe, I got to ski and hike in the alps!!!, I have contacts that I can reach out to that are experts and leaders in world-renowned organizations in the health field, and Switzerland is so beautiful! I would say if you’re looking for a semester with more free time maybe looking at university instead of SIT, but if you’re looking to immerse yourself through making connections with a Swiss homestay family and studying global health and development policy then I would say this program will do that.