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



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.


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Yes, I recommend this program

An Immeasurable Experience

I had an unforgettable and immeasurable experience in Spain with SIT. Although an intensive program it was full of valuable information taught by experienced professors and professionals alike. SIT provided ample resources and student aid throughout the program's entirety. I learned about the stark differences between sustainable development and overall urban planning in the EU, specifically Spain, and the United States. This information was heavily reliant on experiential learning. Overall this program showed me where I want to go in my career and I am currently awaiting an admissions decision for a master's program in Belgium.

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Community
  • Lack of social integration
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Yes, I recommend this program

SIT Ecuador: A hands-on, thorough, supportive program that makes learning fun

Prior to the program, I realized I didn't love learning as much as I used to. I hoped this program would remedy that...and boy did it deliver! Our classes were purposeful, but engaging. Excursions were the highlight, and classes during these portions consisted of long, leisurely hikes or snorkeling multiple times a day. Learning was fun. Our more traditional classes in the city were also engaging, with many breakouts into small-groups or with guest lecturers from a variety of fields.

This program gave me so much I would not have had at my university. It was extremely hands-on (think getting up at 6 to go on a 2-hr birding expedition before breakfast, then going to a river after breakfast to collect water samples and analyze them yourself), comprehensive (we visited so many places in the country), taught me how to do independent research (the program culminates for a month-long research project you do yourself), and provided me connections I still maintain. On top of this, it was extremely supportive (the professors were always available and approachable). Though it was a tough decision to leave my university for the semester, I am glad I did.

Additionally, I study environmental engineering; as such, I am used to examining similar issues we learned about but from a completely different angle. I was glad to gain an understanding of the biological/conservation side of environmental issues. I was able to learn what other considerations should go into decisions of engineering rather than just efficiency.

  • Hands-on classes
  • Supportive professors
  • Traveling/excursions
  • Feedback on assignments was confusing
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Yes, I recommend this program

I'd Do It Over in a Heartbeat

Switzerland is a beautiful country and I love being able to say that I lived and studied there for a time. Geneva is a great place to study international relations and I really stepped out of my comfort zone and gained a lot of confidence through this program and just by being there. My host family was amazing and inviting and helped my French improve immensely. I had several experiences that helped me grow personally and professionally. There could've been some more structure/organization on the academic side but it was an overwhelmingly positive study abroad experience that I recommend to anyone considering it.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience, friends, classes, and trips

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.

  • Students
  • Morocco trip
  • classes
  • not a lot of free time
  • long commute to class
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fun and Enriching Study Abroad in Buenos Aires Argentina with a Public Health Focus

This program was perfect for me and I really enjoyed it as it met all my expectation of an academically intense program, where I was able to use and improve my Spanish that had a focus in public health (I am interested in medicine, so this was perfect for me!) that allowed me to get to know Argentine culture, meet local argentines, and learn a lot about public health (especially in Argentina). Buenos Aires is also an amazing city with so much to offer and explore, so I really liked getting to live (with a host family) and explore the culture and activites!

  • Living with a host family
  • Getting to explore the country (travel around) and the public health environment (through excursions)
  • Getting to practice and improve my spanish
  • Not a ton of time for independent travel


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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.

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