SIT Study Abroad

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
Headquarters

1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05301
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Lauren
9/10

I beyond highly recommend SIT: Jordan.

To begin, this program used to be titled Modernization and Social Change, but the name switched to Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East. Just so you know!

I began my experience in Jordan not with SIT, but with a small, independent language center for two summers. While we went on trips and I enjoyed that experience, SIT gave going to Jordan a whole other dimension.

The staff is extremely supportive. I was met at the airport by a staff member, and everything was very organized. After, we went to the hotel to stay for a week of orientation, which did a very good job of preparing us for Jordan. I felt it could have been maybe a little shorter, but I had experience in Jordan before, so that may just have been me. The hotel was very nice, and it was lovely to get to know staff and fellow students during that first week. Throughout the entire program, the staff went above and beyond to help us feel comfortable, to support our Arabic, and to support us during the ISP/internship period.

After the first week, we were given a stipend and sent to live with our host families. SIT GIVES A STIPEND- THIS ONE IS 50 JD A WEEK. This is a huge draw to SIT for me. I didn't know about the stipend originally, and I was shocked to find out about it because other, similarly priced programs do not offer one. This is a major pull to SIT- I spent very little of my own personal money on cost of living expenses. Also, SIT offers a Pell Grant match which is super helpful.

The host families are also an amazing aspect of SIT. I learned much more Jordanian Arabic and much more about Jordan's culture than before, and most of the host families were pretty amazing. Some people only had so/so experiences, but they were in the minority. In general, everyone was happy to have that support and family atmosphere. People really welcome you quickly, but also most families have been with SIT for a while, so your presence isn't a huge deal either. I loved that, and felt pretty comfortable almost immediately. Also, the food was AMAZING.

Academics were okay. I would not necessarily say this program shines in that department. Classes are usually taught by guest speakers, who come in and give a lecture on one topic. However, it was cool to learn from a variety of perspectives, and we often went on field visits (such as to the senate, local NGOs, etc). Arabic classes are not heavily emphasized, and if your goal is to learn a whole lot of fusha or Arabic in general, I would think about a different program. This program shines in giving you a diverse set of speakers who present a variety of ideas, as well as providing an amazing host family experience (which helps with Jordanian Arabic), and putting on great, informative trips. It is just not extremely rigorous academically.

That said, students get the option to do an internship or independent research project, and that was an amazing experience. I did a research project, and the opportunity to conduct field research while abroad is not one to be taken lightly. People always ask me about it when I bring it up, and it helped in an internship interview. It helped me identify a field of study I want to go on to get a Masters in, and the overall support system was great! Students who did internships also seemed to learn a lot and enjoy their work.

I definitely felt like I came away learning a whole lot about Jordan and the region, especially considering I had studied there previously. Additionally, a trip to the UAE was included in our tuition. This was amazing- we got to see the contrast between Jordan and a wealthy Gulf state, which fit the program theme well. We also had tons of fun in Dubai!! In Jordan, we went to Um Qais, Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and Aqaba. All of those trips were super, super fun!!

In all, I highly recommend SIT: Geopolitics. The trips were great, the host families were unique, and you get much more for paying the same amount as comparable programs. Even though the academics are not rigorous, I think I learned more about Jordan and the Middle East than my friends on comparable programs. The research project was an invaluable opportunity. However, I did feel like I learned less Arabic. The woman who directed the Arabic program was great and always willing to offer extra help, and I adore her! But overall, I think the program emphasizes it less.

How can this program be improved?
A greater emphasis on Arabic.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rebekah
9/10

SIT Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages could not have been a better experience. I applied to the program on a whim following the advice of my study abroad advisor and it could not have been a more perfect fit, and the hands-on, field-based experience we had was once in a lifetime. From city life in Quito to the coast of Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands, all the way to the Amazon, we had the unique opportunity of being able to learn first-hand about Ecuador's most pressing socio-political issues from those directly involved in grassroots organizations and those affected by the ever-shifting political climate. Fabian, the academic director, is the most knowledgeable and passionate teacher I have ever had in my life. He and Sofia (the assistant director) were a constant support structure throughout the entire process and were always ready, willing, and able to lend an ear, a hand, or whatever you might need. I was able to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture through my homestays and consequently improved my Spanish dramatically. The ISP was an incredible experience; I was able to prove to myself that I can, do, and will belong in academia, an aspect I have been doubting about myself for a long time. The opportunity to engage in field-based primary research at that level with the level of support that we had is something incredibly unique. The best part of the program is that you can really mold it to your academic interests- whether you're passionate about the environment, human migration, linguistics, gay rights, etc. etc., you can make the program what you want it to be!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Phoebe
9/10

This program is an incredible opportunity for students studying ecology or environmental science! I had had great experiences traveling throughout Ecuador, learning about local ecology, and making new friends. The classes, and especially the independent research project, made me more qualified for ecology research positions. Taking classes in Spanish and living with a host family has made me much more confident in Spanish classes at my home university. I loved living with my host family, and I'll never forget all of the local traditions and foods they introduced me to. The program directors and host families are so proud of their country, and it's easy to see why! This was an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone interested in ecology and conservation.

How can this program be improved?
Communication between program directors and students could be improved.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Margaret
10/10

My time abroad was by far my favorite semester of college. It was an unforgettable experience, and a large part was due to the staff in SIT Bolivia. The program director Heidi, the assistant director Noemi, the secretary Pati, and all the staff cared about each and every single one of us. They treated my group like their own family, and welcomed us all. One of my favorite memories is cooking Thankgsiving food at Heidi's house and congregating with everyone after from the program to celebrate. They also set up incredible lectures from important political and social figures in the community. They pushed us to think more critically and to reject ethnocentric views. We were here to listen and learn, not to interrupt or intrude. The Spanish teachers as well were incredible. We worked in small groups of four or five students with the best Professors. It was a refreshing untraditional style of teaching that accelerated my language skills from proficient to advanced. Lastly, my homestay family was the best part of the experience. I spent the entire semester in Cochabamba with them and they treated me just like one of their own kids. We tried food together, saw soccer matches together, danced and laughed in the Campesino, and learned from one another. I'll never forget my time abroad because it taught me so much about myself, a culture unlike my own, and what I want for the future. Thank you SIT Bolivia for everything!

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by being longer! I never wanted to leave!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Cassie
9/10

During my Fall semester of my Junior year, I decided to study abroad for a semester in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Living in a city was definitely a new experience for me, especially riding in a Trufi (taxi) to class every morning. However, I learned to navigate quickly and was able to be independent. I was fortunate to have a great homestay family who welcomed me into their life and invited me to everything. As a result of traveling to Latin America before, my abroad experience was less of a cultural one. Instead it was an amazing academic experience. The SIT program gave me the opportunity to learn from a non-western ideology and to constantly question what I think I know about the world. The most valuable things that I took away were from conversations about colonization, decolonization, and race relations in the world. I soon became extremely aware of how little I really knew about the way the world work because I had learned about it in such a western and white narrative. There were obviously so many other voices that needed to be heard. And throughout this program I was able to hear them from government official, indigenous leaders, and my own peers in the group. What I learned in Cochabamba is still present in my daily life at Kenyon College and will continue to be throughout the rest of my life. SIT also gave me the opportunity to explore my passion for documentaries. I was able to live in a indigenous community for ten days while filming their lives. This program enabled me to find interests of mine that I will continue to pursue in my future.

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved by allowing students to be more independent in traveling and have a less structured schedule.
Yes, I recommend

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