Mongolia: An Uncommon Study Abroad Destination

Ratings
Overall
10
Academics: 8
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 8
Review

For the rest of your life, you likely be the one person people that lived in Mongolia.

That statement will have its own significance to you, too. Truly there is no place like Mongolia, and in my opinion, there are no study abroad programs like SIT in terms of effectively engaging their students with the local context. At one point, about 2000 miles from the nearest city while my host family yelled at me in Mongolian, and using the words I understood, I helped capture a camel. At another point, I was studying the nature nomadic labor in tourism using theories of capitalism. That's what you might do, too.

Academics:
3/5 difficulty, yet I learned so much. The academic rigor was lower than my average semester at college though the homestay and excursions offer different challenges unlike written/read assignments. You may get an A in the program with effort.

Housing:
My homestays were desirable. On excursions the accommodation left something to be desired, but that's Mongolia. If you want prim and proper the program's not for you anyways.

Food:
consistently enjoyed the food. Though I had no allergies or dietary restrictions, and I like meat. I did buy fruit and recommend my host family to cook more balanced meals, since this wasn't common. You will have to adjust if you eat salad and fruit daily.

Integration:
I felt the programs allows you to integrate as far as you can. You are put into the most intimate situations with Mongolian people, such as spending time on holidays, sleeping in a ger (just google it), living with a family. Of course, there's limits on "being local" given that you are not, but these are important ways to become as acquainted with Mongolia as possible. By the end of the program, I was conversing with taxi drivers and locals in the main square, bargaining for things, etc. Even today, one year and a half past the program, I was able to interact with a Mongolian family in their language, so the language component is there if you work hard. I know a significant amount of Mongolia history, politics, and economic change. The ISP is important for that. Also, I'm familiar with key sites and was able to interact, and you may maintain connections with groups like the Wild Conservation Society, the WWF, the United Nations, and more specific NGOS if you try.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2018