SIT Bolivia: Multiculturalism, Globalization & Social Change

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About

Explore how concepts of development and cultural identity are being creatively re-defined in Bolivia, a country with 36 ethnic groups and the first indigenous president in South America.

This program examines how Bolivia's landscapes and multiethnic population offer remarkable contrasts and challenges to previously held notions of development. Students explore Andean and Amazonian cultures and cosmovision and the layered growth of Bolivia's multiethnic social system under the pressures of globalization.

Students meet with Bolivian intellectuals and activists, artists and artisans, musicians and filmmakers, union members and miners, feminists and indigenous leaders, shamans and environmentalists. Program lecturers are leaders and experts at institutions such as The Democracy Center, Centro de Estudios Superiores Universitarios, Mujeres Creando, and the Andean Information Network.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Margaret
10/10

Best Semester Fall 2017

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

My Experience in Cochabamba Bolivia

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
Default avatar
Julius
9/10

A Unique Non-Traditional Study Abroad Experience

SIT Bolivia is unlike most other study abroad programs. Although it is a highly structured program (you will take all classes and travel on various excursions with the same group of 15-20 people), there is plenty of opportunity to explore all that Bolivia has to offer, especially during the ISP period, where you can learn more about virtually any aspect of Bolivian culture or society. Another unique aspect of this program is the opportunity to publish your own children's book with the Kids Book Bolivia collection!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10

My Best College Semester

Without a doubt, my time in Bolivia was the most rewarding of my entire college career. I entered the program knowing that it would challenge me, but with this frame of mind I was able to experience new ways of living with an open mind.

My final independent study project, a short documentary about pollution of Lake Titicaca, has been used by a local NGO in their community outreach efforts. I am the more proud of the final result and impact of this project than any other work I did as a college student.

The program directors are fantastic; they will challenge you and engage in thought-provoking debates while still providing support whenever needed.

From our joint excursions to the Potosi mine that bankrolled the Spanish empire to visiting feminist cooperatives in La Paz, my experience with SIT in Bolivia was phenomenal. I recommend it to any passionately curious, sincere, and active global citizen out there.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
katharine
10/10

Spring 2015 Grad: Outside-of-class learning, amazing experiences

SIT does a great job of focusing on student experience, and making classrooms as rigorous as US classes, with the added bonus of incorporating a huge range of outside-of-class learning trips and excursions, which are easily the highlight of the program. The staff are very well-connected in Bolivia, which provides you great access to amazing people and resources wherever you go-- you'll find yourself talking to famous Water War activists like it's no big deal. The ISP (Independent Study Project) is the most academically rewarding part of the program, and can lead to future research in your home institution. Cochabamba was the ideal city, in my opinion, for the type of experience I was looking for. It's not a tourist destination per se, so you have a really good chance of immersion, and you won't get caught up in a community of foreigners that speak your language. If you're looking for a challenge, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, SIT Bolivia is a good fit for you.

Yes, I recommend

About 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...