I studied economics and anthropology and wanted a program that would get me into the real world... not send me on some bike tour type vacation in Europe.
We lived in Jakarta which is a massive sprawling city that you can't imagine if you haven't been through Asia. The streets are jammed with traffic that is 20 cars wide and 1,000 bikes mixed in. There is astounding wealth and privilege mixed with total poverty.
We lived with local high school students and their families while taking intensive language classes and also getting to know this major city.
Then after a few weeks, we punched out to Bali. A truly unique culture. I went on to write an 80 page thesis on the macro economic drivers of the region - everything from Gap factories to ex military real estate developers and tiny street corner entrepreneurs.
The entire program was about 15 students. All of them bright, motivated and engaged. Our classrooms were big open air straw covered decks with a view over rice paddies and palm trees. The level of academic work was intense in an unusual way. We had regular, almost daily, guest speakers who gave real world insight into the way Indonesia worked. The arts, culture, economics, history, violence, religion, dance... you name it, we dug into it.
When I came back to my university it was painful to go back to sitting in rows with disengaged students. this was the best educational experience of my life. I strongly encourage you to go SIT - find a program with them and do it!
As a result of my thesis that I wrote in Indonesia, I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to go back to Bali after I graduated.