Why did you decide to study abroad and why did you decide to spend your semester with SIT specifically?
I felt there was no better way to challenge myself and my understanding of the world than to spend time living in and learning about a distinctly different culture to the one I was used to at Bowdoin. I had studied abroad with SIT's high school program and I valued the experience I had with them so SIT was my first option. I also knew I wanted a radically different experience from my own that I knew I wouldn't be able to achieve by studying abroad in Europe. That combined with the fact that East Africa had been a recent focus of my interests and that I would be able to travel to two different countries made the Uganda and Rwanda program an ideal choice.
Tell us about your study abroad experience in and outside of the classroom.
The classroom experiences were more to prepare us for life in the country (historical background, language courses) and for our independent study. SIT emphasizes "experiential learning" which places more emphasis on human interaction. It was an interesting and welcome change from Bowdoin classes where often the material might seem highly interesting but far removed from the classroom context. It was thrilling to actually come in contact with people and organizations that I had read about and hear about in many of my international relations classes.
What do you believe was the value of study abroad for you academically and personally?
My study abroad experience allowed me to more clearly define my academic interests and confirmed my desire to pursue a career in the international realm. Upon my return I took a number of classes focused on diplomacy, international law, and the African continent. It allowed me to narrow my job search to organizations that had a decidedly international focus.
Does international work or travel figure into any of your future plans?
Yes, I am going to be working for the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya for the next two years starting in August as a Teaching Fellow.