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Sawako Suzuki

Organization: SIT IHP Rethinking Food Security - included Ecuador, Malawi and Italy
Dates: 1/13/2019 to 5/1/2019
Web site:

In Sawako's own words

How I contributed: We shared our knowledge and the United States lens that we had on the food system and food security with in-country organizations.

What I felt most challenged by: I felt most challenged by being surrounded by a lot of the same people all of the time. It was hard to find alone time on this program.

What I enjoyed most: I enjoyed the great amount of time we had to spend with our host families.

Would I recommend this experience: If I am being completely honest, I would not recommend this program to other students. It is still very new and I think they have some kinks to flesh out.

Lauren A. Tabor

Organization: Cloud Forest Adventure
Dates: 31 May 2014 to 26 July 2014

In Lauren's own words

How I contributed: I taught English in the local school during the morning, giving the children experience with a foreigner.  I also helped to work on the farm of the people who I was staying with.

What I felt most challenged by: I wasn't prepared for how exhausting teaching children is.

What I enjoyed most: I loved walking everywhere.  The hike to and from the school was invigorating.  I only hiked out to the secondary pastures twice, but it was very rewarding.

Would I recommend this experience: Yes.  The leader of the program, Ned, is very keen on talking with the student beforehand and placing them according to interests and preferences.  There is the option to only teach, only farm, or do both.  Additionally, the drastic changes in altitude in the mountainous area provides a choice in climate, from temperate to tropical.  Furthermore, the absolute isolation from the "outside world" was one of the most powerful parts of my time there.