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Hello friend!
Here are some important updates you should know!

The spring 2017 semester marks the first semester of internships being offered on SIT programs. In fall 2017, the list of programs offering internships will increase to more than 20. Students may choose between an internship or Independent Study Project. Internships are typically 30 hours per week plus additional class time and assignments. Students will submit a paper and do a presentation upon completion of the internship. Click here for more information and a full list of programs offering internships.

As of January 2017, student health insurance will be provided through International SOS. The new plan will provide a number of enhanced benefits but students will no longer be covered for routine, non-emergent dental care and for personal property loss. Click here for more details.

Starting in spring 2017, SIT will be phasing in an updated cell phone policy requiring students to bring an unlocked or dual SIM card smartphone with them to their program. Program staff will assist students in purchasing an appropriate local SIM card and required minimum minutes for calls and texting.

Africa, South of the Sahara

Excursions are a key component of almost all SIT Study Abroad programs, allowing students to conduct comparative field work and get a more contextual experience. Starting in fall 2017, students on Cameroon: Development and Social Change will travel to Paris to examine the fundraising strategies and ethics that shape the work of international development agencies working in Cameroon. The excursion will also allow students to deepen their French language skills. On Tanzania: Zanzibar – Coastal Ecology and Natural Resources Management, excursions will now include conservation areas in Mafia, Chumbe, and Misali islands to explore natural resource management from multiple standpoints, including those of local communities.

Steve Wandiga joins SIT Study Abroad as academic director for Kenya: Health, Urbanization, and Human Rights, replacing Athman Lali Omar, who stepped down in January after many years of service to SIT Study Abroad. Steve is a senior researcher at Kenya Medical Research Center in Kisumu, where he has led the tuberculosis research team; serves on the steering committee of the East African Consortium for Clinical Research; co-chairs the TB Stakeholder Community Engagement Working Group; is a member of the TB Clinical Trials Infrastructure Working Group; and coordinated an East Africa healthy childbirth initiative. Steve holds a PhD in medical research from Germany’s Ludwig Maximilian University and an MA in project planning and management from the University of Nairobi. 

The Kenya program’s relocation to Kisumu is complete. Students will continue to visit Nairobi, an important location for international partnerships and domestic health policy. Nairobi is also the location of our partnership with American University in Kenya. The AU program center will host SIT students during the three-week excursion to Nairobi and provide support to students in Nairobi during the ISP and internship period. Additionally, students will now travel to Rwanda and Jinja, Uganda (the source of the Nile River).

The Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration & Peacebuilding program has updated the titles of the program’s thematic seminars to better reflect the content of the courses. The new titles are Anatomy of Genocide and Intra-State Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction & Peacebuilding.

In 2018, SIT will launch a new program, Ghana: Africa in the 21st Century. Interdisciplinary seminars will examine Africa in a Globalizing World: Technology and Social Realities in Ghana and Contemporary Africa Re-Represented: Perspectives from Ghana (syllabus coming soon). Students will enroll in a Twi language course and pursue Independent Study Projects.

Also in 2018, we will be launching a new program, Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism. Students will take courses on Colonialism, the State, and Society, and Rethinking Global Security: Politics and Religious Pluralism in Senegal. Courses in French and Wolof will be offered and students will be able to do either an Independent Study Project or internship.

Both the Ghana and Senegal programs are eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible. Click here for more information about scholarships.


Starting in Fall 2017, the SIT program in Kunming, China will have a new thematic focus. China: Health, Environment, and Traditional Chinese Medicine will offer a new interdisciplinary seminar titled Health, Environment, and Indigenous Knowledge. All other coursework remains the same: students will enroll in Chinese 1006/Chinese 2006/Chinese 3006Field Methods and Ethics; and will choose between an Independent Study Project, an internship, or additional intensive Chinese language study with a language pledge.

We are excited to launch a new summer program, South Korea: Digital Futures. From its base in Seoul, the program will spotlight South Korea’s exciting digital innovation and sharing economy, which links public, private, and grassroots social entrepreneurship. Students will take a course focused on Digital Technology and Social Innovation. Alongside Korean peers, students will also create a Digital Innovation Project. Students demonstrating financial need may be eligible for a New Horizons Grant of $1,500.

The SIT India: National Identity and the Arts semester program is not currently being offered. SIT leadership is considering alternative programming in India and hopes to offer a third India semester program again one day in the future. For students interested in an art-themed program in Asia, we recommend the SIT Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change program, or to consider the SIT Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples program.


The SIT Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and the Arctic program is pleased to welcome Jennifer Smith as the interim academic director. Jennifer holds graduate degrees in environmental management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland and international relations from Johns Hopkins University. She has previously worked as the program assistant on the summer program Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics. Joining Jennifer will be Daniel Govoni as academic coordinator. Dan is a PhD candidate in the biological sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research experience has primarily been in Iceland and includes data collection and management, data analysis, sample processing, and supervision of technicians. Dan has an MSc in aquatic biology from Hólar University Colleg in Skagafjörður, Iceland, a BA in zoology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and a BA in psychology from Drake University.

Due to visa restrictions, the application deadline for the program has been moved to an earlier date: October 1 for spring and April 1 for fall.

French language had been added as an optional course on the Switzerland: Banking, Finance and Social Responsibility program. Students have a choice take three credits of French language and the International Financial Institutions, Financial Crises, and Social Responsibility seminar or take both of the thematic seminars and no language course.


Due to student interest, we will now offer the New African Diasporas: Transnational Communities, Cultures & Economies program in both the spring and fall semesters. This new SIT program, run in partnership with Morehouse College, looks at present-day factors prompting migration from Africa and the vibrancy and entrepreneurial nature of many African diaspora communities. Students start in Atlanta and visit Senegal, Italy, and China, then finish the program in New York City. Courses include: Africana Muslims; Entrepreneurship and Migration; Wolof 1003 or Wolof 2003; and New African Diasporas: Frameworks and Fieldwork.

Beginning fall 2017, the IHP Rethinking Food Security: People, Agriculture & Politics will move its African location from Tanzania to Malawi to capitalize on the expertise and connections of the program’s program director.

Latin America

Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy and Media program welcomes Benjamin Waddell as academic director. Benjamin is a 2004 alumnus of SIT's Nicaragua program. He comes to SIT from a rural liberal arts college in southern Colorado and has led summer-long programs to Nicaragua and Cuba to study sustainable development, digital technology, and media. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of New Mexico.

Middle East and North Africa

Starting fall 2017, the Jordan Modernization and Social Change program will have an updated theme and title. Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East will offer coursework in Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East. Students who choose to take three credits instead of six credits of Arabic will enroll in a second seminar on The Psychology of Peace. The program will maintain its excursion to United Arab Emirates, which will include a module on international business and geopolitics. Students can pursue either an Independent Study Project or an internship.

Also starting in fall 2017, our program in Tunisia will have a new theme and title. Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean will include two seminars: Immigration and Religious Integration in the Euro-Mediterranean Region and Rethinking Politics and Religion in the Mediterranean. In addition to three credits of Arabic 1003/Arabic 2003/Arabic 3003, students will also take a 10-hour module of conversational Italian while on a three-week excursion to Sicily. Students will have the option of doing an Independent Study Project or an Internship & Seminar.

A Note for StudioAbroad Users

All these changes have been added to our StudioAbroad records. We encourage you to log in and accept all the changes for the SIT program pages. As a reminder, any program with "Inactive" in the title should be removed from your program listing.

Contact me if you want any more details about these changes.


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