Jasmon B. Harris
Jasmon Harris, a native of Nashville Tennessee, studied abroad in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania through the Kentucky Institute for International Studied. KIIS is a study abroad provider based on WKU's campus, who offers both graduate and undergraduate winter, summer, and semester programs.
Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Education
When and where did you study abroad?
Summer (June and July) 2014, Tanzania
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad?
Everyone is not as privileged as you are in other parts of the world; if you can give a helping hand to another person, then do it.
You can change someone’s life just by donating or giving something as small as a t-shirt.
What did you learn about yourself from your experience?
I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I had the opportunity to study abroad in China when I was an undergraduate at Tennessee State University, however, I was unable to go due to lack of funds. As I started graduate school, I knew one of my goals would be studying abroad especially to Africa or China. So, I applied to this program and achieved my goal!
What was your biggest challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage it?
My biggest challenge while studying abroad was getting adjusted to the foods. In other cultures there are different foods and I have major food allergies. For about a week, I had difficulty finding things to eat that I was not allergic to. This was a challenge because it was hard to participate with my other classmates when I wasn't feeling well. Luckily, I was able to get some antibiotics that helped me.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about studying abroad?
Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can because they are really helpful, and who doesn't want to save money?!
I applied for financial aid and scholarships such as the Diversity Abroad Grant, SGA scholarship, and KIIS scholarship to help offset the cost of my program.
Before you have your opportunity to study abroad, make sure learn as much as you can about the culture and the country where you are going. Start by learning some of the language and something about the people.You should also download an application on your phone for the currency difference and make sure everything with your passport is in order.
If you have a roommate, get to know the person by an email or phone call. I would really advise people to get vaccinated early and have a lot of different medications for allergies, stomach problems, and headaches with them while abroad.
Keep a journal or make a photobook when you get back home to have good memories for life.
What advice would you give to someone considering the study abroad program you participated in?
Just Do It! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Check it off of your bucket list! I think it was best to go with a group of students from all over instead of just going alone and staying with a family. Africa is a really beautiful place, do not go by what you saw on television or heard on the radio. The place is very different and you can’t get the real experience until you have the opportunity to visit!
Additional advice about the program:
Every two weeks, we traveled to a different places, such as Arusha and Zanzibar. When traveling you should keep your valuables on you at all times especially your passport.
Just because you are having a once in lifetime experience, do not forget to keep up with your assignments and materials for class or your internship.
Summer 2014 KIIS Tanzania WKU Group Photo
Jasmon Riding a Camel
Students in Traditional Tanzanian Dress