These 10 programs topped SIT’s list in 2021

Although SIT program delivery was modified in 2021, SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute continued to provide life-changing international experiences for graduate and undergraduate students throughout the year.

Not surprisingly, the challenges brought about by COVID-19 meant that many of the most popular programs in each division were either hybrid or virtual. Nevertheless, students like Tiffany Padilla, who studied Tibetan online, found "immense value in experiencing a study abroad of any kind."

Read "Insights from a virtual study abroad"

Top 5 SIT Graduate programs in 2021

December 29th, 2021   |   School for International Training, SIT Graduate Institute, SIT Study Abroad

Based on enrollment, the most popular SIT Graduate Institute programs in 2021 were:

1. Part-time hybrid MA in Sustainable Development

A Mexico landscape with lush green plants set against a mountainous backdrop

In this two-year program, students learn to support thriving communities and build skills in community development and social change. They work with their professors and cohort online, with brief residencies in Vermont and field courses in Nepal and Mexico.

Read Randal McCoy's capstone paper, "Black Lives Matter"

2. Part-time hybrid MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

A blackboard with post-it notes and signs that say "How do people learn?" and "How can we teach?"

SIT is a national leader in TESOL training so it's no surprise that this two-year program continues to rank among SIT's most popular. Grounded in plurilingual pedagogy and led by experts in the field, the program provides students the opportunity to specialize in one of four subject areas: teacher training, plurilingual pedagogy, teaching refugees and displaced persons, or teaching young learners.

Find out more about plurilingual pedagogy

3. Part-time hybrid MA in International Education

a young man smiles in the foreground with classmates seated behind him.

In this two-year hybrid MA, students learn to lead education programs in communities around the world. The program features brief summer residencies on SIT's scenic Vermont campus and includes electives focused on leadership, peacebuilding, language education, international development, and intercultural service.

Program chair Dr. Sora Friedman talks about her new book

4. Global MA in Climate Change & Global Sustainability

A human figure stands on an icy glacier looking toward the horizon.

In SIT's one-year Global Master's programs, students study in a different country each semester and in most cases complete their final capstone anywhere in the world. Among our first and most popular of these global formats is Climate Change & Global Sustainability. With one semester each in Iceland and Tanzania, students gain the knowledge, skills, and global experience to address climate change and enhance the sustainability of environments and responsible human livelihoods. Alumni from this program have gone on to careers in public policy and NGO fields.

Climate Change alumna Danielle Purvis: 'The ways of the world must change'

5. Global MA in Diplomacy and International Relations

Flags from hundreds of countries line a walkway leading to a large building with pillars and an arched entryway.

Students prepare for careers in international, regional, and global affairs or diplomacy to address some of the most critical issues facing the planet. This one-year program takes place in South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States for key points of comparison among U.S., European, and African perspectives as students learn how to function with the global political system.

Program chair Dr. Bruce Dayton: 'We're at a tipping point'

Top 5 SIT Study Abroad programs for 2021

Based on enrollment, the most popular SIT Study Abroad programs and countries in 2021 were:

1 & 2. Iceland

A group of about 20 young people smile for the camera. They are wearing cold-weather gear and are in a rural setting.

SIT Study Abroad's two most popular programs in 2021 were both immersive experiences in Iceland. Students on our semester program, Climate Change and the Arctic, were drawn to the beauty of Iceland's glaciers, volcanoes, coastlines and waterfalls. In that dramatic setting, they study climate models and carbon management with experts on the front lines of the fight against climate change.

SIT's summer program in Iceland, Renewable Energy, Technology & Resource Economics, is similarly focused on climate and environment, attracting students interested in energy policy and renewable energy technologies.

3 & 5. South Africa

Six tall concrete pillars with the French and English names of African countries.

Summer and semester Virtual Internships in Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, and International Relations ranked third and fifth respectively in 2021, preparing students for careers in human rights or global affairs. Both programs explore non-western perspectives on conflict resolution, human rights, international relations, and south-south diplomacy in cooperation with partners like the Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Africa’s largest conflict resolution NGO.

4. Kenya

A human carries a bucket on their head and walks a path through greenery toward a large body of water.

Another virtual internship in Africa ranked among our top 5. On our summer program Kenya: Virtual Internship in Public Health in the Tropics students have the opportunity to intern with a community or research organization, business, government agency, or NGO. This program is carried out in partnership with the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, and other organizations working on public health issues in Kisumu. (The semester version of this program was also popular, coming in sixth in our 2021 ranking.)

#1 Muse: Ecuador

A snow-capped mountain against a starry sky and a rural village in the foreground.

Last but not least, we would be remiss if we failed to include Ecuador in this list as the country that inspires some of the most prolific writing among our students and alumni.

I was captivated by the Ecuador’s immense, thriving biodiversity.

Zane Libke

This program has caused me to reflect a lot on what exactly the goal of ‘development’ is, on what changes I actually want to make in the world, and how one should go about making change.

Meg Edwards

Exploring the cloud forest for five days and our trip to the Amazon was like, 'Someone pinch me, I think I'm dreaming'.

Halle Catalina Brown