What Fair-Trade Education Should Look Like Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/09/2015 to 05/09/2015 with

Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador - Rehearsing Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to fully involve myself with my ecology, that nothing is separate from myself. I walked into much more of myself, my creative work, my voice, and my identity. I learned so much about humanity, friendship, love, armor, resistance, and survival. It was absolutely worthwhile.

Review Photos

Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador Photo Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador Photo Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The readings were rich in rigor, the classes challenging and intense, it was certainly not a semester off, actively engaged us and it was impossible not to be present, responsible, and responsive to the material. Incredible curriculum and coursework

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Always felt held and supported

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Miss my host parents everyday and they were always beyond caring and went beyond the moon to assist me.

* Food:

It's Ecuador!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I am Latina so I felt integrated with the local culture immediately upon arrival but other students may not feel so immediately acquainted.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any trouble with safety issues but I heard of experiences where other students did. However, we were given an extremely thorough

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

you can get a full and filling lunch for $2.50 in Ecuador. everything is very economical and there's no need to spend a lot of money. traveling within the country is also inexpensive and affordable.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

this is an advanced Spanish speaking program and we were encouraged to always being using Spanish when at the program or with program-related activities.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • rigor
  • love
  • curriculum
* What could be improved?
  • clarity (it was the first semester of the program though)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been more in touch with my Spanish to be truly fully present with all the material. It was difficult material and difficult conversation that if my Spanish had already been where I needed it to be I could have been a lot more engaged and took a more critical approach to the program.