Authentic, Fair Trade Exchange Past Review

By (Juniata College) - abroad from 01/22/2017 to 05/20/2017 with

Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador - Rehearsing Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned skills for challenging cultural exchange. I learned community-led project development by practicing it.

Review Photos

Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador Photo Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador Photo 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? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

An authentically experiential, unique educational experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We lived and studied in and with our host communities. We shared meals, classes, projects, and free time with our host communities.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

All room, board and program activity costs are covered by Pachaysana Institute. If a student is not in a position to spend any money out of pocket during their semester abroad, they can still have a great experience.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $2/week for snacks and/or internet use
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you spend your vacation time with the host communities, you will enjoy unstructured time with friends and be required to spend no money out of pocket.


* 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

Obligatory Spanish pledge when with community counterparts.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish Literature courses for domestic students in Quito, Ecuador
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Put time into your language classes, attend interesting campus/local events that incorporate your target language, change your Google default to your target language, watch movies in your target language (or any foreign film with subtitles in your target language)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Host Family
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Prioritizes community goals
  • Flexible to community and student needs and ideas
  • Examines our identities in these places
* What could be improved?
  • Expanded staff team
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Speak with your advisor frequently about your independent study experience. These conversations could generate new ideas and options for you.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'