Transformative, Liberating, and Empowering Exchange Past Review

By (American University) - abroad from 08/18/2017 to 12/18/2017 with

Pachaysana Institute: Ecuador - Rehearsing Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The most valuable things I gained from my time with Rehearsing Change were the relationships & a new way of understanding the world. I met people who are still some of the most important and influential people in my life, and through dialogue with them and the world around me I learned so much. Rehearsing Change was absolutely the most rewarding, liberating, and empowering educational experience of my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned more in my four months in Ecuador than I did in the entire rest of my time in college!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Pachaysana/Rehearsing Change team's number one priority is the wellbeing of their students, and they are always available to support you in any way you need. It felt like a family.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with two wonderful host families during my time in Ecuador, and they were both wonderful & in safe areas.

* Food:

One of the great parts of this program is they give you a stipend for any meals not covered by the host families! And Ecuador has wonderful (and cheap) food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All of our courses were with local counterparts, so I felt very integrated and welcome in the two communities I lived in. I might many wonderful friends from Ecuador!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety varies based on community, but the staff holds comprehensive safety orientations at the beginning of the program that help a lot in navigating the city/community safely.

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

I have not doubted for a moment my choice to study abroad with Rehearsing Change! It opens your eyes to ways of being, knowing, and experiencing the world in a way that most U.S. college students would not have access too. You learn as much about yourself as you do about the world around you.


* 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)

Apart from being a relatively cheap country to live in for most Americans, the program provides a stipend for meals not provided by the host family and for taxis when you're living in Quito! So, the only real reasons to spend money are fun & recreation.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $0-$25


* 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

We lived with Spanish-speaking host families, and all of our classes were in Spanish!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? 456
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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
  • International Students
  • Host Family
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?
  • Living & learning in community
  • Decolonial/liberating education
  • Made lifelong friendships with both locals & fellow international students
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I wouldn't want to leave ;)