not possible to sum up in one title. sorry Past Review

By (Communication and Anthropology, Trinity University) - abroad from 01/21/2013 to 05/03/2013 with

SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Development, Politics and Languages

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program was definitely worthwhile. Besides gaining language skills, I was exposed to several ways of living, and word visions that I had never seen before, which challenged me to look at my own lifestyle. I also gained a very close relationship with my first host family that I foresee continuing in the future. Finally, the memories I have will continue with me forever.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Rigorous but in a different way than most college students are used to, more emphasis on experiential learning

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved my host families!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safe, but like in any country, you have to keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings. Stay in groups when possible, never go out alone at night, keep your belongings in front of your body, don't carry very many valuable things at once. Be especially careful on the trolley in Quito, there were very few incidents of theft on my program but two of them occurred on the trolley.

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)

Program covers all food and living expenses, so it was was easy to stay on budget. Time spent in Quito was more costly due to transportation costs. Food is cheap and delicious, service industries are cheap, chain restaurant and anything from the U.S. is usually expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? minimal, five dollars max
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Split cabs whenever possible! Don't feel like you have to buy a gift for everyone at the markets in Quito and Otavalo, it adds up quickly!


* 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

Almost all lecture 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced literature classes
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? While spending time with your American friends from the program is fun and important, really try to spend more time with your host families and friends. When you're with Americans you speak English even if you say you won't. Go with your family to the grocery store, running errands etc. this is a good time to learn new vocabulary. I also found it helpful to carry a small book to write down words I didn't know and then look them up later. During the ISP your Spanish will get so much better, because you'll likely be living apart from all other students and be totally immersed in the language. It's awesome.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • host families
  • excursions
  • ISP
* What could be improved?
  • some of the readings during lectures
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack light, Quito and Los Chillos can be both hot and cold, so bring layers. People dress pretty nice in Quito so bring some decent clothes for that as well as some outdoorsy clothes for excursions. Bring enough gifts to cover two host families, a host family on the coast (usually with a lot of little kids so maybe a collective soccer ball or even little bracelets) and possibly a host family during ISP. Take a bunch of pictures and write a blog or journal, you won't regret it! Try to get to Cuena and Baños, I didn't and I wish that I had gone

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!