Eye Opening Past Review

By (Anthropology., Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/25/2013 to 12/06/2013 with

SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Development, Politics and Languages

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a very worthwhile experience. I cannot really put into words all that I gained or learned...but studying abroad is such a valuable experience, you learn every moment and a change of perspective and the realization that other ways of life are possible, is an amazing thing

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 would definitely say that it is intense, not necessarily hard or too much work...but I felt like I was constantly learning. You can definitely push yourself in this program in terms of academic rigor, or you can take it more easy, there is possibility for both cases, I think it depends on the person, but the resources are definitely there.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Awesome, the directors work very well together and with the group.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I learned a lot from my home stays and if anyone had issues, there was definitely a way to get help.

* Food:

Lots of food! Depends on your host family, but in my experience everyone was pretty accommodating and I loved the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I definitely formed some sort of connection with Ecuador. I would not go so far as saying that I fully integrated, but I definitely felt myself adapt a little and get comfortable with it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues, but my friends who did were able to get helpe from the directors and also local clinics if necessary, without problems.

* Safety:

The program did a great job with safety measures and preparing us for what we needed to know. I felt safe during this time.

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)

I barely spent any additional money during this time...but it would be possible to spend more if you wanted to

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? barely any, maybe 5-10 dollars, but usually we got some stipend to use on it


* 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

it was difficult because in the group we spoke a lot of english, but spanish was definitely encouraged and there were many other spaces for practice

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 34
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just talk, and take notes of new words or phrases and write them down and then try them out...

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

  • 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?
  • my classmates
  • ISP
  • Ecuador
* What could be improved?
  • integration with Ecuadorian students?
  • longer ISP
  • shorter/more effective Spanish instruction
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? that it will be difficult at times!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.