A very fulfilling semester! February 19, 2017

By (Economics, Yale University) - abroad from 08/21/2016 to 12/04/2017 with

SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Development, Politics and Languages

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was definitely worthwhile. I learned so many different things, but I'd say the most significant takeaway for me was bringing an intercultural perspective to the table whenever I consider economic, social, or political issues.

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 couldn't speak more highly of the academic content of this program; it was easily one of the most fulfilling educational experiences of my life. I particularly appreciated the balance of academic rigor with informality and patience, especially given that we as students were making a lot of adjustments to life in Quito.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff in this program are amazing! They are all extremely capable, knowledgeable, and warm.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked my homestay. Although at times it was challenging to adjust to living with a new family, it ultimately was one of the most positive parts of my semester.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Its important to note that this study abroad program is not direct enrollment, in that study abroad students aren't necessarily taking classes at a local university alongside local students. That being said, I still felt very integrated into the local culture. I took the bus to school everyday and had plenty of opportunities to socialize with my homestay family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Between the SIT staff and my homestay, I got plenty of advice on how to stay safe in Quito and didn't run into any issues.

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

Without a doubt, I would choose the same program again. I loved the program staff, as well as the academic content, which was particularly suited to my own interests and gaining additional perspectives on development beyond what I had learned in my economics classes.

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20

Language

* 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

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? Intermediate Spanish II
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

  • 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?
  • The staff
  • The academic content of the course
  • Opportunities to make local friends (and improve Spanish in the process)
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing comes to mind
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would tell myself to look forward to a challenging but overall extremely positive experience

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!