Una experiencia irrepetible - BCA Quito - University of San Francisco de Quito Past Review

By (Biology/Pre-Med, Campbell University) - abroad from 01/03/2013 to 05/16/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Ecuador

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Understanding of other cultures, stepping way outside my comfort zone, making lifelong friends and learning a new language. Definitely worth it!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The director was amazing! We had many many excursions that were made so much better by his organization and connections in the country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family matches were great. I have to say it was my favorite part of the experience.

* Food:

They eat a lot of starches in Ecuador! However food is very cheap so it's very easy to find or make your own meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were so many opportunities to make friends and get involved, both through random friends, the school, and my host family's connections. My host family gave me such an authentic taste of Ecuadorian culture and was very open to having me involved in their lives.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

We did have a couple incidents in our group, as well as in other American groups at USFQ. However, these were rare exceptions, and almost always involve going against safety guidelines, such as walking around alone and intoxicated at night. Even so, petty crime is common, and many in my group had been pick pocketed at some point on the buses. You just have to watch your stuff - I never had any problems.

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

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)

Food is very cheap here! The only expensive things are electronics and anything brand name that's imported, but those are easily avoided.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring enough personal toiletries for the length, if you have space, it'll save you money. Go for a typical almuerzo, at about $2.50 it's very affordable, or buy your own groceries which could come to about $1.50. Stay in hostels, travel by bus, don't be afraid to haggle at the markets and with taxis.

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

They encouraged you, but really it all comes down to you. They promote making a Spanish pledge for the duration, but no one in our group stuck with it. That's one of my regrets.

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? 200 level conversation
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? Talk with your host family over dinner or whenever you possibly can! And find friends who want to talk in that language as well, you'll find them if you look. Or be the one to start the trend. Don't be afraid to talk or ask questions to random people.

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
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?
  • Excursions
  • Host family
  • Quito
* What could be improved?
  • Better classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is pretty structured, which worked out well, but may not be the thing if you want to go for it a bit cheaper and scout out your own way.

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!