Ecuador, a random but right choice. Past Review

By (Sociology., SUNY Purchase) for

Study Abroad Programs in Ecuador

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Of course it was worthwhile!! I am impressed with how well I adapted to a new culture and how readily I accepted what came to me. I came to live a different life style, that was completely different than mine. Living this way showed me that everyone's way of life is different and right for that group of people, or even individuals, and that we don't ever have to be stuck living one way.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in Ecuador Photo Study Abroad Programs in Ecuador Photo

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.

I am doing independent study, but the education that I acquired by submersing myself in the culture was phenomenal. I chose to do volunteer work because I'd rather learn by being a part of the culture rather than sitting in a classroom with other international students. ISV provided an amazing project leader than led discussions and gave prompts to further our critical thinking about our project. Through independent study, I can pace myself and really make the experience my own.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

International Student Volunteers provides excellent staff. Dave, who was our project leader during the volunteer portion of my trip was well educated and is himself an instructor at an american institution. Our tour leader, Heather, was a lot of fun and seemed to have infinite knowledge about Ecuador. Olvidio, a staff member at the ISV offices in Ecuador was present as well, helping organize our activities and keeping things together.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a woman who has turned her home into a hostel for young women who are traveling in Ecuador. She was located in Quito and only spoke spanish. Very accommodating, providing every meal. During our volunteer project we stayed in thatched huts in the jungle which had bug nets, very necessary and the beds were okay. During the adventure tour, the hostels were absolutely beyond my expectations. Very nice places.

* Food:

its international food I've never had before! Even if it was bad, it was still amazing to try! also, most meals were provided. All meals were provided during spanish lessons as well as during our volunteer projects. However, during the adventure tour it seemed most meals were on our own.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I don't have words for how I feel about Ecuador.... The most amazing I've ever felt in my life was when I climbed Cotopaxi... you turn around once you have made it and you are literally above the clouds. White water rafting was super fun too.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I had no choice but to speak Spanish. I took a week of spanish lessons with Ecole Idiomas in Quito, but learning the language comes from having to speak it, and trying your best even when I felt like I didn't make any sense. The only way to really improve your language skills is to SPEAK IT!

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It can be expensive but I've never felt so fulfilled in my entire life to be somewhere.