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CISabroad participants CISabroad participants
Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Will definitely go back to Yana Cocha Centrode Rescate de Fauna Silvestre!

I loved my internship site in Puyo, Pastaza. I learned so much by working with wild rainforest animals and the wildlife vets at Yana Cocha. I will definately go back in the near future. It was a life changing experience that I would recommend to EVERYONE!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Intern in Ecuador

My internship in Ecuador was a great experience for me, personally and academically. I am pursuing a career in the field of animal science which CIS was more than thrilled to accommodate me and my passion. I had just recently finished a semester abroad with CIS in Asia and immersed myself in a whole new culture in South America. I have met various people, became more adventurous, expanded my knowledge of my future career, and saw myself as the independent woman I am now today. I do not regret any minute of this experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

LIFE-CHANGING

My trip to Ecuador was life-changing. Three factors were key to the resounding success of my experience: my host family, my project, and my language school. First, my host family was welcoming and inclusive, allowing me to safely practice the language and learn the culture; my program directors adequately matched me with a school where I could teach English, where I had some hilarious and heart-warming experiences that would be too long to recount here; and finally, my objective to become fluent in Spanish was fulfilled, thanks not only to my homestay, but the wonderful instruction at the Spanish school where I studied.

Internship Placement:
The Spanish school where I studied in Quito was one of the best parts of this trip. I came home from my trip almost fluent, and a large part of this success is directly attributed to my time studying at the language school.

Living Situation:
Again, this was a crucial factor to the success of my program. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed my host family, and absorbed much of the culture and practiced the language when I went to events with them, and even just watched t.v. in the house.

Cultural Immersion:
My program also ensured we had many different cultural events--including a dance performance and night bike ride of the city--that also contributed to my cultural understanding of the country.

Program Administration:
I did not have any major problems while I was on my program.

Health and Safety:
While I did not necessarily feel safe in all parts of the country where I stayed, I certainly felt safe in the neighborhood where I was staying.

Social Life:
I was blessed to make local friends that took me around to the favorite restaurants, bars, dancing spots, and historical sites. They made my trip unforgettable.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Internship Placement

    8

Ecuador

My experience in Quito, Ecuador was one of the most amazing adventures of my life. I met countless amounts of fantastic people who have helped me to grow as a person and see different points of view. The country is absolutely incredible and has endless amounts of things to do. It is the experience of a lifetime and I would recommend it to anyone who is even slightly considering it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Internal Growth in Ecuador

After trials and triumphs, I would summarize my experience in Ecuador as life-changing. My internship taught me how to be more independent and gave me the freedom to customize my experiences there. I was fully immersed in the culture and language, and I improved my skills-set while helping the community. At times, there was confusion over the food and living conditions. More preparation and a clear lay out before arrival would have been preferable. But, with an open mind and positive attitude, I welcomed all challenges. The local foundation I was connected to had amazing people with whom I've made lifelong friends. If given the opportunity, I would do it all over again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    8

Intern In Ecuador

My time in Ecuador was amazing. There was a little bit of miscommunication which would have made a few small details better, but overall it was an incredible experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.
First, there were a few misunderstandings between my placement and CIS. Being in a volunteer house, we were supposed to receive money for food on a weekly basis, however half of that money did not arrive until halfway through the internship and the other half arrived a few days before I left to return to the States. The only other problem I encountered was that there is currently an epidemic happening on the coast of Ecuador with a mosquito-borne illness called Chikungunya. Despite seeing a travel doctor and talking to CIS beforehand, I was not alerted to this epidemic until I actually arrived in Ecuador. I was still perfectly ok and did not have any health issues, but having prior knowledge would have made it a slightly easier transition.
But besides these small issues, my time in Ecuador was absolutely amazing. It's an experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I met so many amazing people who I will stay in touch with. From bridge jumping in the mountains to whale watching off the coast to hiking the Quilotoa volcano, Ecuador was such an incredible experience and I am already planning my next trip there.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Internship Placement

    9

A great experience, would easily recommend to anyone

Over all I had an incredible experience in Ecuador. Both internships I did were very informative and I felt gave me great experience. I loved all the volunteers and onsite internship coordinators and now consider many of them friends. The onsite CIS representative could have been more helpful but that did not take away from the whole experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    10

Everything and More

I am struggling to find a way to put my experience in Ecuador into words. It was such an amazing trip and a truly beautiful experience that seeing it end is heartbreaking. I came here as an intern in the summer knowing no one in the entire continent, and I am leaving with life long friends, family, and many promises to come back. I have done more, seen more, and lived more than I could have ever imagined, dreamed of, or hoped for.

Living Situation:
I absolutely loved my host family. I could not have asked for better people to share my time in Ecuador with. They welcomed me with open arms.

Cultural Immersion:
Living in a house and having total immersion in work not only improved my spanish but also forced me into trying new things which I am now so grateful for.

Program Administration:
I wish that I had known specifics about the trip including specific dates and where I would be working and the family I would be living with.

Health and Safety:
I was pick pocketed here, I should not have been carrying my cellphone from the US with me to begin with. But it happened. I was not harmed, in fact I did not even know it had happened until I had gotten home the next day. It is like in every big city, you just have to be aware.

Social Life:
Tons to do here no matter what you like to do, you can always find something.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

All you need is Ecuador.

The country of Ecuador absolutely has it all! Whether you like nature, night life, traveling, or friendly people, Ecuador has it. My study abroad experience challenged me, opened my eyes, and I came away with a very different perspective on myself and life. I had the opportunity to work with some amazing children who will always stay close to my heart, made great friends, and greatly improved my Spanish. 3 months well spent in Ecuador thanks to CIS Abroad.

Living Situation:
Loved both of my homestays! Close to my work and families were exceptional!

Cultural Immersion:
I learned the most spanish my last month in Ecuador because I was out in Latacunga and away from English speaking volunteers. Overall great cultural experiences just that sometimes have english speaking roommates makes it hard to really let go of US culture especially when they don't speak much spanish.

Program Administration:
I thought Diana did a great job! She was very helpful when I needed help and gave a great orientation!

Health and Safety:
I felt very safe but while I was there I knew a few people who were mugged. Always have to be vigilant wherever you travel and use common sense. Things happen though.

Social Life:
Social life is really what you make of it. I had all kinds of opportunities to go out with friends and meet new people. If I wanted to stay in and relax I could do that as well.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Living in Quito was an amazing experience.

I loved the program I got to work with, the people I met, experiences I had, and most of all the kids i worked with. Although CIS is a great company, I think that for the price I paid in comparison to those i worked alongside I would opt to research the program opportunities within a country first!

Living Situation:
I would have maybe benefited from a more interactive family, possibly with children, to work on my spanish more, but I also really like the living arrangement here it was comfortable to be apart of her home without intruding on her space.

Cultural Immersion:
I definitely was able to immerse in the culture and learn a lot about it as well as myself.

Program Administration:
I had support in some aspects not in others.

Health and Safety:
I only had 2 maybe 3 experiences where I felt at risk, other than that its about being smart, walking fast, and not flaunting your expensive possessions.

Social Life:
Mariscal Foche is the place to go!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    6

Summer of Lifetime, Interning in Ecuador

To say the least I have had the time of my life this past summer. When my friends and family from the states ask me about my experience all I really can do is smile. For two months this past summer I lived in Quito,Ecuador. I was able to work in a daycare and a health clinic that was on site. The daycare was absolutely amazing, filled with hardworking teachers and children that make your heart melt. Everyday I helped the teachers with anything that required extra work; which could be anything from teaching the children to making signs for the classroom. In the health clinic on site I was able to assist the nurse with basic skills such as blood pressure, height, weight, and first aid. While also assisting the doctor in various manners, and getting the opportunity to observe and learn about the basic and major health problems affecting the people of Quito. While living with my host family I truly felt that I was getting the most out of the culture. They brought me into their home, and made me feel as if I was part of their family. My weeks were filled with volunteering at the daycare and clinic, while my weekends were free to travel the country and explore all that Ecuador has to offer.

Living Situation:
I was blessed with the best host family ever. They were some of the warmest and friendliest people I have ever come into contact with. I truly felt like I was part of the family while I was living there.

Cultural Immersion:
By living with a host family I felt as though I was instantly immersed into the culture. I got the opportunity to live in a neighborhood north of Quito, so right outside the busyness of the center of the city. Few people knew the language so you are instantly forced to learn the language, which adds to the cultural aspect.

Health and Safety:
I never felt unsafe; however, I never felt at ease while walking around the city. You always have to be aware of what you bring with you and to not make yourself stand out.

Social Life:
There is so much to do and see in Ecuador, all you really have to do is make the initiative to get out and explore. There really is never a reason to be bored in Ecuador with so much going on in the city, and everything else the country has to offer.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Internship in Riobamba, Ecuador

Though at times communication lacked between the admisitration and the volunteers, my overall experience was great. I made friends for life and truly fell in love with the people and culture of Ecuador. I recently returned to the United States and I am excited to go back as soon as possible. My internship experience made me fall in love with my career path all over again.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Intern in Ecuador

Intern in Ecuador was a great program and in an awesome location. Ecuador is great because it is not too touristy and the locals are super nice and willing to help with Spanish. Overall I could not have asked for a better program!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Intern in Ecuador: Yunguilla

I loved being in Yunguilla however a majority of the work I did wasn't really was described to me in training. As an intern I was expected to complete a project for my university and it was fairly difficult to convey to the community that I'm an intern and not another volunteer. The community members were lovely and very hospitable and really gave me appreciation for their work and their country.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    2

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    10

An Interesting Surprise

I did my internship in Yunguilla, which is a little community that makes most of its money through tourism. There are many things that are great about this community that I absolutely loved but it is really not for everyone. The fact is that the community is tiny and rural so the cultural immersion is great while regular conveniences are quite lacking. Nevertheless, I truly loved my time in Yunguilla. The only true complaint that I have is how Diana is very hard to reach sometimes. Usually I would not really care but I feel like if she is the contact in Ecuador for all interns, she should be available and responding in a timely manner.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    2

  • Social Life

    4

What?

Not sure what you are asking

Living Situation:
Encourage stay home families

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A very unique experience.

The center I was at, Yanacocha, was an incredible place to work. I got great experience with the exotic animals of Ecuador and met amazing people from all over the world. The only complaint would be that I didn't speak as much Spanish as I would have liked.
CIS was very helpful while I was with them in Quito- meeting me at the airport, getting me settled, and taking us on an excursion.
I am very glad that I got to participate in this program!

Cultural Immersion:
We did not speak very much Spanish while at the center, which would have been nice.

Program Administration:
Everyone was very friendly!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Momentary Reflection

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this program. When considering going abroad for ANY international trip, whether it is study abroad or an internship, I highly recommend, first, you self-evaluate your language skills. Although this was a personal hurdle for me to overcome, I also felt as though the first month internship placement was less than ideal for a Nursing major. When reviewing the description for what internees would be doing, it was very different from what actually unfolded once on site. If you have a project that needs to be accomplished for scholarship or class credit reasons, I HIGHLY recommend asking for exact descriptions and examples of what previous internees have done while on site and how realistic your idea may be. There is also a very different attitude in getting "things" done while in this southern country. As a student with a deadline to make or a project that must be accomplished, I suggest you self reflect and ask yourself how assertive and "get it done" kind of attitude you have within yourself; your project MUST be self-motivated and flexible. It is unlikely you will find much help or assistance once on site, so it's up to you to complete your task.
Ecuador is a very different country and many students will experience culture shock, this is normal, and instead of being bitter and uncomfortable with your different surroundings, embrace your new situation; it's called culture immersion for a reason. Try new foods, do new things, experience something completely foreign to you; there's endless possibilities for this while here for your internship. However, if you're in a hunch, please talk with Diana. Although she may be hard to reach via email, once you're on site and can call her, she's just two rings away and can help you with ANYTHING.
Instead of my personal experience and time in Ecuador being focused around nursing and spending all my time in a hospital, it was centered on learning Spanish and doing occasional patient teaching. Although I was unable to practice the main skill I'll need in my future career, I did learn a new one that will also assist me when providing patient care. And I learned that your experience here will be determined by your attitude and how you choose to look at your situation. Overall, this internship was more fun than work, and traveling each weekend was my highlight. The internships here are only throughout the week so you have the fantastic option to explore the country on the weekends (which is also another way to get involved in learning about the communities and culture; you will try new foods and see different living styles).
If in doubt when deciding if you want to get vaccinations or not, I would lean more to the side of getting even the ones you may or may not need (Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Malaria medications). There will be opportunities on weekends to travel to places where these diseases may be a threat, and as an enthusiastic adventurer, I was very grateful to have that portion of my health already covered. Speaking of diseases and sickness, the insurance this internship comes with is FANTASTIC. No run-arounds, hidden fees, or nonsense. You send them the bill, you're reimbursed. It's that simple. If you do become sick and need to go to a hospital, reach out to the administration on site; they will go above and beyond to help you in any way that they can. I highly recommend the Metropolitano hospital in Quito where care is precise, thorough, and SANITARY.
Lastly, if you're going to do this internship, 2 months is the minimum if you really want to feel apart of a community, city, or even a family. It's just long enough to get your bearings, flow with the culture and way of life, and no longer feel like a tourist (but as though you belong in that country). This internship will be what you make out of it, so go in and leave with the right attitude, and you'll be glad you went.

  • CISabroad responded to this review September 03, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    Thank you for the evaluation and your feedback is very useful. I think that you are spot on in saying an internship is what you make it. The more effort and time you put in, the more you will get out of it. This is also true with previous skills. At the hospital, the more Spanish and language skills you have, the more you will be able to do. Often the first month or so is mostly just learning the language and becoming comfortable. A longer stay (as you recommend) would definitely have included more hands on experience.

    Regarding the timeline of getting you information for the placement, we try to that information to students long before they arrive. Our average time is probably 3-4 weeks although during the really busy time that is summer, it can be a bit less. We know getting the information ahead of time is important, so we really work hard at this. I'm sorry we weren't able to get the information to you earlier.

    Thank you again for your feedback and we hope that your learning in Ecuador will continue to be a positive impact on your life.

    Brian W. and the CISabroad team

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    9

A Month in Ecuador

I spent a month in the Amazon rainforest in Ecudaor, in a town called Archidona. I worked with the social enterprise Runa. In one month, I learned an incredible amount about the Kitchwa culture (the surrounding indigenous people), specifically as I stayed with one family for three weeks, as well as how an organization such as Runa operates internationally. The skills that I acquired and what I learned about myself have been helping me understand my personal career goals much better than before.

Health and Safety:
I was not mugged or threatened, but I had heard enough stories to make me realize that the Amazon is not the safest place in the world. However, as I learned, if you're cautious, you will be fine,

Social Life:
Although I lived with a host family, I was surrounded by Americans at work, which allowed me to overcome challenges, and even laugh about them, thus making my experience that much better.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    6

Thanks to CIS, I was able to experience the beauty of the Ecuadorian rainforest-- something I had never considered doing before.

CIS was super helpful when my I decided my first internship was not the right fit. I was able to spend a little more time in Quito, and then found a better placement in Archidona. I loved living in the rainforest and seeing all the natural beauty.

CIS is great because I didn't know what kind of internship I wanted, and they helped me narrow down my interests. I recommend that if you DO have a better idea of what you're looking for, you find a program on your own. Other people at my internship (not through CIS) paid significantly less than I did.

My coordinator in the states was pretty helpful, but the one in Ecuador was very busy and often took a while to respond.

Living Situation:
I had the opportunity to live with a host family and also with a house full of other interns. I loved that I was able to experience both!