GoAbroad Interview

Martha Perez - Assistant Director & Volunteer Coordinator

Martha Perez - Assistant Director & Volunteer Coordinator

Martha Perez grew up with BCA Study Abroad, since her parents founded the program in Quito. She began her work with the program after working as a landlady for seven years, quite the professional change and one she doesn’t regret! Now, she enjoys her work as Assistant Director and Volunteer Coordinator for BCA Study Abroad in Quito, especially because she gets to help so many students.

What is the day-to-day routine of the BCA Study Abroad Volunteer Coordinator?

Martha Perez in office at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador

Martha in her office at Universidad San Francisco de Quito

At the beginning of the semester it’s always a little hectic with the students. There is always more than we think. This week, I’m helping students become volunteers in different regions in Quito. But, normally our day-to-day in the office is students coming in if they have doubts or concerns with their classes, professors, or have to make corrections on their homework, and we help them with that. We are open to concerns with transportation, host families, or friends. We are here for the students.

We have a schedule, we’re not here all day, but we are on a schedule in which we can help our students.

What did you study in college and what did you do to become Assistant Director?

First, I love my work. I love it because I am happy when I’m helping students. I feel I am fulfilled when I’m helping and motivating students to have wonderful experiences.

I studied the complete opposite of what I should have studied to get this position. I actually studied Accounting. I’m working in this program because my parents were the BCA Study Abroad program founders in Quito. I grew up with this program!

I came to this program when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimers and he asked for my help. So, I came and stayed. Now, it has been nine years. Before, I worked as a landlady of a building for seven years.

University students on campus in Quito

Students hanging out while waiting for their class to resume in Quito

Why do you think students choose your program in Quito?

I think the reason is that the students that were here carry their experience with them. They may tell others that the program is very good and very organized, that there’s a great intercultural experience, and the program provides them what they need. I believe the students refer others to our program.

What advice do you have for future students who want to study abroad in Quito, Ecuador?

Quito is still a safe city. There are some issues with safety like in every country, but I believe that Quito is still safe where one can live and enjoy the local food and land, friends, host families, and university. We say, it’s our connection. We tell students to come and get to know different regions in Ecuador. Above all, we host gatherings to reflect on topics two or three times a month, to talk about the economy, professions, food, etc.