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Intern in Ecuador: Fall 2017
Submitted by EcuaInternF17 - - | January 31, 2018
Contact:I was an Intern in Ecuador during Fall 2017 for a month. The advisors (Brian, primarily) from CISAbroad stateside were great in helping me figure out the finances and what kind of internship I wanted. Since CISAbroad's presence in Ecuador with Diana, who heads local partner organization that arranges internships for other agencies than CISAbroad, they were able to meet my peculiar timeline (smack dab in the middle of the fall, mostly October) and knew of an organization that could fit my interests (youth development, community development, education-focused approaches).
Program: I was given the choice of a homestay or living with the volunteers in the organization. CISAbroad provided healthcare reimbursement option, orientation to the Ecuador and walking tour of downtown Quito, and a local phone, and even provided some activities with other interns/study abroad students. My host families were wonderful, and I felt safe and welcomed in the house.
Challenges: I didn't really know much about my actual internship site when I went down, as my internship site talked to Ecuador CISAbroad, which than relayed info back to stateside CISAbroad, who then talked to me with fairly limited information. Once I was at my internship site (outside of main Quito), I worked more with my intern organization than CISAbroad simply due to proximity, and as such was more independent of CISAbroad than I'd originally thought. Also, I had to arrange my return transport to the airport independently.
Excursions: Quilotoa and meetings in Quito and Cumbaya were included (myself and another intern organized two more trips independently, but with contacts made through CISAbroad).
Diet: Everyone was very careful to look out for my diet, as stateside CISAbroad and Ecuador CISAbroad both talked about food safety before I left, and directly after I arrived. Both host moms hammered home the importance of drinking only boiled water. I carried a bottle of it around with me everyday. My home meals were excellent, and we were able to find some great places for almuerzos and snacks. Lots of chicken, rice, potatoes, and bread options, which was just fine with me!
Overall: Brian and Diana helped me design an internship that really helped me grow in ways I couldn't have imagined! Be prepared to initiate communication, to have some dietary adjustments, to use public transport and to explore! Keep in mind that Quito and the surrounding areas are high altitude (body adjustments, and adjustments to heat). In my opinion, you really need to have some Spanish skills Finally, be prepared to have some adventures and some misadventures along the way. Overall, this was a positive experience that I would recommend checking into!
Program: Intern in Ecuador (Quito)
A Fun Experience
Submitted by james - University of Texas at Austin | January 31, 2018
Rather than write paragraphs about the experience, I am just going to divide the experience into two lists:
Things I liked:
*An internship is much less stressful than a 'study abroad' internship because you don't bring work home with you. This means that you are free to do whatever outside of work hours, and on weekends.
*There were many planned cultural and social events planned by CISAbroad, but they were purely optional, meaning you could take advantage of them or do something else if you'd prefer. Of the ones I took part in, the weekend trips and the cooking class were the most fun.
*It varied by person, but the housing that I was placed in was probably in the best location we could have been in. It was in the middle of a tourist-y area so most of the restaurants and such spoke English.
*Staff members were always available if there was every an issue of any kind.
*My school (UT Austin) had several dozen students in the program, and all the guys were placed in the same apartment complex, so there was never a time where I felt I did not have someone to do things with. (this didn't seem to be true for the girls, and most other schools didn't have enough students in the same program for this to matter)
Things I didn't like:
*The weekend trips that required extra payment. While they were fun - I felt as though the prices they charged were somewhat high compared to going to those places on your own, especially considering the price of the program itself.
*I felt like the program was not very specific on what I should bring with me. I was unsure on whether I would need to bring towels or bedding with me.
*This is an issue specific to the country, but I had trouble adjusting to a lack of A/C
A Life Changing Move
Submitted by Sarah - Salem State University | January 30, 2018
I couldn't have been happier about choosing CISabroad ad the program to help me find my way while studying in a new country. The process was smooth and easy and they set up everything so that I could start my journey stress free. They had a program coordinator in the host country who was the nicest and most helpful person to guide us on our adventures. Living abroad changed my life and I couldn't have had quite the experience without the housing, advising, and guidance that this program provided.
Submitted by Alyssa D. - Florida Gulf Coast University | January 30, 2018
CIS has amazing advisors that help you through the entire program, pre and post departure. They have the most amazing on-site advisor in Sydney that schedules and take you, and your group, on amazing excursions. The class choices I was given are awesome and I loved my professor and subject (Learning and Outdoor Education). The University of Sydney was the most beautiful campus and only a short walk from the student accommodations. The University looks like a castle (most say Hogwarts) and the professors are very nice and love teaching abroad students. The student accommodations are beautiful and very clean. I had four other roommates, that were also in the CIS program, and each of us had our own bedroom and bathroom with a shared kitchen and living room. The rooms even had amazing views and the staff of the student building also put field trips and excursions together for everyone to get to know each other. The accommodations also are right in the middle of everything and across the street from the main train station that takes you everywhere. Such an incredible experience with an amazing staff and support. I do not have enough words to explain how amazing this experience was. I am even planning on moving back to Sydney because of this program and the incredible time I had, and now I have friends from all over the world! Highly recommend this program!
Program: Summer in Sydney (Australia)
Submitted by Jessica Sulkers - Long Island University Post | January 30, 2018
Best experience of my life, Leah our site director makes it even better and makes you feel so welcome and goes above and beyond to help you with anything you do! Very easy to travel to other countries from Prague for very cheap!