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IES Abroad Quito - Area Studies & Language
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IES Abroad Quito - Area Studies & Language

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Quito: Fall 2016

I had an absolutely amazing experience during my semester abroad in Quito. It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from all walks of life, from Ecuador and as well as many other parts of the world. Through the IES Abroad field trips to the Amazon region and the Galapagos Islands, as well as weekend trips with my travel buddies to more local destinations like Baños and Quilatoa, I had the opportunity to see and do and live so many things I never would have been able to otherwise, like snorkeling face-to-face with sea lions in the Galapagos or climbing to the refugio on Cotopaxi, one of the tallest volcanoes in Ecuador (I actually thought that I might die on this trip, but I would still highly recommend the adventure, if just for the satisfaction of the accomplishment!). The community I became a part of was wonderfully supportive, from my host family to the IES staff, my professors, and the staff at my internship placement. The IES professors teach at the local university where you can take direct-enrollment classes, of which I would definitely recommend trying at least one, and they were all some of the best professors I've had. I already miss Quito and everyone I met so much, and I hope to go back and visit soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

Quito, spring 2016

I was lucky to be placed with a fantastic host family; have a great volunteer experience coaching a women's soccer team in a local community; and have some fantastic travel experiences. Ecuador is probably one of the most underrated countries to travel to/in! I had some great professors, most of whom also taught at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. I also really enjoyed the time I had in between all of the travel and fun, to step back from my busy US life and re-prioritize my schedule - this chance to examine your life from afar is one that we're rarely presented with, and is one of the best parts of study abroad!

I will add the caveat that many students experienced pick-pocketing and/or some verbal sexual harassment (machismo culture is still alive and well in many parts of the country), which I did not experience. This combined with being considered a minority for the first time in my life made me look at issues of race and gender in a new way, and in a way not really possible in the US. As long as you are aware of these issues, though, potentially-negative experiences are highly outweighed by the positive. I highly recommend the chance to explore this amazing country!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    4

  • Community

    9

Worth the Trip

I learned so much during my time in Quito. Becoming a part of daily life in the city taught me more about how people live outside of the country than I could have ever imagined. On the other hand, I did not have the best host family experience. The accommodations were incredible but I had very high expectations of living with and becoming a part of a local family. Instead I lived with an older single woman and we hardly spent anytime together. My favorite part of my experience in Ecuador was the service learning internship I was able to do. I got to work side by side an Ecuadorian doctor in a private clinic for patients with disabilities. It was awesome to have the hands-on experience and be able to contribute something to the host country.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

An adventure through Ecuador!

I honestly wouldn't trade my study abroad experience for anything. I loved being a part of the IES family; I truly felt comfortable and cared for by not only my amazing host family, but by the staff members as well. I took classes at the IES program center and at USFQ, and also volunteered at a daycare for underprivileged children. I feel extremely lucky that IES provided the opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands and to the Amazon! In addition to those excursions, many weekends were spent travelling around other parts of Ecuador. However, Quito truly became my home during my time abroad. I made so many great friends and completely fell in love with Ecuador. I am already planning to visit again later this year!