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Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages
SIT Study Abroad participant SIT Study Abroad participant

Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    10

A++++ field-based experience!

SIT Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages could not have been a better experience. I applied to the program on a whim following the advice of my study abroad advisor and it could not have been a more perfect fit, and the hands-on, field-based experience we had was once in a lifetime. From city life in Quito to the coast of Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands, all the way to the Amazon, we had the unique opportunity of being able to learn first-hand about Ecuador's most pressing socio-political issues from those directly involved in grassroots organizations and those affected by the ever-shifting political climate. Fabian, the academic director, is the most knowledgeable and passionate teacher I have ever had in my life. He and Sofia (the assistant director) were a constant support structure throughout the entire process and were always ready, willing, and able to lend an ear, a hand, or whatever you might need. I was able to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture through my homestays and consequently improved my Spanish dramatically. The ISP was an incredible experience; I was able to prove to myself that I can, do, and will belong in academia, an aspect I have been doubting about myself for a long time. The opportunity to engage in field-based primary research at that level with the level of support that we had is something incredibly unique. The best part of the program is that you can really mold it to your academic interests- whether you're passionate about the environment, human migration, linguistics, gay rights, etc. etc., you can make the program what you want it to be!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

I Ecuadore this place!

In addition to learning so much about Ecuador's history and current political climate, I also learned so much about myself and gained a new sense of independence. The program has three excursions to a cloud forest, to the Galapagos Islands, and to the Oriente, which are all unique and lots of fun. The Independent Study Project is an important part of the program because you get incredible research/ethnography experience and experience writing a long research paper in Spanish. One of my favorite memories from Ecuador was stumbling on a play about the indigenous experience in Ecuador in La Ronda, the oldest street in Quito, and at the end of the play we all had to get up and dance together. Ecuador is an absolutely beautiful country, and on this program you will get to enjoy the nature, the city life, and become completely culturally immersed.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Go to Ecuador!

Ecuador's an extremely diverse country, and SIT does an incredible job of showing you that diversity, culturally, linguistically, and biologically. I learned a lot about Ecuador, a lot about sustainable development and indigenous struggles, and a lot about myself. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in a unique semester that will challenge and surprise you daily--but in the best ways.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

A character building experience in Ecuador

My most memorable experience was living with an indigenous family for about 5 days. It was truly difficult, because they're norms and way of life was so different from my own. Yet, I became very close with this family and learned so much during these five days.

I chose my program because the focus is on politics, development, and language. All of these topics interest me greatly. But what really swayed my decision, was the ability to devise my own independent research project. I think this was truly unique, because it was a different way of learning then the typical universities in the USA offer. Field work can be truly rewarding and exciting.

I lived with about four different families of different social and economic classes. It was very interesting, and I loved the range because it gave me a better idea of the people in the country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

A character building experience in Ecuador

Best decision of my life was when I picked to study abroad in Ecuador. If you are looking for a study abroad experience where you will do more than just party and drink, but actually immerse yourself into the culture and gain knowledge about a country, then you should definitely choose this program. I met loving families, climbed various mountains, and met the most interesting political activists. My understandings of concepts such as development, sustainability and language have completely flipped. The other students in my program were truly amazing and intelligent.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Overall, an amazing experience!

The Independent Study component of the program was definitely a huge part of the experience. One of my most memorable experiences was the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment when traveling on my own during my ISP.

I wanted to go somewhere in Latin America, and the focus on Cultural and Development fit my academic interests as I am a Race and Ethnic Studies major. I also liked the language component of this program.

I stayed with three home stay families for about a month each, the first two were arranged by home stay coordinators, the third through my director's contacts. The homestays were extremely valuable in developing language and communication skills, and building relationships. Homestays also provided us with safe, home-cooked meals. During group excursions and transitions we stayed at eco-lodges and hotels.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Amazing Experience Overall

This program did an amazing job of opening our eyes to a many different parts of the country, including both geographically, and culturally. We got to hear from a variety of Ecuadorian perspectives, and the cultural immersion and directors were fantastic.

Health and Safety:
The Directors are great about keeping you prepared, informed, and safe overall.

Social Life:
I had amazing friendships with the others in my program, and the homestay coordinators do a good job of pairing students with host siblings near your age, but I do wish I could have made more Ecuadorian friends my age, though this is difficult given you are only in each place for 3-4 weeks max.