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Review Overall Rating

A review on CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador

Reviewed by Chloe Smithstudent(University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) on

CIS Review

Overall, I am completely happy with my experience studying abroad. I just feel like my life would have been a lot easier if I lived somewhere closer to school. But my program director was always available, my host family was lovely, and traveling was easy to arrange.

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Review Details

  • A-
    Academics

    The school was great, but the study abroad office could have been more efficient and I always felt like the school did not give an accurate representation of my school seeing as it is private and very expensive, and not very typical of the rest of Ecuador that I saw.

  • A-
    Program Administration

    Before I arrived, it was sometimes hard to communicate with the offices.

  • A-
    Living Situation

    I completely and utterly love my host family, and I feel like I have a very close bond with them now. I just wish my house was closer to school. It takes at least an hour and fifteen minutes to get to school, and even longer to get home. And if there is traffic, I feel like half my day is gone just getting there and back.

  • A
    Cultural Immersion

    Like I said, the school gave an inaccurate portrayal of Ecuador. But I am happy with the rest of my experiences traveling and seeing things.

  • B
    Safety

    I have never had a bad incident, but you MUST be aware at all times in Quito, and almost all of my friends have been robbed.

  • B-
    Food

    Personally, I find the food in Ecuador a little repetitive and I miss vegetables in the USA more than almost anything else.

  • A
    Social Life

    I made great lifelong friends that include other study abroad students, other Ecuadorian students, and my host sister. Getting to see people was hard sometimes just because getting around in a city is hard for me.

  • A
    Health Service

    The school clinic has a friendly staff and you don't have to go anywhere else to pick up prescriptions.

  • City Life

    Don't try and plan a jam-packed day in Quito. I've literally never had a day when someone in the group couldn't get a taxi, or the bus broke down, or the host family took a few hours longer to get somewhere than planned. Being flexible and having a sense of humor is key. Almost all my days here were great as long as I didn't let myself get frustrated.

Other Reviews on CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador

  • A
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Que chevere... Que lindo.

    Reviewed by Samantha Bailo on .

    Studying abroad in Quito was everything I could have hoped for and more. What I noticed right away upon arriving in Ecuador was the more laid back lifestyle where "tranquila" is a way of life. The culture is set around food and family; two things I have thoroughly enjoyed here. My host family, a cozy little beach family misplaced in Quito, welcomed me with open arms and a level of communication that made me very comfortable. Visiting the relatives often included talks about food and discussing my school over cafecito, a snack after dinner. Living in the capital city of Quito greeted me with city living which is new to me, and also a plethora of people and places to see. Weekend trips often included the beach or the forest, more of my comfort zone. Great time. The best time.

  • A-
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Ama la Vida

    Reviewed by Sophie Schuyler on .

    Studying abroad in Quito was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We had a small group this semester and that was really great because we were able to develop close relationships with each other and the program coordinator. I really liked the freedom of the program and the fact that we were not "mommied." We were able to do our own thing while at the same time always receiving support if we needed it. Traveling on weekends was super easy and cheap. Quito is a big city, and at first I was overwhelmed by this. It can take a lot of time to get around, but the public transportation system is excellent. Overall, a great place to study abroad and a great program for independent students.

  • C
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Ecuador

    Reviewed by Brenda Rivera on .

    Overall, studying in Ecuador has it's ups and downs; great people, but wish I had more excursions to go to since the fee was so high.

  • A
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Choose Your Own Adventure

    Reviewed by Juliana Beecher on .

    The perks of studying abroad in Ecuador are numerous: friendly people, delicious food (especially seafood), public transportation that will take you anywhere in the country for cheap, hostels for $8 a night, great cultural and night life right in Quito, every outdoor adventure you could ever want from mountaineering to scuba diving. I thought CIS did a great job of giving us students enough support, but not requiring group trips on many weekends, as other programs at the same university did. We had the freedom to choose our own adventures, while still meeting with our (awesome) program director once a week for a cultural or hang-out event. Universidad San Francisco offered a broad range of course options, though the academics were not always as challenging as I would have liked. But considering the fact that most of my classes were in Spanish, and I didn't want to be loaded down with homework every weekend, I was satisfied with my course load. The Ecuadorian students at USFQ were a bit hard to get to know, and that made hanging out with other gringos easier - but it is by no means impossible to find meaningful friendships at the university. I lucked out with my host family, who were more laid-back than some more protective Ecuadorian families, but still caring, interesting, eager to have family meals and help me with my Spanish. I chose this program partly for the host family aspect, and I think it's an incredibly valuable experience. People worry about Ecuador (and all of Latin America) being unsafe, but I found that as long as you're smart and stay aware and watch your stuff, you'll be fine. Traveling is easy and fun, and USFQ's week-long mid-semester break offers a great opportunity to visit another country, or the Galapagos, take a scuba diving certification course, or go backpacking...anything is possible.

  • A+
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Wonderful

    Reviewed by Claire Weybright Feuer on .

    My trip was was amazing and I don't regret one bit of it.

  • B-
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Worth the experience, but come prepared.

    Reviewed by Alina Fernandez on .

    Ecuador has a lot to offer: ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, breathtaking volcanoes. I went mountain biking, rode horses, stood at the top of the rainforest and hiked down a crater lake. There is so much to do and see if you do not mind a few mosquitoes. The University was nice, but it does feel a but like high school from the classes to the social life. The commute is daunting at first, but it becomes second nature. I would say go, but make sure to bring your own sunblock and other toiletries as they are pricey in general. A small bottle of SPF will run you about $20. And vegetables are not a big part of the local diet so make sure you are prepared to bring your own when traveling and to firmly discuss their incorporation with your host family. The last thing I would mention is safety. The U.S. Embassy came and spoke to us and reported that 93% of Americans in Ecuador are victims of nonviolent crime . I knew quite a few students who had been robbed. Just be smart about where you go, who you are going with and what valuables you take. I was cautious and I stayed safe. Don't let your fear be so great that it keeps you from accomplishing your goal.

  • B+
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Ecuador is fun, but full cultural immersion is impossible and academics are subpar.

    Reviewed by Benjamin Scrimshaw on .

    I definitely had a fun time in Ecuador, but I came into the study abroad thinking that I would experience much more cultural immersion than I did. I know that this is true with most every single study abroad student that I met here. The academics were often frustratingly simple, requiring very little work. The country is gorgeous, although Quito itself begins to feel claustrophobic, and more study abroad students than not end up getting robbed at some point during the semester. The greatest thing about Ecuador is how easy it is to travel around the country during weekends/vacations, and there are also opportunities to get to nearby countries during Spring break and after the semester. Peru and Colombia were popular destinations.

  • A-
    CISabroad - Semester in Ecuador Thanks Ecuador!

    Reviewed by Alora McGavin on .

    Overall I had a wonderful experience in Ecuador. My homestay was great after I changed to a new family, the university was lovely ( lots of international students and wealthy Ecuadorians; not the best experience for everyone but it worked for me).
    Coordinating with CISAbroad before my departure was a bit confusing because I moved to Ecuador 2 months before the program started, but once I got in touch with the right people, everything fell into place. I would recommend the program to other students who are interested in diversity, travel, and independence!