Tomorrow, I am leaving for Ecuador for 8 months… Wow!
In a nutshell, I’ll be living with a host family in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, for one semester while studying international development at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. The second semester, I will be doing an independent research project, or placement, most likely in the Amazon. I’m super pumped since I’ve been reading National Geographic since I was seven! I’d love to study the impacts of Canadian mining companies on indigenous communities, even though my mom will have quite the anxiety when I am without phone service for two and a half months.
Important tidbit of information… I took my first Spanish class this past summer! Bahaha yikes. I’m very excited to live in the host families, but also nervous that I will not be able to communicate. I am probably most excited about weekend trips during the first semester to the Andes, to Andean communities, to the coastal region, to the rainforest, and to other cities. Muy Bueno! Many adventures to be had.
(Click to the right for more!)
This is happening through the Trent-In-Ecuador program. After my first semester at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in the commerce program, I switched to international development studies (IDS). IDS focuses on human inequality through a global perspective, and examines economic, cultural, political, historical, gender, environmental and social dimensions of such inequality. So refreshing! Instead of engaging in a constrictive environment of cutthroat competition with a laser-focus on profit-making, I was learning through a cultural lens about human rights and meaningful impact. Since I switched out of commerce after first semester, and knew the route I wanted to go, I was able to take second year classes during second semester. Therefore, I am considered a third year student in University after my first year. Neat-o!
I’ll be taking the plane from the Toronto airport tomorrow at 10 am. I live in Vermont, but I had to do a Spanish exam in Montreal on Thursday. My parents and I left Wednesday night after a sad goodbye to my sisters. We saw family in Montreal on Thursday and hit the road after my exam. Today, we had a full day in Toronto! It was really great for my mom and dad to spend time with their favorite daughter ;) aha just kidding… I'm really glad to have spent time with them before I leave.
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