Alexandra Goodlet is an International Development Major who studied in Ecuador for nine months.
“The most rewarding part of my year abroad in Ecuador was being able to immerse myself into the day to day life of Ecuadorians. By the end of my 9 months in Ecuador I felt comfortable and at home in a place far away from home soil. It is incredible how one can easily adapt and create a whole new life just by keeping an open mind.”
When asked what the noticeable culture shock was when visiting Ecuador, Ally answered “In Ecuador they have a very relaxed way of life. Within the first week of being in the country I was instantly exposed to the more laid back lifestyle. It took a bit of time for me to realize that not everything needs a set plan or time frame. Sometimes living in the moment and running with it is the better route to take.”
When asked what the most interesting dish/meal she encountered while abroad, Ally answered “Cuy (guinea pig) which is a traditional dish in the Andean region. During Christmas break I also travelled to Peru with my family and I ate alpaca. Both these dishes pushed me out of my comfort zone and I was glad I tried them.
The most memorable part of my year abroad in Ecuador was near the end of my community development placement. My placement consisted of working in an Intercultural Bilingual school located in Puyo, a city in the amazon region of the country. Although placement had just ended I went back to Puyo for my final week in the country to partake in my schools 25 year anniversary celebrations. One of the days we had a massive parade throughout my city involving every in the school I worked in. I was lucky enough to be asked to join my one class I taught to dance with them in the parade. Being able to create a dance and practice hours and hours each day and up until the final performance with my students was a perfect way to wrap up my year and really feel like I had become a major contributor to my school community.”
Did you learn a new language?: “During my time in Ecuador I became fluent in Spanish through my daily interactions, classes and placement. I also learnt a fair amount of Kichwa and was exposed to another language called Shuar, both which are indigenous languages.”