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Introduction (27 days until departure)

July 6, 2010

I’m going to Ecuador?

So I’m pretty sure I made myself this cute little blog mostly to convince myself that, yes, I am indeed going to be living in Ecuador this fall. It’s funny how buying plane tickets and filling out a visa application haven’t been quite enough to convince me that this is really happening. Hopefully, one more little piece of evidence might finally make things click. Also, this blog might just give me a chance to sort out my thoughts in an ostensibly healthy manner, as well as provide whoever might actually give a rodent’s posterior about what happens to me during the next six months (That means all, like, one of you. Hi, Mom!) a chance to check up on me.

The study abroad program in question is called Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). While sponsored by the Learning Abroad Center at the dear old University of Minnesota, about one third of the participants in the program are actually from other schools across the States. MSID covers a variety of focus areas; besides my own choice of public health, it offers education/literacy, environmental studies/ecology and sustainable agriculture, microbusiness/alternative economics, social service, and arts/cultural studies. Correspondingly, the 30-some students in the program range from political science to microbiology majors. MSID is partnered with the Fundación Cimas del Ecuador, a development organization based in Quito. We will take our classes through Cimas, as well as receive our host family and internship placements from them.

On Monday, August 2nd I will blast out of MSP at the unholy hour of 6:20 AM, and, provided that American Airlines flight information isn’t written by a bunch of stinkin’ liars, will arrive in Quito at around 7:40 PM. I will then spend the rest of the month of August taking a language-intensive pre-session course, furiously practicing my Spanish with the hope of developing a vague semblance of verbal competency before my real classes start.

During the first half of the semester, we will stay in Quito and take the following courses at Cimas: Advanced Spanish, MSID Country Analysis, and International Development: Critical Perspectives on Theory and Practice. For the second half of the semester, we get placed in an internship with an organization in our field; mine will be related to public health in some way. Placement will not officially occur until after the semester starts, so at this point I have no idea what I’ll actually end up doing. I hear that most of the internship sites are outside Quito (I requested a rural location in the application), so most of us will likely end up with new host families at this time as well.

So, um, yeah. You now know about as much as I do about the MSID Ecuador program. Questions? If you’re actually reading this, you probably know how to contact me in real life, but if you feel like boosting my blog-ego, leave me a comment (you don’t need a WordPress account or anything).

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2010 4:05 PM

    AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

    (Indeed, this marks my first-ever comment on a blog post. Needless to say, I’m a little exited.)

  2. July 11, 2010 11:05 PM

    You would have some band’s myspace set as your webpage. 😀

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