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Journals from Year abroad in Quito, Ecuador

2008-12-16 University Life at USFQ

University Life Probably one of the most difficult things to get used to here has been the difference in the university life here at USFQ versus that at Linfield. When at Linfield Linfield is your life (all of the Linfield students here are nodding in agreement at this point) you live, eat, take classes, and spend time with friends all within the confines of the Linfield campus. I knew coming here that that would be different as we would be living with host families which, I am glad for as it has definitely been a learning experience on many levels yet the change has been difficult. University life here is clearly separated from home life-it is where we come specifically to take classes and to study. Saying that, I realize that I made my closest and only friend (who now is my boyfriend) at la USFQ because he was my conversation partner. It has been difficult for me to make Ecuadorian friends at the university here; I dont want to scare any of you from coming here, but I think that it is important to be very honest about this. The Ecuadorian students already have their friend groups and arent, for whatever reasons, very keen on reaching out to international students. Thats not to say that you cant meet people here"you just need to be the one to make an effort. Another important note about La USFQ is that it is not, in any way, a representation of Ecuador and Ecuadorian life. One of my professors here stated that it is like an episode of Laguna Beach. This quote pretty accurately sums up the great majority of the student population here-they come from the wealthiest families in Ecuador and coming to school is like entering a fashion show. That is not to say that there arent students here from different economic backgrounds, there are, but few. Also, it is not to judge the students by their economic status, just that, for this reason, it has been difficult for me to relate to them. The stark difference between the life at La USFQ and what is Ecuador, was probably the biggest shock for me. Katelyn

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