I have arrived in South America and survived my first two weeks here! It is so crazy to be here in Ecuador. After a whole day on planes from Montana, meeting my host mom, and going to my first weeks of classes, I am starting to get settled. While I am here, I’ll be living in a little “suburb” of Quito called Cumbaya. (It’s a very nice area of Quito, my host house is in a gated community with a guard out front!). This is where the USFQ campus is located, and as someone who’s not a big city fan, it’s nice to not be in the middle of the city.
The first week here was lots of orientations to the University and life in Quito, along with a tour of the city. Quito is beautiful and huge! It is an old city, with so many statues and old churches and buildings to see and explore. We had a blast! The USFQ campus is gorgeous as well, I’d say that the grounds keepers rival even Linfield’s J Of course, we still had classes this week, too. But since we don’t start our first module until next week, this week was an intensive Spanish course. Three-hour long classes are not the most fun, but the class good refresher and gave us an idea of what to expect from classes to come here in Quito!
Now that module 1 has started, I am in my first real class here! I am taking Techniques of Marine Research, so I learned all about marine ecosystems: how they work, the species that live there, and how best to study them. It has been super interesting already to study something different than my usual biology classes. And as someone who grew up landlocked in Montana, I don’t know a whole lot about the ocean, so this will be a good learning experience for me!