HECUA

Provider

HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) is an NPO comprised of 22 different liberal arts colleges, universities and associations, all of which are dedicated to education for social justice, offering study abroad programs that address pressing issues in various nations and neighborhoods around the world. HECUA enriches each institution with interdisciplinary programs and activities through cross-institutional cooperation.

Programs from HECUA

  • Study Abroad i Quito, Ecuador with HECUA
    Ecuador
    HECUA offers students the chance to study abroad next J-Term in Ecuador with the Social and Political Transformation program...
    5 reviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • L'opéra d'Oslo in Norway
    Norway
    Norway is known for its highly developed welfare state, immense oil and gas wealth, and global leadership on human rights....
    2 reviews
    Staff Interviews
  • HECUA study abroad Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    HECUA provides internships in Northern Ireland coupled with a full semester of study. Field seminars focus on human rights,...
    2 reviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • HECUA - study abroad in Ecuador
    Ecuador
    HECUA offers a study abroad program that combines 20 hr/week community-based internships, small seminar-style discussion,...
    1 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Study and intern abroad in New Zealand.
    New Zealand
    New Zealand has long been at the forefront of innovative social, cultural and environmental practices. In this program...
  • Italian Farmhouse Kitchen
    Italy
    Unpack the Slow Food movement's motto of "good, clean, and fair" in its northern Italian birthplace. Explore how the...

Program Reviews

  • Mary
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Brooklyn Park
    Saint Olaf College
    8/10
    Study in Ecuador- Family Stay
    05/16/2016

    One of the aspects that I really appreciated with the HECUA study abroad program in Ecuador was the host family stay. While many study abroad experiences, particularly J-term experiences, seem to lack a bit of a connection with the community (programs often end up more like a vacation than anything), HECUA really focuses on intentionally connecting with the community. Staying with a host family allowed participants to connect with the community by engaging in dialogue and challenges faced in Quito not just through trips but at home.

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  • Mary
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Brooklyn Park
    Saint Olaf College
    9/10
    HECUA: Study/Internship in Northern Ireland.
    05/16/2016

    The internship component of the HECUA program is one that is truly special. Unlike many other study abroad experiences, HECUA allows you to intern at a community peace-building organization. I got the unique opportunity to intern at a truth recovery/human rights legal NGO, which solidified my interest in human rights law for the future. Although I am not from Northern Ireland, I felt like I was able to connect with the community in a unique way through the internship. It made the city of Derry/Londoderry a bit smaller and a place that I will absolutely return to.

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  • Rachel
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Northfield, MN
    Other
    10/10
    Until the Cows Come Home--
    04/10/2016

    Our time in Ecuador was full of incredible adventures! From hiking towering mountains to birdwatching above the rainforest canopy to interacting with social activists in Quito, Ecuador. We were truly immersed as we got to spend time with our host families navigating the city, exploring deep into the Amazon Rainforest, and traveling north to Imbabura province for an experience of rural Ecuadorian life.

    The Amazon was a time of deep reflection as we came to terms with the unparalleled biodiversity with the realities of oil drilling. One of my favorite experiences was our night hike. We were able to see extremely unique wildlife-- I have no idea how our guides noticed them all! I was utterly taken aback by the beauty and expansiveness of the sky on this night. Far removed from light pollution, these were some of the most breath-taking stars I have ever seen.

    Our other excursion was to the northern province of Imbabura! My classmates and I had gone to the field with our host mother to help with her evening chores. Our task that night was herding the cows back home. Unfortunately, my peers and I were quite inept at this task, losing the cows until we had to run after and chase them back onto the path. We looked back to see our host mother laughing at us. Needless to say, we decided it was better if we stuck to collecting vegetables for dinner!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would recommend that there are more scheduled evening events to help us immerse in the culture through theater, arts, music, and sports.

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  • Tatum
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Northfield, MN
    Saint Olaf College
    10/10
    HECUA Ecuador was "quito" incredible!
    04/06/2016

    I think part of the beauty of this program is the fact that you are living with fantastic host families that provide you the freedom to explore the city of Quito on your own. The program leaders also highly encourage that, with a degree of safety, of course. Everyone that HECUA put us students in contact with were willing to do anything with us because they really wanted us to experience all of Quito, and Ecuador for that matter. One of my favorite memories from the trip was something that a group of us students decided to do on our own the last day we were there. One of the host fathers was a professional mountain guide. Volcan Pinchincha lied right behind my host family's house and we got to experience it the very first day we arrived in Quito. We decided to ask the host father if he was willing to take us to the summit of Pinchincha. He agreed and the last day, we took the Teleferico up to the spot where we began out hike. It took a lot of altitude adjustment, support, and bravery (especially for those who fear heights), but we made it all the way to the summit (15,000 ft). Not only was that a feat in it of itself, but the beauty of having the opportunity to look down at the place we called home for three weeks was the perfect ending to our trip. It gave me closure and it made me really appreciate what I had learned in the class, on the field trips, and through everyone I had met. Even though we were out of breath, taking too many pictures, and having a great time, it was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would honestly like this program to be longer... HA. But, if I had to be honest and say something productive, it would be to have a little more engaging material in some of the lectures. Some of my favorite class days was when we went on mini excursions because I learned the most from those days. Granted, I am a hands-on learner, but I think those experiences are very valuable. Guest speakers were nice, but it would be nicer to travel to them instead of them traveling to us!

    Photos:
    At the Guayasamin Museum in Quito.
    With my entire group in Parque Nacional Yasuní, the Amazon Rainforest.
    The group that summited Pinchincha! (With St. Olaf banner)
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  • Alia
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Northfield, MN
    10/10
    Alia MCDaniel Hecua Review
    10/02/2015

    The most amazing thing about the program was being exposed to the different communities in Ecuador in such a short amount of time. We were able to capture the typical day of someone who lives in the city and the next week we were in the amazon learning how to weave baskets from the native people. We were also able to see how these differ from the afro- Ecuadorian communities and the indigenous communities. Ecuador has so much diversity in culture. I went into the trip having a particular image of an Ecuadorian person and came back to the states with more than five different Ecuadorian cultures.

    How could this program be improved?

    Not at all! I believe that the trip could not be any better than it was!

    Photos:
    We are on our way up the Teleferico to see the Pichincha. There is a then minute ride in cable cars up to see the volcano with a beautiful view!
    One of the trips we were able to take during J-term was to visit the indigenous Ecuadorian communities. The man pictured above is spinning alpaca fur in order to make sweaters and other clothing. He is one of the last in Ecuador to continue using the spinning wheels.
    In an afro- Ecuadorian community we were able to visit a jewelry maker who collects all of her own beads and even makes them out of colorful beans and other stones. All of her proceeds go to the children and the schools in the community.
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