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Study in Quito with IES Abroad
Meet Brighid Carey
A passionate aficionado for all things Latin America, Brighid has been living and traveling abroad for several years now. A Connecticut, USA native, she currently lives in Barranquilla, Colombia and thinks you should visit no matter what you've heard about it, or just read the truth on her blog, Gypsy-ish.
Why did you decide to study abroad with IES Abroad in Ecuador?
Brighid: I spent a semester in Granada, Spain my sophomore year directly through my university and I knew I wanted to go abroad again senior year, this time to Latin America. My study abroad office was not very helpful so I did research myself and ended up talking to a few people who had studied in Quito through various programs. IES had a very clear website, their fees were lower than some competitors, the classes looked interesting and the application process was straightforward. The Amazon and Galapagos Islands field trips also looked appealing.
What made studying in Quito a unique and special experience?
Brighid: Ecuador is an incredible country. I traveled to beautiful locations - mountains, volcanoes, cloud forests, coastal villages, historic cities and the Galapagos Islands. Above all though, it was the little things that made Ecuador a special place for me - laughing with my quirky host mom, drinking beers and playing cards all night at shawarma restaurants, getting asked out by Ecuadoran men in the most random locations and never knowing what hilarious moment was coming next. The friendships I made through my IES program are unforgettable and we are still close two years later.
How did this experience impact your academic development?
Brighid: My experience in Ecuador was a confirmation of my love affair with Latin America. Everything about the regions fascinates me - the people, the culture, social issues, food, geography and politics. My capstone project as a Latin American Studies major was a research paper exploring the political impact of the oil industry on indigenous populations in Ecuador. After graduation I was inspired to spend a few months in Guatemala working with a non-profit, and I'm heading to Colombia in January to teach English for a year. I know my career is going to be focused in that region, I have aspirations to be a journalist writing about social issues and underrepresented indigenous populations. Presently, my various experiences with study abroad helped land me a job with AIFS, a cultural exchange agency with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
About IES Abroad
Their Roots: IES Abroad was co-founded by Paul Koutny, an Austrian student who had moved to the US on a Fulbright scholarship in 1950. While there, he envisioned a future built on a peace that grew from the lessons learned while studying abroad. He rallied 21 other friends and the crew hopped on the SS Volendam headed for a year of studies in Vienna. Feeling inspired by their own experience in Austria, IES Abroad alums Clarence and Alberta Giese immediately began helping send future groups of students abroad. Before they knew it, 60 years had passed, and IES Abroad remains a longstanding and exemplary study abroad option for students today.
Their Quest: "IES Abroad strives to provide premier study abroad programs for U.S. students that deliver the highest quality education while simultaneously promoting development of intercultural competence."