WorldTeach - Volunteer Teaching in Ecuador
89% Rating
(20 Reviews)

WorldTeach - Volunteer Teaching in Ecuador

WorldTeach has been serving in Ecuador since 1991, partnering with different organizations and institutions over the years, all of whom personally requested and helped fund WorldTeach volunteers. The two options for placement in Ecuador are teaching public school English teachers at a community college in the capital city of Quito or teaching at a university in Riobamba, a smaller mountainous city located 3-4 hours south of Quito. The volunteer fee for the year program is $2,150.

Through a generous donation, scholarships are now available for the WorldTeach Ecuador University Teaching program in Quito and Riobamba, departing in February 2017. Scholarships for up to $600 towards the overall volunteer commitment of $2,150 are available. The Ecuador University Teaching program includes an Intercultural Development track and the opportunity to obtain accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

Qualifications:
  • Native-level English speaker
  • Between the ages of 18 and 74
  • Flexible, open-minded and patient
  • Bachelor's degree
Locations
South America
Teaching Practicum
No
Job Placement
No
Accommodation
Host Family
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD
Other Locations
Cuenca, Manta, Portoviejo, Ibarra, Tena, Ambato

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
    88%
  • Support
    89%
  • Fun
    87%
  • Facilities
    91%
  • Safety
    82%
  • Instruction
    70%
  • Support
    70%
  • Value
    90%
  • Difficulty
    70%
  • Job Assistance
    60%

Program Reviews (20)

Default avatar
Jon
Male
53 years old
Uruguay
University of Cambridge

A year in Portoviejo

9/10

The Worldteach Ecuador program gave me a great stepping stone to transition from the corporate world (the dark side of the force) to a new life of independent education-related work. The support, program structure and homestay all ensured that the experience would be a valuable one - and one that I would never forget. Learning Spanish on the hoof and travelling around as much of the country as I could added to the learning of a new culture and alternative perspectives on life.

Default avatar
Betsy
Female
33 years old
Portsmouth, Newmarket
Davidson College

A Formative Experience

10/10

I went to Ecuador right after college with WorldTeach. Though the year was anything but easy, it continues to be one of the most important experiences of my life. I had some trouble with my host families and had to move several times. Each time the program director was very supportive and helpful. I also had a bit of trouble with my teaching placement, but again the program director was very supportive and helpful wit the change. Those were some of the challenges, but now almost ten years later I still reflect on Ecuador as one of the most important things I ever did. If you decide to go it won't be easy, or maybe "fun" all the time, but it will be something that really changes you and forces you to really think about yourself and the world around you. Ecuador was the place where I realized that I wanted to be a teacher. I applied to grad school from in-country and I'm still an English Teacher today. Even if you don't think that you will continue to teach after completing the program the experience is completely worth it.

How can this program be improved?

WorldTeach does a great job with their programs and I highly recommend them to anyone wishing to have an experience abroad.

Default avatar
Tara
Female
24 years old
Paia, Hawaii
University of Hawaii- Manoa

Don't Miss this Great Opportunity

9/10

I'm currently a WorldTeach volunteer placed in Ibarra, Ecuador. Although I have not finished the program yet, I can say that the program has done nothing but impress me. The program is very well organized and does a good job in helping volunteers prepare for teaching/ adjust to Ecuadorian life. The field director is helpful and very well informed. I currently have nothing but good things to say about the program. As a word of caution, this program has a big emphasis on teaching. If you want to travel constantly during your stay here, this might not be the right program for you. Also this program unfortunately has a program fee. If there one thing I would say could be improved it would be more funding to help volunteers with the cost.

How can this program be improved?

Program could be funded to cut down program cost. Would be nice if details pre-departure were sent to volunteers earlier.

Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much Tara for taking the time to leave this review. You are absolutely right that this program has a volunteer fee, and a high one. We have been in Ecuador since 1992, and historically it has been one of our most expensive programs because our in-country partners have only been able to give so much funding. We are currently finalizing a new contract that will provide significantly more funding, starting in 2015. Our placements will change, resulting in all volunteers teaching at one university in Quito, and the program fee will be reduced from $4,590 to $1,750.
Thanks again Tara for taking the time to leave this review. Enjoy Ecuador!

Default avatar
E
Female
32 years old
Chicago
Other

Highly recommended

10/10

If you're looking to volunteer abroad while still having an incredible support system, this is it. There was amazing support from start to finish and WorldTeach (WT) was there for every small and big issue that arose.

Because you come into the program with a cohort, you enter a foreign place with 30ish new friends. Some WT volunteers were the only volunteers in their cities, but in my city, there were 2 other WT volunteers. These 2 people are two of my best friends now.

When I first got my placement, I was a little upset because I really wanted to be in Quito (and I was placed in Ambato), BUT, clearly they saw the right fit, and in the end, they were spot on, this really was the perfect fit for me, and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

Yes, of course, there were days that were really hard, but in the end, I had an amazing experience that altered my career path for the better. And I couldn't speak more highly of the WT program itself.

Default avatar
Sharon
Female
57 years old
Alameda, CA
University of Massachusetts- Amherst

Between 3 Extinct Volcanoes

10/10

I taught for World Teach in Ibarra, Ecuador from September 2004 to July of 2005. My Field Director, Jessica Gillota was very professional and supportive. The month long training session in Quito prepared us for the teaching that was required and gave us a introduction to culture of Ecuador.

I worked at a small school in the mountains with two other young men. I was 55- years-old. In spite of the age difference, we had suppers and Pilsners every Thursday night. We had a 4-day work week, so we were able to take side trips on the week ends.

Ecuador is a beautiful country. I lived in the mountains in a valley between 3 extinct volcanoes. ( I used to go to the roof of my house to watch the sun set.) I flew to the Amazon Basin in Ecuador during a vacation from school. We had our World Teach mid-service meeting on the unspoiled Pacific coast. At the end of my school year, my husband came to Ecuador, and we visited the Galapagos Islands. It was all fascinating.

I think that my biggest lesson came from the indigenous people near Ibarra. It is a lesson that I carry with me now. You do not have to have a lot of material things to enjoy life. You do not have a big house to enjoy your home life. Tradition and history should never be forgotten. Celebrate your own culture with pride.

How can this program be improved?

I think that it would be great if there were a set of curriculum books that were available to take to the school sites. It is difficult to make all the copies of texts in Quito and bring them with you to your teaching site.

Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review! Your opinions and feedback are crucial to the success of WorldTeach.

Throughout the past few years, we received a lot of feedback regarding curriculum/teaching materials, and accessibility of printing resources (which as we know in some of these developing countries, is limited). Over the years, our WorldTeach Department of Education has dramatically strengthened our Teacher Quality Program.

During orientation, volunteers are provided with curriculums that have been designed to work at each school level (primary, secondary, adult, etc) within each individual country, working within the cultural and academic values of each country. This way, volunteers have the materials needed if their schools don't have existing curriculums in place, or need adjustments and new materials.

Additionally, volunteers are in constant contact with their Teacher Quality Coordinator in the U.S. office, who is currently pursuing his/her master's degree in Education, and often has international TEFL teaching experience in that specific country. The Teacher Quality Coordinator is available to critique lesson plans, answer questions and concerns about class dynamics, provide additional resources, all to give the volunteer more support in the classroom.

Thank you so much for your time!

WorldTeach

Default avatar
Nina
Female
32 years old
Chicago, IL
DePaul University

Best year of my life.

10/10

I was an Ecuador volunteer in 2011 and had one of the most challenging and best years of my life. The field staff and WorldTeach were always there to support me and truly cared that my students and I had a worthwhile experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

Bring the cost down.

Default avatar
Lisa
Female
42 years old
Syracuse, NY
Harvard University

Great program

7/10

Living in Ecuador was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was young - 21 years old - and had no understanding of the difficulties of living in a developing country before I left. WorldTeach was absolutely the right program for me - it was one year long, had good orientation support, and placed me in a definite position. Without them, I don't think I would have made it. It was the most important experience of my professional life, and I'm now 34 years old :)

How can this program be improved?

If it were better funded, volunteers could go more cheaply, and with more support. However, there are few funding sources available, and they make diamonds out of coal with what they have.

Default avatar
Heather
Female
32 years old
Washington, DC
College of Charleston

Best year of my life

10/10

My experience with WorldTeach in Ecuador was amazing! It really was the best year of my life. I learned so much from the experience and it really changed my outlook on life. WorldTeach is really great at helping you prepare for the experience by providing a lot of helpful reading materials before you go and connecting you with current or previous volunteers. The month long training when you first arrive in country was a great way to adapt to the country and helped with the tradition. I absolutely loved living with my host family and while not everyone has that same experience it is a great way to really engross yourself in the culture. If your experience with your host family or teaching placement isn't great then the WorldTeach in country staff can be really helpful with helping you work through it and fix the situation.

How can this program be improved?

We had multiple people in our program that wanted to extend but only a few opportunities for extension. I would have loved to see more opportunities for extension.

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Amy
Female
42 years old
Madrid, Spain
Suffolk University

Manta, Ecuador

10/10

I was placed in an apartment with two other WT volunteers - Manta is a great city and living right by the beach was an incredible bonus! The people of Manta are friendly and, teaching at the university, I immediately had a ton of friends around my age. The poverty is somewhat difficult in the beginning, but I wouldn't change my experience for anything - it was life-changing!

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Katie
Female
32 years old
Ankara, Turkey
University of Southern California

Life Altering Experience

10/10

I loved my year in Ecuador, but it did have extreme ups and downs. Living in a developing country is challenging, especially as a single woman. But I believe the challenges are also what make it incredibly rewarding. It's because of WorldTeach that I decided to start a career in TESOL, and 7 years later, I'm still not regretting it.

In my time there, the strongest asset WT had was its in-country staff. They were there to help with anything and everything. I felt safer and truly supported because they were there at any time of the day or night, ready to accept my call.

The hardest part of living there is the crime. I spent the entire year never feeling entirely safe. That said, however, the worst thing that happened to me was I lost 20 dollars from a pick pocket. Use caution, and you will have a truly wonderful year abroad.

Default avatar
Melissa
Female
24 years old
Boston, MA
Harvard University

An enlightening, exciting experience

9/10

I lived with a lovely host family in a town in northern Ecuador, where I taught at a city-run school. I taught 3 1.5 hour long classes a day, Monday-Thursday. I had never taught before, but there was so much support from the yearlong volunteers and from the field staff. I had time to travel around on weekends all around the country (arguably the most beautiful country in the world) and to meet so many amazing people. I would highly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?

Mid-service conference seemed a little unnecessary, but nice nonetheless

Default avatar
Female
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Eckerd College

WorldTeach Ecuador

9/10

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with World Teach in Ecuador. There were parts that were easy and fun; there were parts that were difficult and frustrating. If you decide to do WorldTeach Ecuador, go into it knowing that you have no idea what your experience will be like, but it will certainly be an experience. The volunteers who had too many expectations of their job, their homestay, their city, of learning Spanish well, and so on, were the ones that were disappointed. Adaptability is important in Ecuador as in many countries of the world.

It has been mentioned in other reviews that Ecuador can be dangerous. This is certainly true, but you can and should adopt certain kinds of precautions and strategies that will keep you safe. It's better to find ways to skirt the dangers than just stay at home saying something like, "Oh, I thought of going to Ecuador as a volunteer once, but didn't."

Other reviews have mentioned that their jobs changed while they were there. Though that is not common, it could happen. Unfortunately, some things are beyond the control of WT staff. My job was dissolved about six months through my term for various reasons, but I was able to get another job through WT, and as a result was able to live in two very different regions of Ecuador, which was a blessing.

The Ecuador WT staff were great. They promptly responded to problems and concerns of volunteers. They provided a good orientation with information about Ecuador and teacher-training sessions. Best of all, I always found them caring and concerned.

Going to a country like Ecuador as a WT volunteer should not be about your expectations of what you think it will be like. But if you are open to experiencing Ecuador as it really is, you should have a great time with WorldTeach Ecuador.

How can this program be improved?

If I had to change one thing, it would be the homestay requirement. I think that homestay should be optional.

Default avatar
BPS
Female
42 years old
Washington, DC
University of Maryland

Looking Back with No Regrets

9/10

I was a WT Volunteer in Ecuador from 1998-1999 and it was a life changing experience - probably one of the most challenging years of my life, with no regrets.

I chose WT b/c it was a one-year commitment and I could choose the country to which I applied (unlike Peace Corps, for example). I didn't like the idea of a fee, but at the time it really was the best option for me based on what I wanted out of an overseas experience. After college I was living at home and saved my money; I also fundraised part of the fee while simultaneously recognizing that not everyone has the luxury to partake in a program like WorldTeach because of the costs.

The one-month training was excellent and the field staff at the time was top notch. In early 1998 Ecuador went through some economic/political upheaval and there were many strikes. When I returned 2 years later to visit, Ecuador was using U.S. dollars, to give you some context. There are definitely safety issues in Latin America, and they were increasing in Ecuador over the course of the year I spent there because of the economy. Safety and security risks depend on your level of comfort and street savvy but should not deter you!

I taught at a university in Ambato, a medium sized town. There were other volunteers in my town which was great in terms of having support. We didn't hang out all the time, so there was plenty of time to spend with my host family and get to know the community a little better while still feeling like I was not completely isolated. I taught 4 or 5 classes a semester to both beginning and advanced learners. I really grew to love my students and became close with a few of the teachers that worked at the university.

Being a WT Volunteer really gave me confidence, a better sense of direction for my career (international education), and experiences I will never forget. I felt like I learned about the world and about myself in a way that I have not experienced since (I was 23 at the time, so that could have been part of it).

I am very well-traveled and Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been - it has everything including the mountains, the beach, the culture, the color, the history, delicious food, friendly faces! It is also full of pain and poverty, dirt and grit, a slower pace, and people just trying to have a better life.

I think WorldTeach is a great organization. What you will probably find by reading these reviews is that people had quite a range of experiences. And this is the TRUTH about WorldTeach, Peace Corps, and any other organization - it all *depends*. Are you ready for the challenge? Because life doesn't go as planned, and the question is: can you make the most of it? The second thing is this - what is the best organization for YOU and WHY. It might be WorldTeach and it might not. Contact people, do your research and learn to live in ambiguity - because nothing in life is guaranteed.

I know that I wouldn't be who I am had I not served as a Volunteer in Ecuador and I hope you find a way to live and work overseas - it's amazing!

Default avatar
o2bnecuador
Female
42 years old
Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin- Madison

WT Ecuador is Fantastico!

8/10

I decided to join WT when I realized that Peace Corps was not a good fit for me. WT was an excellent way to get myself abroad, with a built-in support system, a training program to prepare me since I had little experience teaching, a job and house lined up, and someone to call on when I needed help. If you feel comfortable going abroad without any of these luxuries, then WT might not be the right fit for you.

I found the WT staff to be helpful and responsive. There are so many things that are out of their control and they do their best to accommodate all the volunteers' needs. They work tirelessly for their volunteers, host families and partner institutions.

Ecuador is an amazing country with amazing people. Yes, it can be a little dangerous sometimes--mostly pickpocketing and nonviolent muggings. Not fun but not unusual in most countries where WT operates.

My best advice--check your expectations at the door. Be ready for a lot of red tape ("tramites" in Spanish--you'll learn that quickly).

Default avatar
IbarraChica4Life
Female
32 years old
Philadelphia, PA
Colorado State University

WorldTeach Ecuador--Just do it!

9/10

WorldTeach Ecuador is a long-standing, well established program. I was very impressed with the wealth of information provided to me upon leaving the U.S., as well as once in training in Ecuador. The program directors were super organized and I felt very comfortable in their care. The country has certain places that are very safe and others that are much more risky. I felt very well aware of my boundaries and well supported by the WorldTeach program should anything happen. I LOVED my teaching site in Ibarra, northern Ecuador. It was the perfect medium size city with plenty of restaurants and places to go, but not overwhelming. My school was beautiful, and very helpful in welcoming my co-volunteer and I to the school. We were given resources left from the previous volunteers which served to be very helpful during our year. We could teach as we were trained during our orientation month, and we were very successful in the style of communicative teaching. I also adored my host mother and felt very connected with the culture thanks to my living situation. I recommend living with a host family and sticking to it, regardless of different lifestyles. It's worth the immersion! Going to live in Ecuador has proven to be the best decision of my life thus far, and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. Just do it!

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Ecuador2011
Female
24 years old
USA

Ecuador - Expectation not met

4/10

I found Ecuador to be very dangerous with the majority of volunteers robbed by the end of the program. There was not a need for volunteers at my school because there were paid teachers that did the same job and were paid more. Bad host families were used over and over again by WT Staff.

Response from WorldTeach

We are disappointed to hear that your expectations of our program, and of the country of Ecuador, were not met.

An unfortunate reality of working in marginalized communities everywhere, in the US and abroad, is that they are often deeply affected by corruption and crime. Notwithstanding, WorldTeach works to ensure the safety of our volunteers through awareness, training, and emergency action plans and response protocols.

Likewise, we continuously assess the appropriateness of school and housing placements through three annual volunteer evaluations as well as in person site visits and weekly check ins with each volunteer.

We value your feedback and encourage you to reach out to us at the head office ([email protected]orldteach.org) with your thoughtful suggestions for improvement.

Default avatar
KRTFK
Female
42 years old
Quito, Ecuador
Other

WorldTeach extender loves this program!

10/10

The experience of coming to Ecuador with WorldTeach changed my life in amazingly positive ways. This type of program is for anyone who is dedicated, wants to teach, wants to integrate into the local community, but is also looking for support from an awesome in-country staff. Wonderful program!

Default avatar
TEB88
Female
24 years old
Quito, Ecuador

Review from a 2 year WT Ecuador Volunteer

9/10

I knew upon graduation that I wanted to spend at least a year abroad. A friend told me about WorldTeach, and although admittedly teaching made me nervous, I decided to apply.

I was placed in a medium-sized city on the coast and initially taught English at a trade school. The demographic of my students ranged from adolescents to working professionals. It was not a course that was mandatory; therefore, my students were there because they wanted to be.

After my year with WorldTeach ended I knew that I was not yet ready to leave. I loved my students, had a great volunteer internship at the local hospital, and was not yet ready to leave my host family. I applied for an extension and after it was approved, I got the chance to work help pioneer a new site in my city.

Default avatar
ecuadorianadventures
Female
32 years old
Ecuador
Xavier University of Ohio

Great... Until it's not.

5/10

WorldTeach Ecuador was great for training. Orientation can be tedious but is very informative, it runs all day (8-6) five days a week. Afterwards, you return, exhausted, to your Quito homestay families. Or, on some days, go and get a Pilsner with some of the group. By the end of it, I felt over prepared. I felt like I knew how to teach, plan without a curriculum, and had a wonderful support group of friends. I think Worldteach Ecuador is a great organization until something goes wrong.

Less than three months into my year I was terminated. Not because of my actions, but because WT had problems within my school. My university is slightly corrupt, like most places in Ecuador, and I understood the decision until I wasn't given another placement.

Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, was my only option. A person from my group terminated because the situation at the school was so terrible there, he was unable to teach. I was not willing to give up my dream of living in the Andes to move to the big and sweaty city (not to mention dangerous) and have to fight to be able to teach. When I said no to Guayaquil I was terminated.

I paid over $5,000 for those three months. I got to keep my return ticket back, and luckily, found a job on my own. I stayed in close contact with my WT friends and watched as they attended midservice and end of service. I have been in Ecuador for 1.5 years now, living and working at a school without the help from WorldTeach.

And I wish this was an isolated incidence. I have watched as this has happened multiple times in the new WT groups.

I would have never come to Ecuador without WorldTeach , and for those who didn't have problems, it was a great program. For those of us who did, however, it was $5,000 for a month long ESL course.

Response from WorldTeach

We are happy to hear that you found the WorldTeach training relevant and comprehensive and that you found the support of the group of your fellow volunteers valuable. We are also thrilled to see that you remained in Ecuador to live and teach. Though you didn't fulfill your dreams to live in the Andes through our organization we are sincerely glad to see that you were able to make it happen by your own means.

Though it's been some time since you left your review, please contact us at the head office ([email protected]) if you'd like to discuss the details of how your service in Ecuador came to a close. While we'd love to be able to bypass red tape and bureaucracy to guarantee that every volunteer will have a picture perfect experience, unfortunately, we are only a small group of individuals working within imperfect systems. Nevertheless, through your proactive engagement with us, we can identify ways in which we can improve to help ensure positive experiences for future volunteers and ultimately a greater impact on the students we serve. We look forward to hearing from you.

Default avatar
MollyC
Female
32 years old
New Orleans, LA
University of California- Berkeley

yo

10/10

I feel WorldTeach is a really wonderful option for someone wanting to go abroad and volunteer in a 3rd world country for the first time. The support of World Teach is outstanding in the US and then out in the countries where the vols are. The orientations you are a part of really prepare you for all that you are about to witness and interact in. They truly prep you and continue to support you with checkins throughout. And even after your stay is over, the WT Alumni group is very close knit and well organized, updating you on new countries WT is working with and even announcing jobs that are available in WT's US offices and abroad. WT was my first experience in a 3rd world country and I continue to be so grateful for them. I met some really incredible people in Ecuador thanks to them.

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WorldTeach was founded in 1986 by a group of Harvard students who were motivated by the desire to promote local education initiatives in places where teachers and resources were lacking. Today, we continue to provide opportunities for individuals to serve as volunteer teachers around the

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