I loved my experience. Ecuador was amazing. The classes and internship helped me realize that international affairs is a career I will find most rewarding. Everyone at KEI helped me come closer to achieving my future goals. Claudia (KEI Onsite Director) was wonderful, like a mom. She made me feel at home. If anything were to happen, I had someone to call for assistance.
Guayaquil has many cultural andentertainment options.
Downtown offers museums, galleries, waterfront parks, free concerts at the "Malecon 2000," lots of cafes, restaurants and shops.
The Riocentro mall is a good place to shop or go to the movies.
The greater Guayaquil region also offers many opportunities for outdoor activities.
Guayaquil is surrounded by four ecosystems.
Coastal beaches, Amazon basin, marshlands and Andes mountains are 40 minutes to 2 hours drive.
Students are encouraged to participate in campus activities and interract with Ecuadorian students.
Housing & meals
Students live with a host family.
Living with a host family is a great way to become acquainted with Ecuadorian customs and practice your Spanish language.
Families are subject to a rigorous selection process.
Most families live in Downtown Guayaquil.
Bedrooms are double-occupancy.
Students are expected to communicate with their family in Spanish, although most have at least one member who speaks a little English.
Homestays include 2 meals per day.
Students also have access to the kitchen.
Delicacies in Guayaquil include encebollado (a seafood soup), ceviche (another seafood soup), arroz con menestra y carne (rice and beans with grilled or fried beef), patacones (twice-fried plantain slices) and pan de yuca (bread made from cassava). You will also find many types of cheese in Guayaquil.
The most commonly consumed cheese is called queso criollo or queso manabita – somewhat similar to mozzarella but saltier. Beans, corn (on the cob or even toasted) are staples in the sierra and coastal diet.
Ecuador is known for its fabulous exotic fruits, high quality fish and seafood, and the countless varieties of Andean potatoes.
Getting around town
Since students live and study in Downtown Guayaquil, most places can be reached by walking.
Guayaquil also has an efficient bus service.
There are three types of urban buses:
Selectivos - 25 cents (newer buses for seated passengers only)
Populares - 18 cents (older buses which allow standing passengers)
Metrovía - 25 cents (metro system along main avenues)
Taxis are relatively inexpensive and the best choice for late-night transportation.
Phones & internet
KEI will provide a prepaid mobile phone handset shortly after arrival in Ecuador.
The KEI Onsite Director will explain how to use the phone.
The phone will have a small amount of credit to get you started.
Additional minutes can be purchased at numerous convenient stores.
CEN and ITB have excellent computer facilities with Internet.
Most host families also have Internet, but you should not expect this as Internet is not accessible to all families.
There are many inexpensive Internet cafes throughout the city.