Internship Reflections

BCA students are able to participate in internships in a variety of disciplines during their time in Quito, Ecuador. Below are reflections from some former BCA Quito students on the impact these internships have had on their education and experience while studying abroad.

 “Seeing the effects of a very different educational system really helped me appreciate the importance of education in society and development. While education is not my main academic focus, I have long been interested in critical, creative, and humanistic pedagogies, and my time in CENIT showed me what a difference such educational philosophies can make and appreciate how much many people struggle even to get the most basic education. The privilege and rarity of a good education became very clear to me. I benefited from seeing another side of Quito and Ecuadorian culture. Doing the internship helped me get out of the privileged bubble of USFQ and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of Ecuadorian culture. It also helped me make both international and Ecuadorian friends, that I definitely would not have made otherwise. It was by far the most valuable part of my study abroad experience.”

Renae Zelmar, Soka University of America
Interned with El Centro de la Niña Trabajadora

“I felt like this internship was a glimpse into what it’s like to have a job in the real world. I had to work with people that were sometimes rude and offensive, and I had to deal with stressful and frustrating situations throughout long, 10 hour days. As a result I learned a lot about myself and what my strengths and limits are, which I can reflect on and fix/apply to future work-type opportunities. Although at times my internship was very frustrating and required a lot of hard work, I overall had a great experience and wouldn’t take it back. Working with horses was a lost passion of mine, so being able to get back into it on a very consistent basis was a great way to have fun and relieve stress throughout the semester.”

Stella Zoe Witt, Soka University of America
Interned with Fundacion AMEN , an organization that does equine therapy with children with special needs


“Through my internship I gained a greater understanding of the culture, better grasp on the Spanish language, and learned a lot about subjects that interested me. Talita Cumi affirmed for me that I want to fight for women’s rights after I graduate. It was probably one of my favorite parts of my study abroad experience. I met amazing women and children and felt a greater sense of belonging in this country because of them. I also was able to make a difference in their lives and they in mine, which made study abroad that much more fulfilling. I learned so much about the culture and myself, and I don’t think I will ever forget these experiences.”

Leah Garrity, Ursinus College
Interned with Talita Cumi, a foundation for female survivors of sexual abuse and single mothers


“This experience helped me so much. I wrote a 15 page paper for our director that formed the basis of my thesis at my school. Further, the people at the internship supported me so much to understand everything better and gave me a full chance to be a part of their work. This experience was the highlight of my study abroad experience because it really solidified that I want to become a child psychologist. I recommend an internship to everyone.”

Shivangi Khattar, Soka University of America
Interned with Fundacion ABEI