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Bc. Magdaléna Nováková, VŠCHT, ročník 1st (master)

Faculty Polytechnic
Field of study Chemical engeneering
Field of internship Physical Sciences, Other
Specialization of InternshipMaterials Science
Internship period (from - to) 23.10.2017 - 17.12.2017
Internship duration (weeks) 8
Transport (means, price) 800-1000$ return ticket Prague/Vienna to Quito, but i went through Peru and return from Colombia
Insurance/Insurance company Axa FAMILY
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) no
Price of Visa free for 90 days
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Ecuador, Quito
Internship reference number EC-2017-032

About the country

Location of the place

Ecuador is a little country on the equator with various climate and huge biodiversity.

City

Quito is the highest official capital city (around 3000 m), with a beautiful historical center built in Spanish colonial style and surrounded by wonderful mountains). It is a typical South American city with poor infrastructure and terrible public transport. The population is currently around 2 million, it is the second largest city after Guayaquil.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Ecuador is really beautiful country and it is very easy to travel around, it just takes time..:)
I would recommend you visit biggest city Guayaquil and places like Teleferico, Cotopaxi, Qilotoa, Mompiche with its surrounding

Employer

Employer

My employer was a private, expensive Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Polytechnic Faculty.
After the expansion of the University, this Faculty was moved to the near big shopping mall. But just to half of it, so you could find entrance to your classroom next to the entrance to the Cinema, or my lab and my working desk were located right in the middle of the underground parking ..:D I found this very funny to ridiculous..:D

Work description

I had been working max 6 hours/day under the professor Juan Jose Recalde. I was basically helping him and his colleagues with their researches and projects. Partly in lab and partly on a computer. All the people were very nice, and the laboratories were very well equipped and in a perfect condition..

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

380 usd/month was definitely not enough. It is not a cheap country. (Similar prices like in Czech Republic, some things are significantly more expensive (beer, imported goods), but local drugs and avocados are cheaper..:))

Language requirements

Almost everyone at USFQ speaks English, which is good for working, but bad for your Spanish..:D

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I found my accommodation by myself. It was a beautiful old house in La Floresta, with a small garden with fig and verbena trees and many herbs☺. Together with my daughter and my boyfriend, we have been staying there for free, in exchange for just a little gardening and basic maintenance. And the owner even has been paying bills for us, just not to have his house abandoned.
Another great thing about this accommodation was its location. It took only 20-25 minutes by minibus to get to USFQ through a stunning valley and without traffic jam.

To my opinion, the accommodation offered by IAESTE was expensive and very far from USFQ.. It took them min. one hour to get there, with two bus changes, which makes it also expensive, so I wouldn’t recommend it to USFQ trainees, but I guess, it is the easiest way to meet the other IAESTE members..

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)

They didn’t picked me on the airport, but it is really not a problem to take a cheap public bus to Rio Coca and from there you can get anywhere easily..
I met Johana (local IAESTE coordinator) on the way to bus to USFQ on my first working day. She showed me, how to get there and other important things, it was very helpful.
There was a big IAESTE party, which I unfortunately missed and later, there were some other party and trips and football matches, which were usually organized by other trainees, through our common Whatsapp or Facebook group.

Meeting other foreign students

I was more into meeting with locals, but also, due to a fact I didn’t live in the hostel where almost all IAESTE trainees lived and my family was there with me, I didn’t meet almost any foreign students.

Sport and culture

I guess if you are into hiking and other mountain activities, Ecuador is a paradise for you☺.
But, to my opinion, culture is poor there. Quito is like a overgrown village..:P You can't compare it with Prague, but neither with Bogota or Lima.

Food, local specialties

Meat with rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner… I found Ecuadorian cuisine extremely boring, despite the fact they have so many kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Basically, you can get a menu for around 3$ which consist of juice, soup, meat served with rice and little bit of vegetables and if you are lucky, you will get some desert. And I almost forgot about fried banana, which I loved on the beginning and hated on the end…:D
The only thing I am missing is superfresh orange/mandarine juice made my neighbour for only 1$/0,5l and cheap avocado of course☺.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Very easily. There is a good internet connection and free wi-fi on almost every corner..

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

First, take care of your personal belongings.. and not just wallet and phone, all of them.. Once, these ecuadorians nuts stole me my shoes on the bus.. so I was barefood for the rest of the trip.. :D:P
There are many pickpockets around (like in Prague:D) but they can be more aggressive and sometimes they are a kids..:P
But in general, the city and the country is safe. I have been there with my 3years old daugter and I would never let her to be endangered..

Second, find your accommodation close to your job, otherwise you gonna spend ages in the transportation, which is terrible and really anoying.. :P

And take your computer of course..

What not to forget with you

Ecuador is a normal country, you can get everything there, you just need money☺. The only think I would recommend you, if you are into hiking, take an outdoor clothes and equipment, these things are more expensive there.
On the contrary, things like sunscreen and travel adapter are very cheap there, no need to take them..

Benefits of the internship

So many.. new language, tons of experiences...

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Local coordinator Johana was very nice, willing and helpful all the time. The communication with her was great and smooth.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Great!

Student's website

https://www.facebook.com/magdalena.novakova.984

Employer's webiste

www.usfq.edu.ec

Other useful links

www.gringosabroad.com/blog/
www.workaway.info

Other comments

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