Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions and answers geared toward international students, their home university advisors and family members. Specifically for administrators, we are happy to send additional documentation, covering topics such as safety, health, "Fair Trade Study Abroad" objectives, etc.
How do I apply to study abroad with Rehearsing Change?
Please click here to go to our Application page where you should find sufficient information and download an application. If you have questions, do not hesitate to write us directly.
Why should I care about Fair Trade Study Abroad?
Each year our world becomes more interconnected; however, this does not mean it is becoming more just. Education is likely the most powerful tool for inspiring individual and/or social change. However, the opportunities for quality education are not fairly distributed. Thousands of international students receive the opportunity to study in countries like Ecuador each year, and there are many programs that provide those students with a top-notch education. Yet, we cannot forget that these students learn from, within or because of Ecuadorian communities. What do these Ecuadorian communities receive in return? (We speak not of the fortunate students to already be studying at Ecuador’s premiere universities, but of the community members who either serve that university, or serve the students in some way.) Fair Trade Study Abroad is a movement that strives to provide equal or greater educational opportunities to an equal or greater amount of community participants, meaning a student's tuition pays for the participation of the student and at least one community counterpart. They study and work together throughout the course of the semester. Thus, you should care if you believe in doing your part in changing the very structures of how we do education in a globalized society.
How do I know that the credit will transfer to my university?
If your university does not have an agreement with Rehearsing Change or USFQ (meaning that we are considered one of their accepted international programs), it is the student’s responsibility to speak with their study abroad advisor to assure that credits will transfer. If there are questions, whether from the student or advisor, we encourage them to write us directly.
How much does Rehearsing Change cost?
Our costs change slightly due to the nature of our program. Certain semesters will have slightly higher costs than others because of the location of our host community. At this time, the combined tuition & fees are $15,215. In most cases, we will have an official agreement with your school, meaning that all the financial arrangements will take place between you and your university/college. Your school would then arrange for payment with us.
What does my tuition pay for?
The comprehensive fee includes academic tuition, room and board (three meals per day), as well as regular academic advising. It includes all local transportation for program activities, orientation and the counterpart scholarship (an income off-set plan that allows the student’s counterpart to participate 3 to 4 hours per day for the entire semester). It also includes the following excursion costs: transportation to and from excursion sites, lodging and meals and activity fees for the international student and the community counterpart. It does not cover daily commuting costs for students during our Quito semesters or student travel, meals and lodging during the mid-semester break and other short vacations.
I go to a state school. Why is Rehearsing Change tuition higher than my US university tuition?
Our tuition is very competitive to other semester-long programs located in Ecuador, even less expensive in almost all cases. That being said, we understand that our tuition is higher than many international universities, most especially public institutions. However, the international student tuition pays for the counterpart’s educational experience, which means we are stretching these funds to serve community needs.
I cannot afford the tuition, are scholarships available?
There are no regular scholarships available; however, we actively pursue donations to provide need-based scholarships. Please write us to ask if we have funding available for the semester for which you are applying.
I don’t want to or can’t study abroad for an entire semester; do you have short-term programs available?
We have to be extremely careful with short term programming since Rehearsing Change needs to serve community development needs, and short term experiences often come across as tourism. That being said, since some of our partner communities have gained experience in working with international students, we are now open to customized programs. At this time, we only work with pre-arranged groups from partner colleges and universities, meaning that there are not opportunities for individual students to join existing short-term groups. Click here for more information.
Is living in the Amazon Rainforest dangerous?
The Amazon rainforest does provide its share of potential dangers: exposure to heat and humidity, the prevalence of insects, the possibility of spider or snake bites, twisting an ankle or similar injuries due to the nature of rainforest trails, etc. While these are risks that all students must take into consideration, the possibility of a major health issue is extremely minimal. Chances of a safety incident, meaning a robbery or assault, are extremely low. Rehearsing Change takes the necessary precautions to prevent health and safety problems, and chooses its sites in accordance to reasonable access to medical resources/facilities. Additionally, as part of our agreement with USFQ, students are required to purchase international health and medical evacuation insurance plans. Finally, we also provide an extensive health and safety orientation in Quito.
Do I need to take malaria medication the entire time?
This is a decision that the student must make with his/her family and a medical professional. What we can offer are comments made by medical professionals in Ecuador, most specifically that there has not been a case of Malaria near our communities for many years. In the area of our current counterpart community, it has been more than a decade since a case of malaria. World Health Organization statistics show near eradication, measured at 0.14 cases per 1000 inhabitants in the entire Ecuador Amazon region.
What vaccinations are required?
Yellow Fever is the only required vaccine. You can get this after arrival in Ecuador for approximately $20, which is much cheaper than the cost in the US. While it is the same vaccine, we understand that certain families prefer to receive vaccinations in their home country. Other vaccinations are recommended by medical professionals, so please consult with your family physician.
Does Rehearsing Change provide insurance?
Rehearsing Change does not provide health and emergency insurance to students; however, we do offer need-based health insurance scholarships. If your home school does not provide you with the necessary insurance coverage, which you can find on our application, please inquire about applying for the health insurance scholarship via email. Most applicants that apply receive the scholarship.
What requirements does Rehearsing Change have of its applicants?
As pre-requisites, successful applicants are generally expected to have an advanced level of Spanish (at least 4 semesters of university-level coursework or demonstrated equivalency). Students must pass an on-line Spanish exam administered by USFQ or be interviewed in Spanish via Skype. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, there are no other strict coursework pre-requisites for admission. Of course, students must be excited about living in challenging circumstances without certain amenities
Will I learn an indigenous language?
In the Ecuadorian Amazon there are indigenous communities, mestizo communities and mixed communities. Our current counterpart community is mestizo, meaning Spanish-speaking only, but we also work with indigenous communities, who mostly speak their native languages, the most common of which is Kichwa. That being said, most members of these communities also speak Spanish, as that is the language they learned in school. The language of all our courses is Spanish.
Is there an application fee and deposit fee?
Currently there is no application fee.
What is Rehearsing Change's refund policy?
We have a slightly stricter refund policy than some programs because of our work with local communities. For each international student, we invite a local counterpart to participate in the same program. If there is an international student withdrawal, we do all we can to maintain the participation of the local counterpart. Download our full policy.
Where can we find you on social media?
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