FAQS

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. We use an "old school" application, which allows us to not charge an application fee. If you have questions, do not hesitate to write us directly.




What do you mean by decolonial education?


“Decolonial” refers to equity. 1) Create a reciprocal relationship and co-create the program with local partners 2) Integrate local knowledge (& epistemologies) into all forms of learning, and 3) Focus on learning, but apply in practice/projects Our model of decolonial education re-imagines and re-creates how we do education.There is no top-down or outside-in methodology, rather we place our energy towards collective creation. This creation is rooted in liberation, play, movement, and our individual and collective stories. We respect, encourage, and celebrate multiple ways of learning and producing knowledge. All participants are treated as equals and all work is co-created between international students and local counterparts. Our model inherently resists traditional, colonial systems of education, aims to critically explore the dominant narratives of oppression, and continuously re-imagine just alternatives.




What is fair-trade study abroad & why should I care about it?


“Fair Trade” refers to equality. 1) Provide equal educational benefits for an equal or greater amount of local community participants 2) Understand formal and non-formal education as equally valuable, and 3) Divide available funding equally Each year our world becomes more and 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, our model changes the very structures of how we do education in a globalized society.




How do I know that the credit will transfer to my university?


We have agreements with all of our partner universities that allow the easy transfer of credits. If your university does not have an agreement with Rehearsing Change (meaning we are not on their list of accepted international programs), it is the student’s responsibility to speak with their study abroad advisor to assure that credits will transfer. Be sure to tell your advisors that our program is accredited by Juniata College (PA), which will provide you with your transcript shortly after the conclusion of the semester. If there are questions, whether from the student or advisor, we encourage them to write us directly at info@rehearsingchange.org




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 counterparts. It does not cover daily commuting costs for students during our Quito semesters or personal student travel, meals and lodging during the mid-semester break and other short vacations. Finally, it contributes to a Projects Fund that finances a project designed by the semester's cohort of international students and local counterparts to benefit the host community as part of our Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Projects course.




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. It is basically a "2 for the price of 1" tuition model.




Are there 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 such experiences often come across as tourism and do not serve community needs. That being said, many of our partner communities have accumlated such significant experience in working with international students that we are now co-creting customized programs between colleges/universities abroad and local Ecuadorian communities. In these programs, we maintain our fair-trade commitment by delegating leadership to experienced community counterparts. 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.




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.




What requirements does Rehearsing Change have of its applicants?


While we do have certain application requirements, we are willing to be flexible and view all of our applications on a case-by-case basis; we understand that someone's GPA does not tell their whole story. That said: 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 who do not meet this requirement will be interviewed in Spanish via Zoom to judge speaking and listening abilities. 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. Click here for more information on our requirements.




Is there an application fee? Is there a program deposit?


There is no application fee and we do not require a program deposit.




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 at least one 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. At this time, we refer you to our Spring 2022 plans document, since we have a special refund policy during the pandemic.




Where can we find you on social media?


Our Spanish-language Facebook page is Pachaysana and our English-language, study-abroad Facebook page is Rehearsing Change: Study Abroad. We also have an instagram, @rehearsing.change, where you can find regular updates on our programming.




Where will my transcript from my semester abroad with Rehearsing Change come from?


Your official transcript comes from our accrediting university in the U.S., Juniata College, in partnership with Pachsayana. You will be able to access copies at your convenience through National Clearing House.




I am paying my tuition, fees, room and board directly to Pachaysana. Do you offer payment plan options?


Full tuition and all fees are due one month prior to the start of the program; however, payment plans are available upon request. Usually we divide the costs into 4 equal payments paid monthly starting the month before the program, but are happy to arrange a special plan for each student. Please note that transcripts will not be available until the final payment is received.





Covid-19

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. We use an "old school" application, which allows us to not charge an application fee. If you have questions, do not hesitate to write us directly.




What do you mean by decolonial education?


“Decolonial” refers to equity. 1) Create a reciprocal relationship and co-create the program with local partners 2) Integrate local knowledge (& epistemologies) into all forms of learning, and 3) Focus on learning, but apply in practice/projects Our model of decolonial education re-imagines and re-creates how we do education.There is no top-down or outside-in methodology, rather we place our energy towards collective creation. This creation is rooted in liberation, play, movement, and our individual and collective stories. We respect, encourage, and celebrate multiple ways of learning and producing knowledge. All participants are treated as equals and all work is co-created between international students and local counterparts. Our model inherently resists traditional, colonial systems of education, aims to critically explore the dominant narratives of oppression, and continuously re-imagine just alternatives.




What is fair-trade study abroad & why should I care about it?


“Fair Trade” refers to equality. 1) Provide equal educational benefits for an equal or greater amount of local community participants 2) Understand formal and non-formal education as equally valuable, and 3) Divide available funding equally Each year our world becomes more and 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, our model changes the very structures of how we do education in a globalized society.




How do I know that the credit will transfer to my university?


We have agreements with all of our partner universities that allow the easy transfer of credits. If your university does not have an agreement with Rehearsing Change (meaning we are not on their list of accepted international programs), it is the student’s responsibility to speak with their study abroad advisor to assure that credits will transfer. Be sure to tell your advisors that our program is accredited by Juniata College (PA), which will provide you with your transcript shortly after the conclusion of the semester. If there are questions, whether from the student or advisor, we encourage them to write us directly at info@rehearsingchange.org




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 counterparts. It does not cover daily commuting costs for students during our Quito semesters or personal student travel, meals and lodging during the mid-semester break and other short vacations. Finally, it contributes to a Projects Fund that finances a project designed by the semester's cohort of international students and local counterparts to benefit the host community as part of our Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Projects course.




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. It is basically a "2 for the price of 1" tuition model.




Are there 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 such experiences often come across as tourism and do not serve community needs. That being said, many of our partner communities have accumlated such significant experience in working with international students that we are now co-creting customized programs between colleges/universities abroad and local Ecuadorian communities. In these programs, we maintain our fair-trade commitment by delegating leadership to experienced community counterparts. 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.




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.




What requirements does Rehearsing Change have of its applicants?


While we do have certain application requirements, we are willing to be flexible and view all of our applications on a case-by-case basis; we understand that someone's GPA does not tell their whole story. That said: 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 who do not meet this requirement will be interviewed in Spanish via Zoom to judge speaking and listening abilities. 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. Click here for more information on our requirements.




Is there an application fee? Is there a program deposit?


There is no application fee and we do not require a program deposit.




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 at least one 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. At this time, we refer you to our Spring 2022 plans document, since we have a special refund policy during the pandemic.




Where can we find you on social media?


Our Spanish-language Facebook page is Pachaysana and our English-language, study-abroad Facebook page is Rehearsing Change: Study Abroad. We also have an instagram, @rehearsing.change, where you can find regular updates on our programming.




Where will my transcript from my semester abroad with Rehearsing Change come from?


Your official transcript comes from our accrediting university in the U.S., Juniata College, in partnership with Pachsayana. You will be able to access copies at your convenience through National Clearing House.




I am paying my tuition, fees, room and board directly to Pachaysana. Do you offer payment plan options?


Full tuition and all fees are due one month prior to the start of the program; however, payment plans are available upon request. Usually we divide the costs into 4 equal payments paid monthly starting the month before the program, but are happy to arrange a special plan for each student. Please note that transcripts will not be available until the final payment is received.





Rehearsing change

Is living in the Amazon Rainforest dangerous?


The Amazon rainforest does provide its share of obstacles, but most of them are unlikely to affect students. These include exposure to heat and humidity, the prevalence of insects, the very slight 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 in the Amazon, 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. 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?


There are likely no required vaccines; however, each semester is a bit different and sometimes we go into one of Ecuador's national parks that does require a Yellow Fever vaccination. If this is the case in your semester, we will let you know so you can decide whether to get it in the U.S. or in Ecuador, where it is either free through the public health system or very inexpensive (approximately $25) through the private system, which is much cheaper than the cost in the US. Other vaccinations are recommended by medical professionals, so please consult with your family physician.





Amazon-Specific