Who is a typical Rehearsing Change student?
We are often asked this question, and everyone waits for us to list the most appropriate majors; however, we don't seek students from particular fields of study. (Truth be told: we find it a bit offensive to categorize a person as a "business major" or a "literature student.") And, in spite of our strong commitment to creative methodologies, we are not an arts program and are not looking for arts students. To date, only a few of our students have been arts majors of some kind. Rehearsing Change students have many of the following characteristics:
Those who seek to stretch their learning beyond the classroom, connecting education to real-life application.
Those who want to immerse themselves into community. (Note: we do not say immerse yourself in language, as that is simply a bi-product of living in community. Immersing yourself in language means we are too focused on your language acquisition and not on the mutual benefit with our partnering communities.)
Those who want to be part of a transformational educational experience that seeks to decolonize how we teach/learn.
Those who want to challenge themselves: as students, as change agents, as humans.
Those who are passionate about social change, yet know that it is part of lengthy process and thus demonstrate patience and flexibility.
Now, if you really need to know what majors our students have come from, here is a small list: International Studies, Latin American Studies, the Social Sciences (especially Political Science, Anthropology and Sociology), Spanish, Peace and Conflict Studies, Computer Science, Education, and Creative Writing.
We encourage our students to do their research before they study abroad with Rehearsing Change. For us, this means reading directly from the evaluations of previous students. In our alums' words, you will notice that our program is extremely rewarding, yet also incredibly challenging, and by no means for everyone. Doing education as we do it implies a certain level of uncertainty, considerable changes in living conditions, not to mention risking the uncomfortable. We are only sharing the thoughts of past international students; you can read evaluations from local participants on our principal Testimonials page.
"Rehearsing Change will prompt you to think about yourself and your place in relation to other people in the world. It will be important to share but also to listen. You are being welcomed into other people’s lives, so it is important to be open, curious, and willing to go wherever that road takes you. Our motto for the semester was “unclear”: What time are we supposed to be meeting? Unclear. What is this that we’re eating? Unclear. Wait — how did that just happen? Unclear. Where is this event we’re going to? Unclear. What did he just say? Unclear (especially at first Spanish can be challenging). Why are we tugging our classmates across the floor? Unclear. I say this not as a criticism but to illustrate a point. Just as life is frequently unclear, I think anyone considering Rehearsing Change needs to feel comfortable knowing that you may ask more questions than you get answers to." - Ruby Goldberg (Brown University), Spring '16
"At first, I was terrified and excited to study with local counterparts in Quito and in the Amazon. I was worried my Spanish wouldn't be good enough and that the cultural barriers would ensure I wouldn't make strong relations. I couldn't have been more wrong. Working with my local counterparts was life-changing. Sometimes it was really difficult because of our differences, but that's what made the experience so rewarding. My counterparts became so much more classmates. They are now my close friends, my family." - Stephanie Kridlo (American University), Spring '16
"...to be totally available to listening and supporting your counterparts while growing, learning, and sharing alongside them... A student who is adaptable to change, who desire to create their own experience within the curriculum, and who finds joy in the art of making with them self and with others." - Bronte Velez (Brandeis University), Spring '15
"Rehearsing Change demonstrates how interconnected our world and studies really are. Therefore, the ideal student is someone who is looking for a challenge...someone who is open-minded, flexible, and eager to learn in diverse settings with local students. I would recommend this program for socially conscious scholars who have a thirst for adventure and want to explore a new model of education for social change." - Liza Sweitzer (American University), Spring '16
"Students must be flexible, adaptive, familiar with Spanish, and have the drive to challenge themselves outside their comfort zones and within very real and challenging circumstances or communities. Imagination is also key to any student applying to Rehearsing Change. Also, a background in politics, sociology, arts, Latin American studies, ecology, and other related fields would be best." - Anthony Torres (American University), Spring '15
"This program challenges the status quo, pushing the boundaries of what education and learning look like... The arts are important, but you need not be an arts student. I know I was intimidated at the prospect of doing theatre... but we actually practice what we're learning in this program." - Ellie Rice (Juniata College), Spring '15
"You should study abroad to push your understanding of yourself and others. This program pushes you to live with and understand others from backgrounds which can differ dramatically from your own. In this program you are not just studying in a country, you're studying with a country. You work alongside people who have new perspectives and ideas that will stick with you." - Evan Oravec (American University), Spring '16
One of the best ways to know if Rehearsing Change is right for you is by reading testimonials and then follow up with one of our interns. All of our full-time interns are graduates of the Rehearsing Change program who are currently working with us in Ecuador. Please send them your questions or request to have a video call with them.