HELPFUL INFORMATION / FAQ

This information is here to help you with some of our most common questions. If you do not see an answer to a question you are looking for go ahead and contact us on our contacts page!

FOR STUDENTS

Do I need a passport?

Yes you do.  It must be valid and not have an expiration date within 6 months of your travel.

Do I need a visa?

Yes you do because you will stay longer than 90 days. We will be sending you the requirements and steps to get your visa.

What are the dates of the semester?

This information is provided on the individual course pages under opportunities and under the course calendar.

Who can I call in an emergency?

In the United States & Ecuador:

Philip J Payne: Program Director 

Phone- 1(805)823-5839 

Email- ppayne@livingandlearninginternational.com

In Ecuador:

Bryan Cole: Assistant Program Director

Phone- 1(719)258-8754

Email- cole.bryanc@gmail.com

In the United States:

Heidi Williams: Administrative Assistant

Phone- 1(209)678-6848

Email- hwilliams@livingandlearninginternational.com

What airline and airport should I use?

Our recommendation is to find a good fare. American, Delta, United and Continental will connect in the United States…(Miami, Atlanta or Houston)…LACSA, Copa, and TAME will connect in Central America. All of them are good options.. You will fly into Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito (uio is the airport code)

Who will pick me up at the airport?

A leader from Living and Learning Semester Program will be there to meet you. The airport is easy and organized. You will land, go through immigration where they will stamp your passport and then claim your luggage and leave.

Where will I be staying and how will I get around?

You will be staying in a clean and safe apartment in Quito for most of your time. This apartment is well known to us and willbe properly supervised by our staff. Home stays will be in homes of Ecuadorians that we know and trust. We will have buses for transportation. Quito also has a good public transportation system. Taxis are also available and reasonable.

Is it safe?

Although the government changes and volcanoes make the news… we are safe here in Quito.  There is occasionally “petty” crime like pick-pocketing…but there is not violent crime. Student safety is L&LI’s highest priority. Due to L&LI’s long experience with risk assessment, emergency preparedness, and crisis managament, L&LI is able to adapt quickly to dynamic international challenges. Given that socioeconomic, political, environmental, and medical conditions vary, L&LI specifically tailors health, safety and security measures to current circumstances.

L&LI staff are dedicated to addressing health, safety, and risk management issues first from a preparation and prevention approach to reduce risks and second, from an incident response approach that functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The various types of health and safety situations that arise for individual students are reported to the RCs or Director of Student Life, who works with the Assistant Director and Program Director to respond carefully,appropriately, and swiftly. L&LI staff are trained in risk assessment and crisis management. L&LI infuses safety and security throughout the program curriculum. Key elements of the L&LI model help minimize in-country safety, including:

° Orientation: during the initial orientation period, L&LI staff educate students about potential safety risks and strategies for students to keep themselves safe within their new context. L&LI staff provides further safety and security briefings at key junctures throughout the semester, most notably at times of movement or travel to different locations throughout the country, and at times where public transportation is utilized.

° Homestays: homestays provide students with grounding in the local culture, critical to building realistic perceptions of risk. Host families help students navigate their new surroundings by providing firsthand exposure to local norms, modeling culturally appropriate behavior, and giving precautionary advice about the local environment. Total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad just as it cannot be guaranteed anywhere. L&LI is committed to taking necessary steps to maximize student safety.

Should I bring my laptop?

YES. We would recommend you bring one for writing papers for class and for keeping in communication with others in Ecuador and at home. Internet will be provided in your apartment and at our Youth World offices.

Do I need any shots or immunizations?

Vaccinations: If you do not have one, ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccinations with the inoculation record and keep this with you. It is a yellow passport-size booklet, obtainable either from a hospital or from the state board of health. Everyone, traveler or not, should be up to date on routine vaccinations. 

ROUTINE VACCINAITONS-

+MMR (measles/mumps/rubella)

+varicella (if you have not had chickenpox)

+tetanus-diptheria (which should be administered every ten years)

+various booster shots as directed by your doctor. 

REQUIRED VACCINATIONS-

+Yellow Fever

+Hepatitis A 

+Hepatitis B

Malaria: Malaria is a parasitic blood disease characterized by fevers, chills, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue. Transmission of malaria occurs by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is critical for you to research and become informed of the risks associated with malaria and preventative measures against infection. Malaria medication is NOT required while traveling to Ecuador BUT please read malaria information on the CDC website. Discuss with your physician the risk of malaria in the areas you will be visiting weighed against known side-effects of anti-malarial drugs.                  

Will the classes be in English?

Yes…all classes (except Spanish class) will be taught in English. Some of the travel and trip options will be in Spanish…but even these we will provide translators into English.

What currency is used in Ecuador and how much spending money do I need?

Currency: Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar, so there is no need to exchange money. Ecuador accepts all U.S. coins and bills, but does mint its own coins (half dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies). ATMs are readily available for use; make sure you know your PIN. ATM fees are dependent upon your bank’s fees. Traditionally, a $3-5 fee per transaction is debited. Some businesses in Ecuador accept debit and credit cards, but most prefer cash, and often there is a 3% transaction fee associated with international debit and credit card use. Money for incidentals, clinic visits, pre medications, souvenirs, and independent travel plans are the responsibility of the student.

Spending Money: You might want to bring $100-300 in cash (preferably $1, $5 and $10 bills) due to the difficulty of using large bills and obtaining change in Ecuador. L&LI encourages students to open a joint account or add a parent/guardian to their current bank account in the case of needing funds deposited during their time abroad. Call your credit card, debit card and bank branch to communicate travel dates. ATMs are readily available for use; make sure you know your PIN. ATM fees are dependent upon your bank’s fees. Traditionally, a $3-5 fee per transaction is debited. Some businesses in Ecuador accept debit and credit cards, but most prefer cash, and often there is a 3% transaction fee associated with international debit and credit card use. Money for incidentals, clinic visits, pre medications, souvenirs, and independent travel plans are the responsibility of the student.

What is the food like?

Typical Ecuadorian food is rice, lentils, chicken and/ or beef. However, there are many different kinds of restaurants here and the food is excellent.

What happens if I get sick?

Medical care is readily available and there is a large HCJB missionary hospital within 10-15 minutes of anywhere you will be in Quito.

What if I need to back out, withdrawal or need a refund?

After students are confirmed to participate in Quito Semester they must notify the Quito Semester Program Director and the University Registrar, at your home institution, if they decide to withdraw from the program. Notifications must be in writing or by email. Depending on the date of notification, the following withdrawal/refund policies will be followed.

Students who are accepted into the Quito Semester, confirm their participation with the $500 non-refundable deposit, and withdraw 30 - 45 days before the posted start date for the program are responsible for paying $2,500 of the program fee.

Students who are accepted into the Quito Semester, confirm their participation with the $500 non-refundable deposit, and withdraw within 30 days of the posted start date are responsible for paying $2,500 of the program fee and an airline cancellation fee of the value of the ticket if we bought your ticket as part of the program.

Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the Quito Semester after the program begins may be eligible for a partial refund of the tuition. The program fee will not be refunded. All refunds and withdrawal fees are calculated from the date a written statement of withdrawal or dismissal is received by the Quito Semester Program Director and the University Registrar at your home institution.

FOR PARENTS

Who can I contact in an emergency?

In the United States & Ecuador:

Philip J Payne: Program Director

Phone- 1(805)823-5839

Email- ppayne@livingandlearninginternational.com

In Ecuador:

Bryan Cole: Assistant Program Director

Phone- 1(719)258-8754

Email- cole.bryanc@gmail.com

In the United States:

Heidi Williams: Administrative Assistant

Phone- 1(209)678-6848

Email- hwilliams@livingandlearninginternational.com

What should I expect?

It is a wonderful experience to have your children studying in an International setting.  It is also stretching and scary.  We want you to know that we will do everything possible to insure that your college student has a safe and lifeimpacting experience. Several of us onstaff have had our own children study in other countries and know first-handwhat it is like to let our own children go to a foreign land.

Can I visit my child?

L&LI encourages visitors and parents to see and experience student life in a different country during students’ time abroad. Due to program activities, there are blocks of time where visitors are not permitted. Please consult the semester calendar to be aware of these dates and times, particularly the Visit/Family week dates. This time is an ideal visit of 4 to 5 days, including a weekend. Parents and visitors alike are expected to prepare all travel plans, lodging, and activities during their stay. L&LI staff will be available to offer information, suggestions and assistance to visitors. Parents and visitors should understand that while visiting, the students are still expected to attend classes, internships, and other program activities. All costs associated with visiting are the responsibility of the parent and/or visitor.

How do I communicate with my child?

Staying in touch is a fantastic way to share in your son or daughter’s semester in Ecuador. We would recommend Skype or email as the best way to do this.

Can I send mail or a package?

Receiving mail is always a highlight. Please send cards and letters. If you decide to send a package – please remember that anything bigger than a 5 x 7 padded envelope probably will not arrive in time to your student. Mail all packages to :Your child’s name/Quito Semester AbroadYouth WorldCasilla 17- 17-691Quito, Ecuador South America

Health and safety information

Safety: Student safety is L&LI’s highest priority. Due to L&LI’s long experience with risk assessment, emergency preparedness, and crisis managament, L&LI is able to adapt quickly to dynamic international challenges. Given that socioeconomic, political, environmental, and medical conditions vary, L&LI specifically tailors health, safety and security measures to current circumstances.

L&LI staff are dedicated to addressing health, safety, and risk management issues first from a preparation and prevention approach to reduce risks and second, from an incident response approach that functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The various types of health and safety situations that arise for individual students are reported to the RCs or Director of Student Life, who works with the Assistant Director and Program Director to respond carefully,appropriately, and swiftly. L&LI staff are trained in risk assessment and crisis management. L&LI infuses safety and security throughout the program curriculum. Key elements of the L&LI model help minimize in-country safety, including:

° Orientation: during the initial orientation period, L&LI staff educate students about potential safety risks and strategies for students to keep themselves safe within their new context. L&LI staff provides further safety and security briefings at key junctures throughout the semester, most notably at times of movement or travel to different locations throughout the country, and at times where public transportation is utilized.

° Homestays: homestays provide students with grounding in the local culture, critical to building realistic perceptions of risk. Host families help students navigate their new surroundings by providing firsthand exposure to local norms, modeling culturally appropriate behavior, and giving precautionary advice about the local environment. Total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad just as it cannot be guaranteed anywhere. L&LI is committed to taking necessary steps to maximize student safety.

Health Information: You should talk to your doctor about the trip and any possible restrictions that may be necessary for you during the program. In particular, you should talk to your doctor about anti-malarial drugs and possible side effects. Be sure to discuss the current medications you are taking and how they may interact with other drugs or required vaccinations. The Center for Disease & Prevention (CDC) website (http://www.cdc.gov/travel) provides comprehensive health information and advice for general travel abroad. This site should answer most of your health-related questions and provide links to additional resources.

Medical Insurance: Medical insurance is included in the price and covers the program participant for the official on-site period of program. This is not an optional benefit; every Living and Learning participant will be covered by medical insurance coverage. Living dand Learning requires that all students have comprehensive insurance and has arranged for a group insurance policy. The benefits of the coverage include the following:

  • ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT BENEFIT
  • MEDICAL EXPENSE BENEFIT
  • REPATRIATION OF REMAINS BENEFIT
  • EMERGENCY MEDICAL EVACUATION
  • EMERGENCY REUNION BENEFIT
  • TRIP INTERRUPTION BENEFIT

Medical costs due to sickness, illness, or injury are the responsibility of the student. Any questions regarding insurance coverage, filing a claim, or medical bills should be directed to the Program Director. Be aware that the insurance provided is supplementary to any additional insurance coverage the student may already have; claims must be submitted to the student’s primary insurer first. L&LI has no control over any primary insurer’s policies or decisions regarding coverage.

**L&LI’s insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions that may result in emergency medical care. Consult with your physician regarding medications and/or treatment you may need while abroad. Depending on your physician’s advice, you may want to maintain, or purchase, additional health insurance that can be used overseas for certain conditions.**