Today was my first day on campus at USFQ. Early in the morning, I took the bus with my host mother to the university. The views were beautiful during the drive. We could see Cotopaxi, one of the large volcanoes, valleys and rivers. Since the buses are crowded and theft is a major issue, it was recommended that I put my backpack in front instead of on my back, something that will take some getting used to.
The university’s campus is extremely beautiful but small in comparison to a campus in the United States. I thought it was even smaller than some of the small liberal arts colleges I have visited in the US. The views certainly aren’t small. From the university one can see mountains, valleys, and the city of Quito.
Orientation was very long, and it felt like I was a freshman again. Everything was in English but it was still an information overload. Just living here and taking things one at a time is enough. We went over health and safety, activities, the Ecuabuddies program where I can meet domestic students, and more.
Once I got home, I was tired but also felt like there was a lot of planning to do. Luckily I am not as busy as my host sisters, though. They attend a different university that has already started. Classes are every day and many days are 6 hours or more, in addition to homework! This means that they don’t have much time to do anything else. I had more time even during my challenging spring term last year!