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Higher Education Study Tour (June 2018)

Trip Details

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Trip Dates

May. 30th, 2018 to Jun. 9th, 2018
(10 days)

2

Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

6

Attractions

Higher Education / Culture / Food / Architecture / Landmark / People / Museums / Lectures

Trip Pricing

  • Early Bird Pricing:

    $2,200

    Apply By: Feb. 15th, 2018
  • Standard Pricing:

    $2,400

    Apply By: Apr. 1st, 2018
  • Make a Reservation

Summer 2018 brings to our participants our 6th annual higher education study tour. This 11 day academic tour examines the major facets of the Ecuadorian system of higher education in the XXI century. Through lectures by local experts, site visits, and the opportunity to be immersed in the local culture, participants will obtain a better grasp of the reality of this Andean country and its educational system. This study tour hopes to bring together a group of colleagues from several institutions and is centered on comparing and contrasting higher education in Ecuador and the U.S. This year the theme of the study tour is: "Global Citizenship: The Role of Education in Ecuador. This study tour will examine the experiences of local students, faculty, and staff enrolled and working in K-12 and Higher Education institutions.

Highlights

Academic Visit Highlights:

►Visits to local public and private universities                                                   

►Meet local professors, scholars, and administrators                                       

►Discuss issues in higher education with government officials 

►Interact and Learn from students                                      

►Visit local high schools and meet K-12 administrators

► Present your work and research at a local institution


Site Visit Highlights:

►Learn about local culture, traditions, and the region

►Walk around the best preserved colonial center in the world

►Relax in beautiful Hot Springs on the Andes

►Discover new flavors and taste local food

►Visit local museums

►Get yourself some souvenirs in the local handcraft market

►Visit the middle of the world



Services

What services are included in the tour fee?

♦ Small Group Experience (Max. 13 Participants)

♦ Fully Furnished Apartment Style Accommodations

♦ Academic Seminars (Lectures, Site Visits, Tours, Materials)

♦ Private Guided Daily Tours

♦ Private Transportation

♦ 3 Daily Meals as Indicated in the Itinerary

♦ One transfer from and to airport in Quito with the Group

♦ Entrance Fee for Local Attractions Included in Itinerary

♦ Pre-departure information and Staff Assistance

♦ Bottled Water

♦ Farewell Reception


What services are NOT included in the study tour fee?

ø International Airfare

ø Additional Transportation Services not Included in Itinerary

ø Souvenirs and Miscellaneous

ø Tipping and Gratuities (Under $50 per person for entire trip)

ø Additional Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks

ø Travel and Medical Emergency Insurance

Cost

Cost Details

Faculty / Administrators:

Study Tour Fee: $2,700   (Early Bird Registration February 15: $2,500)

Graduate Students:

Study Tour Fee: $2,400 (Early Bird Registration February 15: $2,200)


What are additional costs that I should consider?

Roundtrip Airfare: $750 (Roundtrio Calculated from Washington DC)

Extra Cash: $100 - 150 (i.e., souvenirs, additional food and beverages, alcoholic drinks, tips, miscellaneous)

Medical and Travel Insurance: $45-75


When can I pay for the study tour?                                               

Date

Faculty

Grad. Student

April 1: Application Deadline $300$300
April 15$1,200$1,000
May 1 $1,200$1,100


*Accommodations: Tour Fee based on double room accommodations with shared bathroom. If you would like a private room, please request this in advance. Additional fees apply.

a) Each double room has one bathroom

b) Traveling with a colleague: You can both select to room together in a double room with a private bathroom.

c) We recommend you have extra cash to cover additional expenses not included in our tour. Past participants report spending between $100 - 150 (i.e., souvenirs, tips, alcoholic drinks, miscellaneous)

d) TOTAL cost shown based on early bird registration of March 1

d) Early Bird Registration (Feb. 15): Discount of $200 will be applied to the May 1 payment (Faculty/Administrator: $1,000; Graduate Student: $900)

FAQ

  • Q.Who can take part in this study tour?

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    Our study tour invites current or retired teachers, faculty and/or administrators, graduate students at two or four-year institutions, or professionals with an interest in higher education. Participants do not need to be experts on the study tour topic or region. Our study tour is designed to serve individuals interested in examining issues in higher education from an interdisciplinary perspective. The study tour will accept a maximum of 13 participants. Participants come at different stages in their career (junior, senior, emeritus) and with a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds. Likewise, participants represent many institutions across the country. A few of the institutions represented by past participants in our study tour include:


    Buffalo State University     Higher Learning Commission    NorthWest Missouri State  

    Baruch College                 University of Oklahoma           Georgia Southern

    Boston College                 University of Minnesota           University of St. Thomas

    University of Denver         University of Michigan             University of Richmond

    Fresno State University     Eastern Michigan University     Cardinal Stritch University

    UC. - Long Beach             Michigan State University         Rutgers University

    Columbia University          Northeastern University           UW-Madison

    University of Florida

  • Q.Where is the tour taking place?

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    On the imaginary line that divides the globe into North and South, Ecuador stands as one of only 17 countries on earth considered as mega-diverse. Ecuador is “home to about 3,300 species of orchids, more than 1,500 species of birds, 350 species of reptiles, 450 species of amphibians, and more than 20,000 vascular plants” This diversity is also reflected on its people, with an ethnically mixed population representing Spanish and indigenous roots. Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and lies 9,000 feet above sea level.  Quito, our host city, is the capital of Ecuador. Quito was the first city named by UNESCO a “world heritage” city in 1978, and recently was named "cultural capital" of Latin America.

    With a population of 2.4 million, Quito offers one of the best preserved colonial centers in the world, combining a rich history with a contemporary metropolitan image. National Geographic named Quito one of the top 10 places to visit in the world. The study tour offers several excursions including a visit to Quito’s famous colonial center, a day to relax in Papallacta Hot Springs, the opportunity to visit the center of the world, and a visit to one of the largest waterfalls in the country. (A complete itinerary will be shared with each participant)  


  • Q.How and When should I book my airfare?

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    How should I book my airfare?

    Airfare is not included on the price of this tour. Because our participants come from many different places, you will book your ticket on your own from the location is most convenient to you! Most participants will flight directly to Quito from MIAMI after their first connection (Quito is only a 3.5 hour flight from Miami). Participants will receive detailed flight information and arrival/departure time for guidance when booking this ticket. All participants must arrived and depart at indicated times.

    When should I book my airfare?

    Our goal is to confirm the study tour by April 1. You will receive a written confirmation and directions about booking your ticket at this point after you have been accepted to the program. DO NOT book your ticket without our confirmation in writing.

  • Q.How and When should I reserve a spot for the study tour?

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    The study tour is based on a minimum number of participants enrolled (minimum: 5 participants - maximum 12). We recommend that you reserve your spot for the study tour as soon as you are ready to commit since there is limited space available. We have a rolling admissions process and will be admitting participants as they apply.

    Our application deadline is April 1 (EARLY BIRD: February 15)

    All applications must be submitted with the $300 registration deposit. Refer to installments dates for all payments. We aim to confirm the trip immediately after reviewing applications and securing the minimum number of participants for the tour.

    Please review all trip details and logistics and request an application directly from My Ecuador Trip.


    Applications After Deadline: If space is available, participants can apply. Please contact us for inquiries.


  • Q.Study Tour Leadership

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    Dr. Raul Leon is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Eastern Michigan University. Born and raised in Ecuador, Dr. Leon has a passion for traveling and discovering new places.  Dr. Leon earned his B.A. in International Relations from St. Cloud State University (SCSU). He also holds a master’s degree in International Public Affairs (International Development in Latin America) and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, both degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Dr. Leon has several years of experience working closely with international education programs and initiatives. These experiences include working with the Center for International Studies at SCSCU, developing marketing campaigns for over 100 study abroad programs with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, building strong relationships between international students and the campus community with International Reach, and serving as a program coordinator for the International Learning Community with University Housing. 

    In addition to these experiences at the university level, Dr. Leon is a native from Ecuador and has provided leadership for My Ecuador Trip, organizing and leading educational and cultural trips. Aligned with his professional interests, in 2012, Dr. Leon co-organized an international colloquium at the University of Leeds (U.K.) focusing on the experiences of males of color across the globe. During 2012, Dr. Leon was also invited by the Universidad Catolica de Concepcion (Chile) to conduct a workshop for over 250 students, faculty, and administrators, examining current higher education challenges and opportunities in the United States. Dr. Leon has organized several educational tours to Ecuador and is eager to lead our 5th Study Tour in Ecuador

  • Q.Why to explore Society and Higher Education in Ecuador?

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    Today, Ecuador's government seeks to move forward in a globalized world that places great value on developing citizens capable of competing on this knowledge economy. At the center of this process, Ecuador's government has turned their attention to a major overhauling of the country's troubled higher-education system and views higher education reform as a "prerequisite to development"  At the present time, major changes are taking place in the areas of teaching, student access, accountability, and finances. As stated by the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa (Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), these changes are imperative, and “If we don’t change higher education, the country won’t move forward” (Lloyd, 2010)

    Today, Ecuador's government seeks to move forward in a globalized world that places great value on developing citizens capable of competing on this knowledge economy. At the center of this process, Ecuador's government has turned their attention to a major overhauling of the country's troubled higher-education system and views higher education reform as a "prerequisite to development"  At the present time, major changes are taking place in the areas of teaching, student access, accountability, and finances. As stated by the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa (Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), these changes are imperative, and “If we don’t change higher education, the country won’t move forward” (Lloyd, 2010)

    During our time in Ecuador, we will be engaged with an exploration of the following topics:

    - Identify characteristics defining the experiences of students in colleges and universities in Ecuador

    - Explore notions of student success in Ecuador

    - Compare and contrast how different types of institutions operate in Ecuador

    - Analyze the current reform and re-accreditation process in Ecuador

    - Analyze and synthesize information from diverse sources and incorporate them into their understanding of a new culture

    - Gain exposure to current issues, populations served, operational units, history, and other aspects relevant to the evolution of higher education in Ecuador

    - Draw comparisons to the work/life balance for staff and faculty currently working in educational institutions in Ecuador

  • Q.What are the Potential Study Tour Outcomes for Individuals and Institutions?

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    My Ecuador Trip believes that international educational opportunities are central to the development of professionals, in particular those who interact and serve students. The main goal for our international study tour is to expose graduate students, faculty, and administrators to the general characteristics of higher education in Ecuador. Our study tour offers participants the opportunity to visit local institutions of higher education, participate in lectures and discussion, attend events aligned with the main theme of the study tour. Highlights from our past Study Tours include visits to:

    - Visits to local universities

    - Discussions with local professors, scholars, and administrators

    - Visits to the Department of Education and Government Officials                            

    - Presenting our work and research at a local conference

    - Meetings with local student representatives                                      

    - Guided tours of local High Schools and meetings with K-12 administrators

    The goals of our program are:

    - Enlarge the number of graduate students, faculty and staff who have exposure to international issues

    - Encourage participants to consider different ideas and perspectives, and reflect upon personal beliefs in the context of a new country and culture

    - Explore issues from a multitude of perspectives with colleagues from different institutions

    - Expose participants to ideas, research, collaboration opportunities, and other environments where creativity and innovation are fostered

    - Examine ideas to internationalize the curriculum

    - Encourages thoughtful intellectual exchanges focusing on student affairs and higher education

    - Discuss opportunities to organize short term study abroad or service learning trips

    - Share experience with the local campus and community

    - Opportunities to conduct research abroad

    - Use analytical skills to examine topics discussed 

  • Q.Can I sign up for academic credit for the study tour?

    -

    Participants have received academic credit (independent study) for participation in this study tour. They coordinated this credit prior departure and paid fees for tuition to their home institution. Dr. Leon will be happy to provide you with a sample syllabus or projects to complete during the study tour.

  • Q.Does the study tour incorporate time to explore our host city?

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    Our tours are carefully designed to offer participants the opportunity to explore Ecuador and familiarize with the local culture. The tour has many aspects that are educational, recreational, cultural, and also offer activities to simply relax and have fun. All excursions are carefully designed for an itinerary that is fun, enriching, and safe. A staff member from My Ecuador Trip will serve as a group leader and will guide the group through their journey. Transportation is provided for every tour. Some of the unique destinations for our study tour include:                                                                       

    ♣ Indigenous Craft Market              ♣ Middle of the World & Pululahua Crater

    ♣ Colonial Cathedrals                     ♣ Sky-Lift Ride at 13,000 ft          

    ♣ Rain Forest and Waterfalls           ♣ Ecuadorian Cultural House

    ♣ Hot Springs                                  ♣ Guayasamin Museum

  • Q.What can we expect from our accommodations?

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    Participants will have the unique opportunity to spend time with a local family that manages the residence where we will stay. This is a fully furnished 4 level apartment style accommodations. These modern apartments have been carefully decorated and offer amenities such as a living room, dining room, and kitchen space to help you relax and enjoy your visit. We believe it is essential to provide not only comfort and safety, but also a special insight to the local culture. That is why we keep our tour size to a maximum of 13 participants and offer a smaller intimate property for our guests to truly make this visit a unique experience for each visitor.  Our staff will make sure you have a pleasant experience offering support 24/7.  Program Fee: Based on double room accommodations with a roommate and one private bathroom. Roommate assignments can be requested. Otherwise, they will be made based on participant’s professional background, interest, institution, travel experience. In the past, this has allowed participants to build strong friendships and professional relationships. 


  • Q.How about our transportation?

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    Safety and reliability are our priority when traveling across Ecuador. Each trip enjoys a professional driver and a vehicle (e.g., van or motor coach) that will only serve the group for the duration of their stay. This vehicle stays with us at all times, which provides maximum flexibility in our schedule, and allows us to make changes and adapt to local conditions if necessary. This is the kind of support and service we are committed to.

    In some occasions, the tour incorporates the use of public transportation or other methods of transportation. In this case, participants will receive this information during orientation and it will be described in the itinerary.

  • Q.How about our meals?

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    Coming to Ecuador is the perfect opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in this country. All meals included are clearly labeled in the trip description. With our expertise, we have selected a number of places that will offer you an authentic food experience, sampling local flavors, enjoying places where you will come face to face with locals, sharing traditions, and above all, eating like a local. To build rapport amongst participants, groups eat together.

  • Q.What is the degree of difficulty for the activities organized?

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    Academic Site Visits: For academic site visits participants should be prepared for walking and or standing for some periods of time. Some days there will be no walking and other days walking time may exceed 1-2 hours (broken up into shorter blocks). There are many occasions when we are not walking consistently but we are on our feet for several hours over the course of the day. For instance, when we make site visits, we may have to walk around, climb stairs, or stand up. MY ECUADOR TRIP

    Excursions and Tours. Our tours involve moderate hikes in the city, rainforests, plains, and national parks. Our tour involves getting out of vehicles, walking on uneven terrain, and in some cases hiking in places with high elevation and some humidity. Our tours are suited for anyone who can walk up to 2-5 km (1.5 - 3 miles) per day. In the past, we have welcomed participants with different medical conditions. Please send us an email if you would like to find out more information about the level of activity and accommodation for each tour.


  • Q.Do you need medical / travel insurance to participate in this tour?

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    All participants must secure medical travel insurance coverage PRIOR the trip. This insurance should cover you for the entire duration of the trip. While many participants may already be covered by a medical insurance policy, your policy for this tour must include travel, medical, emergency repatriation, overseas coverage, and travel/trip cancellation (For additional details and a description of risks, please refer to our liability contract).

    All participants must present proof of insurance in writing to My Ecuador Trip prior departure (i.e., copy of online receipt/policy with your name). My Ecuador Trip does not endorse the following travel insurance providers but includes their contact information for your reference

    iNext card:  http://www.inext.com/plans/supplemental/basic.aspx

    CMI Insurance Worldwide: https://www.cmi-insurance.com/default.aspx

    STA Travel Insurance: http://www.statravel.com/international-travel-insurance.htm

    Insurance Purchased Through Orbitz when you book your ticket

  • Q.Health Considerations

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    Health Considerations

    Each participant should consult a doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We highly recommend that you carry with you all personal medications needed (e.g., headache tablets, antibiotics, etc). When booking this tour, please carefully read about the physical demands of the itinerary. Please note that Quito is a city in the Andes mountains with high altitude (medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet). We have not have any issues in the past, but because everyone reacts to altitude differently, and only you know your health and fitness level, please consult with your physician prior the trip.

    Do you need vaccinations prior traveling to Ecuador?

    All our programs take place in locations where no vaccinations are needed. These areas have no risk of malaria or yellow fever.

  • Q.Do you need a visa to visit Ecuador?

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    At the present time, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Ecuador for a period shorter than 90 days. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must check with your own government agency and/or the consulates of all countries visited for entry and visa requirements for your nationality.

  • Q.Should you bring cash to Ecuador?

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    Yes. Each trip details an estimated amount of cash participants will need to bring to cover additional expenses (i.e., souvenirs, alcoholic drinks, tips, miscellaneous). However, because every participant is different spending money requirements will vary. Please consider your own spending habits. In addition, it is always a good idea to have extra cash/emergency fund in case you find the souvenir of your dreams or need to make an unexpected purchase.

    Ecuador’s official currency since 2001 is the U.S. dollar. If you bring cash, please bring smaller bills (locals do not accept $50 or $100 dollar bills). We highly discourage bringing traveler checks.

    Credit Cards: ATMs are available. However, you need to check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. Also, we recommend that withdrawing cash from an ATM will be for emergency purposes only, considering that our itinerary might take us to places where ATMs are not available.

  • Q.What should I pack?

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    Every participant will receive detailed packing information prior departure. We will be happy to answer any additional question.

  • Q. What is your cancellation policy?

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    Participant Cancellation:

    Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing 60 days before the trip date less a $300 processing fee. If you decide to cancel your participation in the study tour 60 to 30 days before for any reason, we will refund 50% of your total payments (not including $300 processing fee). Cancellations under 30 days before the trip dates will not be entitled to any refunds. No partial refunds are given for unused meals, hotel rooms, airport transfers, or other program activities, for any reason whatsoever. All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing to [email protected]

    Only cancellations under 30 days are eligible for credit for a future tour (travel or study tour) minus the $300 application fee and any other expenses inquired by My Ecuador Trip. If credit is used, this tour must be booked within one year after the original tour date. No refunds will be given if the tour is not booked within that time frame. My Ecuador Trip will have no further liability with the participant.


    Tour Cancellation:

    The Study Tour may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances by My Ecuador Trip. In this case My Ecuador Trip will refund all study tour fees and has no further liability to the participant. My Ecuador Trip will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, travel insurance, and/or travel agencies. Please note that under no circumstances My Ecuador Trip is responsible for any flight cancellation or flight change charges incurred. My Ecuador Trip is not responsible for weather or travel-related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues. We would like to mention that we have never cancelled a trip.


    Travel Warning Cancellation

    In case of an act of war, terrorism, or the threat of an act of terrorism. Participants will receive a full refund (less the $300 processing fee that will be applied for a future trip) should all of the following conditions be met: (a) a terrorist act, or threats of terrorist acts occur(s), which is directed against U.S. interests on U.S. soil or in U.S. airspace or directed against U.S. interests in any other country or in international airspace; and (b) as a result of these events, a formal Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State, stating that Americans should not travel to Ecuador ad any other country or countries that are included in the participant’s tour itinerary; and (c) the formal Travel Warning by the U.S. Department of State is issued within 30 days of the participant’s departure.


  • Q.Study Tour Itinerary Disclaimer

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    Each participant will receive a detailed itinerary closer to the trip's dates. Each participant will also receive a detailed list of how to prepare, packing, and other pertaining information. While it is our intention to adhere to itinerary described for each tour, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into each itinerary and My Ecuador Trip deserves the right to make alterations when necessary and at the discretion of My Ecuador Trip staff. Travel can be unpredictable, and the itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region.  In addition any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered and travel times will be changed according to local circumstances.

     

     

Itinerary

  • Q.Day 1: Arrive to Quito

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    Arrive to Quito - Welcome to Ecuador

    Planned Arrival Time: Evening. Welcome to Quito. Your exciting adventure in Ecuador begins with a fantastically orchestrated itinerary. Quito is home to beautiful colonial cathedrals, elegant old mansions, captivating museums, and probably the best weather on the entire planet (average temperature 65 -70 degrees year-round). Quito is located in the beautiful Andes Mountains and is recognized for having the best-preserved colonial center in the world. Private transportation and a staff member will welcome you at the local airport and bring you to your accommodations. Rest, relax, and prepare for a great journey. Group welcome meeting and orientation the following morning.

  • Q.Day 2

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    Program Orientation

    Welcome to Ecuador! We are excited to have you here! This morning you will meet other participants and our staff. The program orientation will provide an overview of our host city, highlight logistic information, describe day-to-day plans, and answer any questions you may have. A great breakfast of fresh and delicious Ecuadorian food will be served to start your journey.


    Our itinerary is in progress. We are carefully working to make this a great higher education study tour. More details will be available on March 15, 2015.

  • Q.

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