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Study Abroad Opportunities at Hill College

09.04.13

Add Study Abroad to the growing list of options for Hill College students, whether they seek academic credit or continuing and workforce education. Beginning this summer, during the first summer session of 2014, students will be able to travel to Quito, Ecuador, to take classes, live with a Spanish-speaking family and travel as a group. 

Students will benefit from the straight-forward, comprehensible Spanish that is a trademark of the Sierra (mountain) region of Ecuador. Students from all over the world choose to study Spanish in Quito for that reason. 

Quito is home to many Spanish-language schools. Some are involved with outreach programs; some simply rent the space where they have classes. Instructor Drew Proctor has traveled to Quito during the last three summers with Hill College International Education as the goal. Proctor has researched the city and interviewed numerous language schools, deciding on one that meets Hill College students’ needs, and has earned certification through the Ecuadorian federal government.  

Upon arrival, students will take a written and oral test to determine their level of proficiency which will allow them to study with people of a similar ability level from all over the world. There will be no more than five students per class, and there will be weekly evaluations of progress. They will have class (en español) in the mornings and study together, tour the city and enjoy the culture in the afternoons. 

Chosen families have shared their home with students from abroad and have a bond with the school that lasts for years. Each student will have their own bedroom and there will be two students living with each family. The students will eat breakfast and dinner with the family and take part in family activities. During two weekends the students will take a group trip to outlying areas. Mindo is a tiny town in the middle of a cloud forest that boasts waterfalls, hummingbirds and people that truly understand the value of the people that visit their corner of the world. Otavalo has what may be the oldest market in the Americas. Natives take their livestock,  hand-made clothes and artwork to sell every Saturday.

On the Equator and at about 9,000 feet of altitude, the daily temperature in Quito, Ecuador, does not go above 85 degrees. When the sun sets over the Andes Mountains, the temperature drops to the 50’s. 

Quito was named the first UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in 1978. Its historic city center is rich with architecture that is considered the best-preserved in all of the Americas. Nationally-accredited guides share the interesting story of Quito’s intriguing past, which includes a pact between George Washington and Simón Bolívar (both Free Masons) to advance Ecuador’s independence from Spain.

Proctor has traveled through Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Dominican Republic, and has found Ecuador to be a quality destination for students of all ages. 

“Hill College students will return with much more than college credits, a fun experience or an interesting entry on their resume,” Proctor said. “They will gain a perspective that will serve them throughout life.”

For more information, contact Proctor at (817) 760-5910 or dproctor@hillcollege.edu.