The fifth iteration of the SEC took place took place in Ecuador this year with 18 delegates participating from seven member institutions (University of Edinburgh, University of Connecticut, National University of Singapore, University of New South Wales, University of Birmingham, University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland). Prior to the fieldwork element of the programme, delegates attended a series of in-country orientation sessions and lived with home-stay families where they undertook technical training sessions and Spanish lessons. Following this, students travelled to ‘Satellite Sites’ (Zamora and Principal) to participate in project work. Projects undertaken by the SEC this year included ‘Water Day’ (promoting water filtration and its benefits) and ‘Women’s Health and Hygiene’. Delegates had the opportunity to participate in these and other innovative projects and judging by the student testimonials below it was a very worthwhile experience!
“I particularly enjoyed my homestay experiences, which provided an amazing cultural perspective and experience into the local communities. Nothing builds empathy more than living and interacting with the people in the community. I was not a fluent Spanish speaker, but in the communities, I realized that the only currency one needs to build friendship and trust is a willingness to try and smile. For me, that was the greatest takeaway.”
Xu Jie Ng (National University of Singapore)
The past summer spent in Ecuador was the best summer I ever had. Most of all, being given the chance to homestay with locals allowed me to fully immerse myself in the Ecuadorian lifestyle while forging deep relationships with the locals we were working with. I left Ecuador with new friends from all over the world and a fresh perspective on humanity and these are things I will treasure for a lifetime!”
Anne Hwarng (National University of Singapore)