Review of Galapagos from Program-mates Part 1: Food, Housing, Classes, & Activities

Eudora Erickson
December 9, 2015

It is finally at that point – one day left before we leave the Galapagos.  For me, I still can’t really tell if these last four months were real life…. I spent 4 months with people I had just met, at the beach everyday, traveling every weekend, and making friends with wild animals. Wow, what an experience.    

Now, to tie it all together, I’ve interviewed 35 out of the 52 people in our program in regards to food, housing, classes, activities, the program, culture, lifestyle and adjusting to life in the Galapagos. This first part features the section on food, housing, and classes. Of course, most of these categories are impossible to quantify, but the ratings and quotes do give some insight about the program. 

For those of you that are coming on this program in the future, I hope this information gives you a picture on what to expect. I know I was nervous before coming on this program. For those that are reading for fun… well, there are some pretty entertaining quotes to say the least. 

Ratings are given “Stars” – 5 being the best

FOOD: Overall Average Rating 3.2 out of 5 stars
Cost: 4.3
Quality: 3.4
Variety: 2.1

Overall consensus is that the food here is very cheap, but with low variety and average quality. Most of the food here is grown in the highlands and is very fresh, but because the other food is transported here, there is limited variety.

Some viewpoints:
“There are no vegetables here….” – Elizabeth
“No more rice…I actually love rice though. But where are the veggies? I think I might have a heart attack…” – Carly
“I’m a huge foodie and can’t wait to get back to my kale and vitamix” – Jo

And yes, I took all these lunch pictures.

HOUSING & HOST FAMILY: Overall Average Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars
Accommodations: 4
Welcoming Attitude: 4.5

While some homes are limited on accommodations including Wi-fi, hot showers, and clothes drying machines, the general consensus is that the homestays here are wonderful. I heard from most all people: “ I love my host family so much!”. Most families here are welcoming and take us in as part of their family.

Some viewpoints:
“I don’t have wi-fi, but I don’t really care if I have wi-fi” – Sara
“My host family taught me how to make cultural dishes” – Amanda
“I don’t get a breeze in my room because I live right next to a chicken coop” – Arielle
“I went to my first Quincenera while here!” – Elena

CLASSES: Overall Average Rating 3.9 out of 5 stars
Block style: 4.5
Rigor: 2.8
Field trips: 4.6

“The courses are challenging enough. but not too much that you’re stressed” – Margee

The classes here are organized into modules. We have class from 9-12 everyday and the same class for three weeks. Most people feel positively about this in terms of the abroad program, but would not necessarily recommend for their home universities. In regards to the block program, Emily comments, “There is too much work for such a short period of time”. The field trips are amazing and definitely not something that we experience at our home universities.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: Overall Average Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars
Beaches: 4.4
Water Activities: 4.8
Animals: 5 (100% consensus!)

Consensus is that there is high abundance of outdoor activities with amazing animals. In fact, everyone rated the animals as 5/5 stars!  There is a lot to do here, but because a lot of the activities are outside, we are sometimes at loss of what to do when it is raining.

Some viewpoints:
“It’s cool to casually see rare and endemic animals everywhere” – Mikaela
“I was able to do 20 scuba dives here in 3 months” – Nick

Check out part two for more reviews of the culture, lifestyle, IES Abroad program, and adjusting to the Galapagos!

Eudora Erickson

<p><span style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'Lucida Sans', Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;">Senior at the University of Rochester studying economics, sustainability, and art. Pursuing a career in the corporate world but not-so-secretly a nature obsessed forest kid from Oregon and New Mexico.</span></p>

Home University:
University of Rochester
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