Traveling all the way to Ecuador requires a lot of preparation. If your purpose of travel is academic, then it becomes all the more essential. South American topography, climatic conditions, cultural variations, languages, and lifestyles are not as popularly understood as those of North America and Europe, as a result of which we might find settlement here more challenging than otherwise. Hence, Ecuador is no exception. You must research plenty and prepare sincerely to ensure that your stay there while studying is comfortable and good.
As the title of the article suggests, we are going to take a look at how we can make things easy in the country. While I have jotted down only 5 tips, you should read more so that you can be well-informed about what it takes to study in Ecuador. Note that I have restricted my focus to Quito, it’s capital.
- Bring Cash
While many countries are going cashless, Ecuador tends to stay conventional for its own reasons. Note that the country uses the US dollar which is readily exchangeable. However, it is advised that you should bring smaller denominations because you will require a lot of change. Big denominations are difficult to go about with but are readily accepted in multiplexes. Otherwise, for transportation and street food, you are expected to keep smaller denominations. You may want to get centavos, which are Ecuadorian coins sharing value with those in the United States. So, even though you are in the capital, do not think cashless is the way.
- Absorb the beauty Quito is
Quito, if you did not know, is a heritage city. To be precise, its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage City. Situated amid the sky-touching Andes, the city offers a perfect blend of the old and the new. Students will, particularly, enjoy the richness and therapeutic character of the landscape and the lifestyle of the city. Check out the major attractions in the city such as the Museum of Oswaldo Guaysamin, a famous social reform champion; The Basilica; and Plaza Independencia, a central square commemorating country’s independence from Spanish rule.
In Quito (in fact, in the entire country), taxis are the most commonly preferred means of transportation. However, many taxis are running through the city without authorization and they are considered to be dangerous. A typical legal taxi would have an orange license plate, a taximeter inside, and a top light among others. Here, all taxi drivers do not turn on the meter so you will have to ask them to do so. Also, it is advised that you brush up your bargaining skills because you might need them here. You can negotiate the price of a ride with the driver. Of course, drivers would try to rip you off, especially when you do not look or behave like a local. So, be wary and negotiate!
- Bring Warm Clothing
An interesting fact about Ecuador is that it is called so because it is located right on the equator, which means that it should ideally be a hot country. However, this is not the case. Being located amid the Andes, Quito is on a high elevation so high temperatures do not really feel like such. Do not go there thinking that you would not need warm clothing. Make sure that your luggage includes a couple of warm clothing and accessories to keep you going. At least, have a windbreaker and a couple of sweaters. Night-time is particularly cool here so be prepared for the same.
- Who are Americans?
It is naïve to think that Americans are those who live in the United States. It is incorrect and many South Americans find it insulting. They are as much American as those in the United States but people around the world just don’t learn. See the name of the continents, for God’s sake. Both continents are Americas and people of both of these continents are Americans. So, mind yourself when you are here in Quito because people don’t like it when South Americans are not referred to as Americans. Since you will be here for a long time, it is essential you also know what must not be spoken.