PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS
Kaya Responsible Travel has partnered with Plymouth State University to provide a remote international experience to propel your academics forward into the real-world. Although these are uncertain times we believe it is even more important to connect cultures, develop collaborative skills, and push boundaries.
PSU have developed 2 options:
PSU Ecuador Bridge Semester Virtual Group Program
Find out more and join the PSU Bridge Semester Virtual Program today! Read more.
PSU Ecuador Virtual Internship Program
Find out more and join the PSU Virtual Internship Program today! Read more.
Inclusions for all programs
All students in the Ecuador Remote Program, will have the following additional support and resources.
- Ecuador Country Orientation
- Host Organization Orientation
- Local Buddy introduction and activities
- Project Placement
- Weekly check in with host company supervisor
- Weekly check-in with Ecuador support team
- Weekly Cultural Workshops
- Ongoing support from Ecuador ground team
- End-of-Program evaluation and reflection
- Re-entry career toolkit
- Certificate of Completion
6 month access to Globesmart: a tool that provides personal work-style evaluation and comparison to the work-styles of the local culture, to assist in cross-cultural communication. Price: $50
Spanish Classes: Students have the option to add Spanish classes based on their current level from a local Ecuadorian University. This 48h course provides 3 credits from the University of Cuenca, in Ecuador. Price: $1000
Ecuador Country Director
Diana Balarezo holds an MA in social and environmental studies and a bachelor of science degree in tourism development and hospitality with a minor in fine arts. Born in Ecuador, Diana lived in the United States as a student during her junior year of college, and after college, as a restaurant manager at a ski resort in Idaho. She also participated in a six-month internship in Valencia, Spain, and has traveled to 21 countries so far.
PSU Bridge Semester Virtual Program
(Open to all current and prospective PSU students)
Program Overview: With community at our core, we have designed a cohort program for PSU students to connect, while “tackling a wicked problem” and virtually immersing in a new culture over the course of a semester.
Students will be broken into cohorts of 3-6 students and matched to a virtual field project placement. In addition, cohorts will engage in interactive cultural workshops led by Kaya’s Country Director, Diana, and connect with a local buddy and enhance cross-cultural understanding of Ecuador. Cohorts will also have the opportunity to participate in a reflective discussion forum together. Possible Group Projects shown below;
Urban Organic Community Gardens in Quito
Quito is a city with approximately 3 million people living in the mountains. Due to the expansion of the urban areas, the landscape in this city has drastically changed. With these challenges, the local flora and fauna have been reduced creating greater food insecurity. In the current climate of Covid-19 it has become apparent that food security and independence needs to be a local goal. Already, Quito has seen people shift towards local flavors rather than imported ones. Because of these considerations, a neighborhood in Quito has decided to take a forgotten public park and transform it into a community vegetable and fruit garden.
- Create a sustainable urban organic community garden
- Generate a space where people can get together and educate families about urban gardening.
- Bring back native species of birds, such as hummingbirds.
- Bring back native edible species to go beyond food security, thinking more about food sovereignty.
- Develop a garden with a circular and holistic view, thinking about all the processes needed and include them in the project.
- Reduce delinquency by the appropriation of public spaces that were forgotten and used by thieves.
- Conduct needs assessments with community members.
- Research and implement garden design and logistics (what plants go where, next to what, and why?; soil, waterings, and fertilizer schedules; how will the garden distribute safely and effectively?)
- Research and implement sustainable practices such as rainwater use, composting methods, etc.
- Design signs and murals for the garden.
- Design and implement education materials for local people for four different populations: kids, adolescents, adults and seniors.
- Design and implement marketing promotion (creation of Facebook and Instagram pages, plus content)
Academic Interests Include: Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Education, Marketing, Graphic Design, Visual Arts, Engineering, and more.
English Literacy and Environmental Education Project in the Coastal Region
This is a community organization that provides programming focused on education-based recreational activities for the community, with a focus on children, youth, and their families.
- Teaching kids to read in Spanish and English
- Teaching Environmental and Sustainability
- Develop curriculum for language skills
- Develop curriculum for environmental education
- Conduct needs assessments with community members.
- Create digital books for the kids to read and learn English and others about the environment (specific ages will be assigned).
- Teach virtual English classes and provide workshops for kids and adults.
- Generate audios for kids to listen to and improve their pronunciation in English.
- Generate videos for kids to listen to and improve their pronunciation in English.
- Create virtual games for kids to learn English and the environment.
Academic Interests Include: Education, Environmental Studies, Visual Arts, Digital and Graphic Design, Videography, Spanish
Virtual Internship Program
No matter your major or academic interest, you can trust that your internship will be aligned with Kaya’s mission to promote sustainable social, environmental, and economic development.
Not only will you gain relevant cross-cultural work experience and boost your resume, the results of your work will make a long-lasting impact in a community in your host country. Alongside your project placement, you’ll engage in interactive cultural workshops and connect with a local buddy your age to enhance your cross-cultural understanding of the host country.
Students will be matched to projects based on skills and interests, and community identified needs. Our remote internship projects in Ecuador focus on sustainable projects working with the local communities to address issues around the environment, entrepreneurship, corporate and social responsibilities, among others.
Placements in a range of academic Fields Including:
- Agroecology and Conservation
- Architecture and Engineering
- Business and Entrepreneurship
- Computer Science and Website Design
- Criminology and Forensic Science
- Environmental Studies
- Graphic Design
- Marketing and Social Media
- Math and Statistics
- Political Science
- Psychology and Social Work
- Public Health
- Sports Science
- Visual Arts
- And more…