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What to Expect

Through the program of NILI, students will have the opportunity to travel, to learn the culture, to explore Ecuador, to complete ministry, to make many friends, get college credit, and much more.


Below, you will find descriptions of the following:

     •  Academic Outings through NILI

     •  Advice from past students

     •  Ministry Opportunities through NILI

     •  Fund-raising


Make sure to check out the NILI Experience to learn more about  Ecuador and a list of what to bring.

Academic Outings

Every week here in NILI, there are opportunities to go on outings.  Though these activities change semester-to-semester, here is a list of activities of what has been done in the past:


  • Visit Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World)
  • Attempt different activities on the Equator
  • Ride a cable car to 14,000 ft to view the city of Quito
  • Learn about Ecuadorian culture in museums and cultural exhibits
  • Check out Colonial Quito founded in the 1500s
  • Explore open-air markets
  • Be amazed by the beauty of the historic churches and cathedrals
  • Take pictures in and around volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls and more
  • Try typical foods such as cuy (guinea pig), hornado (pig), fritada and more
  • Travel to the Galápagos Islands on a 5 day/4 night cruise


You don't want to miss out on these opportunities!

Advice from Students

The NILI Experience is one of adventure, discovery and beauty. How do you prepare for such an experience? Here is a list of advice from past students that have gone before:

•  Keep an open mind and heart and you will be amazed at how God will work in your life

•  Bring Dramamine or Bonine for the Galápagos trip

•  Don't just come here thinking about yourself

•  You can buy medicines here but sometimes they are very expensive, but it is possible to get them if you need them

•  Travel on the free weekends

•  Bring slippers

•  Speak in Spanish all the time even if you are a beginner, don't be embarrassed or shy about making mistakes, you will be corrected in love and the people appreciate someone trying to learn their language.

•  Bring a water bottle

•  Bring a Spanish Dictionary

•  Bring less clothing because there will be a lot of other things to take home

•  Your life is going to change

•  Be flexible and don't forget you are only here a short time

•  Take advantage of every single minute

•  Enjoy this beautiful country and don't miss the chance to do God's work

•  Keep a Journal

•  Bring a Raincoat and warmer clothes

•  Don't be afraid to get out and see the city



•  Be open to change and don't have expectations

Spend as much time as you can with your host family.

•  Build relationships from the beginning, the time goes by fast

•  Start praying and preparing for your time in Ecuador before you leave the States

•  Get out of your comfort zone as much as possible.

•  Surround yourself with Latins

•  Use this time away from home to grow in every way that you can, especially in your relationship with God

•  Dive into the culture as soon as possible, Make sure to make as many friends as you can.  Just enjoy the amazing gift God gave you for the semester

•  Don't spend all your free time talking to your family and friends at home, take that time to make new friends here in Ecaudor

•  Bring Photos of home, friends and family to show your new friends here in Ecuador

•  Bring a small bag/backpack for day trips, hikes, etc

•  Serve when you can

•  Realize that there will be times when you are homesick, but you will also have some of the best times of your life

Ministry Opportunities

The focus of our cross-cultural program is hands-on Christian ministry.  Because of this, NILI students in the Undergrad Program will attend ministry services and participate in ministry activities.  Undergrad students will receive college credit for these activities through our class titled Travel and Ministry Practicum.


Living with your Ecuadorian Christian host family, you will attend and serve alongside them in their local church. Experiences like these will bring life-long meaningful relationships and allow you to participate in transformative cross-cultural ministry.


Ministry Activities:

•  Participation in the life of local churches

•  Devotional meetings of the NILI group

•  Various evangelism events

•  Ministry Week

- Each semester, NILI holds 4-6 days of ministry

- Possible activities: painting, cleaning, holding children's services, singing, evangelism, etc


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