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Academia Cotopaxi

Buddy Program

Objective

To provide the best Cotopaxi welcome and introduction to Quito for incoming international personnel.

How does the Buddy Program work?

A buddy will be responsible to help up to 2 foreign newcomers during the arrival week. Buddies are Academia Cotopaxi employees or their spouses who meet certain criteria (e.g. speak Spanish, knowledgeable about Quito etc.) and sign up for this duty through Human Resources.

Housing

Buddies will use the information collected from HR regarding the housing requirements for newcomers. 3 weeks prior to newcomers’ arrival, buddies will compile a list of possible apartments based on their own knowledge of the market, location, cost as well as the requirements and options provided by the assigned real estate agent for that year. The buddy leader will collect information from newspapers, webpages, real estate agent and prior to the newcomers’ arrival date can start looking for - and visiting -  apartments.

Buddies will be in contact with their assigned newcomers at least one week prior to their arrival in Ecuador to reconfirm housing requirements, provide additional information about the options (minimum 2) with photos & rental prices. Buddies will solve questions they might have or rearrange visits according options confirmation.

Buddies will have a lease contract with them at all times in case one of the new teachers finds an apartment on their fist day.

Buddies will avoid showing the same apartment to several newcomers, only if the apartment has already been discarded by the one originally assigned to see it.

Agenda/Itinerary

Buddies may be required to be at the airport when newcomers arrive or at the hotel (depending of the arrival time and agenda). They need to be there to welcome the teachers and to get to know each other.  If required, buddies could use the bus/van transfers programmed for the new foreign employee.

Buddy will have reviewed agenda (with HR and corresponding principal) in order to manage the activities during the welcome week, based on the newcomers’ itinerary and needs.

This agenda will include activities such as pick up, apartment visits,  Quito tour,  cultural immersion, working lunch, weekend activities, etc.

The agenda to be covered by buddies is not limited to the week of arrival, it is extended to the end of the first week of the school year and could include activities like community integration, school tour, and accompany to other activities as programmed.

As part of the agenda for the new employee, the Buddy will be in charge of showing:

  • Supermaxi/ grocery store
  • Hardware store
  • Pharmacy
  • Appliance store
  • Routes and stops of Academia Cotopaxi buses
  • Used cars dealers

If newcomer came with family, potential pediatricians/doctors’ list or references.

Support

The buddy will assist the new employee with:

  • TV cable company communication and installation (that normally happens after the welcome week)
  • Confirming their mobile phone plan is available and working
  • Locating furniture and appliances
  • Important information regarding transportation, culture and places to visit.
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