Study Abroad in Ecuador

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Traces of the Zika virus have been found in Ecuador. To learn more about Zika and how to avoid getting infected, read the Washington Post's article on Zika precautions.

Ecuador has an excellent educational community and has more Spanish study abroad programs than any other country in South America. Nestled in the north west corner of South America, Ecuador (Spanish for equator), rests on the middle of the earth and offers a geographically diverse environment. Students can choose from a wide variety of disciplines from Ecuador’s prestigious universities, as well as experience the countries specialties. The country is known for salsa (the dance, not the condiment), trekking into the rainforest, tasting the local guinea pig, and hiking great volcanoes.

Though Ecuador is a relatively small country, it is home to an incredible array of biodiversity. This, coupled with a unique culture (a wonderful mix of indigenous, European, and African elements), leads to an unforgettable experience. Students are exposed to the spirited community of Ecuador as well as the enriching experience of life abroad.

Photo credits: Simon Matzinger.

Does studying abroad sound fabulous but expensive? While it is true, studying abroad can mean added costs, there are still a variety of ways to offset the extra expenses. If you're not up for opening a lemonade stand, I suggest checking out the following scholarships.

Do you prefer to the hustle and bustle of city life, or the more quaint, laid-back swing of a rural option? Is the beach calling your name? Know your options, and pick the location that best fulfills your Ecuadorian dream trip!

Most study abroad programs in Ecuador are based in Quito, located in the Andean Mountains at 9,200 ft. Quito is the perfect hub for taking field trips because most destinations across the beautiful country can be reached within a day. As the country is heavily connected via roads, an experience in Quito will give you access to various other hot spots in the country.

The city itself is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage sight and is nestled amongst volcanoes (none active, whew!). The vibrant indigenous culture still retained in city's old town center is not to be missed.

Wanting to "get away from it all?" Look no further! The Galapagos Islands have been a muse of mankind's interests and curiosity since their discovery 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Study abroad programs here focus on conservation and Spanish study and will give you the unique opportunity to integrate with wildlife.

Because of Ecuador's popularity as a study abroad destination, you have many options for your study abroad experience—be sure to find a program that best suits YOUR desires and goals.

Language: There's never been a more quintessential time to master the Spanish language. With the number of Spanish speakers residing in the US increasingly annually, it is vital that our citizens become bi-lingual. When studying in Ecuador, don't miss out on the opportunity to practice the local language inside AND outside the classroom. There are tons of Spanish schools in Ecuador to choose from!

Some programs exist where courses are ONLY taught in Spanish - if you are beginner (or this sounds too scary!), consider a program that includes weekly courses in the Spanish language. For immersion purposes, we definitely recommend a Spanish-only course; it will be difficult at first, but your language skills will improve leaps and bounds, rapidly! That is, if you take your language learning seriously.

Housing: The type of housing you select while studying abroad will actually play a huge role in the overall experience - besides, it's hard to focus on studying if you do not feel comfortable in your surroundings. Some students choose to live in dormitories on campus, whereas others select a more private apartment option. This is totally up to you and should be selected based on your interests.

If you wish to take your program a step further, consider participating in a homestay while you are abroad. The opportunity to be part of an Ecuadorean family will undoubtedly add depth to your experience abroad, and complement your connections to the country. It won't always be easy (and may not always be comfortable), but at the end of your program, you will walk away feeling like you truly took advantage of your experience in Ecuador.

Immersion and cultural activities: Some providers will include external field trips and activities in their program fees to complement your experiences in the country. These activities can range from day trips to nearby cities or weekend trips to the Galapagos Islands! If you prefer to create your own itinerary during your program, then I would suggest that you opt to forego the pre-arranged excursions (and instead grab your guide book!). The program providers certainly have a wealth of knowledge and insight to local tourism opportunities, so for some students, tapping into their expertise and allowing them to plan the logistics is much more appealing. In this way, you can just sit back and enjoy!

Contributed by Megan Lee

Showing 40 Programs


IES Abroad
If you’re interested in improving your Spanish language skills, this program offers you the opportunity to rapidly improve yo...


Syracuse University
With Latin America as your study destination, you will visit countries that represent much more than the origins of Western c...


SIT Study Abroad
Ecuador is home to more than 1,600 species of birds and 10 percent of the world’s known vascular plant species. Students on S...


HECUA offers students the chance to study abroad next J-Term in Ecuador with the Social and Political Transformation program....


BCA Study Abroad
The capital of Ecuador, Quito (full name San Francisco de Quito) lies at 9,000 feet above sea level in a high valley at the b...


Athena Study Abroad
Quito, Ecuador is located in the upper region of South America, close to Columbia. It is a remarkable city that infuses South...


GEO Study Abroad
Ecuador provides an ideal setting for exploring issues related to sustainable development. The course will examine the tensio...

United States of America

Semester at Sea
Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15 credits! Each voyage varies in it's destinations, but will...


AIFS Study Abroad
Earn 3 credits over 2 weeks in Ecuador this January studying environmental science in the course Ecosystems and Biodiversity...


API students selecting Quito as their study abroad destination will complete their coursework at the Universidad San Francisc...


Carpe Diem Education
Travel throughout Ecuador and Peru with 12 other students as you share meals, live among different peoples, and build meaning...


IES Abroad
This direct enrollment program is organized through the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS), a rem...


AIFS Study Abroad
Spend the summer in the stunning and pristine Galápagos Islands. Earn 3 credits taking “Ecosystems and Biodiversity in the Ga...


IPSL (International Partnership for Service)
Ecuador spans the equator on the northwest coast of South America. With its cultural diversity and wide range of environments...


Global Citizen Year
Global Citizen Year is a non-profit social enterprise forging a new educational pathway for emerging leaders. We offer an exp...