• Ecuador
    • Quito
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/quito
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Jul 07, 2022
Mar 28, 2024
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Nestled high in the Andean foothills, Quito is home to over 1.8 million people and a UNESCO World Heritage Site just waiting to be explored, making it the perfect destination if you love spending a lot of time outdoors. A climb to the city’s surrounding mountains gives you a stunning view of colonial Spanish architecture and the valley.

IES Abroad invites you to Ecuador to experience everything its capital has to offer while honing your Spanish and expanding your academic knowledge. Imagine observing Ecuadorian customs at a traditional fiesta, or visiting local markets and handicraft workshops. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites. Several courses also include a hands-on, practical component. Welcome to study abroad!

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

Today, and every day, we celebrate who you are and who you will become. We take pride in simply getting to know you, and look forward to adventuring through this incredible world with you.

Studying abroad as part of the LGBTQIA+ community can present unique opportunities and challenges in exploring a new culture, so we have compiled resources on sexual orientation, gender identity, and allyship to help prepare you and support you along the way.

Neurodivergent Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.

Accessibility Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.



As part of IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment, IES Abroad employs sustainability measures in the following ways:
-Moving toward more sustainable Headquarters and Centers abroad
-Producing printed materials mindfully
-Hosting events and conferences in LEED-certified buildings
-Purchasing carbon offsets for staff air travel
-The formation of the IES Abroad Sustainability Team - a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for implementing sustainable practices across our organization. The team comprises of members across our Centers, departments, teams. It is truly a global effort, and we are better for it.

Program Highlights

  • Explore Ecuador and its surrounding regions through IES Abroad field trips. Past trips include: Galapagos Islands, Camino del Sol, and the Amazon region
  • Whether you're a beginner Spanish-speaker, ready to fully immerse yourself in the language, or somewhere in between there is a program with the right language requirement for you in Ecuador.
  • Customize your schedule with courses options taught by world-class professors at our IES Abroad Centers and at prestigious local universities.
  • Feel at home and learn about the culture of Ecuador while living with a local host family or señora.
  • You’ll have an individual IES Abroad Program Advisor to guide you before your study abroad adventure. From visa requirements to travel details, they are your #1 resource for preparing to study abroad

Popular Programs

student sitting in a circular window opening looking out at the Quito skyline at night

If you’re interested in improving your Spanish language skills, this program offers you the opportunity to rapidly improve your Spanish through a rigorous language course taught by IES Abroad. You select the remainder of your courses from options available at IES Abroad and prestigious local universities.

view of an empty road going through Quito from on top of a tall building with the city and mountains in the distance

While in Quito, you will directly enroll at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and take all of your courses at the University. Because USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a wide variety of disciplines, students with almost any academic interest can find exciting and challenging enrollment options.

two student sitting on the bank of a glassy lake with mountains reflected in it and in the distance

Based in Quito and featuring three weeks of field study in the Galápagos Islands, this program allows you to study issues of environmental management and preservation, while exploring Ecuador’s rich ecology. The program is organized in cooperation with the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). All Environmental Studies courses are taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required.


IES Abroad Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why IES Abroad offers more than $6 million in scholarships and aid. IES Abroad offers a number of diversity scholarships and grants to provide opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities in study abroad.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.2
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.95
  • Safety 4.35
Showing 1 - 8 of 16 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Abroad Direct Enrollment - Universidad San Francisco de Quito

The IES staff, my host mom, and my professor were all so lovely, caring, and attentive to me during time abroad. When I got sick one weekend, my program advisor replied to my messages immediately and was constantly asking what he could do to help. My host mom was also so caring during that time - it felt like being with my mom whenever I'm sick at home. She really included me in all the family activities, which allowed me to learn about traditions like guaguas de pan and colada morada. I always felt that there was a lot of help + support if I had any issues. The IES staff was very welcoming and provided us with plenty of information and opportunities to feel immersed in the culture.

Additionally, the opportunity to enroll directly at USFQ was great for both improving my Spanish and also being able to pursue courses in topics that were more unique to Ecuador, such as Ecuadorian Archaeology or Andean Anthropology. Everybody was so nice and the food was delicious. Studying abroad was a very formative experience for me and I'll always have an affection for Ecuador because of my time there. The ability to live completely in Spanish was essential to improving my Spanish to basically fluent and giving me confidence in my language skills.

The excursions also allowed me to see places I never would have otherwise thought much about visiting. For instance, in my Landscape Archaeology class we took a day trip to Quitoloma, which was an old Incan military lookout. From there, we were able to see the entire valley of Cumbayá and Quito which was really neat. The Galapagos was also one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. My photos from one beach we went to almost looked fake they were so gorgeous. It was such a special moment in my life. I would 100% recommend the program to other students.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tried cuy, which is an animal similar to a guinea pig, when we visited Otavalo. Cuy is a traditional food in the Andes and it honestly wasn't too bad. I would have it again.
  • The people my host family, other students, the IES staff, my professors, and pretty much everyone I met were so kind and welcoming and is the thing I'll miss the most. In particular, my host mom and IES program director were so kind and attentive to whate
  • The Galapagos - Indescribably beautiful; All 4.5 months would have been worth it solely for those 3 days.
  • The food I really loved humitas (somewhat similar to tamales), guaguas de pan, bolones de verde, locro de papá, and my favorite, hornado (slow roasted pork). The fruits were also great and there was such a variety. And the chocolate! I have even dreamed o
  • Homesickness - It can be tough being away from home for 4.5 months and there were definitely times I missed my parents, friends, dog, and horses.
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I can't wait to go back!

I'm aware that there are a lot of people out there afraid to study abroad in a foreign country, and I totally understand. Believe me, I was terrified before my program started in Quito, Ecuador, but it was all entirely worth it! Studying abroad in Ecuador was the scariest, bravest and most adventurous experience of my life to date. Of course I was afraid to speak in Spanish for four-and-a-half months. Yes, I was worried about living with a host family. Sure, I cried a couple of times because I missed my family back home in the States. I have to say, however, that I would not have changed my experience for the world. Before heading to Ecuador, I was scared to give a five-minute presentation in Spanish. After leaving, I gave five or six 25-30 minute presentations entirely in Spanish with EASE. I can't promise that everything will be easy, but I can promise it'll be worth any pain it may cause you. My confidence in myself and in my Spanish-speaking abilities SOARED during my experience abroad, and I now feel capable of so much more than I had previously imagined.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I highly recommend going into the experience without expectations and simply seeing where life takes you! You're sure to experience the natural beauty of Ecuador, the rich historic center of Quito and the vibrantly eclectic culture in your own way, but I discovered that the best-laid plans were the ones that nobody anticipated. Explore as much as you can as often as you'd like - it'll be entirely worth it :)
107 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

How Ecuador became my second home

My semester studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador was a life changing experience. I had no idea what to expect going into my trip but somehow it still managed to surpass all of my expectations. Never had I imagined that I would travel with such ease around the humbly small country and see all the history, the green, the ocean. was ecstatic to have the opportunity to take all of my classes in Spanish, this being the reason I chose a South American country, along with living with a host family where English was not offered. This pushed me to achieve the immersive semester that I wanted filled with endless practice and both language and life lessons that will stick with me. I was thrilled to form a great relationship bond with my host family and never doubted my welcome or felt a lack of comfort and love from them. I always felt like a part of the family. I was pleased to find the balance between school work and free time was just right in order to get the full study abroad experience. I was able to take classes both at my study abroad center to form long lasting friendships with my fellow exchange buddies, but also get the experience of attending classes at Universidad San Fransisco de Quito to mingle real time with local students. I feel incredibly blessed to have formed life-long relationships, gain invaluable skills and experiences for my future, all while traveling the breath taking bio-diversity that Ecuador has to offer. Not only can I say that I have traveled to “La Mitad del Mundo” (the center of the earth), but within only Ecuador itself I was able to visit the Amazon, The Galapagos Islands, La Laguna de Quilotoa (a lagoon inside of a volcano), all around the city of Quito, and much more. I am already planning a trip back because I feel lucky to say that I have found a second home within Ecuador.

What would you improve about this program?
The program was going through some changes around the time that I went and some of the kinks were still being worked out. The class registration process was a little tricky once we arrived and were trying to pick our classes for the abroad center (they were easy for the University). Because it was somewhat of a transitional semester things still needed to be changed around, but luckily the staff was very transparent about this and was willing to listen to our feedback to better improve the program.
111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time In Ecuador with IES Abroad

I had the opportunity to go on the IES Abroad Quito, Ecuador program. It was one of the best experiences of my life! Not only did we get to see the incredible city of Quito, and all it has to offer, we also got to explore the beautiful islands of the Galapagos! Plus, we got to spend a few nights deep in the Amazon rainforest! I learned so much about the wonderful Ecuadorian people and culture. Anyone studying abroad should definitely give this program consideration. You will not regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
I don't know. It was pretty great just the way it was.
106 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Ecuador

I truly can't recommend this program enough. As a double major in Latin American Studies and Environmental Policy, a chance to study environmental science while immersed in the vibrant, diverse culture of Ecuador was pretty much the perfect study abroad experience for me. Before the start of the program I was expecting it to be great, but I never could have imagined just how many things I would get to do, how many places I would get to go, and how many great people I would get to meet. Not only was I able to take interesting classes with knowledgeable professors from a wide range of backgrounds, I got to visit the largest Indigenous market in South America (Otavalo), spend a weekend in Cotopaxi National Park and hike to an altitude of 16,000 fasl, study and explore at the remote Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station in the Amazon rain forest, and spend three weeks in the Galapagos Islands. Not to mention the dear friends I got to study with, the host families who took care of me and treated me as a part of the family, and all of the day to day adventures that are par for the course when you spend an extended amount of time abroad. I am incredibly grateful for this program, and it has been one of the highlights of my life thus far. The amount of things I got to do/learn/experience in a span of only 7 weeks is really mind blowing, and this program is really a great deal financially too. I can't recommend this program enough, or any of the other IES Abroad programs all over the world.

102 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

A cultural and adventure full immersion outside of my comfort zone

Going to Quito, Ecuador was a complete cultural immersion. Through IES, I took classes at the program center and at the local university, USFQ. All the while, I lived with an incredible host family whom I learned a lot from. Never did I ever think that my Spanish would improve so much after spending 4.5 months in Ecuador, but it sure did. I also traveled almost every weekend throughout Ecuador. One weekend my friends and I would be hiking an active volcano in the pouring hail and the next we were sunbathing on the coast. We had the amazing opportunities of visiting the Galapagos Islands and Amazon Rainforest, two of the most amazing places I have been to date. If you're seeking adventure, a cultural and linguistic immersion, and a step outside a comfort zone; Ecuador is the place for you.

What would you improve about this program?
118 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


My experience in Quito Ecuador was absolutely amazing. I did study abroad not because I wanted to but because to be a Spanish major at my college you have to. That being said I was dreading going abroad. I thought it was something I had to do but didn’t want to at all. Being there completely changed my attitude. I arrived late at night to an amazing family who was so caring and helpful. They always made me feel welcome and introduced me to their large family.
As time went on my experience was getting better and better I made tons of friends through the program and also at USFQ the university in Quito. I traveled all around Ecuador to the Galapagos, the rainforest, the beach, went camping, and much more. I can’t say enough great things about my experience in Ecuador.
A lot of people are worried about food and safety in Ecuador. The food was good for the most part it is pretty bland which was good for me because I am a very picky eater. There are lots of fruits to eat and chicken is probably the most popular food. It was also interesting because Lunch is their largest meal of the day and they make it a big deal to come home and eat as a family. As for safety I can honestly say there was never a moment that I felt like I was danger. I also followed all of the precautions and warnings they told us about.
Overall it was a great experience. I will for sure need to go back and visit my friends one day soon. I miss it already.

111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An adventure through Ecuador!

I honestly wouldn't trade my study abroad experience for anything. I loved being a part of the IES family; I truly felt comfortable and cared for by not only my amazing host family, but by the staff members as well. I took classes at the IES program center and at USFQ, and also volunteered at a daycare for underprivileged children. I feel extremely lucky that IES provided the opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands and to the Amazon! In addition to those excursions, many weekends were spent travelling around other parts of Ecuador. However, Quito truly became my home during my time abroad.

I was one of the few students in my program who was not a victim of pick pocketing/robberies. My university in the States is located in the heart of North Philadelphia, so I am accustomed to urban living. I know it was a big adjustment for some of my friends who didn’t have much experience in that setting, but they learned street smarts fairly quickly! The idea that cat-calling and crime is so much worse outside of the U.S. is totally false in my opinion. Bad things happen everywhere, and as long as you use common sense in social situations, you’ll be fine!

I did get quite sick, as did most people in my program. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with gastroenteritis. My program directors and doctors took great care of me, and I made a quick recovery. Unfortunately, I also was just a few towns away from the epicenter of a 7.8 earthquake that wiped out much of the coast of Ecuador. I absolutely feared for my life and witnessed some horrifying tragedies. My friends and I were lucky enough to have been able to return to Quito after a hard couple of days, but many people did not have that luxury. Throughout this entire ordeal, the solidarity of the people of Ecuador inspired me and made me realize how many good people there are in this world. Everyone did their part to help us and to help each other, and my entire community spent much of their time volunteering and making donations to earthquake relief efforts.

I felt totally immersed in Ecuador’s culture and I am now much more confident in my Spanish-speaking skills. I made so many great friends and completely fell in love with Ecuador... and a boy (I know, totally cliché!). I am already planning to visit again later this year! I definitely recommend this program to anyone who is up for adventure!

111 people found this review helpful.

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