IES Abroad Quito & Galápagos Summer - Environmental Studies
98% Rating
(4 Reviews)

IES Abroad Quito & Galápagos Summer - Environmental Studies

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.

Locations
South America » Ecuador » Quito
South America » Ecuador
Program Type
Provider
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Summer
Accommodation
Host Family
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/quito

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    70%
  • Support
    88%
  • Fun
    100%
  • Housing
    95%
  • Safety
    85%

Program Reviews (4)

Isabella
Female

Summer in Ecuador

10/10

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.

Default avatar
Bri
Female
22 years old
Keller, Texas
Tufts University

Studying Outside the Classroom

10/10

IES abroad in Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands was the total study abroad experience. My parents called me a “nerd” for wanting to take summer classes, but my experience was not limited to the classroom. I explored the city, in my free time, just like a true Ecuadorian. Having almerzos for $3, going to free concerts in the parks, and trekking around the downtown city center, these experiences might sound unimportant details; however, these memories are the ones which you’ll never forget. Sure I did not know what was in my food or what the musicians were singing, but I do know that through these experiences my group was able to bond more. My group consisted of nine other collegiate students from all across the United States. At the beginning, we were just like awkward freshman during orientation. Not really knowing what to talk about or what should be our mannerism. It wasn’t until the end when I realized, all the pre-departure nervousness about meeting new people was just an imaginary monster continuously making me doubt myself. As time went on, we slowly became more comfortable with each other. It wasn’t until playing soccer at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station that we came to together finally as a program. Even though we resembled a peccary and even though I scarred my legs, this would be one of the highs on my trips. By the end of the trip, we did highs and lows. And the soccer game was one of my highs. In actuality, the whole trip was a high. Even the “bad” experiences could be laughed about and remembered fondly. Going to Ecuador with IES totally changed my perspective on life, you don’t just come back with souvenirs and pictures. IES allows you to come back with new memories and a new culture which can completely change your outlook on life. Cliche, I know. But going to the rainforest, the mountain regions, the cloudforest, and the Galapagos Islands really does change you. No longer are you a regular American. I lived in Ecuador and I feel completely immersed with the student and local lifestyle. I plan in my future to return to Ecuador. I want to see how many more memories I can carry with me for the rest of my life. I want to be able to say to my kids, “yes, when I was 20 I traveled by myself to a foreign country without knowing the language.” I want to listen to the song by OneRepublic and agree that I have lived. Hopefully you can travel abroad and see, taste, smell, study, learn, and live. These small things will allow us to truly gain an experience, the same kind of experience which I have gained through IES Abroad. The program was well thought out, from the pre-departure packing list to the farewell dinner. I could not imagine using any other study abroad program than IES. IES abroad in Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands was the total study abroad experience. My parents called me a “nerd” for wanting to take summer classes, but my experience was not limited to the classroom. I explored the city, in my free time, just like a true Ecuadorian. Having almerzos for $3, going to free concerts in the parks, and trekking around the downtown city center, these experiences might sound unimportant details; however, these memories are the ones which you’ll never forget. Sure I did not know what was in my food or what the musicians were singing, but I do know that through these experiences my group was able to bond more. My group consisted of nine other collegiate students from all across the United States. At the beginning, we were just like awkward freshman during orientation. Not really knowing what to talk about or what should be our mannerism. It wasn’t until the end when I realized, all the pre-departure nervousness about meeting new people was just an imaginary monster continuously making me doubt myself. As time went on, we slowly became more comfortable with each other. It wasn’t until playing soccer at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station that we came to together finally as a program. Even though we resembled a peccary and even though I scarred my legs, this would be one of the highs on my trips. By the end of the trip, we did highs and lows. And the soccer game was one of my highs. In actuality, the whole trip was a high. Even the “bad” experiences could be laughed about and remembered fondly. Going to Ecuador with IES totally changed my perspective on life, you don’t just come back with souvenirs and pictures. IES allows you to come back with new memories and a new culture which can swirl together. No longer are you a regular American. I lived in Ecuador and I feel completely immersed with the student and local lifestyle. I plan in my future to return to Ecuador. I want to see how many more memories I can carry with me for the rest of my life. I want to be able to say to my kids, “yes, when I was 20 I traveled by myself to a foreign country without knowing the language.” I want to listen to the song by OneRepublic and agree that I have lived. Hopefully you can travel abroad and see, taste, smell, study, learn, and live. These small things will allow us to truly gain an experience, the same kind of experience which I have gained through IES Abroad. The program was well thought out, from the pre-departure packing list to the farewell dinner. I could not imagine using any other study abroad program than IES.

How can this program be improved?

The program had it's problems with communication. We were fortunate enough to be in Ecuador when the pope visited. The only problem is no public transportation was running. IES did not know if classes were canceled or not. Neither did our professors, there was a slight lack of communication between the professors, IES, and the university. This hiccup did not really affect me though. In Ecuador, you kinda stop worrying about the little things in life.

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Delta-Marie
Female
22 years old
Brooklyn, NY
Tufts University

A Great Taste of What Ecuador Has to Offer

9/10

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in Environmental Studies or Biology; I believe those specifically interested in Ecology or the Galapagos would benefit immensely from this program. It is also a good program for those who do not want to miss a semester at their home institution by studying abroad, or for those who would like a small taste of what it is like to be abroad before studying for a longer period of time. Personally, I wish that I had chosen a semester program because I did not want my short time in Ecuador to end.

The weekly (and often biweekly) excursions in Quito and the Galapagos were fantastic - the following is merely a sample of the many excursions we went on: there were overnight stays in exclusive regions of the Amazon, hiking in the páramos of inactive volcanoes, snorkeling around 5 islands in the Galapagos, visiting artisan markets, and walking around in the cloud forests. These excursions, though fun, were really meant to solidify our understanding of what we had learned in class through hands-on work.

There are also two home stay elements to this program - students will stay with a host family in Quito and another host family in the Galapagos, encouraging cultural immersion and practice of the Spanish language. Although it varies by family and student preference, most of the experiences that I have heard about (as well as my own) were generally very positive.

I honestly do not have many critiques of this program; the only thing lacking was free time that did not have any programming (for instance, it was hard to get out and experience life in another region of Ecuador if it wasn't in the programming) and the fact that a number of us needed to commute on public transportation for over an hour just to get to campus. However, despite those small hiccups, this program has really opened my eyes and my heart to the benefits of traveling and cultural immersion.

How can this program be improved?

There was a lack of free time that could be used to explore other areas (for instance: unsafe to be out at night and classes ended late, weekends were jam-packed with required activities that didn't necessarily promote learning or cultural immersion). Additionally, it was difficult to commute to school in the mornings - my commute involved an over-crowded, often unsafe, hour+ long ride on two buses. This commute also interfered with the free time / activities that we could have planned on our own.

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Missy
Female
24 years old
Bloomington, IN
Indiana University- Bloomington

An Incredible Experience

10/10

This program is just plain awesome. The classes are engaging, the field trips are incredible, and the overall experience is phenomenal. The city of Quito is situated in the Andean mountains. I was amazed by its beauty literally every single day on the way to class. While I did always feel a little on edge, if you follow the safety tips provided and keep your wits you will be fine. USFQ is a beautiful campus in a safer part of the city. The ecosystem class taken at this university is interesting, but the best part is when you get out of the classroom and go on the field trips. I honestly could not tell you which one I liked the most- Tiputini Research Station in the Amazon, the cloud forest at Mindo, or the breath-taking (literally and figuratively) hiking on Chimborazo, 16,000 feet above sea level. They are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and undoubtedly give you a new perspective on the world.

Although the days are long in Quito with 6 hours of class, you will appreciate the free time in the Galapagos. Every day I had time to explore the island, swim in the ocean, or just veg out on the beach. Snorkeling was my favorite thing to do in my free time. You will see sea lions, sea turtles, lots of pretty fish, sharks, penguins, and rays. The class in the Galapagos with Dr. Quiroga is extremely applicable. It is a lot of work, but I still find myself looking back on the assignments and finding ways to incorporate them into my classes back at home. Putting the work in is well worth it.

Start an email list The people I met in my group will be my friends forever. The host families I stayed with were genuinely kind people who love to host students. The food in the country was delicious. The country itself is beautiful. Overall this program rocked. My expectations were exceeded in every way and I wish I could do it again!!

How can this program be improved?

It would be helpful to know about cheap ways to get airfare (student universe, for example) once we were accepted into the program. Some people in my group were able to get student discounts and get a round trip ticket for $600-700.

The itinerary is not provided until a week or so before the program starts and the packing list is just okay, so let me clarify some things. You will be in the Galapagos for 3 weeks. You do not need warm clothes for the Galapagos, but you will need a rain jacket. Make sure to take loose fitting, dry fit, comfortable clothes for the Amazon. I wasn't sure exactly what I needed for this and had to buy something down there, which was really expensive. Take warm clothes for the Chimborazo/Cotopaxi field trip. It is cold at 16,000 above sea level.

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

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