BCA Study Abroad: Quito, Ecuador

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About

The BCA Quito program allows you to take courses at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) which hosts approximately 6,000 students, including 1,000 international students, across its various campuses. USFQ is ranked in the top three universities in Ecuador and offers areas of study across a wide array of academic disciplines, making it a perfect location to fulfill major or general education requirements.

There are many ways for you to become involved in the community during your time in Quito and to learn about Ecuadorian culture and traditions from local people. You can join the University’s Ecua-buddies program, where you are matched with an Ecuadorian student and encouraged to do fun activities together. If you’re interested in volunteering, there are placements available with local non-profit organizations such as a medical clinic, refugee services agency and an agency working with children with disabilities.

Highlights
  • Develop your Spanish language skills and explore contemporary Ecuadorian culture during BCA’s required pre-semester course. Discussion topics may include environmental justice, gender issues or modernization versus traditional practices.
  • Get involved in the Quito community by interning or volunteering at a variety of agencies, non-profits or foundations that work with different communities in Quito.
  • Live with an Ecuadorian family to improve your Spanish and learn about the local customs, traditions and food.
  • Excursions outside of the city vary by semester but in the past have included the Galapagos Island, the Amazon Rainforest, or Cochasqui and Otavalo.
  • Apply for the Latitude Zero: Ecuador Research Initiative (LOERI), which pairs you with a USFQ faculty member completing research in their field. Or, you can connect to the community through an internship in education, social science or health professions.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Jordan
10/10

Ecua Travels

I cannot think of a better, more holistic study abroad experience than BCA Quito. The combination of host families, academic setting, and excellent programming makes this truly a journey for all types. My cohort's diversity of interests and personalities were all accommodated spectacularly. The year I spent in Quito is undoubtedly my favorite travel experience.

Aside from it being an all around awesome program, what I think sets BCA Quito apart is the degree to which you are encouraged to critically reflect on your experiences as a traveler in a foreign country and your place in an increasingly complicated world. Our visit to the rapidly disappearing Amazon rainforest stands out in this respect. Daniel Bryan, the program director, allowed us to take in all of the joys of such an exciting place and group of people, and put the trip in context of being advocates for economic, social, and environmental justice.

In short, study abroad in Quito, you won't regret it.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Tiffany
10/10

Study abroad in Quito, Ecuador

Studying abroad in Ecuador has been one of the most impactful experiences of my life. Not only was I immersed in the Ecuadorian culture and languages, but I also had the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful places on earth the Andes, Galapagos, and the Amazon. This program allows students to reflect on the role of humans in the environment. The classes at the university are challenging and engaging, the professors pushed my language abilities to a whole new level! It is very easy and affordable to go on excursions in Ecuador, and there is so much diversity in such a small country. The people are warm and friendly. There are specific times and locations that could potentially be dangerous for foreigners, but the program directors do an excellent job giving safety guidelines. I will never forget my experiences in Ecuador, and hope to return soon! My study abroad experiences also provided with the language skills and cultural knowledge that I use in my job every day as an ESL teacher. A majority of my students are Ecuadorian!

How can this program be improved?
The program could be improved by offering housing a little closer to the university.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Veronica
10/10

It changed my life

The entire experience was amazing. I loved every minute of it. I learned so much about Ecuador, the language, and myself. I recommend it!
My favorite parts were found to the Galapagos Islands, Tiputini, going to Peru- seeing Machu Pichu and meeting my husband at USFQ.
The family I stayed with was very sweet and we still remain in contact. My husband and I have returned several times to Quito and love visiting USFQ and the friends we made while we were there back in 2000.

How can this program be improved?
Connecting students who are thinking of going with students who have experienced it. I would have loved talking to someone who would have told me how great it was so that I would have signed up for a year instead of 6months.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Melissa
10/10

Could not have asked for more

I was nervous for my study abroad trip to Ecuador, but have so many happy, lasting memories, and had the time of my life while I was there! There were so many BCA sponsored trips that showed us more than just the city we lived in, and taught us about the area we called home for a few months. I loved my host family, and was treated as a daughter with the same amount of love and care they showed their own children. I enjoyed each of my classes, and formed such strong bonds that the other members of the program. I could not have been happier with the entire experience, especially our trip to the Galapagos Islands and Peru! I never would have otherwise had these opportunities, and I am still thankful for the experiences I had.

Yes, I recommend
Kaitlin
10/10

Quito is incredible

I loved my study abroad experience so much that I stayed an extra couple of months through my summer vacation. The people in Ecuador are very sweet and excited to share their culture and country with visitors. Studying in Ecuador gives you so many opportunities for exploration and adventure. Though you spend most of your time in Quito, you get to experience so much more including Guayaquil, the Galapagos, Mindo, Baños, and Otavalo. I feel that going to Ecuador let me really take advantage of my study abroad experience by cramming so much into the semester. While you are still going to classes, it is almost like a semester long vacation.

Yes, I recommend
Steph
10/10

A Spontaneous Day Trip from Quito to Lake Quilatoa and Back!

One Saturday morning, I had the idea to venture out of the Quito for the day. For some reason that I can't remember now, I was feeling extremely restless. I think I was nearing the end of my semester in Ecuador, and I wanted to wring out every last drop of my time there before having to leave. BCA had done an amazing job of organizing a number of incredible group excursions to the Galapagos, the Amazon, and to the mountains and the coast throughout the course of the semester, but it's still fun to venture out on your own, especially in a country as ecologically diverse as Ecuador! Anyway, without much research, I invited my friend Brit to join me on the day's adventure. My host mother tried her best to dissuade me (she was, naturally, concerned about my well-being, which in hindsight I complete understand), but I was determined to live it up! It ended up being one of the longest and most tiring but most memorable days of my life. Brit and I ended up taking 2 buses and a pick-up truck to get to Lake Quilatoa, which is a gorgeous crater lake in the mountains a few hours from Quito. At each leg change in our journey, we didn't know how long we would have to wait and what mode of transportation we would have to take next. That was the most adventurous part! Finally, we reached the lake, and we were able to manage the hike down to the bottom, where its green water boiled like in an evil scene of a Disney movie. However, we nearly died having to hike back up due to the sandy nature of the soil. I think we forget that we were inside a volcano! Apparently there was a reason why almost everyone else hired a donkey. We were too cheap! Anyway, we survived, leg cramps and dehydration and all! We were able to meet some really interesting people along the way, and we were thankful for that. So in total, our adventure took us 16 hours, as we left Quito around 8 am, and didn't return until around midnight. My host mom was, of course, extremely relieved to see me, the loca gringa!

Yes, I recommend

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About BCA Study Abroad

Established in 1962, BCA Study Abroad has been committed to helping students understand contemporary issues by offering challenging and rewarding study abroad programs. From its start, BCA has focused its educational mission on engaging students with...