Ecuador Study Abroad Semester - Fall and Spring

Video and Photos

Staff Member Mentorships
Staff Member Mentorships
Class with our Professor
Class with our Professor
Soccer Game
Soccer Game
Largo Quilotoa
Largo Quilotoa
Alpaca
Alpaca
Capuchin Monkey in Misahualli
Capuchin Monkey in Misahualli
The City of Quito and the Panecillo
The City of Quito and the Panecillo
hiking
hiking

About

Living and Learning is an academically excellent semester abroad where students will engage the challenges of a developing nation and learn to respond with an appropriate Christian Worldview. We're based in Quito, Ecuador and almost every aspect of your experience is organized and run by our in country staff. We value the personal and spiritual well being of every student that joins us so you'll meet with a resident coordinator once per week and participate in weekly chapel. During the semester you'll live in Christian community, participate in homestays for 4 weeks, engage in a local internship or service learning project, and go on trips to the Amazon Jungle and the Galapagos Islands.

Our program requires students to abstain from alcohol during the semester. This requirement is not based on a moral stance for or against alcohol but is in place to show respect for the primarily catholic culture and to create a environment that focuses on personal wellbeing & development.

Highlights
  • Christian Community
  • Weekly one on one with staff
  • Homestay
  • Internship
  • Excursions to Jungle, Beach Galapagos, and Machu Picchu

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 8.9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Amberly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester Abroad in Ecuador Spring 2019

My time in Ecuador is one of the most treasured and precious times in my life. It was full of adventure, learning, and being stretched to new levels of myself. One of my favorite days in Ecuador was when we went to Banos. It was towards the beginning of the semester when I still was not completely comfortable with everyone around me. We went and explored this little town and went horseback riding, saw volcanoes, did a natural mud mask from a river, went to the swing at the end of the world, learned about coffee and chocolate, and drank natural fizzy water. We slept in a large house in the forest all together, and bonded while playing games, karaoke/dance battles, and killing bugs (haha). It was a great experience to get us all comfortable with each other, and helped build what was my favorite part of Ecuador...the community. The staff is so amazing, and the people that you get to know and live with are so excited to live life together. This semester is one of my most precious memories, and I wish I could re live it again and again. If you have the opportunity, go go GO!!

What was your funniest moment?
There were many funny moments while I was abroad, especially in regards to language. There were many times that I said the wrong word, and people were always willing to correct in love and help me to know what I was saying and what I wanted to say. My homestay family was amazing, and laughed with me through the somewhat painful first few conversations until I became comfortable. I went in to the semester barely knowing anything about Spanish, and came out knowing so much more and being able to hold a whole conversation.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Homestay Memories

One of my favorite memories from my semester in Ecuador was a spontaneous day trip with my homestay family. We woke up early in the morning and took a day trip to the largest mountain in the world (Mt Chimborazo) ! We spent the entire day stopping at the different towns and trying fun, new foods (like plantains with cheese!). Our host parents we very generous and loved to show us the variety of cultures and traditions within the country of Ecuador. We ended the long day traveling to different parts of Ecuador back in a cozy little restaurant in our home city Quito. It was one of my favorite days, not because of the adventurous things and places we went, but because of the deeper connections we made and laughs we had with our homestay family:)

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise future students to spend your free days exploring the city with friends! It can be nice at times to stay in and watch a movie with your housemates some days, but remember that this will be the only time you are able to explore Quito outside of this semester!
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Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Semester of Growth and Community

My semester abroad in Ecuador was truly incredible. I was challenged spiritually, culturally, socially, academically, and even physically, only to find at the end of the semester just how much I had grown in such a short time. One moment that I think embodies this growth was my decision to get baptized at the end of the semester. Throughout the semester, God showed me just how much I needed Him, and how I could only find true contentment in Him. He also showed me just how important community was, so what better way to end the semester than to get baptized on the beach of Ecuador as a public declaration of my complete trust in Christ, surrounded by all the people who had walked alongside me and challenged me throughout the most incredible experience of my life. I remember looking around the circle, looking at each and every person who had loved me with intention, who had genuinely cared for me, who had discipled me and who had spent time with me, and I felt undeserving of the kindness and openness they had shared. But God puts people in our lives for a reason, and I know with full confidence that it was no coincidence our paths crossed that semester. After the baptisms, I remember just jumping in the waves as it started to rain, laughing and hugging all the people who had challenged me to become the Christ-follower I am today, and knowing that each of those wonderful people would forever be a part of my story.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For sure the most nerve-racking thing I have ever done was go scuba diving for the first time in the Galapagos! The boat ride out to the dive spot was a complete blur because I was so nervous I couldn't even think strait! I remember just trying to calm myself down and breath normally as I put my wet-suit on, thinking through the different steps and hand signals. I was so nervous and hesitant that they had to push me in! But once I got down to the ocean floor, I realized that I was fine, I was breathing oxygen from a little pack on my back, and even though there were sharks swimming around, they weren't trying to bite any limbs off! It was all going to be okay, in fact, it was going to be spectacular! I think in order to overcome my nerves, I just had to go for it before my nerves could talk me out of it. And I had to focus on the details, like the hand signals and how to read my oxygen meter, and not focus on the fact that I was about to scuba dive for the first time with sharks! (It also helped to have someone push me...literally)!
Read my full story
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Joanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Most Life-Changing Season of my Life

I learned so much about life, culture, community, and my relationship with the Lord while in Ecuador! Something new and different challenged the way I thought daily. Here's one highlight of something I learned on a volcano hike while in Quito:
For a small assignment in Spiritual Formation class, I climbed Pinchincha with a small rock in my hand to remind me of the constant presence of the Lord in every moment of life. Even with it IN MY HAND, I still sometimes forgot that it was there. This made me realize once again just how much of a forgetful human I am, despite all the amazing things that I have witnessed the Lord do in my life. Having just finished out the month in homestays the day before, I had freshly learned the closeness of Jesus’ presence with me through all the highs and lows, and this hike proved to be such an amazing symbol of the previous month. And in spite of my silly tendency to constantly become unaware of His guidance and love, I know that He guides and loves me still. Nothing I do or don’t do can make Him let go of my hand, even if I forget that I am holding it. I am so, so grateful for all of my experiences in Ecuador like this one.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
During homestays, my partner and I tried chicken feet and the lining of a cow's stomach for the first time. Definitely the weirdest things I have ever tried, but I'm still alive!! That must say something.:)
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Grace Grant's Experience

Studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador with Living & Learning International was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. It provided me with an incredible opportunity to be immersed in a new culture through classes, homestays, and trips. It also grew and strengthened my knowledge of the world around me. Through this experience, my faith in Jesus Christ was restored. I was also able to grow as a human and learn more about who I am. One of my favorite trips was going to the town of Banos. ATVing through the town was one of the most amazing and freeing moments of my life. I also loved being able to try all of the wonderful new foods, such as chifles, coco batidos, empanadas, jugo de mora and popcorn in soup. Everyone one of my experiences contributed to an incredible semester. All of these things would not have been possible without the incredible L&LI staff.

What would you improve about this program?
Meeting my homestay family was one of the most nerve-racking moment. But, immediately I was reassured by my director and welcomed with kind words and hugs from homestay mom. I ended up having the most beautiful homestay experience that I could have imagined.
Raquel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

STUDY ABROAD IN ECUADOR--it will change your life!

My experience in Quito, Ecuador was AMAZING! The program that I did it through is called Living and Learning International (L&LI) and I left as a completely changed person; it was the BEST experience of my life and I could have not done without the Lord and those that He brought near me when I needed it. I lived in a predominantly Spanish-speaking country for four months, where I went a short-term mission trip in the Jungle, lived with an Ecuadorian family, lived with a community of 40 people, learned more Spanish/took other courses like Biology as well and experienced the same God in a vastly different way! Also, I had an internship in an ethnically diverse church for my major and at the end of the semester, we traveled to the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the beach at the coast of Ecuador. Because of studying abroad in Ecuador, my heart now is at different places at once.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not think there is anything that can be improved in this program, it was perfect for me.
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Brooke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Seeking... Finding

When I think back on my time in Ecuador I see color. I see David and Gloria greeting me with a kiss on the check and selling me beautiful fresh flowers, sneaking an extra bundle in for free. I see Jim smiling as I step into Harlans knowing that I want a cronut and latte. I see little kids squirting me with foam during Carnival weekend. I see the cohort sailing, well zipping down the river in the jungle. I see Peru from the top of Machu Picchu. I see water falling on top of me as i swim under the falls. I see our house in Quito, filled with barefoot girls and fruit, laughter and tears, and dance parties. I see my friend hustling for Maroon 5 tickets in Spanish hours before our flight out of the country leaves. I see our whole group worshipping on Wednesday nights. I see otters kissing my face in the waters of the Galapagos. I see myself and friends sliding down Pichincha in the snow. I see the color of the buildings.

My season in Ecuador was colorful. It was life changing because of the relationships. Now I work as a teacher and coach at a Christian High School and I see myself reflecting on my time in Ecuador not for the colorful memories as much as for the example of community. I want to live walking distance from my students because I know the support and comfort of having a teacher walking distance from me. I want to do things with them outside of school because I know the joy of swimming in a canal or going to coffee with someone who wants to teach and mentor me. I want to take time for their stories because people took time for mine. I find myself striving to cultivate community because that is what shaped me and made my study abroad experience life changing.

Go to Ecuador! Even if you're seeking colorful adventures, you're bound to find more.

What would you improve about this program?
I really am not sure what I would suggest to be improved. I think the program is so well developed and I fully recommend. Maybe with homestays to see what the families like to do and see if it matches how the students like to explore. Classes could be a bit more challenging but similarly you have so much going on it was about what I could handle.
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Cassidy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador Semester with L&LI Spring 2018

I knew I wanted to study abroad for a semester. At first, I was thinking I would end up going to Spain. However, after taking a closer look into the study abroad programs that my school offer, none had the perspective of Christian Worldview (which was weird to me, because I attend a Christian university). Anyways, a program with its mission based on Christ was what I was looking for, and that's exactly what I found with the program Living and Learning International. Choosing to study abroad in Ecuador with this program was one of the best decisions I have made and I do not regret it a single bit. Not only did I experience an adventure of the lifetime, but I got to experience this adventure with my best friend Hallie along with making new best friends there. I want to give thanks to all the staff who made my time in Ecuador possible and for the community that was made. It would not have been the same without them.

I also appreciate how this program's semester is set up with 1 month in the houses with people from the program, then 1 month in homestays (so you don't miss out on that experience), 1 month back in the houses together again, and then travel for two weeks to the Jungle and the Galapagos -- and not to forget, the Chapel sessions that took place once a week. This program was very organized with the set up including housing, travel, education & classes, and everything else and more! I think that definitely has to go along with the amazing staff. I already wish I could go back!

The country of Ecuador is breath-taking! I could tell you about it and all about my experience or...you could go yourself! I promise you will not regret it!

Life-giving and life-changing. 10/10 would recommend! :)

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Elena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Elena's Review of Living and Learning International

This program is amazing! Not only do you get to live in Ecuador-- a country full of warm and interesting people, but you also get to be part of a very strong and special community within the program. One of the most impactful aspects of this program was the spiritual teaching and guidance. The staff of Living and Learning really care about each student and push them to become who they were created to be by God. Although the trips, sights, and crazy experiences were fun, the focus on God is what really mattered most to me.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of anything of great import that this program could improve on. It is very intentional and well-thought out in all of its activities.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experience of a Lifetime

Deciding to study abroad in Ecuador with Living and Learning is easily one of the best decisions I have made. There are many things to highlight from this incredible experience, but some that stand out are the people, the places, and the cultural practices. I felt welcomed and supported by staff from the very beginning- even before we had arrived in Ecuador. They do an amazing job of making everyone feel valued and seen. Additionally, the staff coordinates all the details of the excursions, so it is nice that you don't have to worry about anything and can just enjoy the fun trips- of which there are plenty! Not only did we travel all over Ecuador, but we also got to experience Peru! Lastly, this semester program does a great job of immersing students in Ecuadorian culture. From living with a family for a month to traveling to internships on public transportation, there are many opportunities to experience the culture firsthand. I would highly, highly recommend this program.

What would you improve about this program?
I have no suggestions- it was a fantastic program!
me
Gabriella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living & Learning International Semester Abroad

L&LI Semester Abroad was an amazing experience full of spiritual, intellectual, and relational growth. Being fully immersed into Ecuadorian culture while taking classes, having an internship, living with home-stay families, and going on trips that allow you to see the four regions of Ecuador is something that not very many people have the opportunity to do. Being able to do all this with amazing staff that is there to support you spiritually, mentally and physically 100% of the time is an incredible gift and added bonus. The teachers are there to challenge you in a variety of ways all while incorporating the culture and history of Ecuador. You have the chance to build life long relationships with staff, fellow students, and home-stay families that radiate Christ and that are built on a strong foundation for the love of Ecuador and the city of Quito that you are living in. This program helps you grow in independence, sense of curiosity and in your knowledge of Spanish.
Going into this program, I had no idea that it would have been this life changing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend this program!

What would you improve about this program?
My semester was the first one to go to Peru and get to see Machu Picchu which was incredible! However, waking up at 3am almost every day to get started was rough. This was because we only had a few days in Peru, so I would definitely say that the length of that trip could be a bit longer to allow for some rest and more sightseeing.
Miku
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wow

When people asked me the one question of, "How was it?!" My one answer was always, wow. Starting and finishing with the staff, they made the semester the best it could be for us. They poured into us students and we got to pour into them as well. Not only did the staff change my life, but so did the students I walked with these past four months. Some closer than others, but all so loving and authentic. We traveled to Peru and the four worlds of Ecuador with each other. Outside of these amazing trips, we studied together and grew in the knowledge of Spanish language and other academics. Professors were always so supportive of the next steps you wanted to take in life and truly cared for you. This program is so unique because of its' people. They make you feel like home no matter how uncomfortable you are. Prepare to be vulnerable, loved, and scared. This trip was filled with all emotions, but knowing that I wasn't alone on this trip felt amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, I would not change any of what this program has to offer.
Andre
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Most Life Changing Semester

In short, my time with Living & Learning International changed my life! I couldn't have asked for a better semester. Prior to embarking on this journey with L&LI, I did not know what to expect. I was mostly just looking forward to having all the fun (I mean promises of climbing a volcano and going to the Galapagos Islands should hype anyone up). However in the midst of all the fun, I had not anticipated to grow as much as I did, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The staff of L&LI truly take the time to pour into their students and disciple them to be better leaders over their lives so that they in turn know how to lead others well. In just the course of 4 months, I had learned from L&LI what it means to live in authentic and genuine community with others where vulnerability and honesty is welcomed and fosters personal growth. There's not one thing with this semester that I regret or wish could've been different.

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Kristin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador Summer 2017

My time in Ecuador in the summer of 2017 was priceless and far exceeded my expectations. The staff was invested in discipleship and in the lives of the students. I learned a huge amount from my education internship. I've been to about 5 or 6 countries (some on multiple occasions), and my time in Ecuador was probably the most enjoyable of them all. I seriously plan to apply for teaching jobs in Ecuador when I graduate next year. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
When I arrived in Ecuador, I had next to no idea of what to expect from Living and Learning as a program, because I don't feel like we were told much what to expect at all. However, I was the co-guinea pig so to speak from my university, so that kind of made sense. It wasn't an overly frustrating experience though, and everything that my study abroad was far outweighed that one minor con. :)
Quito, Ecuador
Peyton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall 2017

Going to Quito, Ecuador was the most impactful part of my college career. Not only was I able to travel to South America and go on countless adventures, leaving me with stories and experiences of a lifetime, but I also was immersed into a culture that stretched me and changed the way I see the world. Living in Quito in an apartment with other people from the program was beneficial because I was able to adjust to Ecuador with others who were also experiencing the change of living in another country and adjusting to a new culture. However, when I moved to my homestay and lived with an Ecuadorian family for a month, I realized that before, I had simply been studying abroad. When I moved in with my Ecuadorian family, I was then living abroad. I was able to grasp the culture in an entirely new way when I had Ecuadorian parents, brothers, and sisters. I learned a lot of Spanish, and I learned what it means to be a good host and to open your home to family and friends. I lived in an environment in which family comes first, relationships are more important than work, and you are treated as though you are a daughter of the family.

What would you improve about this program?
The only aspect of the program that I believe could be improved would be the organization of the application process as well as the explanation and description of what we are going to be doing when we actually do get to Ecuador.