Summer in Ecuador

Come live 9,000 feet above sea level in this high-altitude haven for exploration: markets, mountains, and culture in the city of Quito, and beaches, jungles, and crater lakes all nearby. Take classes with Ecuadorian, European, Asian, and U.S. students.

Take your Spanish to the next level amid the Andean peaks. Study Spanish in Ecuador and learn about Quiteño culture this summer in a prestigious private university. Improve your Spanish-language skills while traveling around the country during your summer in  Ecuador.

You can trust us to help. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. From Incan ruins to pulsating salsa clubs, we love all that Ecuador has to offer. So get excited about living in the Andes, and we’ll support you the whole way.

We care about the environment. Your round-trip flight to Quito will be offset by the work of CISabroad’s environmental partnerships around the world. Plus, you’ll have opportunities to give back to the local community while studying abroad so you can rest easy when you spend your summer abroad in Ecuador!

Academics that are literally sky-high!  On our Summer in Ecuador study abroad program you'll live 9,000 feet above sea level in the amazing city of Quito at a highly ranked private university.  On Summer in Ecuador you will study at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a top-notch university, and improve your Spanish during unique excursions throughout this dynamic country.  Quito comprises several distinct neighborhoods.  You will love the historic downtown with its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and street vendors selling everything you can possibly imagine.  You will experience:

Excellent academics if you’re looking to study in Spanish – Earn 9 credits in 9 weeks. You’ll have the freedom and flexibility to study Spanish abroad in Ecuador as you  practice your new language skills while traveling throughout ethnically, culturally, and naturally diverse Ecuador.

Comforts of home- Universidad San Francisco de Quito has a well-equipped campus that has many of the same luxuries as your home school; enjoy a quality library, Wi-Fi access, classrooms, restaurants and sports fields.

Amazing sites in Ecuador – This geographically small country is packed with adventure activities and opportunities for cultural exploration, and it boasts beautiful scenery and amazing biodiversity—the Galapagos Islands are nearby!

A fascinating, historic city – Quito’s entire downtown, with its fascinating blend of old and new, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it’s hard to go wrong when exploring.  From indigenous festivals to cafes in tranquil parks, Quito is a city of wonderful contrasts.  Its mixed history of ancient empires and colonialism is visible in the amazing ruins and the Spanish- style churches that dot the landscape. 

Incredible excursions that complement your coursework – This program is packed with peak experiences.  Visit the lush coast, teaming with tropical fruits, cacoa, and cafes. Trek in the mountain town of Baños, where thermal pools sit in the shadow of a volcano. 

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in Ecuador for a summer, then check our Summer in Ecuador program! Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Study Spanish abroad in Ecuador
  • Live in central Quito, with access to premier museums, art, dance, music, and film events
  • The colonial center of old Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Centrally located for excursions to Amazonian jungle, the Mindo Cloudforest, the coast’s surf scene, and the legendary Galapagos Islands
  • Community-service and internship options in the local and indigenous communities surrounding the campus
  • International and local students
  • Fantastic private university in Quito
  • Live with a local family
  • Strong on-site support from both the University and our site director
  • Thriving artisan markets throughout the city
  • Learn some fancy salsa moves in one of many dance studios and then strut your stuff with impressive salseros on the dance floor
  • Visit nearby ruins to learn about Quito’s importance in the Incan empire
  • Great, inexpensive Andean cuisine
  • Possibility to do a 4-day trip to Tiputini Biodiversity Station

While studying in Ecuador you will adventure outside of Quito on at least one excursion with CISabroad.  Possible excursions included are one of the following:

Mitad del Mundo

This 30 meter tall monument is meant to mark the spot where the Equator passes through Ecuador- hence the name Mitad del Mundo, which translates to “Middle of the World.” However, modern calculations have shown that the Equator actually passes 200 meters away from the monument. It’s still an incredible monument to see, though!

Otavalo Market

One of the most famous Andean market, this town outside of Quito hosts a market everyday of the week filled with delicious, local food and one of a kind artisan crafts. The 90 minute drive is through the beautiful Andean mountains and is always a fun and filling day trip to a truly special Ecuadorian market. 


One of the largest volcanoes in Ecuador, the hike to the base camp has hikers walking past 4800 meters. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and on clear days gives a mesmerizing view of the city of Quito. 

Offered as an Add-On to the Summer in Ecuador Program:

Tiputini Biodiversity Station
While in Ecuador, you will take a 4-day trip to Tiputini, a biodiversity station. Situated in the Amazonian Rainforest between the Tiputini River and Yasuni National Park, Tiputini is largely a research station. Tiputini prevents the hunting of mammals that are only rarely seen elsewhere in Ecuador. Additionally, because of the research emphasis, there are no regular tours to the area, so you will have the ability to see an Ecuadorian wildlife habitat away from the hustle-and-bustle of many tourist biodiversity stations!

Summer in Ecuador is housed at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, which offers excellent courses in Spanish as a second language. Speaking Spanish at an intermediate or higher level is required so we recommend that you have at least 2 years of college-level Spanish or the real-world equivalent before coming. An online Spanish placement exam will help you register for courses in the College of Liberal Arts, the Spanish Department, or Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras. Tutoring is available if you need extra help with the language. USFQ also boasts strong programs in biology and environmental science, liberal arts, arts and communication, marketing, international relations, business, and hospitality and tourism. Courses include anthropology, cultural studies, Spanish, volcanology, culinary arts, and studio arts among others, and most courses are taught in Spanish.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now for the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses.

Course load:  3 courses (9 US credits)

Course approval: It is best to get classes approved before you go abroad. This way you will have enough classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule. You should also consider filling your elective requirements.

Click here to view the course catalog. Please note not every course is offered every semester and that about 20 of the courses included in this file are taught in English. We have marked those courses to make them easier to view.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 


For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Quito has something for everyone! This city is known for its mix of everything from lively festivals to peaceful parks. You can get a sense of the city’s ancient history by viewing some of the ruins surrounding it, and by touring the amazing Spanish-style churches in the city. The entire downtown area of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its incredibly well-preserved historic center. All around the city are volcanoes and mountains, easily accessible from downtown Quito.

The city is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with their own feel. The historic downtown area will charm you with its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and numerous street vendors. The Mariscal Sucre is the heart of the traveler scene in Quito- it’s filled with international restaurants, travel agencies, and hostels. It also has a lively dance scene and nightlife. Other neighborhoods are more comprised of museums, art galleries, independent cinemas, and live traditional Andean music. It’s all easily accessible by walking or public transportation!

There are many different climates found at the different altitudes of Ecuador. It has everything from beaches to rainforests to mountain ranges, and is conveniently located near the Galapagos Islands. There are countless adventures to be had in this varied country!

Our Summer in Ecuador is located at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Founded in 1988, the university is accredited by the Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education. Universidad San Francisco de Quito ranks as one of the three-top universities (category A) in the ranking of Ecuadorian universities.

The Summer in Ecuador will be spent at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a modern university that is located in the northern suburbs of Quito. The school employs over half of all the PhDs in all of Ecuador! It is known for its environmental, biological, social justice, and community service focuses, as well as hands-on academic studies. Nearly 6,000 undergraduates attend the university, from over 40 countries around the world. 

The school has an almost American campus feel, with beautiful green areas, a huge library, sports fields, eating areas, and local and international students enjoying campus life. There are a wide variety of courses to choose from, with classes in everything from business, communication and design to technical and applied sciences like health, engineering, biological and environmental sciences. You’ll earn credits to satisfy your major and get a unique hands-on experience!

You will be able to enjoy the excellent support provided by CISabroad staff, who want to ensure that you have the best time possible in Ecuador. We’re with you before, during, and after your trip for any questions or concerns you may have about your new city!

You’ll start off the summer with an intensive orientation program that will get you comfortable in Quito and at your new university. The school provides lots of opportunities to get involved and meet local students on campus and in the community. There are also numerous clubs for every interest- from mountaineering, martial arts, or modern dance, there’s something for you to join. There is also Spanish tutoring available for all language levels!

Along with the academics, you will also have the chance to get out and explore the rest of Ecuador with an excursion to Tiputini Biodiversity Station as well as at least one other excursion included. Options are, the Mitad del Mundo, Pinchincha Volcano, or more! 

If you’re worried about leaving the comforts of home, you can look forward to living with a local family who will provide you with home cooked meals and tips and advice to integrate you into your new city.


You will be able to immerse yourself in local culture during your summer in Ecuador by living with a local family in Quito. Most students report that this was their favorite part of their study abroad experience! You’ll get to enjoy two home cooked meals a day, and you will also be supplied with linens, utilities, and laundry once a week. This comfortable, secure homestay is the perfect way to integrate into your new city.

CISabroad’s Site Director in Ecuador:

Diana Balarezo is a trilingual (Spanish, English and French) Ecuadorian that has worked in the tourism industry for many years. She was the Ecuador National Coordinator of a volunteers’ non-profit organization with more than 80 member countries, as well as the US market leader of the biggest tourism company in Ecuador. She lived in the US as a student and, after, as a restaurant manager at a Ski Resort in Idaho, where she learned to snowboard and still misses it. She has traveled extensively around Ecuador, back packed in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala and Mexico; camped in some National Reserves in the US and Canada, and visited Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Austria, among others, knowing she cannot die before diving at the Great Barrier Reef. She’s also an active volunteer of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and earned a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Development and Hospitality and a Master’s degree in Social and Environmental studies. Diane's hobbies include sports such as trail running and mountain biking, as well as watching movies and reading a nice book.

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the cost of tuition?

The program cost for ­the Summer in Ecuador program can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for the Summer in Ecuador program are due on April 15. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

There are four easy steps in the Application process.

1. Fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc.

2. Pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost.

3. Submit: Academic Reference Form, Course Selection Worksheet, Personal Statement, Applicant Profile, and Scholarship Application (Optional).

4. Mail in your official Transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application for Summer in Ecuador is due on April 1st.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For almost all CISabroad programs, you WILL NEED A PASSPORT. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the Summer in Ecuador program, you will NOT need a visa.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For the Summer in Ecuador program, the GPA requirement is 2.5.

6. What are my housing options?

Students will live with a homestay family. You will be treated as a member of the family, eating breakfast and dinner at home with them and getting to know Quiteño cooking! In addition to the two meals, you will be provided with linens, utilities, and laundry once a week. Homestays are a great way to learn more about the local culture as well as practice your Spanish!

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For the Summer in Ecuador program, students will take 3 courses (9 U.S. credits). To see the courses available and a more detailed description of the course schedule, go to the course catalog

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: Summer 2017
Arrival May 20
CISabroad Orientation May 21
Classes Start May 22
Classes End July 6
Departure July 15
Application Deadline April 1
Term: Summer 2017 Price: $8,990 - $9,590 more info

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following: 

  •  Full-time tuition and fees
  •  Housing (homestay)
  •  Meals (2 per day)
  •  Medical and accident insurance
  •  Option of going on the 4 day Tiputini Excursion
  •  CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program 
  •  Academic advising 
  •  Financial aid counseling 
  •  Assistance with travel arrangements 
  •  Predeparture orientation 
  •  Airport pickup 
  •  CISabroad on-site orientation
  •  Universidad de San Francisco de Quito orientation 
  •  On-site support 
  •  Additional excursions and activities
  •  Universidad de San Francisco de Quito official transcript 
  •  Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.