On our Summer in Ecuador program, you’ll live 9,000 feet above sea level in the amazing city of Quito. Its historic downtown, full of cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, will captivate you all summer long. You’ll study at the leading private university in the country, the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and be based at its well-equipped U.S.-style campus. Quito will also be your classroom as you practice newfound language skills in everyday settings. CISabroad’s program includes incredible, unique excursions that will complement your coursework. You’re sure to create memories to last a lifetime while traveling throughout Ecuador’s ethnically, culturally, and naturally diverse landscapes.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
- Avg Course Load
- 3 courses (9 US credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
- Spanish and English
Key Program Highlights
- One of the most diverse countries in the world, from the wilds of the Amazon to the majestic Andes to the Pacific beaches
- Nine U.S. credits in nine weeks
- Quito's UNESCO World Heritage listed colonial center
- Salsa lessons so you can impress on the dance floor
- The thrilling Teleférico, a cable car with a view of Quito from atop a volcano
- Thriving artisan markets showcase vibrant art and indigenous culture of Ecuador
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Quito
Welcome and Orientation
At the airport, you’ll be met by our onsite staff and/or homestay family. They will help transfer you back to your housing and you’ll begin your orientation. During your first few days, you’ll visit the UNESCO world heritage site of old town Quito, learn about Ecuadorian customs, get tips on how to blend in, learn some common slang words and even how to deal with altitude sickness. (Yes! You will be living at more than 9000 feet in Quito!) Then there’s the welcome meal: the perfect opportunity to learn about Ecuadorian food. Did you know that in Ecuador there are more than 200 varieties of potatoes as well as a tomato that hangs up from a tree?!
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Going home after all your Ecuadorian adventures and adjusting again to your home culture can be hard. We try to help make this process less abrupt by walking you through what to expect and, also, how to benefit from your newly gained knowledge. During our farewell evening we’ll give you some ideas as to how to integrate your new experiences into your personal and professional life back home.
On Semester in Ecuador, you’ll truly immerse yourself in the culture with a homestay. Students typically say that living with a local family was their favorite part of traveling abroad. Your host family will treat you like a member of the family.
- They’ll prepare breakfast and dinner for you, allowing you to get to know (and love) Quiteño cooking!
- Bed linens
- Weekly laundry service
This safe, comfortable, secure home will help you integrate into your life abroad.
- Cooking classes: Learn how to prepare the local cuisine and surprise your family when you go back home!
- Metropolitan Park: Walk through the woods in the middle of the city of Quito.
- Music concerts at local restaurants / bars: Enjoy jazz, Blues, Salsa, in a cozy environment while eating a good meal.
- Dance classes: Becoming a great salsa dancer isn’t easy...it takes practice!
- Soccer games: We love soccer and you will have plenty of opportunities to see a game.
- Movie theater: Tuesdays are the best days since it’s two for the price of one!
More About Quito
From lively indigenous festivals to lovely outdoor cafés in tranquil parks, Quito is a city of wonderful contrasts. It has a mixed history of ancient empires and colonialism. This history is visible in the ruins that dot the landscape and in the incredible Spanish-style churches and leafy plazas. UNESCO named the entire downtown a World Heritage site. They described Quito as having “the best-preserved, least-altered historic center in Latin America.”
Quito comprises several distinct neighborhoods. You'll love the historic downtown with its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and street vendors selling everything you can possibly imagine. Equally fun is the Mariscal Sucre, the heart of the traveler scene in Quito. It’s rife with international restaurants, travel agencies, and hostels, and has a very lively dance scene. In other neighborhoods, you can visit an incredible museum that pays tribute to Oswaldo Guayasamin (Quito’s favorite artist), independent cinemas, and bohemian enclaves. If music is your passion, you can tap your feet to live traditional Andean tunes, pulsating salsa, and cumbia. Lastly, you can get lost for hours in the local parks and craft markets set amidst colonial grandeur. Most importantly, it’s all easily accessible by bus, taxi, or foot.
Volcanoes and the impressive Andes mountains surround Quito. Every day, you'll glimpse stunning views of the Pichincha Valley and the snow-capped peaks of Cotopaxi, an active volcano. At the same time, you can access other amazing opportunities for exploration from the highest capital in the world. Ecuador is packed with adventure and amazing biodiversity, from the Amazonian jungle to crater lakes to the Galapagos Islands. Getting to these locations is easy and quick. Furthermore, you can be on the beach in the morning, Quito in the afternoon, and the Amazon jungle at night, all in the same day!
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in excursions at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term, but include at least one weekend trip; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Otavalo Indigenous Market and Cuicocha Lake
Visit one of the biggest and most colorful indigenous markets in Latin America, where you can buy traditional trinkets and eat delicious local food. Plus, take a boat ride in Cuicocha Lake, which is at the foot of a volcano.
Hike down to the historic crater lake and ride donkeys back up to the top, while admiring the spectacular view!
Pichincha Volcano (by cable car)
Take a cable car 12,943 feet up to enjoy a magnificent view of Quito. You can walk through the paramo (high mountain vegetation), where there’s a cool but enjoyable breeze.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
Summer in Ecuador is located at the gorgeous and prestigious Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). USFQ boasts strong programs in biology and environmental science; liberal arts; arts and communication; marketing; international relations; business; and hospitality and tourism, among others.
USFQ offers a few different “tracks” for you to consider, depending on your Spanish language ability/interests. All courses are available to CISabroad students, as long as you have the proper pre-requisites (language and/or content), so feel free to mix and match from the following:
- Content courses instructed in English (about 10% of USFQ’s content courses)
- Content courses instructed in Spanish (“mainstream” enrollment with majority locals as classmates)
- Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture courses for Spanish language learners
Content courses instructed in English
Content courses instructed in English are scattered throughout USFQ’s broad course catalog. You’ll find offerings in various sciences and arts, so you may be able to fulfill major/minor requirements. Even more likely, you’ll find some good electives to round out your degree. Especially when combined with a Spanish language course or two, you should be able to fill up your course load without considering content courses instructed in Spanish.
Content courses instructed in Spanish
Content courses instructed in Spanish require an intermediate or higher level of Spanish language proficiency. These are the most abundant offerings at USFQ and are offered in a wide range of disciplines. We recommend that you have at least 2 years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent in practice before considering taking courses alongside native speakers. If you are a non-native speaker of Spanish you may find certain disciplines/subjects difficult to follow if you haven’t been exposed to requisite vocabulary. Rule of thumb: if you can’t comprehend the course description in Spanish (provided below) you might be in over your head. We’ll also administer a Spanish language placement exam to help you gauge if this is an appropriate track for you.
Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture courses for Spanish language learners
The summer session typically offers a couple levels of Spanish language courses. An online Spanish placement exam will help you determine the appropriate level. You may also find courses in conversation, culture, and specialty areas like medical Spanish. Please note that these courses are NOT listed in the course descriptions document below, so please inquire with us about what’s on offer for your term of interest.
To view the entire course catalog from USFQ please click here. Please note that not every course is offered every summer and that about 20 of the courses included in this file are taught in English. We have highlighted those courses in yellow to make them easier to view. All other courses are instructed in Spanish. As noted above, the Spanish language courses are not included here; please inquire for offerings for your term of interest.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is an academic powerhouse that ranks as the top university in Ecuador, according to the 2016 QS University Rankings. You'll receive a top education in a stunning location.
USFQ is a modern university nestled in the beautiful northern suburbs of Quito. The University employs over half of the PhDs in all of Ecuador. USFQ is well known for its environmental and biological advances, social justice mission, community-service focus, and hands-on academic studies. The nearly 6,000 undergraduates come from 40-plus countries. Even during the summer, there are over 1,000 students from across the globe. You'll certainly make an international network of friends.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito has a U.S.-style campus, with wireless access, gardens, and areas for yoga, soccer, and pottery. It also boasts the largest library in Ecuador. There are many food options on campus, including a student-run dining hall and bakery. Once off campus, you'll find many other stores, including a mall, coffee shops, and restaurants.
On our Summer in Ecuador or Semester in Ecuador programs, you'll have your choice of courses. USFQ, which was the first liberal arts institution in the Andean region, continues to grow into so much more. You can take business, communication, and design courses. Or you can opt for classes in technical and applied sciences like health, engineering, and biological and environmental sciences. The University is also an excellent place to learn Spanish. Here, you'll find courses that satisfy your major, and you'll get a unique hands-on experience that you can only find through CISabroad!
USFQ was founded in 1988 and is accredited by the Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education.
Accreditation: Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education
Eli C - Western Oregon University
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management & Program Coordinator - Argentina, Ecuador, Peru
Site Director in Ecuador
Application DeadlineApril 1ArrivalMay 26OrientationMay 28Classes StartMay 28Classes EndJuly 12DepartureJuly 21PRICE$8,990 - $9,590
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
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
- Universidad de San Francisco de Quito official transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program