Program Overview

Work in a media facility or on a sustainable farm. Help an indigenous community grow or develop educational curriculum for at-risk children. You can learn so much about Ecuador through a hands-on, custom internship. There’s no better way to gain experience for your resume, improve your Spanish, and fall in love with this enchanting country. Come live 9,000 feet above sea level in this high-altitude haven. Markets, mountains, city culture, beaches, jungles, crater lakes, and the Galapagos are all nearby. On our Intern in Ecuador program, you will get a professional internship tailored to your skills, your interests, and your new community’s needs.

GPA Requirement
2.5
Application Deadlines
Summer: February 15 | March 1 | April 15
Fall: June 1 | July 1
Spring: October 1 | October 15
Avg Course Load
3-12 US creditsU.S credit may be available through CISabroad and/or your home university
Language(s) of Instruction
English and Spanish

Key Program Highlights

  • Internships available in urban and rural settings, including Quito, the jungle, the coast, and the Galapagos
  • Intensive Spanish language course in Quito included in your program
  • Hands-on internship placements customized just for you
  • Incredible weekend excursions—visit the lush coast, trek in the mountains, or sit in the shadow of a volcano
  • Strong on-site support from our site director
  • At least one meal per day included

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.

Internship Placement

Below are a few sample biology and ecology internship placements undertaken by past participants.
There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized.
Contact an advisor to learn more!

Animal Protection Intern at Wildlife Refuge
The Amazon jungle is calling you, where dozens of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other animals live in a protected area. Most of the animals were found injured or come from inhospitable locations. As an intern, you'll help care for the animals by feeding them and cleaning their habitats, as well as helping the staff maintain the refuge.
Wildlife Protection Intern at Turtle Conservation Project
This placement is all about safeguarding turtles. You'll patrol the beach looking for approaching turtles laying their eggs, as well as predators that might want to eat the eggs. As an intern, you'll also put transmitters on turtles to monitor their activities and educate nearby communities about the preservation of this animal.
Plant Research Assistant at Botanical Gardens
Spend a semester working in a stunning botanical garden. You'll help with research, restoration, conservation, and documentation of many plant species, including trees, orchids, and medicinal and edible plants. Ecuador has more plant species than all of North America, which means you'll spot plants that you’ve never seen before!
Earn credit 

Through our partnership with Plymouth State University, you can earn between 3-12 credits in the fields listed here. Alternatively, many students are able to arrange for credit through their home universities. Learn More →

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in excursions. This program includes one day excursion as well as a city tour. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

Pichincha Volcano (by cable car)-ecuador-excursion

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.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program otavalo indigenous market and cuicocha lake ecuador excursion

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.

Quilotoa Volcano

Hike down to the historic crater lake and ride donkeys back up to the top, while admiring the spectacular view!


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.

Housing Options

Intern in Ecuador Participants will live in homestays with a local family or shared housing with international students. Housing for Intern in Ecuador varies depending on the location of the internship.

For most internship placements, and especially for those interns living in Quito, participants will live in a homestay with a local Ecuadorian family. Interns often describe the homestay as one of their favorite parts of the overall experience. Homestays allow you to fully immerse yourself in Ecuadorian culture, food, and the Spanish language.

Interns in the placements outside of Quito usually live in communal bunkhouses with other international students or interns. Both of these housing options will provide program participants with at least one meal per day.

street scene in Quito

Local Life

  • 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!

Student Feedback

Student studying abroad jumping photo rock and mountains with CISabroad
I had the opportunity to work with some amazing children who will always stay close to my heart. I made great friends and greatly improved my Spanish. These were three months well spent in Ecuador thanks to CISabroad.

Eli C - Western Oregon University

Program Support

Meet 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.

Ongoing Support

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

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Keegan Burdette
Internship Enrollment Advisor

Travel Tip: My travel necessities are an open mind, a wristwatch and a journal.

Learn more about Keegan

Diana Balarezo
Site Director in Ecuador

Travel Tip: Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and home to 14 different indigenous nationalities. Be prepared to experience new landscapes, aromas, tastes, sounds and people. Respect the places and the people you will be with and never stop learning!

Learn more about Diana

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Fall 2018: Session 1
    Application Deadline
    June 1
    Arrival
    August 31
    Orientation
    September 1 - 2
    Departure
    September 29 | October 27 | November 22
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790
  • Fall 2018: Session 2
    Application Deadline
    July 1
    Arrival
    October 5
    Orientation
    October 6 - 7
    Departure
    November 3 | December 1 | December 29
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790
  • Spring 2019: Session 1
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    Arrival
    January 4 (Estimated)
    Orientation
    January 5 - 6 (Estimated)
    Departure
    February 2 | March 2 | March 30 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790 (Estimated)
  • Spring 2019: Session 2
    Application Deadline
    November 1
    Arrival
    February 1 (Estimated)
    Orientation
    February 2 - 3 (Estimated)
    Departure
    March 2 | March 30 | April 27 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790 (Estimated)
  • Summer 2019: Session 1
    Application Deadline
    February 15
    Arrival
    May 18 (Estimated)
    Departure
    June 15 | July 13 | August 10 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790 (Estimated)
  • Summer 2019: Session 2
    Application Deadline
    March 1
    Arrival
    June 1 (Estimated)
    Departure
    June 29 | July 27 | August 24 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790 (Estimated)
  • Summer 2019: Session 3
    Application Deadline
    April 15
    Arrival
    June 15 (Estimated)
    Departure
    July 13 | August 10 | September 7 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $3,490 - $5,790 (Estimated)

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

OPTIONAL ADD-ON:

Intensive Spanish language training (non-credit bearing). Please ask your advisor for details.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Internship placement and supervision
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • One Excursion
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Airport pickup service
  • On-site support
  • Career Launch Toolkit
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program