Live in Quito, the highest capital in the world, while studying with international students at a prestigious private university. Your host city Quito sits 9,000 feet above sea level and is a high-altitude haven for all things fun. On Semester in Ecuador, you’ll take in its markets, cultural sights, and gorgeous colonial architecture. Nearby, mountains, beaches, jungles, and crater lakes beckon you. During your program, you’ll be based at Universidad Internacional del Ecuador, an internationally accredited university. You can improve your Spanish through both language and elective courses taught in Spanish as you embrace this dazzling country.
Spring: October 1
- Wander through the streets of Quito on a Ciclopaseo city bike ride
- Courses taught in both Spanish and English
- Only a short flight away from the Galapagos Islands
- The thrilling Teleférico, a ride that gives you a view of the city atop a volcano
- Discover the vibrant art and indigenous culture of Ecuador at the many artisan markets and open-air art shows in Quito
- Add on: Rainforest excursion
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.
WHY THIS UNIVERSITY?
UIDE is an internationally accredited private university located in the heart of modern Quito. Its 36-hectare sustainable campus earned it a place in the International Sustainable Campus Network, among only 4 other South American institutions of higher education.
International students usually take advantage of UIDE’s extensive sports offering, ranging from horse riding and paintball to salsa classes. Find out more by downloading our campus guide.
UIDE offers classes with a maximum of 25 students to ensure personalized assistance for foreign students.
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. 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.
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.
Semester in Ecuador is located at the gorgeous and prestigious Universidad Internacional del Ecuador. UIDE boasts a wide range of classes in English for international students, including:
- Automotive/Mechanical Engineering
- Business Administration
- Environmental & Sustainability Studies
- International Relations
- Law & Legal Studies
- Spanish language
To view the entire English language course catalog from UIDE please click here. Please note that not every course is offered every semester.
Want to challenge your Spanish skills?
Classes are available in Spanish. According to UIDE, “In the past, students who spoke intermediate Spanish discovered that the language barrier proved to be more fiction than fact, and that classes in Spanish helped them improve their language proficiency in a short period of time.” Talk to your program coordinator for more information.
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.
Students studying at UIDE will have two housing options:
Homestays: Living in a homestay is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and enhance your Spanish language skills. Homestays are usually located between the UIDE campus and the center of Quito.
Residence Halls: Students looking for a more independent environment might choose to live in the residence halls located right on campus at the Universidad Internacional del Ecuador. These international dorms are filled with students from all over the world, as well as local Ecuadorians!
- 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 day trips at no additional cost. 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)
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.
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!
Your Support Staff
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.
Travel Tip: The first chance I have in a new place, I like to either rent a bicycle or go running to get a better feel for my surroundings. Not only does this feel refreshing after time spent on the road or in the air, but it also gives you a great orientation to your destination.
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!
Application DeadlineMay 1ArrivalAugust 14 (Estimated)DepartureDecember 16 (Estimated)PRICE$12,290
Application DeadlineOctober 1ArrivalJanuary 8 (Estimated)DepartureMay 11 (Estimated)PRICE$11,990 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
Looking for both the academics AND work experience while you’re abroad? A great way to do that is by adding an internship to your study abroad experience, where you can get an international resume boost in your chosen field. Contact a global advisor for more info.
An option you might want to consider to extend your time in Ecuador is the Intern in Ecuador program.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:
- Full-time tuition and fees
- Medical and accident insurance
- CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
- Optional add on of one-month internship at the end of the program
- Academic advising
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Pre-departure orientation
- Airport pickup
- On-site support
- On-campus internet access
- Weekly laundry
- An optional 4-day Amazon trip to Tiputini Biodiversity Station
- Three full day excursions over the semester
- University official transcript
- University orientation
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program