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IES Abroad Galápagos Islands Direct Enrollment - GAIAS

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

All you need is Ecuador

Even though Ecuador is about the size of Colorado, the country has it all: tropical rainforests, the Andes mountains, big cities, tiny villages, the coast, and of the course, the Galápagos Islands. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in environmental science or policy – it doesn’t even have to be your major! The host families that IES placed us in were awesome – my Spanish improved greatly, and I still keep in touch with my Galápagos family. I also recommend taking advantage of as many classroom trips as possible (including diving in the marine classes on the islands), as well as planning your own out-of-class trips: the most amazing part of study abroad is engaging with the new environment and culture that surrounds you. The IES advisors and on-site staff were really wonderful: they helped immensely with my endless questions throughout both the application process and also the actual semester abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

IES GAIAS program spring 2016

My semester abroad with the IES Galapagos Island program was easily one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Ecuador is a beautiful country with an amazing culture and great people, and the Galapagos Islands are truly a wonder of the natural world. The IES Abroad program allowed me to experience what Ecuador has to offer with a lot of freedom while also ensuring my safety and well-being. The host families I was placed with were extremely friendly and helpful and all the of GAIAS and IES staff were amazing. The classes were engaging, fun and interesting, but also challenging enough that it still felt legitimate for a college level course. Including all of the fun things to do in Ecuador and Galapagos, IES also had different group activities that were fun and also kept me engaged with the community as well as the other students. Overall, I would recommend this program from anyone who is interested in biology, ecology, environmental science, or social science, who has a love for nature, and who would want to participate in a life changing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

You're Galapagoing to Love This Program!

In the spring of 2014, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad through IES Abroad in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. After much hesitation about whether or not to go abroad, I took the plunge and decided to embark on a four-month journey of cultural-, environmental-, and self-awareness. IES welcomed students with an orientation and tour of Quito, the capitol city of Ecuador. We all were placed with appropriate host families, who were carefully handpicked based on our language skills and personal preferences. My Quito family made the transition into another culture as easy as possible, and I missed them when I traveled throughout Ecuador with my new best friends for class or for weekend sightseeing. After a month exploring Quito, we were flown to the Galápagos Islands, as excited as Darwin must have been when he first saw this unique location. Three months were spent on an island paradise, scuba diving for class, bonding with our host families, leaning how to salsa dance, taking surfing lessons, and seeing amazing animals everyday. If you’re looking for an experience where you’ll think everyday is the best day of your life, definitely look into IES Abroad Galápagos Direct Enrollment!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Academics

    9

Trip of a lifetime!

The week spent in the rainforest is my most memorable experience. How many people can say that they lived eight hours deep into the rainforest for a week?

I had always wanted to visit the Galapagos because of my major (Biology) and the influence of Charles Darwin. This experience was a dream come true!

My host family in Quito was amazing, even though I only stayed with them for a month. I don't speak much Spanish and they spoke English and made my experience wonderful. My host family on the islands was wonderful, as well, but I didn't have the same connection because of the language barrier. I would stay with each family again, no question.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    8

Trip of a Lifetime

I would do this program again in a heartbeat. I loved every second of the excursions to the Paramo, the Rainforest, and the Cloud Forest while on the mainland, and the island trips when staying in the Galapagos for three months. There is nothing better than having class in the morning and going straight out to the beach for the rest of the day right outside of the university! I think about this trip every day and wish I could go back!

Program Administration:
Some disorganization when actually in Ecuador, but it's more because of the culture than anything. The representatives in Quito were so wonderful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

IES is the best!

The IES Galápagos program is awesome! The courses were very interesting, especially since we could walk outside to see what we were learning about. I had wonderful homestays, and I still keep in contact with my host families. IES finds great families. The center staff really look out for the safety of their students and are always willing to help with anything you need.