Semester Abroad - Experience Ecuador

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Ecuador: Guayaquil, Rural Areas


The program is based at the Universidad Espiritu Santo (UEES) in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Possibly the most diverse and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Ecuador offers unspoiled coastline, snow-capped mountains, indigenous cultures, colonial architecture, and the planet's two greatest natural wonders: the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands.

Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city - with a population of 2.5 million and the commercial hub. However, like other Latin American mega-cities, it suffers social problems that provide opportunities for students interested in service and in learning about the realities of urban life in the tropics.

The Universidad Espiritu Santo, located in the district of Samborondon is ranked as one of the country's top universities. UEES modern campus has a sports complex and pool, fleet of buses, doctor's surgery, music studio, and student-run restaurant. We also have iguanas wandering around the main plaza.


Where will I stay?
Participants live with an Ecuadorian host family. Life with a host family provides students with a rich intercultural experience, language practice and 3 meals a day.

What will I study?
Students take up to 15 credits in a variety of ways: Spanish language instruction (maximum 6 credits); courses taught in English on a variety of subjects; courses taught in Spanish on a variety of subjects (provided student has demonstrated a sufficiently advanced level of Spanish ability); and/or service learning or professional internship (3-6 credits).

Do I need to know Spanish?
No prior knowledge of Spanish is required.

Will my credits transfer?
Yes. Our credits are recognized in universities and colleges across Europe, North America, Latin American and Asia. Students have transferred credits from UEES to a wide range of learning institutions in the past.

Where can I serve?
Students can choose to be placed in a variety of community organizations that work at addressing the pressing social needs in Guayaquil, such as health, nutrition, education, shelter and housing, and environmental protection, or working with the physically and mentally disabled, street children, and other marginalized members of society. Students are placed according to their skill sets and Spanish language level.

When and where does the program start?
Students can choose to study during either Spring or Fall Semester. Spring begins in early January and lasts until late April; Fall begins in late August and finishes in late December. The program begins in Quito with an Orientation Tour.

What about travel arrangements?
We can assist with further travel, such as trips to the Galápagos Islands and Amazon rain forest, along with hotel reservations in Quito before the program begins.

How do I sign up?
The deadline for Spring is the beginning of November, and for Fall is the start of July.

Why choose UEES?
* Experienced, friendly, bilingual staff on call 24 hours a day
* Accommodation with Ecuadorian host family
* Extensive travel and field trips
* Weekly Cultural Seminar
* Opportunity to serve in the community
* Cultural and social activities
* Assistance with travel arrangements in Ecuador


Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


please contact us for details

Degree Level

Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)

Subject Areas

  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Art/fine Arts
  • Arts
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Business Admin. & Management
  • Business Management
  • Business Studies Grad Level
  • Comm. (radio, Tv, & Film)
  • Communications
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science / It
  • Continuing Education
  • Criminal Justice / Corrections
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English As A Second Language
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Foreign Language
  • French
  • Hospitality
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Japanese
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Latin American Studies
  • Liberal Arts
  • Marketing, Ad., & Pr
  • Media Relations
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Music - Vocal Performance
  • Nutrition
  • Painting
  • Political Science/politics
  • Pre-law
  • Pre-med
  • Social Sciences
  • Spanish
  • Spanish Literature
  • Studio Arts
  • Theater
  • Theater, Drama, Dance
  • Travel / Tourism
  • Tv And Media Production
  • Visual Arts
  • Web Design

Cost in US$:

USD 7,500

Program Fees Include:

- Orientation Tour: 6 days of travel beginning in capital city Quito, and including the famous Otavalo crafts market, visits to Andean communities, the Equatorial Line and Chimborazo National Park.
- Field Trips: A weekend trip to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuenca, Cajas National Park, and the Ingapirca Inca ruins; and a chance to experience the coastal ecology of Ecuador.
- Cultural Seminar: Weekly debrief and guest lecture gives students a chance to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Ecuador.
- Other: Cultural activity such as Latin dance or cooking/volunteer project.
- Homestay with an Ecuadorian family.
- Full use of the university's facilities, including sports complex, buses and doctor's surgery.
- Up to 15 Credits with an international transcript in English.

Experience Required


This Program is open to

Worldwide Participants.

Typical Living Arrangements

  • Home-stays
  • Independent living
  • Dormitory

Participants Travel

Independently or in Groups

Typically Participants Work

Independently or in Groups of 2 - 3

Scholarships are Available

Tuition-waived through exchange agreements

Application Process Involves

  • Disciplinary Clearance Form
  • Essay
  • In-Person Interview when Feasible
  • Letters of Reference
  • Physical Exam/Health Records
  • Transcript
  • Written Application

Typically The Application Process Time is

45 days

Post Services Include

  • Alumni Network
  • Exit Debriefing Abroad