With a population of nearly 1.6 million people, Quito is a vibrant and modern city that is famous for its beautiful colonial Spanish architecture. It is also the capital of Ecuador—one of the most biologically varied countries in the world. Come to Quito and immerse yourself in the local language and cultures as you focus your studies on Ecuador’s ecological and ethnic diversity and the challenges of development.

If you’re interested in improving your Spanish language skills, this program offers you the opportunity to rapidly strengthen your Spanish through a rigorous language course taught by IES Abroad. You select the remainder of your courses from options available at IES Abroad and one of the most distinguished universities in Ecuador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). You can also enroll in a service learning placement during your time in Quito, which will help you understand the city’s social issues first-hand.

Quito will be your classroom. Can you imagine visiting and observing Ecuadorian customs at a traditional fiesta or visiting local markets and handicraft workshops? Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites. Several courses include a hands-on, practical component.

You also take several field trips to exotic locations while you study abroad in Quito, including the remote Galápagos Islands. Imagine yourself in an environmental haven of fearless sea lions, penguins, iguanas, and tortoises 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. It’s not very often you’d get to be so near to nature and see so many species up close—with IES Abroad, we’ll take you there.

We want you to feel at home in Quito, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

Quick Facts

  • Center: IES Abroad Quito
  • City: Quito
  • Country: Ecuador
  • Program Credits: 16-19 per semester (5-6 courses)
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Language Prerequisites: 4 semesters of college-level Spanish

Program Dates

After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.

Fall 2018

August 13 - December 16

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

Spring 2019 - October 15, 2018


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

We offer unique courses that explore Spanish language, Ecuadorian history and culture, as well as other topics, through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take 16–19 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses at IES Abroad and our partner university are taught in Spanish and are offered both fall and spring semesters unless otherwise noted.

Craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad Spanish language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad Spanish-taught area studies courses (at least one is required)
  • Partner University Spanish-taught courses at USFQ (optional)
  • Service learning placement (optional, 4 credits)


This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.


SO/AN 301 - The Cultural Diversity of Ecuador (Fall)

Cultural Studies

CU 322 - Andean Popular Arts (Fall, Spring)


PO/IR/EC 303 - Political Economy: Ecuador and Globalization (Fall, Spring)

Environmental Studies

ES 302 - The Environmental Diversity of Ecuador (Fall, Spring)

Internship Seminar

SL/IN 395 - Internship and Service Learning Seminar (Fall, Spring)

International Relations

PO/IR/EC 303 - Political Economy: Ecuador and Globalization (Fall, Spring)


LT 326 - Indigenous Literature (Fall, Spring)

Political Science

  • PO 304 - Politics and Society in Latin America (Fall, Spring)
  • PO/IR/EC 303 - Political Economy: Ecuador and Globalization (Fall, Spring)

Service Learning

SL/IN 395 - Internship and Service Learning Seminar (Fall, Spring)


SO/AN 301 - The Cultural Diversity of Ecuador (Fall)


  • SP 353 - Spanish Language In Context: Independent Abroad (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 403 - Spanish Language In Context: Emerging Competent Abroad (Fall, Spring)

Partner Institution(s)

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)

A modern institution of higher learning, USFQ is one of Ecuador's most prestigious universities and offers a full range of programs and courses. Its faculty includes almost half of the Ph.D.’s in the country, and its library and information technology is the most up-to-date in Ecuador.


You take an official language placement exam before your arrival in Quito. The score of your placement exam in Quito determines your eligibility for USFQ courses. You are allowed to participate in any course in any department provided you meet the discipline and language prerequisites, as demonstrated on the Spanish language placement exam. Specific course listings are available through the USFQ website: http://evaluaciones.usfq.edu.ec/banner/ssb/cursos.htm

The following are some of the numerous disciplines in which IES Abroad students have previously enrolled:

  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Culinary Arts
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality
  • Humanities & Economics
  • Languages
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences
  • Social Scienes
  • Spanish Language

Registration & Advising

Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester and official registration takes place prior to your arrival in Quito. You will receive further instructions on how to register for courses through their MyIESAbroad account.

Service Learning

Participating in a service learning experience in Quito is an opportunity to give back to the community while gaining a much deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people toward a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Quito, while contributing your skills toward a community-driven solution.

A service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by an academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar you have structured time for reflection, discussion, and research on the issues of your host community.

Possible placements may include organizations focusing on:

  • Community health
  • Economic development
  • Social issues unique to Quito


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Quito, it will feel like home.

Homestays - You have a private, furnished room in the home of a family or señora in Quito. Homestay hosts provide three meals daily.

Student Life


The program begins with a mandatory orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Quito staff, your fellow students, and the city of Quito. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Quito through our cultural events and activities, such as visits to:

  • Participate in a Quito cultural Chiva, an open bus with a brass band that makes city tours
  • Attend Andean folkloric music concerts
  • Take workshops on making Ecuadorian meat pastries
  • Participate in soccer games
  • Visit museums and other local hot spots

University Clubs & Events

USFQ's extracurricular program includes clubs for yoga, ultimate frisbee, salsa, and Ecuabuddies. You learn more about these unique opportunities once on-site.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing when program begins
  • Enrolled in a Spanish course within the year prior to the program start date

Passport & Visa Requirements

A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required.

A student visa is required to enter Ecuador. Upon admission, you will receive more information about the application process and any related fees. The visa application process for non-U.S. citizens can be extremely lengthy, please contact us for more information. If you're studying with IES Abroad in Ecuador, you may be eligible to use the IES Abroad ACCeSS program. ACCeSS is our visa processing service in which we submit your visa application and supporting documents to the consulate for you.


Fall 2018

  • Tuition: $13,925
  • Housing: $3,430
  • Insurance: $230
  • Total: $17,585

Academic Year

  • Tuition: $25,050
  • Housing: $6,860
  • Insurance: $455
  • Total: $32,365

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Program taught in:
  • Spanish
IES Abroad

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This course is Campus based
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1 - 2 semesters
17,585 USD
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