Quito is perfect for the adventurous soul. With its surrounding mountains, you’re always just a climb away from a breathtaking view of the valley and from a bird’s-eye view of the Spanish colonial architecture that makes the city famous. Plus, Quito is a great base for trips to the rainforests and marine habitats that make Ecuador famous around the world. We invite you to Ecuador to improve your Spanish while enjoying all that this amazing country has to offer.

While in Quito, directly enroll at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and take the majority of your courses at the University alongside local students. Because USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a wide variety of disciplines, students with almost any academic interest can find exciting and challenging enrollment options.

Founded in 1988, USFQ is one of the most distinguished private universities in Ecuador and has the largest international exchange program in the region, with more than 100 agreements with universities throughout the world. The University, which follows the U.S. academic calendar, has a faculty that includes almost half of the Ph.D.’s in the country.

USFQ’s beautiful campus is located in an attractive suburb about 40 minutes by bus or 15 minutes by taxi from central Quito. Through USFQ’s extracurricular program, you have the opportunity to participate in events and clubs, such as its film club, ecology club, and sports teams.

In addition to the services provided by the University, 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 a special orientation program, field trips, cultural events, and more, 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: 15-19 per semester (5-6 courses)
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Language Prerequisites: 5 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


IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

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.


USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a variety of disciplines. You take all of your courses at USFQ (excluding internship and service learning seminars) and carry 15 to 19 credits per semester. You are required to take a Spanish language course and 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 Sciences
  • Spanish Language

In addition to your courses at USFQ, you can participate in a service learning placement and enroll in the IES Abroad seminar, IN/SL395 Internship and Service Learning Seminar (4 credits).


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 and economic 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

Advising & Support

In a direct enrollment program, you are enrolled as a full-time student at one of our international partner institutions. Even though your local host institution is where you’ll take your classes, we’re still here to fully support you.


Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming—we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process. But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Quito, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home.

On-Site Staff

As an IES Abroad student directly enrolled at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), you have access to on-site IES Abroad staff who are specifically dedicated to your needs. Our on-site staff work with you and your local institution to answer any questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety.


Our support services for direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff is there for you.


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. As part of our direct enrollment services, we offer well-located, comfortable housing for all students, because securing housing independently can be challenging. IES Abroad’s housing options reflect the local student culture and meet our safety and security standards.

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. You also receive language instruction to familiarize you with the colloquial use of Spanish in Ecuador.

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

You can join some clubs through USFQ’s extensive extracurricular program. Past students have participated in a film club, an ecology club, the school’s many sports teams, and the Ecuabuddies program. Academic and cultural events are presented at the university each week and are open to you as an IES Abroad student.

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 not be considered)
  • 6 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing when program begins
  • Enrolled in a Spanish course within the year before 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: $14,140
  • Housing: $3,430
  • Insurance: $230
  • Total: $17,800

Academic Year

  • Tuition: $25,440
  • Housing: $6,860
  • Insurance: $455
  • Total: $32,755

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
Start Date
1 - 2 semesters
17,800 USD
Program cost Fall 2018
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