Although Ecuador is only about the size of Colorado, it is one of the most ecologically diverse countries on the planet. Four eco-regions—the Amazon basin, the high Andes, the coastal plain, and the Galápagos Islands—offer a wealth of flora and fauna that attract biologists, botanists, and environmentalists from around the world. In addition to the country’s natural riches, Quito is an architectural jewel known for the warmth and hospitality of its residents.

Based in Quito and featuring three weeks of course-related excursions in the Galápagos Islands, this program allows you to study issues of environmental management and preservation, while exploring Ecuador’s rich ecology. The program is organized in cooperation with the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). All Environmental Studies courses are taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Study the flora and fauna of Ecuador through course-related excursions to destinations such as Galápagos Islands, the Amazon region, and the highlands.
  • Participate in English-taught Environmental Studies courses with a focus on Ecuador.
  • Improve your Spanish skills through IES Abroad language courses. Previous Spanish study is not required.
  • Experience Ecuadorian culture by living in a homestay.

Quick Facts

  • Center: IES Abroad Quito
  • City: Quito
  • Country: Ecuador
  • Program Credits: 9 credits
  • Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
  • Language Prerequisites: None

Program Dates

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

Summer 2018

June 5 - July 24

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

Application deadline has passed


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 environmental studies and Spanish language through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

While in Ecuador, you enroll in 3 courses for a total of 9 credits. Environmental Studies courses are taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required. Our goal is to make sure your academic needs are met.

This is a list of potential course offerings. Final course offerings will be available during on-site registration.

  • Two environmental studies courses (required, 3 credits each)
  • Spanish language course (required, 3 credits)


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

Environmental Studies

  • ES 330 - Environmental Issues: Conservation And Public Policy In Ecuador (Summer)
  • ES 360 - Ecuadorian Ecosystems (Summer)


  • SP 300 - Basic Intensive Spanish (Summer)
  • SP 310 - Intermediate Intensive Spanish (Summer)
  • SP 312 - Advanced Intensive Spanish (Summer)

Course-Related Excursions

Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement your courses and contribute to a general knowledge of current environmental, political, and economic issues. The cost of these course-related excursions is included in the program fee, and participation is required. Here are a few possible destinations.

Amazon Rainforest Region

4 Days | Summer

Hike the world’s largest and most biologically diverse rainforest with a local guide.

Maquipucuna Reserve

1 Day | Summer

Located 50 miles northwest of Quito, the Maquipucuna reserve is one of the earth´s top three biodiversity hot-spots. 10% of Ecuador´s plant diversity, as well as over 20% of Ecuador´s bird diversity have been registered at the Maquipucuna Reserve.

Mitad del Mundo

1 Day | Summer

Straddle the equator and enjoy views of beautiful snow-capped mountains.


1 Day | Summer

Visit an indigenous market and learn about the crafts and food being sold.

Polylepis Forest

2 Days | Summer

The Polylepis Forest is a bright colored forest with about 15 evergreen tree species that are characterized by gnarled shapes. During this visit you will also have the opportunity to visit Riobamba as well as Chimborazo, an inactive volcano and the highest mountain in Ecuador.

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.


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 Ecuador, 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 include:

  • Meeting IES Abroad Quito students and IES Abroad Quito staff
  • Discussions on intercultural understanding, safety, Ecuadorian family life and practical aspects of life in Quito
  • Assistance in navigating public transportation, banking and shopping
  • Lectures on historical, political and economic issues in Ecuador
  • Visits to museums and sites in and around Quito

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

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.5 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-base basis)

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.

U.S. citizens in possession of a valid passport do not need to obtain a visa to enter or study in Ecuador. Non-U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a student visa prior to arrival.


Summer 2018

  • Tuition: $6,075
  • Housing: $1,940
  • Insurance: $135
  • Total: $8,150

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:
  • English
  • Spanish
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Last updated October 8, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
7 weeks
8,150 USD
Program cost Summer 2018
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