Program Details

Explore tropical ecosystems and the complexities of human adaptations to different environments in Ecuador’s four distinct ecological regions. This country is home to more than 1,500 species of birds and 10 percent of the world’s known vascular plant spe
Location:
Guayaquil, Ecuador; Quito, Ecuador
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

Through this interdisciplinary program, students gain an understanding of the diverse ecological zones of Ecuador, major plant and animal adaptations to life in each zone, appropriate uses for natural resources, and current environmental issues along with management practices. Students are also introduced to a broad panorama of Ecuadorian life and culture; rich Indian and Spanish history, traditions, and current values; and political, economic, environmental, social, and cultural challenges facing contemporary society. During the Environmental Field Study Seminar, students learn how to integrate both social science and ecological field techniques through anthropological and field ecology projects. These skills will then be applied during the Independent Study Project (ISP). Throughout their coursework and life in Ecuador, students apply their Spanish to the theme of the program and a deeper understanding of Ecuador.

Explore tropical ecosystems and the complexities of human adaptations to different environments in Ecuador’s four distinct ecological regions. This country is home to more than 1,500 species of birds and 10 percent of the world’s known vascular plant species. Interactions with community members and local stakeholders who are grappling with conservation strategies within the context of heightened political, economic, and social pressures provide valuable context. The program base is historic Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Educational excursions take students to the high sierras of the Andes, the epiphyte-rich cloud forest, the rugged snow-line páramo, and the vast rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon. A guided, weeklong visit to the extraordinary Galápagos Islands provides access to plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth.

Please inquire for costs: Fees include tuition, full room and board, all field trips and related fares, health and accident insurance, and other direct program expenses. Participants pay for international airfare and domestic travel to the point of departure from the USA.

Setting Description:
Three week-long field excursions interspersed throughout the semester introduce students to the varied and unique ecosystems of Ecuador. Coupled with day trips to highland forest and grassland sites near Quito, students are exposed to Andean cloud forest, Amazonian rain forest, and Galápagos Island ecosystems, so that they can understand and identify life forms and their adaptations in a comparative context. Besides familiarizing themselves with ecological processes in each ecosystem, students conduct taxon-specific investigations. Finally, students observe the human impacts on each ecosystem and study different strategies for conservation.

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
Please see our website for more information.

Program Reviews

Overall Rating

5.0

Based on 14 Reviews

  • Exploring Ecuador Through Travel, Fieldwork, and Cultural Experiences
    5.0
    01/03/20

    This program was such a fantastic experience to explore Ecuador while improving my Spanish and learning more about environmentalism, conservation, fieldwork, and biology. The staff was very supportive and knew so much about a wide diversity of areas.

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Excursions and Academics combine for a wonderful study abroad opportunity
    5.0
    01/03/20

    This study abroad provided valuable learning in the field, as well as experience in research and academic writing. The adventurous excursions to observe plants, animals, adaptations and symbiotic relationships, environmental impact and conservation efforts,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Exciting, Adventurous and Career-Defining Equatorial Experience
    5.0
    12/29/19

    Doing this program was one of the best decisions I ever made! It was academically challenging, and each part of the program was engineered to push students to their highest potential. I walked away with confidence in the language, research development,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Fantastic for an Environmental Biologist!
    5.0
    08/29/19

    This program provides everything you could want from a study abroad experience - engaging professors, language immersion, travel to incredible places, a supportive homestay family and network of administrators. I learned so much about not only ecology

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Above-and-beyond experience in Ecuador!
    5.0
    01/30/19

    The program absolutely lived up to the expectations of being immersed in Ecuador's amazing biodiversity and complex conservation challenges. I learned so much through the experiential, comparative approach of the program. Furthermore, the opportunity

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Once in a lifetime
    5.0
    01/28/19

    Throughout this program, I gained confidence in myself, as well as an appreciation for familial bonds and a different perception of life and family structure. I learned about important environmental issues while visiting some of the most beautiful and

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Great, immersive experience in science and Spanish!
    5.0
    01/26/19

    I absolutely loved the SIT Ecuador program and it was a great fit for me, someone who wantes a field-based program woth a combination of science and Spanish. The strength of this program was its small class size (18 students in my program!) and unique,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • An unforgettable semester!
    5.0
    03/02/18

    This program is an incredible opportunity for students studying ecology or environmental science! I had had great experiences traveling throughout Ecuador, learning about local ecology, and making new friends. The classes, and especially the independent

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Amazing Field Study Program in Ecuador
    5.0
    02/25/18

    This is an amazing program for anyone looking to further their Spanish and learn a lot about biology, ecology, geology, and natural sciences. The program is very structured and intensive but this is what makes it so rewarding. The academics are interesting,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Best semester yet!
    5.0
    08/05/17

    This program was all that I was hoping for and more! In terms of academics, lectures consisted of field lectures and classroom lecture, both of which were in a mixture of Spanish and english. That said, don't expect total language immersion in the classroom.

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Amazing semester full of nature, memories, and new friends
    5.0
    07/31/17

    If you love nature/ecology and being outdoors, but you're also interested in foreign cultures and Spanish, this is the perfect program for you. This program provides the best sort of combination between outdoors field experiences with strong science and

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Amazing experience
    5.0
    07/28/17
    This program was incredible. The amount of exposure to nature and different scientific methods in incredible. There is a lot of work involved, but you will learn a lot if you embrace it.
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Ecology in Ecuador
    5.0
    02/19/17

    This program was perfect for me--as someone who is very interested in ecological and conservation science, Ecuador was the ideal place to be. Ecuador has a variety of different ecosystems, including tropical rainforest, mountain highlands, cloud forests,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Best semester I've had!
    5.0
    02/14/17

    I'm not a science student, but I had an amazing time on this program. I learned about and visited the páramo (highlands), the cloud forest, the Amazon, and the Galápagos, made 20 incredible friends, learned from wonderful professors, and grew to love

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend