- Quito, Ecuador
- Program Type:
- Study Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Fall Semester, Spring Semester
- Program Description:
The interdisciplinary coursework presented in this program addresses key issues related to Ecuadorian culture and development, including the multicultural character of Ecuadorian society and the country’s history, political processes, economics, society, and environment. Students examine the principal aspects of the development model used in Ecuador today and obtain alternative perspectives on this issue. During the term, students will also develop skills in field methodology to be utilized during the Independent Study Project (ISP). Through an extensive examination of the diverse issues shaping contemporary Ecuador, students gain new perspectives to be applied to other national and international settings. Intensive Spanish language study allows students to more effectively engage with local scholars, experts, and community members on these issues in order to more fully understand Ecuador today.
Discover the cultural complexity of Ecuador, home to a fascinating diversity of peoples and natural environments. This program explores Ecuador's cultural richness and its current realities and conditions. Students focus on language, culture, politics, history, identity, and the challenges of implementing the country’s innovative and highly inclusive new constitution. Advance your Spanish The program places a major emphasis on language learning. Students can make rapid advancement in their Spanish skills through the program’s highly intensive classroom study, homestays, and fieldwork. Experience Ecuador's three ecologic zones: Andean highlands, tropical rainforest, and coastal lowlands Traveling from 10,000 feet down to sea level, students are exposed to Ecuador’s extraordinary ecological diversity. During periods of excursion, students meet with indigenous representatives and leaders of grassroots organizations who discuss threats to Ecuador's ecology and present alternative strategies of development
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:
- The Ecuador: Culture and Development program includes three major educational excursions: the cloud forest, the rainforest, and the central coastal region, including the city of Guayaquil.
Additional Program Information
- Scholarships Description:
- Please see our website for more information.
Based on 4 Reviews
- Best semester of college, hands down.08/30/21
I absolutely loved this program. It's so cliché to say, but it really was a life-changing experience for me. I found the academics to be extremely stimulating, but the outside-the-classroom workload was reasonable, which left plenty of time to explore
the country. I was especially impressed with how the coursework was accessible to everyone, regardless of Spanish-speaking ability. We had a wide range in our cohort, from native speakers to total newbies, but somehow everyone seemed to feel comfortable and appropriately challenged. As others have noted here, the excursions to the Amazon, Galapagos, and Intag cloud forest were absolutely amazing, in terms of both the ecological and cultural diversity that we had the opportunity to engage with. Our cohort was larger-than-average, with about 24 students, but we were very close. I think everyone felt that they had a solid group of friends to go out and explore the country with. Faba and Sofia were are just the best, very supportive but not at all helicopter-y. The class discussion was very open-ended, with wide variety of viewpoints, as we had students of a variety of nationalities. This was sometimes challenging and very intellectually engaging. My homestay experiences were both excellent, as most or all of the homestay families have long-standing relationships with the program directors and have lots of prior experience hosting foreign students. For me, the most impactful part of the program was the Independent Study Project (ISP). For this project, we were allowed to stay just about anywhere in the country for four weeks, and work on a research project of our own design. However, we had to partner with a community organization in our project location, and the program directors have relationships with organizations all over, so no one had to be truly "out on their own" if they didn't want to be. I chose to work with a social movement that was protesting state-sponsored mining in the Intag cloud forest. I had such a good experience, and built such strong relationships with community members there, that when I got back to my university in the US, I immediately started working on a way to go back. Ultimately, I assembled a student team, and we were awarded over $20,000 in funding to return to Intag. So, I spent three more months in Ecuador supporting the work of multiple community organizations after graduating from UVA in 2019. I stayed with the same homestay family that I had met in 2018, and I am still in touch with them today. So, I would say that the was not only a great way to forge long-lasting relationships with local people, it also went a long way towards advancing my young career. As soon as it is safe, I can't wait to go back!read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
- Finding family and community in Ecuador01/18/20
My experience in SIT program Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages was profoundly moving and not simply because I was able to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences like snorkeling in the Galápagos and hiking through the Amazon rainforest, but also
because of the incredibly strong connections I built with the people of Ecuador. I was fortunate to have amazing host family that supported me throughout the entire program and significantly incorporated me into their family dynamic. The bonds that I made with them will continue for my whole life, I'm sure of it. An absolutely outstanding element of this program is the ISP (Independent Study Project) at the very end of the program. I decided to stay in Quito and work with one of the foremost LGBTQIA organizations of Ecuador. I worked on a fundraising project for about four weeks and learned the ins and outs of non-profit work. Throughout this ISP experience, I was able to share my own personal experiences with my Ecuadorian coworkers which helped me to understand my own personal position and helped me to start asking questions about who I am and where I come from. The SIT Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages program seems to have affected me in a way that I don't think any other program would. Every single moment of the experience was instructive and just so richly gratifying. I can honestly and truthfully say that this program changed the way I think and will continue to do so as I move on through my academic and professional career.read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
- An Immersive and Adventurous Experience09/02/19
My experience abroad in Ecuador was by far the best part of my academic experience thus far. Applying our studies to experiences in different communities and landscapes in Ecuador helped me to draw a deeper emotional connection to my academics. For example,
while learning about developmental paradigms in Ecuador, I had a rural homestay with a family who had been part of a movement against copper mining in the Intag cloud forest region of Ecuador. Over dinner, they would tell me detailed stories of the risks and rewards involved in trying to prevent exploitation and how they were creating a sustainable economy through art. I also loved the ISP portion of this program. I volunteered with an organization called Uniendo Fuerzas Formamos Futuro (UFFF) on Isabela of the Galápagos which does holistic education programs (i.e., theater, dance, acrobatics) for kids and English classes for kids and adults on the island. I investigated how holistic education addresses real themes/problems in people's day to day lives, such as gender, the environment, and cultural practices.read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
- Amazing study abroad experience02/02/19
My experience with SIT Study Abroad in Ecuador was full of meeting wonderful people, learning lots and seeing beautiful landscapes. The program director and assistant do a wonderful job of ensuring that we, the students, are taken care of and that we
have a supportive learning environment throughout the duration of the program. The courses that we take are well complimented by relevant excursions during the entirety of the program and the independent study program (ISP) allows students the opportunity to develop learning skills in an experiential setting!read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend