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IPSL: Study Abroad and Service-Learning™ in Ecuador (Quito)
Quito, Ecuador
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: IPSL 
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Restrictions: CU applicants only
Fact Sheet:
 Lang. of Instruction:
English, Spanish
 Program Type:
Direct Enrollment, Internship
Housing: Homestay Fields of Instruction: Agriculture, Anthropology, Architecture, Art, Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, Communication, Computer science, Creative Writing, Criminology, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, Drama, Early Childhood Studies, Earth sciences, Economics, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Film Studies, Finance, Food Science, Geography, Geology, Government (Political Science), Graphic Design, Health & Human Services, History, Hospitality, Humanities, Interior Design, International Business, International Relations, Journalism, Latin American studies, Linguistics, Literature, Marine Sciences, Marketing, Molecular Biology, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Plant Sciences/Botany, Psychology, Public Health, Sciences, Sculpture, Social Policy, Sociology, Spanish Language, Statistical science, Theology, Tropical Ecology, Urban/Regional Planning
Study Abroad Advisor : Ann Hoover
Program Description:




  • Deeper, More Meaningful Study Abroad

    Ecuador spans the equator on the northwest coast of South America. With its cultural diversity and wide range of environments, Ecuador provides an ideal location for you to live in and learn about South America, encountering directly the issues and concerns of this great southern continent. Surrounded by the magnificent volcanic Andes mountains, the capital city of Quito boasts one of the finest collections of Spanish colonial architecture in the world. It is home to a large Indian and mestizo population, as well as those of European descent. As you master Spanish, you will study the rich history of Ecuador and be challenged by serving the social and educational needs of the many marginalized people in the city.

    You will spend a semester developing your Spanish skills; studying Spanish language and Ecuadorian history, culture, and society at Universidad San Francisco de Quito; living with an Ecuadorian family; and serving about 20 hours a week in an Ecuadorian community agency. Your volunteer service immerses you in the culture and deepens your understanding of Ecuadorian society in a way that goes beyond that experienced in traditional study abroad programs. It also facilitates your mastery of Spanish.


    Experience Quito from a Local Perspective

    Located in the heart of the Andes mountains, at the base of the Volcano Pichincha, Quito sits an altitude of 9,300 feet and enjoys a temperate climate year-round. It is home to people from a variety of ethnic and cultural communities, including the "indígenas" of the Andes. The Centro Histórico is a magnificent example of Spanish colonial architecture, with beautiful plazas, government buildings, and a cathedral. Today, Quito is a modern, bustling, capital city with dozens of museums, beautiful parks, cafes, and restaurants. At the same time, it faces challenging urban issues, which you will have the opportunity to address in your service. 

    Program Facts


    Language of Instruction: Spanish

    Affiliated institution: Universidad San Francisco de Quito

    Courses & Credits:

    Spanish Language | Credits: 3

    Social Organizations and Development | Credits: 3

    Electives (including Engineering courses of many types) Credits: 3 per course

    Service Opportunities

    • working at a school with children who work on the streets
    • assisting children from the countryside with their school work and family issues
    • working at a city maternity and family planning center
    • serving in medical centers or agencies addressing healthcare issues and education
    • working with people with physical or mental disabilities
    • working with artists in a special program of education through art
    • educational and didactic child support activities in a public children's hospital
    • teaching or assisting in a pre-school
    • working in local history or cultural museums
    • serving at a day care center for elderly people living on the streets
    • teaching marketable job skills to adults
    • working in human rights or women's rights
    • addressing urban environmental issues
    • teaching English to indigenous children
    • working as a tutor and providing support to an afterschool program for urban youth
    • working in a day-care with children of low-income and single-parent families
    • helping with academics, sports, and/or counseling in a local primary school


    You will live in a homestay with a middle-class Ecuadorian family, who provide most of your meals and introduce you to Ecuadorian family life. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce language skills, and experience the culture from "the inside." Host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students.

    Why IPSL?

    • Accelerated language learning
    • Integrated study abroad experience
    • Make a difference to people in need
    • Full cultural immersion
    • Real cultural understanding
    • Meaningful growth and personal insight

    Program Director(s): Prof. Tania Ledergerber

    Eligibility:The program welcomes students of any nation. Language prerequisite: Intermediate-level Spanish, which may be demonstrated through 3 years of secondary school Spanish or 3 semesters of college/university Spanish, or the equivalent.

    What's Included: Fees include all instruction; orientation; housing and most meals; service placement and supervision; health insurance; two field trips in Quito; one field trip outside of Quito; administrative fees; and pre-departure materials. Personal expenses not covered by fees include: airfare, books, local travel, and spending money.

    Dates / Deadlines:
    Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
    Spring 2015 09/15/2014** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

    ** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Later applications are always welcome, but colleges may need time to process your approval.