With a population of nearly 1.6 million people, Quito is a vibrant and modern city that is famous for its beautiful colonial Spanish architecture. It is also the capital of Ecuador—one of the most biologically varied countries in the world. Come to Quito and immerse yourself in the local language and cultures as you focus your studies on Ecuador’s ecological and ethnic diversity and the challenges of development.
If you’re interested in improving your Spanish language skills, this program offers you the opportunity to rapidly strengthen your Spanish through a rigorous language course taught by IES Abroad. You select the remainder of your courses from options available at IES Abroad and prestigious local universities, such as Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) and Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO). You can also enroll in an internship or service learning placement during your time in Quito, which will help you add international work experience to your résumé, or help you understand the city’s social issues first-hand.
Quito will be your classroom. Can you imagine visiting and observing Ecuadorian customs at a traditional fiesta or visiting local markets and handicraft workshops? Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites. Several courses include a hands-on, practical component.
You also take several field trips to exotic locations while you study abroad in Quito, including the remote Galápagos Islands. Imagine yourself in an environmental haven of fearless sea lions, penguins, iguanas, and tortoises 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. It’s not very often you’d get to be so near to nature and see so many species up close—with IES Abroad, we’ll take you there.
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 housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
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 Spanish language, Ecuadorian history and culture, as well as other topics, through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You take 15–19 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses at IES Abroad and partner universities are taught in Spanish and are offered both fall and spring semesters unless otherwise noted.
Craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)www.usfq.edu.ec
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.
You take an official language placement exam upon arrival in Quito. The score of your placement exam in Quito determines your eligibility for USFQ courses. You 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.
The following are some of the numerous disciplines in which IES Abroad students have previously enrolled:
Registration & Advising
Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it will not be possible for you to officially register until your arrival in Quito; however you will need to refer to current course offerings in order to preregister as part of your application.
Location & Commute Time
The USFQ campus is located in the suburb of Cumbayá in Quito. The commute time from USFQ to the IES Abroad Center is approximately 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)https://www.flacso.edu.ec
FLACSO Ecuador, an international graduate school devoted to Social Sciences, was founded by UNESCO and is one of 10 FLACSO schools in Latin America. The school, with a multinational faculty, offers a wide variety of courses, as well as a unique program focusing on political violence.
Since a high level of Spanish is required to take courses at FLACSO, an on-site language placement exam will determine whether you are qualified. For a complete list of course offerings at FLACSO, visit www.flacso.org.ec, and look to the left-hand sidebar.
Qualified students can take open courses in the following areas:
Location & Commute Time
The FLACSO campus is located at La Pradera E7-174 y Avenida Diego de Almagro in Quito. The commute time from FLACSO to the IES Abroad center is approximately 5-10 minutes.
Interning as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Customize Your Internship
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses; if we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search out a placement.
Past students have interned in the following fields./p>
Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.<
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 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:
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.
Homestays - You have a private, furnished room in the home of a family or señora in Quito. Homestay hosts provide three meals daily.
Part of making you feel at home in Quito is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.
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.
Intensive Spanish training is incorporated into the orientation program to help you prepare for the language placement tests given by Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) and Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).
Redefine the way you live and learn in Quito through our cultural events and activities, such as visits to:
University Clubs & Events
PUCE's extracurricular program includes clubs for mountain climbing, soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, theater, and chorus. You learn more about these unique opportunities once on-site.
Even though your adventure starts in Quito, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the cultures and traditions of your host country. There is an additional fee for multi-day field trips. Here are a few possible destinations.
Amazon Rainforest Region
4 Days | Fall & Spring
Hike the world’s largest and most biologically diverse rainforest with a local guide.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit an indigenous market and learn about the crafts and food being sold.
The Galápagos Islands
5 Days | Fall & Spring
Explore the ecological diversity of the Galápagos, go snorkeling, and learn how to identify local flora and fauna.
Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Ecuadorean culture and society. Participation is based on course registration. All course-related excursions are included in the program cost. Here are a few possible destinations.
Guayllabamba Ecological Zoo
1 Day | Fall & Spring
See more than 45 species of native fauna representing the different regions of Ecuador at the Guayllabamba Zoo, not far outside the city of Quito. The zoo was developed to conserve Ecuadorian biodiversity, and they specialize in conserving endangered species of fauna.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit Latacunga, a town 60 miles outside of Quito, to observe a religious Andean Fiesta and discuss its cultural development and significance.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Go to Mindo in the Nublado Andino Forest to experience Ecuador’s biodiversity.
Mitad del Mundo
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Straddle the equator and enjoy views of beautiful snow-capped mountains.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit Quilotoa, a water-filled caldera (a cauldron-like volcanic structure) in the Ecuadorian Andes, to learn about the region’s ethnic groups.
Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
IES Abroad Quito
Situated near Quito’s financial district, the IES Abroad Center is housed in a new, modern building. Features include:
Through LASPAU (Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities), Eduardo Ortiz, a native of Quito, received a Fulbright Scholarship to obtain both his B.A. and his M.A. in Psychology at SUNY Geneseo in New York. After receiving his degrees, Eduardo returned to Quito, where he worked as Senior Official in the Ecuadorian Institute of Educational Loans and Scholarships (IECE) and as Ecuadorian Coordinator for an international educational exchange program (Canada World Youth). He also worked as Associate Professor in two leading Ecuadorian Universities (Catholic University of Ecuador and Army Polytechnic University). Eduardo also has experience as a project manager for USAID (United States Agency for International Development) in Ecuador where he managed projects in tax administration and education. Additionally, Eduardo has international consulting experience in training, organizational development, human resources management, and institutional strengthening in several International Development Agencies including IDB, the World Bank and Universalia Management Group from Canada.
IES Abroad Staff
Gladys ArgotiStudent Services Coordinator
Rene BuenoAcademic Coordinator
Juan Carlos SanchezAdministrative Support
Daniela MatheusStudent Affairs Coordinator in Galápagos
IES Abroad Faculty
Gabriel Hidalgo, Msc
Christopher Minster, Ph.D.
Hernán Moreano, Msc
Angélica Ordóñez, Ph.D.
Diego Quiroga, Ph.D.
Ana Rodriguez, Msc.
Evelyn Rodriguez, Msc.
María Jose Rodriguez, Msc.
Gabriela Rota, Msc.
Esteban Suarez, Ph.D.
Iván Ulchúr, Ph.D.
Hugo Valdebenito, Ph.D.