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 culture 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. 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 just 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.
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)
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.
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE)www.puce.edu.ec
The oldest private university in Ecuador, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador (PUCE) offers many classes that focus on Latin American studies.
You take a practice predeparture language exam before arrival, and an official language placement exam upon arrival in Quito. The score of your placement exam in Quito determines your eligibility for PUCE courses. The university calendar may prohibit enrollment in some courses.
Courses in the following disciplines are open to IES Abroad students. For a complete list of course offerings at PUCE, visit www.puce.edu.ec/sitios/programas.
Location & Commute Time
The University is located in a lively neighborhood near downtown Quito. The commute time from PUCE to the IES Abroad Quito Center is between 15-20 minutes by bus.
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.
Interning abroad 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.
Available FieldsPast students have interned in the following fields.
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 one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s society and cultures. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience firsthand some of the social issues that affect Quito, while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.
A service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even 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.
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. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
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.
Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Ecuadorian culture and society. Participation is based on course registration and the cost is included in your program fee.
Past course-related excursions are listed below:
IES Abroad Quito
Av. República de El Salvador N34-229 y Moscú | Edificio San Salvador, Piso 3 | Quito, Ecuador
Situated near Quito’s financial district, the IES Abroad Center is housed in a new, modern building. Features include:
Eduardo OrtizIES Abroad Director
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
Indira EspinaStudent Affairs Coordinator in Galápagos
IES Abroad FacultyChristopher Minster, Ph.D.
Angélica Ordóñez, Ph.D.
Diego Quiroga, Ph.D.
Ana Rodriguez, Msc.
Evelyn Rodriguez, Msc.
Gabriela Rota, Msc.
Iván Ulchúr, Ph.D.
Hugo Valdebenito, Ph.D.
Marcelo Varela, Msc. MBA
Esteban Suarez, Ph.D.
Juan Aulestia, Ph.D.
Pablo Dávalos, Ph.D.