Quito is perfect for the adventurous soul. With its surrounding mountains, you’re always just a climb away from a breathtaking view of the valley and from a bird’s-eye view of the colonial Spanish architecture that makes the city famous. Plus, Quito is a great base for trips to the rainforests and marine habitats that make Ecuador famous around the world. We invite you to Ecuador to improve your Spanish while enjoying all that this amazing city has to offer.
Quito and the surrounding area will also be your classroom. Can you imagine practicing your Spanish skills at a traditional fiesta or observing local artisans creating homemade crafts? Welcome to study abroad!
While in Quito, you will directly enroll at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and take all of your courses at the University. Because USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a wide variety of disciplines, students with almost any academic interest can find exciting and challenging enrollment options.
Founded in 1988, USFQ is one of the most distinguished private universities in Ecuador and has the largest international exchange program in the region, with more than 100 agreements with universities throughout the world. The University, which follows the U.S. academic calendar, has a faculty that includes almost half of the Ph.D.’s in the country. USFQ also has two biological research stations, which augment their Environmental Studies options: the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) on the island of San Cristóbal, and the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the Amazon basin. Both are desirable destinations for students of the Natural Sciences.
USFQ’s beautiful campus is located in an attractive suburb about 40 minutes by bus or 15 minutes by taxi from central Quito. Through USFQ’s extracurricular program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular events and clubs, such as its film club, ecology club, and sports teams.
In addition to the services provided through the university, IES Abroad organizes a special orientation program, field trips, cultural events, and other activities to help you integrate into the local culture. We want you to feel at home in Quito, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Quito.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ).
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)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.
CoursesUSFQ's wide variety of disciplines allows students with almost any academic background to find exciting and challenging course options. Popular disciplines with past IES Abroad students include Cultural Anthropology, Development Studies, Environmental Studies, International Economics, Latin American History, and Photography.
USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a variety of disciplines.
You take a Spanish language course and can participate in any course in any department at the university provided you meet the discipline and language prerequisites, as demonstrated on the Spanish language placement exam.
The following are some of the numerous disciplines in which IES Abroad students have previously enrolled.
While adding study abroad to your resume is impressive enough, adding an international internship experience is even more powerful, and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive job market.
An IES Abroad Quito internship provides an invaluable cultural experience and helps you develop professional and personal skills.
All of our internship placements are supervised, include a seminar course, and carry IES Abroad credit.
A service learning placement allows you to develop personal and professional skills while working within social organizations in Ecuador.
All of our service learning placements are supervised, include a seminar course, and carry IES Abroad credit.
Placement examples include:
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner universities, there’s something IES Abroad wants you to know: we’re here for you if you need us.
Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.
But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Quito, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home.
The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff will be there for you.
Whether you have questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety, our Quito-based IES Abroad staff is available to fully support you. Our staff in Quito will accompany you throughout orientation, as well as at the IES Abroad field trips and cultural events.
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.
As part of our direct enrollment services, we offer well-located, comfortable housing for all students, because securing housing independently can be challenging. IES Abroad’s housing options reflect the local student culture and meet our safety and security standards.
You will have a private furnished room in the home of a family or señora near USFQ. 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 is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, 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.
You also receive language instruction to familiarize you with the colloquial use of Spanish in Ecuador.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Quito through our cultural events and activities, such as visits to:
University Clubs & Events
You can join a number of clubs through USFQ’s extensive extracurricular program. Past students have participated in a film club, an ecology club, and the school’s many sports teams. Academic and cultural events are presented at the university each week and are open to you as an IES Abroad student.
Although your adventure begins in Quito, our field trips take you to other great destinations in Ecuador and beyond to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Quito. Possible destinations are listed below.
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit an indigenous market and learn about the crafts and food being sold.
Mitad del Mundo
1 day | Fall & Spring
Straddle the equator and enjoy views of beautiful snow-capped mountains.
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. Mountain Rainforest in Loja
4 days | Fall & Spring
Explore this unique ecosystem in Southern Ecuador.
Amazon Rainforest Region
4 days | Fall & Spring
Hike the world’s largest and most biologically diverse rainforest with a local guide.
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
TBDStudent Services Coordinator - Galapagos Islands Program
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.