Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Direct Enrollment - GAIAS

Study Abroad
Program Options:
Direct Enrollment

At a Glance




16 to 19 per Semester

Language of Instruction:


Language Prerequisites:


Visa Required:


About the Program

This direct enrollment program is organized through the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS), a remote campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) located on the island of San Cristóbal. 

Fast paced and as rewarding as it is challenging, this program is great for students interested in conducting field research or going on to graduate school. Think of the ideal candidate as a streetwise Indiana Jones—that is, one who would happily trade indoor luxury for adventurous experiences, plenty of sun, and the open ocean air. 

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Start Your Semester in Quito

Take your first course in your academic track in Ecuador’s capital.

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Live with Local Residents

Live in a private room in a homestay with a family or señora.

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Follow Your Academic Interests

Select courses from four Biology-based tracks.

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Travel Throughout Ecuador

Travel to the Amazon Rainforest and Ecuador's Coastal Regions.

Spring 2025

Program Dates:

January 10 - May 10

Application Deadline:

Estimated Cost:


Program Advisor

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Sarah Fang

Once you’ve applied for a program, I’ll be your direct point of contact. From housing to course registration and everything in between, I’m here to help you prepare to study abroad. Once you’re accepted to your program, you’ll find even more detailed information about what you need to know before you depart in your Predeparture Guide. Let’s get started!

📱 800.995.2300 ✉️

About the Destination

a group of students posing for a photo atop volcanic rock with a marine iguana

Why the Galápagos Islands?

There’s a reason why many of the world’s most famous scientists have visited the Galápagos Islands—now it’s your turn to discover one of the world’s most beautiful and biologically diverse island locations. It’s here that you will get hands-on experience studying topics such as Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Marine Ecology, and Sociology.

Learn More About the Galápagos Islands

Get to Know Your New City

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Explore Kicker Rock

Travel by boat to enjoy one of the best spots for snorkeling.

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See Turtles at a Breeding Center

Observe turtles in their native habitat.

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Snorkel with Sea Lions

Head to La Loberia beach and spend a day in the sun.

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Support from Quito

On-the-ground staff are available at the Center in Quito.

The Student Experience

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Galapagos Housing Homestay
  • Homestay


In Quito and the Galápagos Islands you will live in a private room in a homestay with a family or señora who will help facilitate your language learning and integration into Ecuadorian society. Two meals are provided daily. WiFi is available in your homestay, but speed and connectivity are often limited in the Galápagos Islands. Laundry is also provided.