Study Abroad
Quito Direct Enrollment - Universidad San Francisco de Quito Add to favorites
  • Quito, Ecuador

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Quito Direct Enrollment - Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Why Quito?

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 country has to offer.

What You'll Study

While in Quito, directly enroll at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and take the majority of your courses at the University alongside local students. 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’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 have the opportunity to participate in events and clubs, such as its film club, ecology club, and sports teams.

Daily Life

In addition to the services provided through the University, 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 a special orientation program, field trips, cultural events, and more, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.


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.

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.

USFQ offers nearly 1,500 courses each semester in a variety of disciplines. You take all of your courses at USFQ (excluding internship and service learning seminars) and carry 15 to 19 credits per semester. You are required to take a Spanish language course and 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.

  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Culinary Arts
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality
  • Humanities & Economics
  • Languages
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences
  • Social Scienes
  • Spanish Language

In addition to your courses at USFQ, you can participate in a service learning placement and enroll in the IES Abroad seminar, IN/SL395 Internship and Service Learning Seminar (4 credits).


Service Learning
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL 395 - Service Learning Seminar Spring, Fall Spanish 4

Advising & Support

In a direct enrollment program, you are enrolled as a full-time student at one of our international partner institutions. Even though your local host institution is where you’ll take your classes, we’re still here to fully support you.

Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming—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.

On-Site Staff
As an IES Abroad student directly enrolled at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), you have access to on-site IES Abroad staff who are specifically dedicated to your needs. Our on-site staff work with you and your local institution to answer any questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety.

Our support services for 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 is there for you.

Service Learning

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 and economic 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:

  • Community health
  • Economic development
  • Social issues unique to Quito

Field Trips & Events

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; the Otavalo and Mitad del Mundo trips are included in the program cost. 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.

Mitad del Mundo
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Straddle the equator and enjoy views of beautiful snow-capped mountains.

1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit an indigenous market and learn about the crafts and food being sold.

The Galápagos Islands
4 Days | Fall & Spring
Explore the ecological diversity of the Galápagos, go snorkeling, and learn how to identify local flora and fauna.

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Daily Life

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.


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.


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.

Homestays - You have a private, furnished room in the home of a family or señora in Quito. Homestay hosts provide three meals daily.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Quito through our cultural events and activities, such as visits to:

  • Participate in a Quito cultural Chiva, an open bus with a brass band that makes city tours
  • Attend Andean folkloric music concerts
  • Take workshops on making Ecuadorian meat pastries
  • Participate in soccer games
  • Visit museums and other local hot spots

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, the school’s many sports teams, and the Ecuabuddies program. Academic and cultural events are presented at the university each week and are open to you as an IES Abroad student.

Get to Know Your New City

Stand on the Equator

Travel via bus to the place where the northern and southern hemispheres meet and stand at the middle of the Earth.

Wander Through Historic Old Town

Stroll the streets to get a feel for the city and see the historically charming architecture.

Climb a Volcano

Trek to the top of Volcano Pichincha just outside the city for beautiful views of Quito and its surrounding landscapes.

Try Authentic, Local Cuisine

From grilled plantains to freshly-squeezed juices, your taste buds will thank you.

Explore and Unwind in Itchimbia Park

This hilltop park is home to Quito's cultural center and offers running paths, picnic spots, and more for a relaxing day in the sun.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Fall 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2019
Academic Year
Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $14,220 $3,500 $230 $17,950

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

John Gearen Need-Based Dublin or Developing Regions Scholarship
Ranges up to $1,000

John Gearen, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for many years and past chair of the Board for six years, is a leading real estate attorney and Rhodes Scholar who is involved in numerous philanthropic causes. Mr. Gearen has generously established this scholarship to support students who have an interest in studying on an IES Abroad Center in a developing region of the world (Argentina, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Morocco, or South Africa). 

Robert McNeill Need-Based International Business Scholarship
Ranges up to $3,000

This scholarship is named in honor of Robert McNeill, member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for 25 years (6 years as Chairman). Open to students who have an interest in international business. Majors might include management, marketing, economics, finance, international relations, and social and behavioral sciences.

Dr. William Louis Gaines Need-Based History or International Relations Scholarship
Ranges up to $1,875

This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. William Louis Gaines, President of IES Abroad from 1974-1992. Dr. Gaines was dedicated to strengthening IES Abroad's academic framework, broadening the scope of IES Abroad locations, and securing the financial foundation of the organization.

Open to students majoring in History or International Relations.

William E. & Mary M. Dwyer Need-Based Spanish Scholarship
Ranges up to $1,000

This scholarship was established by the IES Abroad Board of Directors to honor the memory of William E. Dwyer, Jr., the father of the current IES Abroad president, Dr. Mary Dwyer. Trained in transportation law, Mr. Dwyer was a senior corporate executive overseeing transportation functions world-wide for a multi-national steel manufacturing company. He was an innovator in the transportation field and a pioneer in support of the equal employment of African Americans and women in the management ranks of the steel industry.

Kathleen Kervin Diamond Endowed Scholarship
Up to $2,000

Kathleen Diamond is a consultant, entrepreneur, and business leader in the language services industry. In 1979, she founded Language Learning Enterprises, Inc. (LLE®), a full-service language company based in Washington, D.C. She is recognized as an early pioneer in Telephone Interpreting, launching LLE-LINK in the early 1990s. Over the next 20 years, under her leadership, the company grew into a dynamic, multimillion dollar corporation, serving a wide range of clients, in both the private and public sectors, across the United States, and worldwide. In 2009, Ms.

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.

Our Center

IES Abroad Quito
Situated near Quito’s financial district, the IES Abroad Center is housed in a new, modern building. Features include:

  • Two well-equipped classrooms
  • Student lounge
  • Staff offices
  • Small library
  • Computer lab
  • High-speed Internet and printer access

Our Staff

Tania Ledergerber de Quiroga

Center Director

Tania has been the Director of the Quito and Galápagos Islands programs since 2018. Tania brings a wide range of international education administration experience. She directed the International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership Program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), and spent 10 years as the Resident Director in Quito for Kalamazoo College. Previously she taught for IES Abroad, instructing our Internship Seminar and Social Science and Service Learning classes at USFQ. Tania has traveled and worked around the world, spending nearly 20 years devoted to NGOs.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff

Ximena Paredes
Student Affairs Coordinator in Quito

Juan Carlos Sanchez
Administrative Support

Maria Cristina López
Student Affairs Coordinator in Galápagos