Group of Quito study abroad students at the equator
Study Abroad
Quito Summer - Environmental Studies Add to favorites
  • Quito, Ecuador
Quito students by a railing
Quito students holding museum sign
Group of happy students
Student having fun in the stands
Exploring nature in Quito
Students gathered around Ecuador latitude sign
Students in front of monument
Playing with the seals
Walking around Quito
Holding a starfish

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Quito Summer - Environmental Studies

Why Quito?

Although Ecuador is only about the size of Colorado, it is one of the most ecologically diverse countries on the planet. Four eco-regions—the Amazon basin, the high Andes, the coastal plain, and the Galápagos Islands—offer a wealth of flora and fauna that attract biologists, botanists, and environmentalists from around the world. In addition to the country’s natural riches, Quito is an architectural jewel known for the warmth and hospitality of its residents.

What You'll Study

Based in Quito and featuring three weeks of course-related trips in the Galápagos Islands, this program allows you to study issues of environmental management and preservation, while exploring Ecuador’s rich ecology. The program is organized in cooperation with the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). All Environmental Studies courses are taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Study the flora and fauna of Ecuador through course-related trips to destinations such as Galápagos Islands, the Amazon region, and the highlands.
  • Participate in English-taught Environmental Studies courses with a focus on Ecuador.
  • Improve your Spanish skills through IES Abroad language courses. Previous Spanish study is not required.
  • Experience Ecuadorian culture by living in a homestay.
Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Quito and the Galápagos Islands, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in these cities. From housing to cultural activities, 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.


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 environmental studies and Spanish language through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

While in Ecuador, you enroll in 3 courses for a total of 9 credits. Environmental Studies courses are taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required. Our goal is to make sure your academic needs are met.

This is a list of potential course offerings. Final course offerings will be available during on-site registration.

  • Two environmental studies courses (required, 3 credits each)
  • Spanish language course (required, 3 credits)


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES 330 - Environmental Issues: Conservation and Public Policy in Ecuador Summer English 3
ES 360 - Ecuadorian Ecosystems Summer English 3
Course Name Term Language Credits
SP 201 - Basic Intensive Spanish Summer Spanish 3
SP 301 - Intermediate Intensive Spanish Summer Spanish 3
SP 351 - Advanced Intensive Spanish Summer Spanish 3

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Quito and the Galápagos Islands, course-related trips and an extra-curricular field trip take you beyond the campus to discover the cultures and traditions of your host country. Here are a few possible destinations.

Galápagos Islands
4 Days | Summer
Tour the islands by boat to further your knowledge of environmental issues. Activities have included snorkeling, guided tours, and discussions on identifying Ecuador's flora and fauna.

Course-Related Trips

Course-related trips are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement your courses and contribute to a general knowledge of current environmental, political, and economic issues. The cost of these course-related trips is included in the program fee, and participation is required. Here are a few possible destinations.

Amazon Rainforest Region
4 Days | Summer
Hike the world’s largest and most biologically diverse rainforest with a local guide.

Maquipucuna Reserve
1 Day | Summer
Located 50 miles northwest of Quito, the Maquipucuna reserve is one of the earth´s top three biodiversity hot-spots. 10% of Ecuador´s plant diversity, as well as over 20% of Ecuador´s bird diversity have been registered at the Maquipucuna Reserve.

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

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

Polylepis Forest
2 Days | Summer
The Polylepis Forest is a bright colored forest with about 15 evergreen tree species that are characterized by gnarled shapes. During this visit, you will also have the opportunity to visit Riobamba as well as Chimborazo, an inactive volcano and the highest mountain in Ecuador.

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

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Quito and the Galápagos Islands 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 include:

  • Meeting IES Abroad Quito students and IES Abroad Quito staff
  • Discussions on intercultural understanding, safety, Ecuadorian family life and practical aspects of life in Quito
  • Assistance in navigating public transportation, banking and shopping
  • Lectures on historical, political and economic issues in Ecuador
  • Visits to museums and sites in and around Quito

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the summer with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.


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 Ecuador, 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

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: Summer 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019 $6,200 $1,980 $135 $8,315

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid
Up to $1,000

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from infromation provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of home campus

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