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.
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.
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.
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.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)www.usfq.edu.ec
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: http://evaluaciones.usfq.edu.ec/banner/ssb/cursos.htm
The following are some of the numerous disciplines in which IES Abroad students have previously enrolled.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
About the Center
IES Abroad Quito
Situated near Quito’s financial district, the IES Abroad Center is housed in a new, modern building. Features include:
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
Juan Carlos SanchezAdministrative Support
Daniela MatheusStudent Affairs Coordinator in Galápagos