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641 S St NW Suite 200

1.800.833.6243

admissions@yfu.org

Ecuador

Ecuador is full of fascinating culture and history -- from the islands where Darwin discovered evolution to the ancient Incan civilization.

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Study in Ecuador

Ecuador is full of fascinating culture and history -- from the islands where Darwin discovered evolution to the ancient Incan civilization. Discover this rich heritage as a YFU exchange student and you will understand Ecuadorian culture as no tourists do!

“Ecuador is amazing. I lived in a small city called Ibarra which is in the Sierra and 3 hours north of the capital Quito. During our year we went on trips to the coast, rainforest, and the Galapagos islands. When you make friends they will be friends for life! Its amazing to see a country develop so much since the first time I arrived as an exchange student almost 10 years ago!”

- Mallory

+ More About Ecuador

As a YFU exchange student in Ecuador, you will discover the rich heritage of a country home to the descendants of the great Inca Empire!

Among a population of 15 million, Ecuador's indigenous peoples have maintained a strong cultural identity and are known for beautiful textiles and ceramics. You'll notice the Spanish influence in Quito's beautiful colonial churches, which have been well-preserved. Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands provide unique wildlife (including the infamous giant tortoise!). As in many Latin American countries, family bonds are strong, and members gather often to celebrate holidays and festivals such as Christmas, New Years Eve, Carnival, and Semana Santa. And of course, with celebration comes food! During a party or festival, you may find yourself eating a few pieces of fritada (fried pork), a plate of arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), or a serving of locro (soup with potatoes, meat and cheese).

With its beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, amazing wildlife, and rich culture, Ecuador will undoubtedly leave you with a journey that you will never forget!

+ Scholarships Available

YFU USA is proud to send over 200 American students on cultural exchange with a full or partial scholarship each year. Financial assistance may be in the form of a merit-based scholarship, needs-based financial aid, or Legacy Grant for students who are previously involved in the YFU Community. Scholarships may vary in deadline, requirements, and eligibility. To learn more, please visit our Scholarships Page to find details on the following scholarships eligible for Ecuador:

Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Study Fund
YFU Legacy Grant
YFU Financial Aid Fund
Norbert Hardner Foundation International Exchange Scholarship
WEH Foundation Scholarship
The YFU Americas Scholarship
Epson America, Inc. International Scholarship
Jason Pollington Latin American Scholarship

+ Programs & Tuition

Fall Year: $13,995
University Fall Year: $14,995
Fall Semester: $11,495
Spring Semester: $11,495
University Fall Semester: $12,495
Volunteer Fall Semester: $11,495
Volunteer Spring Semester: $11,495
Summer: $5,995

Applications for tuition based programs must be submitted by October 1 for winter/spring departure programs and March 15 for summer and fall. Applications submitted after this date will be considered on a case by case basis depending upon availability.

+ Additional Information

Visa Information

Information regarding visas and other immigration processes will be provided upon enrollment.

Additional Costs

Program tuition does not include visa costs or visa related fees, personal spending money or school-related costs such as books and school trips. YFU will cover the cost of school registration and tuition fees, but students are responsible for buying textbooks, transportation to and from school and other materials such as uniforms. There is also a visa registration fee to be paid upon arrival in Ecuador.

Important Information

Schools in Ecuador are strict in regards to physical appearance. Schools will not accept students that have dreadlocks, piercings, or wear ripped clothing. Male students must be prepared to keep their hair short!

Choose Your Program

+ Academic Year Programs

There is a loving host family waiting for you in Ecuador! Absorb Ecuadorian culture while learning Spanish and exploring some of the most remarkable areas of this beautiful country!

School

Ecuador's high school system is divided into three areas: social studies, biological sciences and mathematics. Students take 13 to 14 courses related to their career goals. Most YFU students choose social studies, but you may choose another area of specialization. Most regions in Ecuador have an extended school break in which YFU Students spend their time getting volunteer experience with local organizations. Ecuadorian students usually study English so you may make friends by having them help you with Spanish and by helping them with English!

Orientations

All students applying for the year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas.

Upon arrival in Ecuador, students will participate in a three-day arrival orientation to help ease their transition into their new culture. There will also be a one-day mid-year orientation for year students and a two-day re-entry orientation for all students. All orientation costs are included in program tuition.

Extracurriculars

Another great way to meet locals is to participate in extracurricular activities and service opportunities in your local Ecuadorian community! One way students will be able to meet others in the community is through volunteering, which will help students to also learn about Ecuador's true culture. Students usually either volunteer for a month while in school, or can expect to be required to volunteer for one month during their school break.

Optional Excursions

Year program students will also have the option of participating in a number of educational trips and excursions during their stay, at an additional cost. These trips are optional and come at an additional fee; more information on pricing and logistics to come closer to the time of the trip.

Jungle Trip: This trip will start in Quito. From there students travel to Punta Ahuano where they take canoes on the scenic journey to go the hotel “La Casa del Suizo” on the shore of Napo River. Students will see many kinds of animals and navigate in the Napo River, one of the most important rivers in the country.

Ruta De Sol Trip: On this trip, students have the opportunity to visit the main beaches of Manabí and Guayas provinces. This trip will start in Quito going to Puerto López and continue visiting Playa de los Frailes, Isla de la Plata, Montañita, Salinas, Punta Carnero and will finish with a City tour in Guayaquil and return to Quito.

Volcanic Trip: Starting at the Latitude 0º, this trip explores the highlands of Ecuador. The trip includes areas such as Cayambe, Otavalo (famous Indian market), San Pablo Lake and Cotacachi, the Cotopaxi National Park and volcano, Limpiopungo Lake, Chimborazo volcano, Riobamba, Alausi, Ingapirca and Cuenca.

Galapagos Islands Trip: Students can also opt to take an excursion to the Galapagos Islands, which is a five-day trip that will allow you to tour the islands and stay aboard a yacht with a bi-lingual naturalist guiding the tour.

University Program

University Year: The University program in Ecuador is perfect for students looking for an educational experience packed with culture and adventure after graduation. Students on this program live with an Ecuadorian host family and attend an undergraduate university. Program details such as orientations, excursions, and tuition inclusions are the same as the high school program.

PROGRAM DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Fall Year Late August Late June $13,995
University Fall Year Mid October Late August $14,995

Tuition Includes

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Enrollment in a local Ecuadorian high school (excluding summer programs)
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Ecuador Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive insurance

Age Requirement

  • 2020 Fall Year Program: Students born February 27, 2002 - June 29, 2005.
  • 2020 University Fall Program: Students born December 31, 2000 - January 1, 2003.
  • Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Spanish. Previous language study is not required, but students are expected to be willing and motivated to learn Spanish.

Host Family Placement

Students will be placed with families in cities such as Quito, Ambato, Cuenca, Riobamba, Latacunga and Ibarra in the Sierra region and Santo Domingo, Machala, Portoviejo and Manta in the Costa region.

+ Semester Programs

There is a loving host family waiting for you in Ecuador! Absorb Ecuadorian culture while learning Spanish and exploring some of the most remarkable areas of this beautiful country!

School

Ecuador's high school system is divided into three areas: social studies, biological sciences and mathematics. Students take 13 to 14 courses related to their career goals. Most YFU students choose social studies, but you may choose another area of specialization. Most regions in Ecuador have an extended school break in which YFU Students spend their time getting volunteer experience with local organizations. Ecuadorian students usually study English so you may make friends by having them help you with Spanish and by helping them with English!

Orientations

All students applying for the semester program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December (for Spring programs). This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas.

Upon arrival in Ecuador, students will participate in a three-day arrival orientation to help ease their transition into their new culture. There will also be a one-day mid-year orientation for year students and a two-day re-entry orientation for all students. All orientation costs are included in program tuition.

Extracurriculars

Another great way to meet locals is to participate in extracurricular activities and service opportunities in your local Ecuadorian community! One way students will be able to meet others in the community is through volunteering, which will help students to also learn about Ecuador's true culture. Students usually either volunteer for a month while in school, or can expect to be required to volunteer for one month during their school break.

Optional Excursions

Semester program students will also have the option of participating in a number of educational trips and excursions during their stay, at an additional cost. In the Fall, students can participate in the Jungle Trip and the Ruta Del Sol. In the Spring, Student can join in the Ruta Del Sol, Volcanic Trip, and Galapagos Islands Trip. These trips are optional and come at an additional fee; more information on pricing and logistics to come closer to the time of the trip.

Jungle Trip: This trip will start in Quito. From there students travel to Punta Ahuano where they take canoes on the scenic journey to go the hotel “La Casa del Suizo” on the shore of Napo River. Students will see many kinds of animals and navigate in the Napo River, one of the most important rivers in the country.

Ruta De Sol Trip: On this trip, students have the opportunity to visit the main beaches of Manabí and Guayas provinces. This trip will start in Quito going to Puerto López and continue visiting Playa de los Frailes, Isla de la Plata, Montañita, Salinas, Punta Carnero and will finish with a City tour in Guayaquil and return to Quito.

Volcanic Trip: Starting at the Latitude 0º, this trip explores the highlands of Ecuador. The trip includes areas such as Cayambe, Otavalo (famous Indian market), San Pablo Lake and Cotacachi, the Cotopaxi National Park and volcano, Limpiopungo Lake, Chimborazo volcano, Riobamba, Alausi, Ingapirca and Cuenca.

Galapagos Islands Trip: Students can also opt to take an excursion to the Galapagos Islands, which is a five-day trip that will allow you to tour the islands and stay aboard a yacht with a bi-lingual naturalist guiding the tour.

University Program

University Semester: The University program in Ecuador is perfect for students looking for an educational experience packed with culture and adventure after graduation. Students on this program live with an Ecuadorian host family and attend an undergraduate university. Program details such as orientations, excursions, and tuition inclusions are the same as the high school program.

PROGRAM DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Fall Semester Late August Late January $11,495
Spring Semester Early January Late June $11,495
Volunteer Fall Semester Late August Late January $11,495
Volunteer Spring Semester Early January Late June $11,495
University Fall Semester Mid October Mid March $12,495

Tuition Includes

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Enrollment in a local Ecuadorian high school (excluding summer programs)
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Ecuador Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive insurance

Age Requirement

  • 2020 Fall Semester: Students born February 27, 2002 - June 29, 2005.
  • 2020 Spring Semester: Students born June 29, 2001 - November 29, 2004.
  • 2020 Fall Volunteer Program: Students born August 1, 1999 - Feburary 1, 2003.
  • 2020 Spring Volunteer Program: Students born January 1, 1999 - July 1, 2002.
  • 2020 University Fall Program: Students born December 31, 2000 - January 1, 2003.
  • Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Spanish. Previous language study is not required, but students are expected to be willing and motivated to learn Spanish.

Host Family Placement

Students will be placed with families in cities such as Quito, Ambato, Cuenca, Riobamba, Latacunga and Ibarra in the Sierra region and Santo Domingo, Machala, Portoviejo and Manta in the Costa region.

+ Summer Program

There is a loving host family waiting for you in Ecuador! Absorb Ecuadorian culture while learning Spanish and exploring some of the most remarkable areas of this beautiful country!

Discover Ecuador

If ecology, biology, anthropology or Spanish fascinates you, join other YFU participants from around the world in this five-week program in Ecuador. You'll live with an Ecuadorian host family and enjoy getting to know the culture from an insider's perspective. Living with a family gives you a chance to truly explore and understand another culture. You will also receive Spanish Language lessons so as to even further immerse yourself in Ecuadorian culture. These lessons are a few hours a week and are designated to each student based on their incoming level of Spanish.

Orientations

Students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June.

Upon arrival in Ecuador, students will have a one-day orientation to help ease the adjustment into a new culture. Students will also participate in a one-day re-entry orientation prior to departure from Ecuador as a way to reflect with other exchange students about their experiences. All orientation costs are included in tuition.

Cultural Excursions

Day Trips: Students on the Summer ptogram to Ecuador will get the opportunity to travel to places like the colonial section of Quito, the colorful indigenous market at Otavalo and the equator line.

Explore the Rainforest: A four-day, three-night tour of the rainforest is also included with activities that include canoeing and observing monkeys, reptiles, exotic plants, and other wildlife in the region. Students will also learn about the rainforest from trained local guides. Please note that the rainforest trip will only be offered if there are a minimum of five students on program.

Galapagos Islands Trip: Students can also opt to take an excursion to the Galapagos Islands, which is a five-day trip that will allow you to tour the islands and stay aboard a yacht with a bi-lingual naturalist guiding the tour. This trip is optional and comes at an additional fee; more information on pricing and logistics to come closer to the time of the trip.

PROGRAM DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Summer Late June Early August $5,995

Tuition Includes

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Ecuador Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive insurance

Age Requirement

  • 2020 Summer Program: Students born January 27, 2002 - May 27, 2005.
  • Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Spanish. Previous language study is not required, but students are expected to be willing and motivated to learn Spanish.

Host Family Placement

Students will be placed with families in Quito for the Summer program.