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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

When you choose to live in Ecuador, you choose a country that straddles the equator and is home to the descendants of the great Inca Empire. Discover its rich heritage as a YFU exchange student and you will understand Ecuadorian culture as few visitors do.

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. Quito, the nation’s capital, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of the best-preserved colonial cities of Latin America, as have Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands for their unique wildlife (including the namesake giant tortoise).

What you might enjoy most about Ecuadorian culture is the gripping Andean music, distinctive for two reasons: the unique blend of instruments, like cuñucas and bambos, and the Pasillo musical scale, which is far different from what you are probably accustomed to.

As a YFU student in Ecuador, you may find yourself in a large host family since the average family size is five. 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. Associated with these very important holidays is the delicious Ecuadorian cuisine! 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 made with potatoes, meat and cheese). These tasty foods will undoubtedly be a great way to satisfy your appetite!

With its beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, amazing wildlife, and rich culture, Ecuador is undeniably a wonderful country to visit! Ecuador will undoubtedly embrace you just as it has countless other people, and provide you with the journey of a lifetime that will remain in your memories forever!

Online Resources

To learn more about Ecuador, we recommend:

+ Scholarships Available

7 - Epson America, Inc. International Scholarship
385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Study Fund
378 - The Grand Forks Scheels Scholarship
314 - The YFU Americas Scholarship
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund
596 - Norbert Hardner Foundation International Exchange Scholarship

Learn more about scholarships.

+ 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

+ Additional Information

Visa Information

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

Additional Costs

YFU will cover the cost of school registration and tuition fees, but students are responsible for buying textbooks, transportation to and from school (USD $35-60 per month) and other materials such as uniforms (around $200). There is also a visa registration fee (around USD $55) to be paid upon arrival in Ecuador. Program tuition does not include personal spending money or school-related costs such as books and school trips.

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! You can choose from a year, semester, summer, or university program in 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. 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 or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December. 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 one-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

You will have quite a few opportunities to see more of Ecuador -- the jungles, the beaches, the volcanoes, even the Galapagos Islands! Trips offered vary depending on program; fall semester students can visit the jungle and the Ruta del Sol. Spring semester students can visit the Ruta del Sol, the volcanoes, and the Galapagos Islands, and year students have the opportunity to go on all of these excursions! Trips are organized through YFU Ecuador and an Ecuadorian travel agency. Prices are subject to change, but YFU Ecuador estimates the following prices for the trips: Jungle ($480), Ruta del Sol ($745). For the year program Volcanoes ($740), Galapagos Islands ($1,900).

University Program

High school graduates are invited to spend a gap year in Ecuador! Students on the university program attend courses at ITHI Tecnologico Internacional in Quito, the capital. Students will still live with a local Ecuadorian host family. At school, every student will take the following courses during the first semester: Oral Expression, Human Growth and Development, Basic Math, Office/IT, General Administration, Theory of Tourism, Universal Geography Tourism, Tourist Geography of Ecuador 1, Ecuadorian Arts 1, and Technical Guidance 1. Second semester classes are as follows: Statistics, Financial Math, General Accounting, Anthropology, Tourist Geography of Ecuador 2, Ecuadorian Arts 2, Technical Guidance 2, Universal Art, and Ecuadorian Flora. To learn more about this unique program, contact info@yfu.org!

PROGRAM CODE DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Fall Year 0045 late August late June $13,995
University Fall Year 1370 early October mid May $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

Summer: January 27, 2001 - May 27, 2004. Fall Year and Fall Semester: February 27, 2001 - June 29, 2004. Spring Semester: June 29, 2000 - November 30, 2003. University Fall Year and University Fall Semester: January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2002. Volunteer Program: August 1, 1998 - Febuary 1, 2002. 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! You can choose from a year, semester, summer, or university program in 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. 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 or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December. 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 one-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

You will have quite a few opportunities to see more of Ecuador -- the jungles, the beaches, the volcanoes, even the Galapagos Islands! Trips offered vary depending on program; fall semester students can visit the jungle and the Ruta del Sol. Spring semester students can visit the Ruta del Sol, the volcanoes, and the Galapagos Islands, and year students have the opportunity to go on all of these excursions! Trips are organized through YFU Ecuador and an Ecuadorian travel agency. Prices are subject to change, but YFU Ecuador estimates the following prices for the trips: Jungle ($480), Ruta del Sol ($745). For the year program Volcanoes ($740), Galapagos Islands ($1,900).

University Program

High school graduates are invited to spend a gap year in Ecuador! Students on the university program attend courses at ITHI Tecnologico Internacional in Quito, the capital. Students will still live with a local Ecuadorian host family. At school, every student will take the following courses during the first semester: Oral Expression, Human Growth and Development, Basic Math, Office/IT, General Administration, Theory of Tourism, Universal Geography Tourism, Tourist Geography of Ecuador 1, Ecuadorian Arts 1, and Technical Guidance 1. Second semester classes are as follows: Statistics, Financial Math, General Accounting, Anthropology, Tourist Geography of Ecuador 2, Ecuadorian Arts 2, Technical Guidance 2, Universal Art, and Ecuadorian Flora. To learn more about this unique program, contact info@yfu.org!

PROGRAM CODE DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Fall Semester 0909 late August late January $11,495
Spring Semester 0899 early January late June $11,495
University Fall Semester 1369 early October late March $12,495
Volunteer Fall Semester 1278 late August late January $11,495
Volunteer Spring Semester 1277 early January late June $11,495

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

Summer: January 27, 2001 - May 27, 2004. Fall Year and Fall Semester: February 27, 2001 - June 29, 2004. Spring Semester: June 29, 2000 - November 30, 2003. University Fall Year and University Fall Semester: January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2002. Volunteer Program: August 1, 1998 - Febuary 1, 2002. 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! Spend the summer in 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.

Cultural Excursions

Day trips to places like the colonial section of Quito, the colorful indigenous market at Otavalo and the equator line are included in the summer program. 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. 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.

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.

PROGRAM CODE DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Summer 0043 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

Summer: January 27, 2001 - May 27, 2004. Fall Year and Fall Semester: February 27, 2001 - June 29, 2004. Spring Semester: June 29, 2000 - November 30, 2003. University Fall Year and University Fall Semester: January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2002. Volunteer Program: August 1, 1998 - Febuary 1, 2002. 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.