- Develop your Spanish language skills and explore contemporary Ecuadorian culture during BCA’s required pre-semester course. Discussion topics may include environmental justice, gender issues or modernization versus traditional practices.
- Get involved in the Quito community by interning or volunteering at a variety of agencies, non-profits or foundations that work with different communities in Quito.
- Live with an Ecuadorian family to improve your Spanish and learn about the local customs, traditions and food.
- Few programs in the world can offer the diversity of experience offered by the BCA Quito program. You will study and experience first-hand the most important themes of our time: social justice through the lenses of human rights, poverty, labor issues, public health and education; environmental sustainability; biodiversity; cultural identity; and democratization.
The Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) hosts approximately 6,000 students, including 1,000 international students, across its various campuses. USFQ is ranked in the top three universities in Ecuador and offers areas of study across a wide array of academic disciplines, making it a perfect location to fulfill major or general education requirements. You can also apply for the Latitude Zero: Ecuador Research Initiative (LOERI), which pairs you with a USFQ faculty member completing research in their field. Or, you can challenge yourself and connect to the community through an internship in education, social sciences or health professions.
There are many ways for you to become involved in the community and to learn about Ecuadorian culture and traditions from local people. You can join the University’s Ecua-buddies program, where you are matched with an Ecuadorian student and encouraged to do fun activities together. Living with a host family gives you the chance learn about holiday celebrations, family customs and tasty traditional dishes! If you’re interested in volunteering, there are placements available with local non-profit organizations such as a medical clinic, refugee services agency and an agency working with children with disabilities.
Cultural Activities & Excursions
Your Resident Director will guide you throughout the semester, helping you understand and process your experiences and gain the confidence you need to explore Quito on your own. Together you will traverse the historical center of Quito, visit a cloud forest and hike around volcanic lakes, all while learning about the rich Andean culture. Excursions outside of the city vary by semester but in the past have included the Galapagos Island, the Amazon Rainforest, and Cochasqui and Otavalo.
The capital of Ecuador, Quito (full name San Francisco de Quito) lies at 9,000 feet above sea level in a high valley at the base of Mount Pichincha. With a climate referred to as “eternal spring,” Quito is a city of sun and sky and is surrounded by mountains and three snow-capped volcanoes.
Life in Quito offers a mix of Spanish and indigenous traditions with modern international influences providing a rich and multifaceted backdrop for the study of historical Ecuador. An ever-growing city of around 2 million people, Quito’s neighborhoods retain their small city atmosphere. Quito is home to a beautiful historical center, dozens of museums, theater, symphonic concerts, numerous parks and recreations centers and food of all kinds. Quito is also a city of contrasts, a product of numerous cultural influences and stratified economic conditions.
Program Quick Facts
Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: October 15
Fall: 3 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent
Language of Instruction:
Spring: 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent
Universidad de San Francisco de Quito
Fall Semester: Late July – Mid-December
Other Program Opportunities:
Spring Semester: Early January – Mid-May
Internships and volunteer placements available