Explore tropical ecosystems, conduct biological fieldwork, and study conservation in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.
Study biological and ecological sciences in one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet.
Visit the high sierra of the Andes, the cloud forests of the Chocó, the Amazon basin, and the Galápagos Islands.
Live like a biologist: study plants and insects, take soil samples, conduct species counts, use mist nets, and observe birds.
Live and study in beautiful Quito, surrounded by mountains called locally “la cara de Dios”—the face of God.
Improve your Spanish in class, in homestays, and on excursions.
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use your new language and cultural skills and the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you.
The ISP can be conducted throughout Ecuador based upon requests from local activists, NGOs, and communities. You should plan on completing an ISP that is rooted in the biological, ecological, and/or environmental sciences.
Biodiversity studies and population assessments
Use of biological/ecological indicators for environmental studies
Flora or fauna monitoring for conservation purposes
Geology related to ecology and conservation
Protected area management
Key Topics of Study
Ecology/biology of Ecuador’s four distinct ecological regions: the Andes, the coast, the Amazon, and the Galápagos Islands
Major plant and animal biological indicators and ecological adaptations
Forestry and field techniques, research analysis and bio-statistics
Local natural resource use
Ecuador’s current environmental challenges.
Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.
SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:
All educational costs, including educational excursions
All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
Health and accident insurance
SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
All scholarships and grants are need-based.
Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.
The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program.
Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.
Academic Program The program begins with a week of orientation conducted by the program director in Quito. Following orientation, students are placed in an intermediate or advanced Spanish course based on a placement exam. The academic program consists of:
Spanish for the Natural Sciences (0.75 Pomona credits)
Comparative Tropical Ecology (0.75 Pomona credits)
Conservation and Sustainability Practices in Ecuador (0.75 Pomona credits)
Environmental Research Methods and Ethics (0.75 Pomona credits)
Independent Study Project (ISP) (1 Pomona credit)
There is no P/NC option on this program.
Living Arrangements Eight-week homestay in Quito. Brief rural homestay in cloud forest. Other accommodations during the program include hostels, field camps, reserve lodges, and boats.
Number of students SIT enrolls approximately 20-25 students, selected from a competitive national pool.
Host Institution School for International Training (SIT)
Completion of advanced Spanish (Spanish 44), or equivalent, and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish.
Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT.
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.