Ecuador is a country of dramatic contrast in nearly every sector: social, political, economic, and geographic. Based in Quito, the Community Internships in Latin America (CILA) program weaves together a semester-long, project-based internship, coursework focused on the promise and peril of development, and field visits ranging from the Andean foothills to the basin of the Amazon river. When they are not in the field, students live with a host family in the urban center of Quito, Ecuador's beautiful and historic capital city.
In the classroom, students study and analyze the political, economic, and social proposals embodied in the Constitution of 2008, and the challenges the country has faced in applying those ambitious goals. In the second week of class students begin work at a diverse range of community organizations. Previous internship sites have included an organic farm (Granja Integral Pachamama), an arts hub for urban youth (El Churo Comunicación) and a women's safe house (Casa Matilde). Students should expect to end the semester with significantly improved Spanish, a deep understanding of models of community participation and development, and a firsthand view of the effects of oil politics and globalization on the Ecuadorian environment and economy.
Application Process for Other Approved Programs
A home stay is combined with a 20 hr/week hands-on internship, field trips and an independent study opportunity designed to meet your own learning goals. A field seminar involving local experts and activists provides an intensive immersion into Latin American daily life and culture.
Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
- Conflict Studies
- Environmental Studies
- International Relations
- Internship Programs
- Liberal Arts
- Social Sciences
- Urban & Regional Planning
- Women's Studies
- Chicano Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Development Studies
- Intensive Language
Please consult the HECUA website for up-to-date pricing.
Group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
Yes. Four semesters (or equivalent) of College-level Spanish is required to participate in our semester-long study abroad program.
Students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions.
HECUA provides up to three $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, two $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice, and four $4,000 Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
- Online Application plus Application Assessment
- Letters of Reference
- Spanish language review
This program is offered through one of our approved program partners. In order to participate you must apply through, and be approved, by both St. Thomas and the program.
University of St. Thomas application deadlines
- Attend a first-step session. Dates posted online at stthomas.edu/studyabroad.
- Schedule an advising meeting. This meeting will review:
- any questions you have about studying abroad, including program selection if you are considering multiple programs.
- the course approval process
- how to apply to Other Approved Programs
- Notify your study abroad advisor of final program selection.
- Complete all St. Thomas application materials by the St. Thomas application deadline.
- Complete program application via the program’s website by their deadline.
October 1 for January Term and spring semester programs
March 15 for summer, fall semester and year-long programs.
Please note that some programs have deadlines earlier than St. Thomas.
St Thomas Criteria for Participation
- Minimum grade point average of 2.5.
- Students may not apply for, maintain an approved application, nor participate in a Study Abroad program while on academic or conduct probation. Any disciplinary records may be a consideration for approval to participate in an off-campus programs.
- View all eligibility requirements for study abroad through St. Thomas: stthomas.edu/studyabroad > Student Policies.
- Some programs have additional criteria.
Financial Aid Awards (grants, loans and scholarships) typically apply to study abroad. Visit stthomas.edu/financialaid for instructions.
The Office of Study Abroad, and other approved program partners, offers scholarships. Visit stthomas.edu/studyabroad, and the program’s website, for details.
For additional program information, contact the program partner.
For application procedures contact Study Abroad.
Office of Study Abroad
University of St. Thomas
MHC 212 (Mail 5026)
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096 USA