Students study the cultural, social, economic, and political landscape in Ecuador. They soak in the beauty and stark contrasts of Quito, their home base. They experience Ecuadorian family life through homestays, and excavate the city’s history in field trips in and around the historic, colonial city center. Students travel more broadly through the countryside on two four-day field trips, one to the Amazonian rain forest and the other to a series of indigenous Kichwa villages in the highlands. They critically examine models of community as they explore Ecuador’s diverse ecosystems, challenges, and assets.
Classroom time is spent in conversation with leaders from the local nonprofit and political communities. Particular emphasis is placed on the rights written in the Ecuador’s Constitution of 2008 as well as challenges to its implementation. Significant time is spent examining the political will and momentum of new social movements, the country’s protection and management of natural resources, movements towards gender equality, and indigenous perspectives. Students see first-hand how Ecuador’s indigenous populations are shaping debate and policy in political and cultural institutions.
Course: Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador (4 credits), no internship is available for this program due to its length.
Application Process for Other Approved Programs
The program will be conducted in English. Students are not required to have Spanish proficiency to participate. Lodging is arranged in family homestays, allowing for cultural exchange. Most host families will have at least one family member who speaks English, and in homes where that is not the case, students who have Spanish-language ability will be paired with students who have none. HECUA will also provide translators to assist during site visits and with guest lecturers who speak no English. Learn more about January Term in Ecuador here!
- Area/Ethnic Studies
- Art/Fine Arts
- Conservation and Preservation
- Environmental Studies
- Foreign Language
- International Relations
- Latin American Studies
- Liberal Arts
- Peace Studies
- Political Science/Politics
- Social Sciences
- Spanish Literature
- Sustainable Development
- Urban & Regional Planning
- Women's Studies
Some schools have a different fee structure. Always check with your home institution first. Up to date pricing can be found on the HECUA website, here. Fees include air travel, ground travel, housing, most meals, excursions & events, reading materials
Any undergraduate student enrolled in a college or university in the United States who has completed their first year.
HECUA awards scholarships of $250 for January-term programs. You can find more information about scholarships here.
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application
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 group advising session. Dates posted online at stthomas.edu/studyabroad.
- 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 > Explore & Plan > Student Policies.
- Some programs have additional criteria.
Financial Aid Awards (grants, loans and scholarships) typically do NOT apply to January Term study abroad. Visit stthomas.edu/financialaid for more information.
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