Ecuador Program: the Meeting of Cultures

Early Fall Start for students of all levels
Next Offered
Summer 2018
Application Deadline

Program Description


During the “early fall” term of 2018 (August 19 – September 15) the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will offer a total immersion cultural program for undergraduate students in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.  The purpose of this program is to provide students of Spanish with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the language and the culture in a total immersion experience.

The program consists of the following: Thirty-four hours of conversational Spanish and grammar review; Service Learning in Semilla daycare center (students will keep a diary of their experience); one weekly session on Ecuadorean culture and society (some time will be dedicated to reflecting on the Service Learning experience); one weekly guided visit to sites of cultural and historical interest in Quito; three excursions outside of Quito to La Mitad del Mundo, Otavalo, and other activities.

The program’s academic home is the Equinox School, located in the Mariscal district in central Quito.

Quito is a city of 2.7 million, situated in a high valley at an elevation of 9300 feet.  Formerly a central city in the northern reaches of the Inca empire, it is a now a cosmopolitan and manageable capital city that will offer program participants an excellent introduction to Latin American demography, history, sociology, anthropology, art, and religion in a postcolonial context that will ideally further their professional and personal interests and facilitate their studies in a range of academic disciplines.

Students on the program will maintain their UW residency and any financial aid eligibility already established. Credits earned will be recorded on student’s UW transcripts and apply directly to UW graduation requirements.


The dates of the program are August 19 - September 15, 2018.

Please note that students are expected to arrive in Quito no later than August 19, 2017.


Conversational Spanish:  Students will receive 34 hours of conversation in the Spanish language, which will give them an opportunity to practice the grammar and lexicon learned in their UW courses.  These sessions will also include grammar review.

Students will earn 5 UW credits in SPAN 199, 299 or 393.  Credits will be posted on the student’s Fall Quarter transcript.

Criteria for evaluation are as follows:

Spanish class 40%
Service Learning and diary 30%
Culture Seminar 30%

For the Culture Seminar, students will do readings pertaining to Ecuadorean culture, society, and history.

Excursions & Other Activities

During the course of this program, students will participate in ten hours of a Salsa dance workshop, a weekly lecture on Ecuador: The Meeting of Cultures, a weekly guided visit to sites of cultural and historical interest in Quito, and three excursions outside of Quito (to Mitad del Mundo, Otavalo, and Manta).

Housing Information

Housing and board (three meals per day) for students will be arranged with families in Quito.  Houses are typically located in areas for easy access to school and city amenities.


Participants must provide proof of health/accident insurance coverage. Please refer to UW Study Abroad Office's Health Insurance webpage for information regarding health insurance while studying abroad.

Eligibility & Application

Eligibility Requirements

The objective of this program is to offer students of Spanish the opportunity to practice their language skills in a total linguistic and cultural immersion environment.  Minimum requirement is Spanish 102 or equivalent to be completed by the beginning of the program.  

Application Procedure

Applications are due by February 15, 2018. To apply to the program, please visit UW Study Abroad's webpage for the program and click on the Apply Now button.

Applications will be considered on a first come and on a space available basis, so students are encouraged to apply early.

Financial Information

Program Fees

The total cost of the program (including a room, three meals a day with a Ecuadorian family, excursions, class materials, some Internet access, and program overhead) will be approximately $4350. This amount includes everything EXCEPT round-trip airfare, local transportation (except for the group excursions), passport, health insurance, $450 Study Abroad fee, International Student ID card, and pocket money.  The payment due date is October 13th, 2018.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Undergraduates who intend to study abroad are encouraged to apply for the Fritz Undergraduate Scholarship for Study Abroad and the Global Opportunities Scholarship for Study Abroad.

Students seeking further information on financial aid and scholarships for foreign study should visit the UW Study Abroad Financial Aid webpage, or request the Financial Aid outline from the Study Abroad Office. In addition, students may reference the UW Scholarship Office website for more information on general and foreign study scholarships. Students will maintain their eligibility to receive most forms of UW student financial aid while participating in this program, provided that they concurrently enroll.

Refund Schedule

The $350 program deposit and $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable. Students withdrawing from a program will be responsible for a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the Study Abroad Office.

Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing to both:

Jorge Gonzalez Casanova
Box 354360
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-4360
AND International Programs and Exchanges
Box 355815
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5815

Contact Information

Questions about the program can be answered by:

Jorge Gonzalez Casanova
Program Director
Padelford Hall, C-214
(206) 685-1999
Program Status