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Students enrolled in this English-language based program will spend a month in Quito, Ecuador, exploring the perils and promise of development. They'll hike to the crest of the foothills that surround the city, and see the sprawl of new construction. They will stroll through the historic town square on a guided tour of Ecuador's not-so-distant past as a Spanish colony, and travel through the countryside on two multi-day field trips–from the mountainous Imbabura Province to the Amazon basin.
Classroom time is spent in conversation with leaders from the local nonprofit and political communities. Particular emphasis is placed on indigenous rights, gender equality, the protection and management of natural resources, and Ecuador's constitution of 2008. Students see first-hand how Ecuador's indigenous populations are shaping debate and policy in political and cultural institutions, and analyze the growing division between the leftist movement and a historically conservative upper class.
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.
Current college students.
- 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.
Program Fees include:
Air travel, ground travel, housing, most meals, excursions & events, reading materials
This Program is open to
Any undergraduate student enrolled in a college or university in the United States.
Typical Living Arrangements
Participants Travel to Ecuador
Typically Participants Work
Scholarships are Available
HECUA awards scholarships of $250 for January-term programs. You can find more information about scholarships here.
Application Process Involves
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application plus Application Assessment
More information at the HECUA Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador webpage >>>
HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.
J-Term credit. Like all courses offered during the J-Term, this course meets one of the two IEX course requirements needed for graduation from Gustavus.
Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.
Application deadline. The deadline to apply for Gustavus approval is October 1.
Program costs. Beyond the application fee, there are no additional costs for this course at Gustavus. Participants will pay the main program fee to HECUA directly.
Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.