Study Abroad in Ecuador

In a collaboration with Rhodes and Sewanee, we are happy to announce is the launching of a new semester program in Ecuador, which explores various environmental challenges of today and tomorrow through an integrated lens of science and humanities in place-based courses. 

This Global Environmental Challenges program explores various environmental challenges of today and tomorrow through an integrated lease of science and humanities in place-based courses. The semester-long program is based in Ecuador and will spend twelve weeks in the highlands of Cuenca, followed by a three-week module at a biodiversity station in the Amazon and in the Galápagos Islands. 

Students who participate in the program will be able to:

  • Recognize and analyze complex environmental challenges and local responses from the perspective of diverse stakeholders, particularly considering Latin America v. the U.S. 
  • Consider multiple definitions of sustainability within a specific local and national context
  • Grow in empathy and in linguistic and cultural competency through sustained engagement with local communities
  • Learn, apply, and/or evaluate natural and social science field methodologies in local contexts


Fall 2024: September to late-December. Exact dates to be announced.


The cost to study abroad on this semester program is the same as studying in Danville, plus a non-refundable fee of $400 due to the Deputy Bursar on March 8th, 2024.

Students are responsible for the cost of flights to and from the study abroad site. Additional spending money for food or activities outside of those organized by the study abroad program is the responsibility of the student. 

Go to the Center for Global Citizenship Important Dates page to view the complete list of application and payment dates.

Application, Deadlines & Requirements

• Application window for the 2024-2025 academic year opens on November 16th, 2023 at 11:59pm and closes on February 2nd, 2024 at 11:59pm.

• Go to the Center for Global Citizenship Important Dates page to view the complete list of application and payment dates.

• Apply using Centre Online Forms

• Non-refundable fee of $400 for semester programs is due to the Deputy Bursar on March 8th, 2024. 


The Fall 2024 program will be directed by Dr. Genny Ballard, Professor of Spanish.

Students will take a full course load on the Global Environmental Challenges program. Students will enroll in three courses in Cuenca over a span of 12 weeks; the fourth course, Ecology & Biodiversity in Ecuador, will be taught as a three-week module in the Amazon river basin and the Galapagos.  There is no Spanish requirement to enroll in the program; however, all students will be required to take a Spanish language course at their level.


ENS: Environment, Conservation, and Policy Issues in Ecuador - (Required course) This course introduces students to the most influential factors shaping the ecosystems and their conservation, looking at the global, regional, and local factors that determine the climates and the contrasting ecosystems that can be found in Ecuador. The course includes field visits to Tiputini Biodiversity Station and the Galapagos Islands. Thus, allowing students to experience first-hand current topics of conservation and policy issues, while discussing the main environmental challenges associated with the conservation of natural ecosystems in developing countries.

ENS: Environmental Challenges: Linking the Global to the Local - This course examines local environmental challenges in Cuenca, Ecuador, and explores connections to the broader global context. Emphasis will be placed on learning about the ways and beliefs of local cultures and understanding the difficulties in maintaining cultural identity in today's environmental economic climate. this course will focus on rural communities, sustainability, food systems, and agriculture. Experiential learning will be a significant element of the course, and students will visits local communities and NGOs so that students can learn from those who are most affected by these issues.

LAS: Human Relationships with the Environment in Latin America - This course will examine both different peoples have understood, lived with, used, and transformed the environment as well as how the natural world has shaped human stories. This course will draw on readings from multiple  disciplinary perspectives (including history, anthropology, the humanities, and geography) to analyze processes of imperialism, development, global climate change, and the degradation of natural resources. This course will feature local guest lecturers and artists.

SPA: Spanish levels 100-300 - Options include two levels of beginner, two levels of intermediate, two levels of advanced grammar, and two advanced content courses.