Ecuador Study Abroad Country Profile

Ecuador Overview

Ecuador study abroad programs will offer you access to a country that is unique both geographically and culturally. Its people are primarily mestizo, a mixture of European and Amerindian heritage. The country itself has three main regions, the coast, the highlands, and its eastern region, which includes the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Galapagos Islands are also part of Ecuador. The artistic tradition in Ecuador exemplifies the varied roots of its people. Music is an important part of life in Ecuador, and while the instruments used are the same, the music and the way the instruments are used varies by region. Ecuador has had a sizeable number of native authors, and artwork created by indigenous groups in the highlands is world-renowned. Gender roles have remained strongly in place until just recently, and family is very important to the Ecuadorian people.

Cultural Highlights

Like elsewhere in Latin America, soccer is incredibly popular in Ecuador. The national team has been more successful in recent years, and Ecuadorians are fervent about supporting their team. There is a strong sense of regionalism in the country, and many aspects of Ecuadorian life reflect this. For example, there is no traditional, unifying Ecuadorian dish. Food is highly variable by region, with the major geographic features of a given region contributing heavily to its diet. Despite the often traditional way of life of the Ecuadorian people, they do receive exposure to media from countries like the United States; in fact, the majority of movies shown in Ecuador are from the United States. Ecuador study abroad programs provide a unique opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin had the opportunity to do his famous finch study.

Popular Fields of Study

Because of its connections to one of the world’s most famous biologists, there are a number of programs available that cater to interests in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, and more. But science-oriented programs aren’t restricted to the Galapagos; Ecuador has other diverse ecosystems, including a portion of the Amazon rainforest.

Other programs cover diverse subject areas. Programs on national identity, ethnicity, and social movements will help students discover Ecuador’s rich social and cultural heritage, and learn how this highly indigenous country is weathering political and economic transition. Homestays for a variety of programs offer a unique opportunity to practice Spanish and to experience the daily way of life of an Ecuadorian family.

Why Study Abroad in Ecuador?

Ecuador has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons why you should consider studying abroad in Ecuador.

1. Spanish Language

Ecuador is just one of a number of countries that will give you a great opportunity to learn or practice Spanish, and homestays with local families serve both a cultural and practical purpose.

2. Soccer

It is undeniable that Ecuadorians are passionate about soccer. Soccer enthusiasts will also find many opportunities to play soccer wherever they are located.

3. The Galapagos Islands

Experience the diversity and isolation of the famous Galapagos Islands, where Darwin conducted his famous finch experiment.

4. Unique Delicacies

Though there is no one dish that truly represents the cuisine of Ecuador, there are some unique foods for travelers to try; guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Ecuador.

5. The Amazon

Ecuador is home to many famous ecosystems. In addition to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador has part of the Amazon within its borders.

6. Avenue of Volcanoes

The Avenue of the Volcanoes is unique for two reasons: it is bordered by two mountain ranges, providing amazing landscapes with an abundance of wild flowers, and the Avenue is home to some of the most isolated indigenous populations in Ecuador.

7. Quito

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is home to a wide variety of convents, monasteries, and churches. The city is also home to many cultural events and festivals.

8. Riobamba

Riobamba is a great destination for travelers looking for a little more adventure. A charming colonial town is a home base for many outdoor activities, including hiking and biking.

9. The Devil's Nose Train

In a list ranking the best train rides in the world, this one is near the top. The Devil’s Nose Train provides unreal access to some of Ecuador’s best landscapes, featuring snow-capped volcanic mountains, alpine lakes, and isolated indigenous communities.

10. Friendly People

When living or traveling abroad for an extended period of time, it always helps to be surrounded by friendly local people. The people you will meet in Ecuador are incredibly friendly and helpful, and during your Ecuador study abroad experience you will undoubtedly forge some lifelong friendships.

Ecuador Study Abroad Statistics

Ecuador Country Ranking: 18

(based on estimated total outbound U.S. students)
  • % of U.S. students: 1.1%
  • Total US Students 2006/07: 2,813
  • Total US Students 2007/08: 2,814
  • Yearly 2007/08 Trend: 0.0%
  • Need Help Deciding?

    One of the following program providers can help!

    Sorry. No results.

    If you've found our Ecuador study abroad country profile useful please