LA UNIVERSIDAD SAN FRANCISCO DE QUITO
& GALAPAGOS ACADEMIC INSTITUTE FOR ARTS & SCIENCES
La Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is based in the capital of Ecuador, considered one of the most beautiful regions in Latin America. Located in the Andean mountains at the foot of Mount Pichincha, 9200 feet above sea level, Quito has a spring-like climate all year.
Beautifully preserved colonial churches, convents, palaces, and other buildings of note contrast with the contemporary architecture of modern Quito, a cosmopolitan city of great cultural diversity. Quito has been designated the "Heritage of Mankind" by the United Nations.
A private Ecuadorian University developed on the American model, USFQ was founded in 1985 and enrolls more than 2,000 students in degree programs such as: agriculture, nutrition, applied science, ecology, architecture, liberal arts, education, art, economics, and finance. In 1994, the University moved to its new, modern campus in the region of Cumbaya, an hour drive the from the center of the city.
Academic Program Highlights
The program is designed for students who wish to study Spanish in an intensive format and who wish to explore the world of the Andes. All courses are taught in Spanish; therefore, students should have advanced Spanish language proficiency before enrolling in semester programs. Course offerings vary each semester.
Recommended core courses include: Andean History, Art in Hispanic Quito, Latin American History, Spanish Composition, Spanish Conversation, Cultural Anthropology, Drama, History of Ecuador, Introduction to Latin American Issues, People of the Andes, Rural and Urban Sociology, and Tropical Ecology.
Students typically receive 12-17 undergraduate credits per semester. A 2.5 GPA, along with transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose are required for admission to the program, which is open to students at freshman through graduate level standing.
All students live with Ecuadorian host families. This arrangement facilitates the students' immersion into the Ecuadorian culture. Two to three meals per day are provided. In addition to several tours within Quito, field trips to other areas of interest in Ecuador are organized through the semester. The program features a semester long orientation program designed to facilitate cross-cultural adaptation and learning.