Study Abroad in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

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Living Abroad - January Term 2021

AIFS in the Galápagos Islands Resident Director, January Term Program

AIFS provides a dedicated Resident Director for this program who will assist students throughout. Details and contact information will be available on the AIFS website prior to the start of the January-term program.

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.

Housing and Meals

Students will stay with a carefully selected homestay family in San Cristóbal. By staying with local families you will gain a unique insight into island life and how the locals live and work.

  • Daily breakfast and dinner with the families
  • Most lunches in town or at the site of the academic visits


  • Hotel accommodation is provided in Quito and Santa Cruz Island

Cultural Activities

Learning does not begin or end in the classroom. Visits and field trips are a key part of your academic study in the Galápagos, while social and cultural activities in Quito give you a better understanding of Ecuador, the South American country which governs the islands.

  • Welcome lunch
  • Visit to El Junco, a permanent fresh water lake where you can see frigate birds bathing to preen their feathers
  • La Lobería, a coral sand beach where you can see sea lions, a large colony of marine iguanas and birds
  • La Galapaguera, a man-made breeding program for tortoises and an information center for visitors. You can see giant land tortoises living in a seminatural habitat
  • Kicker Rock one of San Cristóbal Island’s most iconic sites and an excellent location for spotting manta rays, sea turtles and sharks
  • Frigate Bird Hill to spot the magnificent frigate birds
  • The Interpretation Center which focuses on the history of the archipelago from its volcanic origins to the present
  • The Isla Lobos to see the nests of the blue-footed boobies
  • Quito historic center and Middle of the World Monument guided tour or guided visit to Otavalo Market
  • Farewell dinner

USFQ and AIFS promote conservation and sustainable tourism in the Galápagos Islands through education and research. All visits on the islands are to designated visitor sites.