Spend a summer in the biodiverse Galápagos Islands, Ecuador with AIFS! Study environmental science at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), one of the highest ranked universities in Ecuador. Begin the program at USFQ’s Cumbayá campus in Quito before flying to the university’s Extension campus on the island of San Cristóbal.
** Starting J Term 2023 and onward, students participating in our Ecuador programs will need to have COVID vaccinations and at least one booster dose. Students without these doses will not be allowed to participate in the USFQ program. **
The AIFS inclusive program fee includes all of the great features below in addition to many pre-departure, on-site and upon-return services to help students make the most of their time abroad.Review Our Policies
3 semester credits
Course offered in environmental science
with local families on San Cristóbal island. Hotel accommodation is provided for the Quito and Santa Cruz Island sections of the program
Breakfast and lunch in Quito, 3 meals a day on San Cristóbal Island and breakfast and one lunch on Santa Cruz Island
Quito, Ecuador (2 nights at the start of the program and 2 nights at the end) Santa Cruz island, Galápagos (2 nights)
A guided tour of Quito’s historic center and the Middle of the World Monument, or Otavalo Market. Activities in the Galápagos include visits to Frigate Bird Hill, El Junco Lake, La Galapaguera – home to the famous giant tortoises, La Lobería Beach to see the marine iguanas, snorkeling excursion to Kicker Rock, Puerto Chino and Isla Lobos to see the blue-footed boobies
to help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program
Round-trip flights from 25 U.S. gateways
Airport transfers to and from campus
Students will stay with a carefully selected homestay family. By staying with local families you will gain a unique insight into island life and how the locals live and work.
San Cristóbal is the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago and has a population of about 6,000 inhabitants.
San Cristobal is where Darwin first set foot to write his famous book, “On the Origin of Species.”
San Cristóbal is home to many animals like sealions, marine iguanas, tortoises, and more!
AIFS provides a dedicated Resident Director for this program who will assist students throughout their stay in the Galápagos. Details and contact information will be available prior to the start of the summer program.
The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.
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.
Many activities involve snorkelling – participants should be able to swim and confident in water.
Includes visits to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Lava Java Organic Coffee Plantation farm, accommodations, breakfasts, one lunch, and round trip transportation. Students get one free afternoon to explore.
Program is closed
Students can select an optional transportation package for all AIFS programs. Students who choose to book their own flights should meet up with group at the program location and will need to make their own ground transportation arrangements.
Below are fees by departure city based on average historical costs and subject to change. If you select this option on your application, the total flight package price will be confirmed in your account 6 months prior to departure. (Program fee is guaranteed.)
Social identity & access
One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the journey knowing that your time abroad will be unique to this experience. The resources, community, and support available to you when abroad will likely be different as well. In order to help you prepare for your experience, we have compiled many resources about social identity and access in specific locations abroad. Your program staff will also provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.Learn more