Request Info
Last Call for Fall! View Available Programs
Spend Your Spring Abroad View Programs
Start Your January Journey View JTerm Programs

Study Abroad | Galápagos Islands

Ecuador | Universidad San Francisco de Quito | Summer 2024
A harbor in Ecuador.
A group of students on a boat.


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. 

What’s Included

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
  • Tuition

    3 semester credits

  • Courses

    Course offered in environmental science

  • Housing

    with local families on San Cristóbal island. Hotel accommodation is provided for the Quito and Santa Cruz Island sections of the program

  • Meals

    Breakfast and lunch in Quito, 3 meals a day on San Cristóbal Island and breakfast and one lunch on Santa Cruz Island

  • Excursions & Day Trips

    Quito, Ecuador (2 nights at the start of the program and 2 nights at the end) Santa Cruz island, Galápagos (2 nights)

  • Cultural & Social Activities

    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

  • On-Site Program Director

    to help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program

  • Health & Safety

    24/7 emergency support and comprehensive insurance
  • Personal/Professional Development

    Access to the renowned Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment and alumni network
  • Green Initiative

Additional Options & Opportunities

  • AIFS Flight Package

    Round-trip flights from 25 U.S. gateways

    Airport transfers to and from campus

Program Details: Study Abroad | Galápagos Islands Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Please note this program will not be running in Summer 2024.





Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Application Deadline

Inclusive Fees



Open to High School Graduate, First Year, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Non-Student

Minimum of 2.5 GPA

Additional requirements may vary by course selection. See Academic section below.

Visa Requirements

A visa may be required for this program. Please contact your advisor or log into your portal for more information.

Areas of Interest

  • Environmental Studies

Global Themes

  • Global Sustainability
  • Health Sciences and STEM
Learn More About Global Themes


AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

La Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is one of Ecuador’s top-ranked universities. It has a community of 7,000 students and 300 professors and is a leader in education, research, creativity and entrepreneurship. 

  • Environmental Studies

Earn 3 credits taking an Environmental Science course taught in English. Academic field visits with USFQ faculty and naturalist guides give students vital insight into the Galápagos’ environmental characteristics and supplement classroom based teaching. Courses aim to give students an overview of the Galápagos Islands and their unique role in changing our understanding of the biology of life. 

View All Courses For Ecosystems and Biodiversity
A turtle in the Galapagos Islands.

Living Abroad


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.

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


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 Program Director

AIFS provides a dedicated Program 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 Program 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.

  • Welcome lunch
  • Quito historic center and Middle of the World Monument guided tour
  • Visit to El Junco, a permanent freshwater lake where you can see frigate birds bathing in order to preen their feathers
  • La Lobería, a coral sand beach where you can snorkel and hike to see sea lions, a large colony of marine iguanas and a huge variety of 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 semi-natural habitat
  • Kicker Rock, one of San Cristóbal Island’s most iconic sites and an excellent location for snorkeling to spot 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
  • 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

Many activities involve snorkelling – participants should be able to swim and confident in water.


This program offers a range of day trips and excursions that will take you outside the Galápagos Islands and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Ecuador. Previous excursions have included:

A turtle walking through grass.

Santa Cruz Island

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. 

  • Galapagos
  • 2 Days
  • Included in Program Fee
A group of happy students at a carnival.
A view of Prague.

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

Important Dates & Deadlines

Request Info

Did Not Run

Please note this program will not be running in Summer 2024.

Dates & Deadlines


  • Early Application Deadline*
  • Application Deadline
  • Deposit Deadline
    April 10, 2024
  • Scholarship Deadline
  • Visa Deadline****
  • Optional Departure Flight from US***
  • Program Begins
  • Program Ends
  • Optional Return Flight to US***
  • *** Included for students on AIFS flight package.
  • **** AIFS Abroad offers visa processing services to applicants who enroll into the program by this date. All other applicants who enroll after this date will be responsible for securing their own visa with guidance from AIFS Abroad.

Optional Flight Package

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.)

Depature City


  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Buffalo
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Des Moines
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Newark
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Washington/Dulles
  • View more View less

See what others are saying

Two students walking in a field.

Ready to Study Abroad in Galápagos Islands?

For more dates or questions, contact your program consultant:
(203) 399-5163 or email: