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Study Abroad Office

Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Area: Global Exchange
Location: Quito
Country: Ecuador
Term: Spring, Fall, Academic Year

UofSC's exchange program in Quito, Ecuador is designed to expose American students to Ecuadorian history, culture, and the strong academics available at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. This exchange is best-suited for HRSM students who wish to improve their Spanish language skills while also attending specific Spanish-taught courses in the HRSM fields.

The Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is located in Quito, which is the capital of Ecuador. Quito is located in the Andes mountains, and it is the highest official capital city in the world at an elevation of 9,350 above sea level. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and Quito also features an aerial tramway, known as the "Teleferiqo" which takes you from the city center up in to the mountains for hiking and other leisure activities.

Founded in 1988, the Universidad San Francisco de Quito was the first liberal arts institution in the Andean region. With its beautiful parks and its location in the student friendly neighborhood of Cumbaya, the Universidad San Francisco de Quito is an ideal location for students looking to truly experience Latin American culture. The Universidad San Francisco de Quito has high academic standards, and it is one of the top universities in Latin America. It is also the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands. Internationalization is promoted to enhance the academic quality of the university and to diversify the student and faculty populations.

Cost: UofSC resident tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: 3.0 GPA, minimum of 5 semesters of college-level Spanish, preference given to HRSM students but all highly qualified students are encouraged to apply

Students on an exchange program will pay tuition and fees directly to UofSC. Housing, books, meals, and personal expenses will be paid in Ecuador. Housing costs with host families are around $445-500 USD per month.

Students must enroll in 12 credits minimum, 18 credits maximum. Proficiency in written and oral Spanish is required, and applicants must complete a Spanish Proficiency form. Most courses at USFQ are taught in Spanish. 

To see courses UofSC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

Exchange students are able to get involved on campus. Information on student life opportunities at USFQ, including their Buddy program (EcuaBuddies) and excursions, is available. Students also have the opportunity for independent travel.

Per university policy, all UofSC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. Contact the Study Abroad Office for more details.

 There is no on-campus housing available for exchange students. USFQ matches interested international students with carefully screened host families in Quito. Host families are required to provide students with their own bedroom (bathroom may be shared), Wifi internet access, and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner). Host families generally live within a 15-45 minute commute by public transportation from the USFQ campus in Cumbayá. 

Due to a limited number of families available, applicants will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis. Students not wishing to do a homestay are responsible for arranging their own independent housing, without assistance from USFQ.  More information about living in Quito may be found on USFQ's Info for International Students page.

The Universidad San Francisco de Quito has two semesters. The first semester is from mid January to mid May. The second semester is from mid August to late December. USC students are able to attend the USFQ for the fall semester, spring semester, or academic year. 

 Orientation sessions are held prior to the start of each semester in mid January and mid August. Orientation is mandatory for all exchange students.

 Students studying in Ecuador for the semester or year can either apply for a student temporary residence visa prior to departure or will be able to enter the country on a tourist visa and apply for a student temporary residence visa upon their arrival. Upon arrival to the country a student visa will be granted at the airport or port of entry to Ecuador.


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