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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • A group of students pose for a photo while visiting a farm in the Galápagos Islands.

Galápagos Islands

Through partnership with University of South Carolina’s Education Abroad Office and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management students have a variety of opportunities to live and learn in one of the most exclusive tourism and natural heritage destinations in the world.

The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands located off the coast of Ecuador. The islands are treasured by biologists and explorers alike for their diverse ecosystem, idyllic location and wide variety of beautiful plants and wildlife.

As an academic setting, the Galápagos Islands offer students a special opportunity to become totally immersed in a global learning environment that epitomizes subjects on sustainable tourism, scuba diving, tourism photography and much more.

Two opportunities provide options for either shorter-term or full-semester study abroad experiences.

Semester Abroad Program

Direct Enrollment

Live and learn in the the Galápagos Islands for an entire semester through USC’s direct enrollment partnership with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito! Students study at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) Galápagos campus while living in a homestay on San Cristóbal Island, and spend four months taking five classes centered on sustainable tourism management taught in English by USC and USFQ faculty, all the while living on and exploring the majestic archipelagos of the Galápagos. This course is offered each semester. Visit the USFQ Galápagos Semester Program page to learn more.

Note: The semester-long sustainable tourism track is only offered in the spring. 

Maymester Course

Global USC in the Galápagos: Sustainability

During this three-week program, students study at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) Galápagos campus while living in a homestay on San Cristóbal Island and traveling to Isabella and Santa Cruz Islands. Students have the choice of three to nine course credits: Latin American history, photography and sustainable tourism, sustainable ecotourism and more. Students participating in the Global USC in the Galápagos: Sustainability program are accompanied by a USC Education Abroad Office staff member, and courses are instructed by USC faculty. Visit the Education Abroad Office to learn more about Maymester in the Galápagos.

San Cristóbal Island

Students participating in the semester abroad program or Maymester course in the Galápagos Islands stay on San Cristóbal Island, the fifth largest and easternmost island of the archipelago. The islands are located over 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Of the 127 islands that comprise the Galápagos, only four are inhabited by humans and 97 percent of the surface area is considered a national park.

  • Aerial view of the small town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno with airstrip and its beautiful beaches, San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  • Landscape of strong waves by the beach in Stephens Bay with Witch Hill in the background, San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Galápagos Wildlife

One can't help but be amazed at the wildlife that inhabits the Galápagos Islands. From sea lions to iguanas to sea turtles, there's no shortage of exotic animals to see while studying abroad in the archipelago. And the best part is, you don't have to go searching for these creatures because you'll simply bump into them since they don't have a fear of humans.

  • An iguana in the Galápagos stands on a rocky beach.
  • A sea turtle swims in the water just off the coast of an island in the Galápagos.
  • A sea lion basks in the sun on the beach of an island in the Galápagos.

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