Students study the cultural, social, economic, and political landscape in Ecuador. They soak in the beauty and stark contrasts of Quito, their home base. They experience Ecuadorian family life through homestays, and excavate the city’s history in field trips in and around the historic, colonial city center. Students travel more broadly through the countryside on two four-day field trips, one to the Amazonian rain forest and the other to a series of indigenous Kichwa villages in the highlands. They critically examine models of community as they explore Ecuador’s diverse ecosystems, challenges, and assets.
Classroom time is spent in conversation with leaders from the local nonprofit and political communities. Particular emphasis is placed on the rights written in the Ecuador’s Constitution of 2008 as well as challenges to its implementation. Significant time is spent examining the political will and momentum of new social movements, the country’s protection and management of natural resources, movements towards gender equality, and indigenous perspectives. Students see first-hand how Ecuador’s indigenous populations are shaping debate and policy in political and cultural institutions.
Course: Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador (4 credits), no internship is available for this program due to its length.
The program will be conducted in English. Students are not required to have Spanish proficiency to participate. Lodging is arranged in family homestays, allowing for cultural exchange. Most host families will have at least one family member who speaks English, and in homes where that is not the case, students who have Spanish-language ability will be paired with students who have none. HECUA will also provide translators to assist during site visits and with guest lecturers who speak no English. Learn more about January Term in Ecuador here!
Health and Safety
HECUA has been vigilantly and constantly monitoring the evolving conditions of COVID-19, including tracking updates from the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US Department of State and other credible sources. Click here to view HECUA's most recent COVID-19 updates.
Check the HECUA website for the current fees. These fees include include tuition, airfare, nearly all reading materials, some field visits (including meals while traveling), and tickets to events and opportunities associated with the program.
This program is open to any undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, although any applicant with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 will receive additional review. Prospective students are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any other eligibility questions.
Students live in a homestay with an Ecuadorian family.
HECUA awards scholarships of $250 for January-term programs. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. You can find more information about scholarships here.
If you're ready to apply or just want more information, we suggest that you connect with your HECUA Campus Representative. Click here to view the HECUA staff page
and contact the Campus Representative who works with your institution.
- Connect with a HECUA Campus Representative
- Submit an application to your home institution
- Submit an application to HECUA.