Study the Spanish language while you explore Ecuador, a country known for its remarkable geographic and biological diversity.
|Term||Summer Session, Winter Break|
|Credit Type||Resident Credit|
|Sponsor||Learning Abroad Center|
|Student Type||UofM Students, Non UofM Students|
|Student Year||Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors|
|Language||Minimum 3 semesters college-level Spanish|
Few countries as small as Ecuador contain such remarkable geographic and biological diversity. It ranges from coastal deserts to temperate mountain valleys to Amazon forests. Culturally and racially, its population includes every mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African elements. The program is based in Quito, an Andean city—within sight of snow-capped volcanoes—that houses remarkable combinations of colonial and modern, rich and poor.
The Intensive Spanish in Ecuador program can be combined with the MSID Ecuador semester or academic year program for an extended experience abroad.
For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).
You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Ecuador. Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but students with severe food allergies and/or restrictions should discuss their situation with the program team prior to applying.
Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and provide a vital connection to local culture. The homestay aspect of the program is often a highlight for participants. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Ecuadorian life with a student.
Although excursions may vary each term, students typically do a city tour of Quito and a field observation trip to Saqusili (just South of Quito) to visit a traditional market.
A team of dedicated Ecuadorian staff based in Quito work to ensure that your study abroad experience is safe, academically enriching, and rewarding.
Pictured above, 1st row: Solange Paez (Secretary), Verónica Catuacuamba (Accountant), Dolores López and José Suárez (Program Directors), Emilia Castelo and Natalia Céspedes (Academic Coordinators), Janet Barros (Research Assistant).
2nd row: David González (Messenger), Carlos Travez (Researcher), Vicente Pintado (Janitor), Danilo Mastínez (Research Assistant), Franklin de la Cruz (Researcher).
Program Directors, José Suárez and Dolóres López
José Suárez is Executive Director of Fundación Cimas del Ecuador, a development-focused nonprofit organization in Quito. Dr. Suárez received his MPH and PhD degrees in public health from the University of Minnesota. A physician and epidemiologist with extensive community experience, he has authored research studies and books about health and environment in Ecuador, participated in many international and national committees, and served as a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization and Ecuador’s Ministry of Health. In addition to his extensive experience working with North American students and academic programs—including MSID since 1989—Dr. Suárez has taught at the University of Washington, Evergreen State University, and the Medical School of the Universidad Central del Ecuador.
Dolóres López is President of Fundación Cimas. She studied Anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) and holds a bachelor's degree from Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in Social Science and Ecuadorian Studies from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Quito. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Latin American Cultural Studies Doctoral Program at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito. She has conducted research on social and cultural population issues; gained practical experience in working in indigenous and peasant communities; and organized local, national, and international conferences. In recent years she has been deeply involved in intercultural research projects and actively participates in community-based processes to identify alternatives for development. She has worked with US students and study abroad programs for many years, including MSID since 1989.
All language courses are taught by Ecuadorian faculty who are experts in their fields. Their CVs are available upon request.
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
|Program Type||Study Abroad Center|
|Program Level||Intermediate Spanish II (ECDR 1004) or Spanish Composition and Communication (ECDR 3015W)|
Fourth semester Spanish. This is an intensive Spanish language course that places emphasis on grammatical structures, vocabulary and learning about the local culture. This course will help students to increase their linguistic and communicative abilities in both written and oral form through the appropriate use of the language within Ecuadorian culture and Latin America.
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1003, or equivalent, with a C- or better.
Spanish Department Equivalent: SPAN 1004
Fifth semster Spanish. This Spanish language course has an emphasis on composition and communication in Spanish. It is designed to develop and strengthen the oral and written linguistic and communicative abilities students have acquired during their previous four semesters of language study. This course seeks to integrate, in real contexts, speaking, writing, reading and listening skills at a more advanced level.
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1004, or equivalent, with a C- or better.
Spanish Department Equivalent: SPAN 3015W (Writing intensive credit is effective Summer 2017)
Take one intensive Spanish language course and rapidly improve your Spanish skills through conversations with your host family. This program appeals to students who are interested in advancing their Spanish knowledge through an intensive learning experience.
One language course is taught over a 3-week period and awards 4 undergraduate credits. All classes are held at the University of Minnesota’s partner organization Fundación CIMAS, a local study center. Language courses are taught by experienced instructors who are native speakers. Small class sizes allow students many opportunities to practice their language skills and receive feedback from the instructor. Students will be in class with other program participants.
You may also participate in this program as an optional language pre-session for the MSID Ecuador program.
|Program Term||App Open Date||Deadline*|
|August 2020||Aug 1||May 15|
|Arrival Date||Aug 2|
|Classes begin||Aug 3|
|Last day of classes||Aug 26|
|Winter Break 2020-21 (cancelled)||May 1||Oct 15|
|Arrival date||Dec 27|
|Last day of classes||Jan 15|
|Departure date||Jan 16|
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|August Session 2020||Friday, April 24, 2020, 2:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.||110 Nicholson Hall|
Students participating also in the MSID semester or academic year program will receive their program information at the MSID orientation.
Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:
|Center Name||TC Learning Abroad Ctr|
|Education Abroad Term||Winter Break, Summer|
|Program Name||Intensive Spanish in Ecuador|
|Track Name||Intensive Spanish in Ecuador|
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.
After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email toMolly Micheels or call at 612.624.3949.