Learning Abroad Center
cityscape in Quito

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

Americas
LAC Program

Study international development in Ecuador—a country with a blend of indigenous and Spanish colonial influences—while improving your Spanish language skills. The program includes a six-week internship or research project with a grassroots organization focused on entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.

Program Details

Location
Quito and other locations
Term
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Housing
Homestay
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Sponsor
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

GPA
2.5
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Juniors
Seniors
Language Prerequisite
Minimum 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (SPAN 1004), or equivalent proficiency

Photos

Videos

MSID--International Development in Ecuador

Program Locations

Quito, Ecuador

Home city of MSID Ecuador

Latitude
0.180700
Longitude
-78.467800
Fundacion CIMAS del Ecuador

Host organization of MSID Ecuador

Latitude
-0.149600
Longitude
-78.467100
Teleferiqo

Gondola ride to scenic view on slopes of Pichincha overlooking Quito

Latitude
-0.191900
Longitude
-78.521900
Parque Carolina

Central park of Quito

Latitude
-1.050200
Longitude
-79.822000
Quicentro

Mall

Latitude
-0.176300
Longitude
-78.481600
Reserva Pambilino

Common site for internship/research

Latitude
0.165900
Longitude
-78.947600
Pedro Moncayo

Common site for internship/research

Latitude
0.346000
Longitude
-78.120400
Tena

Common site for internship/research

Latitude
-1.000200
Longitude
-77.815200
Mariscal Sucre International Airport

International/national airport

Latitude
0.122500
Longitude
-78.360700
Banos

Common weekend trip 

Latitude
-1.395200
Longitude
-78.443100
Mindo

Common weekend trip 

Latitude
-0.048700
Longitude
-78.777300
Cotacachi

Common site for internship/research

Latitude
0.302000
Longitude
-78.287900
Parque El Ejido

Small park, large market

Latitude
-0.209100
Longitude
-78.500700
El Panecillo

Viewpoint over Quito with large statue of Virgin Mary

Latitude
0.230700
Longitude
-78.523400
La Mariscal

Historic center, nightlife area

Latitude
-0.203600
Longitude
-78.492600
Mitad del Mundo

Equator monument

Latitude
-0.050400
Longitude
-78.458800
Otavalo

Common site for internship/research and a big shopping market

Latitude
0.229800
Longitude
-78.264000
Supermaxi

Grocery store chain

Latitude
-0.185800
Longitude
-78.490600
Hospital Metropolitano

Major hospital in Quito

Latitude
-0.184200
Longitude
-78.505900
Catedral de Quito

Colonial cathedral of Quito

Latitude
-0.220600
Longitude
-78.514200
Museo de Arte Precolombino

Pre-colombian art museum

Latitude
-0.221200
Longitude
-78.517900
Estadio Atahualpa

Soccer stadium

Latitude
-0.177400
Longitude
-78.480000
Jardin Botanico de Quito

Botanical gardens. Internship site.

Latitude
-0.186500
Longitude
-78.487900

About

Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.

Few countries as small as Ecuador contain such remarkable geographic and biological diversity. Geographically, it ranges from coastal deserts to temperate mountain valleys to Amazon forests. Culturally and racially, its population includes a mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African elements. The program is based in Quito, an Andean city that houses a remarkable combination of colonial and modern, rich and poor. Internship sites are scattered within a three-hour radius of Quito. For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).

For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).

Housing & Meals

August Pre-Session & Fall 2021 

Due to COVID 19, homestays may not be possible. In that case, you will be housed in shared apartments with other program participants. Apartments are fully furnished and include cooking facilities. You will be responsible for providing your own meals throughout the program.

Homestay

You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Ecuador. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Quito will have a second homestay placement.

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 if you have severe food allergies and/or restrictions, contact the program team prior to applying.

Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing and most meals but also a vital connection to Ecuadorian culture. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Ecuadorian life with an MSID program participant. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Quito will have a second homestay placement. You can choose an individual or shared homestay, depending on your preference.

Excursions

Although excursions change from semester to semester, students can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development agencies, and other areas of interest around Quito.  

Flight

The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

Ground transportation from the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (airport code: UIO) into Quito is provided by our partner organization and the cost is included in the program fee. The transportation schedule aligns with the group flight arrival time. Our partner organization comes to the airport once to collect everyone.

Therefore, you can either book a ticket on the coordinated group flight, or book a flight independently that arrives prior to the group flight's arrival. If you arrive late and miss the group, you may be responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation into the city.

For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Ecuador.

Learning Outcomes

  • Foster an understanding of the global context through classroom and experiential learning
  • Cultivate awareness and appreciation for development issues through engagement with diverse communities
  • Translate insights gained into thoughtful and respectful long-term perspectives on concepts of social justice and sustainable development
  • Strengthen communication skills through acquisition of local languages and cultural awareness
  • Gain cross-cultural competencies through extended engagement at a local grassroots organization

Faculty & Staff

MSID Ecuador Staff

A team of dedicated Ecuadorian staff based in Quito work to ensure that your MSID 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).

José Suárez

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

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 MSID courses are taught by Ecuadorian faculty who are experts in their fields.

Program Structure

Program Level
3000–4000 level courses
Courseload

You are required to take 16 credits for fall or spring semester. Add 4 credits for optional language pre-session.

Coursework

MSID Timeline

Spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Quito, followed by 6 weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. MSID students enroll in 4 required courses, including an internship or research project:

Historical & Political Context of Ecuador Course (4 credits)

All students will be enrolled in this interdisciplinary course, designed to provide context to your time in Ecuador.

International Development Course (4 credits)

Choose a theme to focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project. See theme descriptions for more information.

  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Health
  • Human Rights
  • Sustainability 

Spanish Language Course (4 credits)

Two Spanish language options are available during the semester. Choose the best fit, based on prerequisites and your language level.

Internship or Research Course (4 credits)

You will choose to complete either an internship or a research project. The corresponding course will begin during the classroom phase and continue throughout the six weeks of your internship or research project. Your placement will correspond with the theme you chose in the International Development course.

Optional Language Pre-Session

The Intensive Spanish in Ecuador program is offered in August and in January for students interested in strengthening their language study prior to the start of the semester. One language course is taught over 3 weeks and awards 4 or 5 undergraduate credits. Intermediate and advanced Spanish are offered.

Internships & Research Projects

The internship or research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program. Your placement will be with an organization engaged in grassroots work related to your chosen international development theme.

During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an organization whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. You will work at least 25 hours each week. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

See a description of past internship and research placements. The chart below will help you differentiate between an internship and a research placement.

Theme Internship example Research example
Entrepreneurship Meet with micro loan applicants and review loan application materials Analyze the loan repayment rate at a microfinance organization
Health Provide support to health care professionals in a small regional hospital or clinic Survey the hospital’s education and outreach plan to address local health disparities
Human Rights Provide support to an organization that provides job skill training for women Analyze the wage gap between men and women in various sectors of the local economy
Sustainability Participate in an agroforestry project in collaboration with an organization that focuses on sustainability Compare and contrast local and national research on the environmental impact of agroforestry programs

Full Course List

Choose one course from each Course Type for a total of four courses and 16 credits. Refer to the main Academics tab for more detailed information about available courses.

Spanish Grammar & Writing Workshop

Course ID
ECDR 3011W
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

Focus on practical skills while emphasizing conversation and vocabulary building.

Prerequisite: Four or more semesters of college Spanish (or equivalent)

Syllabus for Spanish Grammar & Writing Workshop

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
SPAN 3011W 
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Writing Intensive

Introduction to Latin American Cultures

Course ID
ECDR 3030W
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

Introduction to Latin American Cultures, is an intensive writing course designed to develop and strengthen the understanding and management of language skills acquired in previous courses and to develop knowledge about various cultures in Latin America and Ecuador.

Prerequisites: Five or more semesters of college Spanish, including an advanced composition and communication course (or equivalent, native-speaker status

Syllabus for Introduction to Latin American Cultures

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
UofM Spanish department equivalent: SPAN 3510 or SPAN 3920. See Spanish Studies adviser for additional information.
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Literature
  • Writing Intensive

International Development: Human Rights, Policy & Practice

Course ID
ECDR 4001
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will critically analyze theories of development, and the impact of development models throughout the world, but specifically Latin America and Ecuador. Students will address development theories, assumptions of development, and alternatives to development through the lens of social services. This course starts by investigating the concept of globalization within international development and its prevalence in Latin America, and in particular Ecuador. Students will then focus on the critical analysis of social problems, rights and empowerment. The concept of social exclusion (discrimination, inequality, inequity, poverty) will be discussed, how development has led to social inclusion or exclusion, and how human rights and policies have contributed. The course will focus on the priority care groups—children and adolescents, women, older adults, and people with disabilities—and the policies, programs, and services for them in Ecuador today.

Syllabus for International Development: Human Rights, Policy & Practice

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: Elective without a Critical Analysis prerequisite

International Development: Social Entrepreneurship & Microfinance

Course ID
ECDR 4002
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will critically analyze theories of development, and the impact of development models throughout the world, but specifically Latin America and Ecuador. Students will address development theories, assumptions of development, and alternatives to development through the lens of social services. This course starts by investigating the concept of globalization within international development and its prevalence in Latin America, and in particular Ecuador. Students will then identify the impacts of development on the Ecuadorian economy, specifically focusing on the concept of social entrepreneurship which is recognized in the Ecuadorian constitution. They will study the history of this specific form of entrepreneurship, its relationship with local development, and as an alternate form of distribution and production of goods and services.

Syllabus for International Development: Social Entrepreneurship & Microfinance

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: Elective without a Critical Analysis prerequisite

International Development: Public Health & Traditional Andean Medicine

Course ID
ECDR 4003
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will critically analyze theories of development, and the impact of development models throughout the world, but specifically Latin America and Ecuador. Students will address development theories, assumptions of development, and alternatives to development through the lens of social services. This course starts by investigating the concept of globalization within international development and its prevalence in Latin America, and in particular Ecuador. Students will then begin to address social, economic, cultural and environmental determinants of health as a mechanism for understanding the main health problems in Ecuador. There is an emphasis throughout the course on contrasting Western thinking and medicine with Andean world views and Ancestral Medicine, in an effort to build intercultural health processes, in order to improve the health conditions of diverse cultural groups.

Syllabus for International Development: Public Health & Traditional Andean Medicine

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: Elective without a Critical Analysis prerequisite

International Development: Environmental Challenges from the Andes to the Amazon

Course ID
ECDR 4004
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will critically analyze theories of development, and the impact of development models throughout the world, but specifically Latin America and Ecuador. Students will address development theories, assumptions of development, and alternatives to development through the lens of social services. This course starts by investigating the concept of globalization within international development and its prevalence in Latin America, and in particular Ecuador. Students will then identify the impacts of development on environmental challenges in Ecuador, and the relationship between environment, use and management of natural resources, and local communities. Examination of cases that involve people's rights over the environment, food sovereignty, water management, climate change, sustainable development and local alternatives for natural resource management and conservation will be studied.

Syllabus for International Development: Environmental Challenges from the Andes to the Amazon

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: Elective without a Critical Analysis prerequisite

Historical & Political Context of Ecuador

Course ID
ECDR 4101
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will begin with a historical review from the European conquest, moving to independence and the construction of a nation state, and finally the republican era until today. Main events and characteristics from each timeframe will be highlighted. Students will discuss the “discovery of America” from the Ecuadorian and South American context, and the process and impact of conquering this continent. History and politics will come together when discussing the 20th century. Topics such as liberal revolution, plutocracy, the uprising known as the Juliana Revolution, the populist velasquista phenomenon, dictatorships, and the return to democracy will all be examined. The current state will be analyzed based on identifying the main elements that shape the country's cultural diversity, its nationalities and peoples.

Syllabus for Historical & Political Context of Ecuador

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: SPAN 3510

Research in Ecuador

Course ID
ECDR 4201
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course will introduce the MSID student to: various research concepts and practices; experience decisions involved in research regarding selection of topic and title for their study, developing statements of problems and choice of research questions, appropriate research design; issues related to research ethics and; develop their skills in choosing data collection instruments and analysis of the data they collect for their research. It does this by introducing various topics in the research cycle and providing a forum in which students can share with one another their research experience at each stage of the process.

Syllabus for Research in Ecuador

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
Spanish Department equivalent: Elective with a Critical Analysis prerequisite

Internship in Ecuador

Course ID
ECDR 4896
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
4
Credits

This course provides a cross-cultural experience of working on various development issues with a regional nonprofit organization. The course focuses on guiding students to understand their own identity as they integrate theory with reality by participation in local development sites. Students are prepared for entering into their community work through discussions on stakeholder and agency analysis, culture specific gender and diversity context, and power and privilege. The students are urged to play an active role in their internships by providing suggestions, solutions, discussing alternatives and investigating all areas of their internship placement to garner a holistic experience on the realities of development work. Through practical internship experiences as well as readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the host-country cultural context, development work from an international perspective, and critically examine their own worldview.

Syllabus for Internship in Ecuador

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
The Spanish Department has approved this course as an elective without a Critical Analysis prerequisite.

Global Identity

Course ID
OLPD 3332
Terms
  • Online (all terms)
1
Credit

Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

Syllabus for Global Identity

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Global Perspectives

Internships

As an MSID student, you can complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Services, Sustainability). 

Internships involve participation in and observation of the daily activities of a local agency. You will put into practice the theories you learned in the classroom.

Below are examples of the types of internships students have done in the past:

Entrepreneurship

  • Assist in providing technical and financial support to a network of credit unions by doing field visits, attending workshops with administrators and meeting with organization employees and members.
  • Helping an organization to empower, help, and develop women by offering economic workshops, classes, and services
  • Assisting with microcredit lending at an organization that offers fair credit practices to indigenous people and other rural polulations
  • Working with an organization that works to promote local rural businesses such as eco-tourism, small jam and dairy factories, and the sale of artisan products
  • Working with a community-based small business that works towards the development of tourism in the indigenous communities of Cotacachi

Health

  • Assisting in a rural hospital that provides medical services to indigenous communities. Schedule and shadow appointments, take vital signs, accompanying staff on wellness and immunization visits.
  • Conducting nutrition outreach within a rural, indigenous community. Taking height/weight measurements of schoolchildren, evaluating school food programs and attending public nutrition education events.
  • Working with technology development in a genetics lab at a university in Quito.
  • Learning about ancestral and alternative medicine by shadowing practitioners as therapies and treatments are being delivered. 
  • Working in a non-profit clinic run by the indigenous federation of Imbabura, home to practitioners of traditional Andean medicine
  • Working in a non-profit hospital that provides culturally sensitive medicine to the people most in need of treatment.
  • Collecting information regarding medical plant remedies that were compiled into a book used for training midwives.
  • Shadowing health promotion activities such as vaccination and vision tests, as well as wellness checks for infant and elderly populations in a local clinic.
  • Working in a hospital dedicated to adolescent mothers with a social worker to help the girls learn life skills.
  • Helping a small public hospital in Quito develop ways to improve services to women.

Human Rights

  • Working with children at an organization that offers legal, social, and psychological support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse and their families.
  • Working with an organization that manages community cultural and natural resources.
  • Developing basic services such as potable water, electricity, and daycare centers in the community in an area where gender roles are changing due to migration.
  • Working in a boys' shelter with poverty and problems of the Quechua majority.
  • Working with communal businesses and cooperatives to institute a development model used in other parts of the world.
  • Creating, promoting, and sustaining a basketball team by establishing a club, teaching rules, and training regularly.
  • Support immigrants and refugees through communication with other advocacy organizations, financial services and community outreach.

Sustainability

  • Being involved in an environmental conservation project in the Amazon region.
  • Design and implement a rainwater collection system for domestic and agricultural use.
  • Help to foster sustainable development among an indigenous community in the Amazon by developing a local association for vanilla production.
  • Assisting with reforestation and educational efforts at an ecological reserve. Plant and harvest crops, create organic compost and work with local school children.
  • Working at a sustainable agriculture reserve. Assist with planting and harvesting coffee and chocolate, clearing trails and raising animals.
  • Working with indigenous traditions to progress toward sustainable development of water supply in a community.
  • Working on an agro-ecological farm performing basic farm operations, selling product at the local market, and attending community meetings.
  • Assisting in the production and sale of cacao, including field work, product development, and administrative tasks.

Research

As an MSID student, you can complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Services, Sustainability). 

A research project involves a systematic investigation of a specific topic, question, hypothesis, or theory. You will conduct research under the guidance of a project supervisor from the MSID program and a local organization. 

Below are examples of past students' research projects, or possibilities for future research:

Entrepreneurship

  • Analyze the economic and social activities of surrounding communities to increase sustainable development that aligns with Ecuador's social economy

Health

  • Monitor the daily feeding of children at a local after-school program and identify the factors that contribute to malnutrition
  • Learn how an organization of Kichwa women use medicinal plants in the practice of ancestral medicine

Human Rights

  • Determine the principal barriers that prevent women from attaining higher levels of participation and influence in the public sphere

Sustainability

  • Investigate the initiatives and strategies that can help achieve higher levels of food sovereignty
  • Study the cultural impact of oil exploitation on indigenous communities of the Amazon

Human Subjects Research

The governments of the United States and MSID countries have laws protecting human subjects of research. Due to the timeline for gaining the necessary permissions for doing research with human subjects, such research cannot be conducted while abroad on LAC program. However, there are still a wide variety of projects, that include interaction with people, that are available. See more information on options for Undergraduate Research Abroad.

Research Funding (for UofM students)

The Learning Abroad Center offers a number of programs (including all MSID programs) that include research opportunities and are eligible for the Learning Abroad Center’s International UROP scholarship of $2,500 (available to UofM students only). Learn more about IUROP funding.

International Development Themes

Select one of the four themes for your International Development course.  This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship looks different in each cultural context. Examine the history, development, challenges, opportunities, and role of business and microfinance in the economic and social development of the local community. The theme includes an analysis of informal sector enterprises, the role of social entrepreneurship, and an overview of key aspects of microfinance. 

Health

Examine health care systems, the management and prevention of disease, and the philosophical approaches to health care, including the role of traditional medicine, through this theme. Specific topics for discussion may include holistic health, women’s and children’s health, public health, animal health, and rural vs. urban health care facilities. 

Human Rights

Understand how human rights are legislated and regulated at the policy level, as well as how they are implemented at the grass roots level. In particular, this theme will consider the impact on the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children, indigenous groups, people with disabilities, and homeless, migrant, and elderly populations. 

Sustainability

Investigate the relationship between environmental and natural resources challenges and the local community. This theme may cover critical issues, biodiversity, sustainable food and water sources, responsible agricultural practices, design practices, natural resource utilization and management, climate change, wildlife management, and sustainable development.

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

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 2021 (Language pre-session)

Application Open Date: Dec 18, 2020
Application Deadline: May 1, 2021

Schedule Date
August Session 2021 Aug 1 – 25
Arrival date Aug 1
Last day of program Aug 25
Departure date Aug 26
Alternative departure date Aug 27

Fall 2021

Application Open Date: Dec 18, 2020
Application Deadline: May 1, 2021

Schedule Date
MSID Ecuador —Standard Aug 29 – Dec 11
MSID Ecuador —Plus Pre-session Aug 1 – Dec 11
Pre-session arrival date Aug 1
Pre-session last day Aug 25
Fall arrival date Aug 29
Classroom phase ends Oct 22
Internship/Research phase begins Oct 25
Final seminar begins Dec 6
Last day of program Dec 10
Departure date Dec 11

Winter Break 2021-22 (Language pre-session)

Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Schedule Date
January Session 2020-21 Dec 27 – Jan 15
Arrival date Dec 27
Last day of program Jan 14
Departure date Jan 15

Spring 2022

Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Schedule Date
MSID Ecuador —Standard Jan 16 – May 7
MSID Ecuador —Plus Pre-session Dec 27 – May 7
Pre-session arrival date Dec 27
Pre-session departure date Jan 15
Spring arrival date Jan 16
Classroom phase ends Mar 11
Spring break period Mar 12 – 18
Internship/Research begins Mar 21
Internship/Research phase ends Apr 29
Final seminar begins May 2
Last day of program May 6
Departure day May 7
Alternative departure day May 8

Fees

University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Fall 2021—Standard

MSID Ecuador: Standard

Apartment 1—Shared Apartment Housing

Fall Semester 2021

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $12,345
International health insurance $200
Housing and/or meals $2,600
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $15,545
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-1,000
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $14,545

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $1,400
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents$160 visa fee included program fee $0
Travel clinic/immunizationsVisit your travel clinic and consult with your insurance provider. Costs vary. See note below* $100
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $1,650
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $200
Housing and/or meals not included in program feeFour dinners per week are provided (allow $70/week for meals) $1,050
Essential daily living expensesincludes cost of required cell phone $725
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $1,975

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $18,170
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $1,000
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.

Fall 2021—Standard plus Intensive Spanish

MSID Ecuador: Plus Intensive Spanish

Apartment 1—Shared apartment accommodation

Fall Semester 2021

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $14,435
International health insurance $250
Housing and/or meals $3,265
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $18,350
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-1,000
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $17,350

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $1,400
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents$160 visa fee included in program fee $0
Travel clinic/immunizationsVisit your travel clinic and consult with your insurance provider. Costs vary. See note below* $100
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $1,650
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $250
Housing and/or meals not included in program feefour dinners per week are provided; allow $70/week for other meals $1,260
Essential daily living expensesincludes cost of required cell phone $830
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $2,340

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $21,340
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $1,200
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.

Spring 2022

Prepare

Complete pre-application advising.

Apply

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Complete

After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Statement of Purpose in Spanish
  • Academic Recommendation

Additional Items Required for non-UofM Students:

  • Transcript
  • Home School Nomination

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 an acceptance 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.

Visa

Passport

You will need a valid passport in order to enter Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your anticipated return date. If you have not already obtained your passport, apply for one immediately. Information about applying for a passport can be found on the US Department of State's website.

Visas

US citizens on the MSID-Ecuador program are not required to obtain a student visa. Non-US citizens should check with the host country embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into that country.

Country-Specific Instructions

All MSID-Ecuador students who are US citizens will enter Ecuador on a tourist visa, which is granted upon arrival, and valid for 90 days. Therefore, it is not necessary to apply for a visa in advance.

Once in Ecuador, students will work with the staff at our partner organization to complete paperwork for an extension of their visa. The extension fee is already included in the program fee. 

We are working with our partner organization in Quito to confirm the requirements for the extension paperwork. Students will receive more specific instructions about the process via email.

The Learning Abroad Center will also provide a letter confirming the visa process, which students should carry with them as they travel to Ecuador, in case they are questioned by airline or immigration officials.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change without prior notification, depending on current Ecuadorian immigration policies.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Molly Micheels or call at 612.624.3949

Contact Program Alumn

Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

Spring 2020

  • Mia C. — Political Science major, Psychology and Spanish minors. Track: Public Health
  • Brenna B. — Spanish Studies and Global Studies majors, Political Science minor. Track: Social Service
  • Megan P. — Journalism, Political Science and Spanish Studies majors. Track: Sustainability & the Environment
  • Emily E. — Global Studies major, Spanish Studies minor. Track: Social Service

Fall 2019

  • McKenna H. — Biology, Society & Environment major, Public Health minor. Track: Public Health
  • Carlie M. — Biology, Society & Environment major, Public Health & Spanish minors. Track: Public Health
  • Lee T. — HRIR & Public and Nonprofit Management majors, Spanish minor. Track: Social Service

Spring 2019

  • Will M. — Applied Economics major, Spanish and Sustainability Studies minors. Track: Sustainability and the Environment
  • Maya G.— Elementary Education major, Spanish minor. Track: Education and Literacy
  • Hannah F.— Biology, Society and Environment major, Spanish minor. Track: Public Health