Spanish Language & Latin American Culture
During your semester abroad, you will have a “home away from home” with an Ecuadorian family who will host your stay. For the first month of the semester, you will reside with your host family while you learn Spanish in Quito from local instructors. You’ll also have a chance to visit many sites in Quito and the surrounding area, such as the historic Spanish district, the “Mitad del Mundo” equator monument, the Quito Botanical Garden, and Cotopaxi volcano. Even when the course leaves for extended trips in the field, you will always have your host family to come home to! Many students form deep bonds with their host brothers or sisters, friendships that endure well beyond the end of the program.
Upon arrival in Ecuador, you will be placed in intermediate or advanced Spanish depending on your skill level. Spanish courses are intensive and emphasize both grammar and communication skills to help you integrate rapidly into Ecuadorian life, and excel during your internship later in the semester. Classes meet for 3-4 hours a day, four days per week, leaving the long weekends for class trips to sites of interest. Throughout the course, while in Quito and at our many field sites, you will be immersed in Spanish, and have countless opportunities to learn the language by interacting with native speakers. These experiences culminate in a one-month internship with an Ecuadorian conservation or research organization, where all your daily interactions will be in Spanish.