University San Francisco de Quito
In Ecuador, the sun always rises between 6am and 6.30am and sets between 6pm and 6.30pm. The name Ecuador actually comes from the word “equator” as the earth's equator runs through the entire country. This makes Ecuador one of the only countries in the whole world that’s named after a geographical feature.
Through coursework taken at USFQ, students will gain a deeper understanding of Latin America’s racial, economic, and geographic contrasts. As an exchange student, you are able to take nearly any course available at the university. You may take courses alongside other international students, a mix of international and Ecuadorian students, or all Ecuadorian students. The majority of these classes will be taught entirely in Spanish.
- College of Administration and Economics – CADE
- College of Architecture and Interior Design – CADI
- College of Biological and Environmental Sciences – COCIBA
- College of Health Sciences – COCSA
- College of Sciences and Engineering – El Politécnico
- College of Social Sciences and Humanities – COCISOH
- College of Communication and Contemporary Arts – COCOA
- College of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism – CHAT
- College of Jurisprudence – JUR
- College of Music – COM
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
A full course load for this program is: Five 3-credit regular university courses per semester for a total of 15 credits.
Courses offered in the Fall 2019 semester. This list changes every semester.
Review USFQ’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
As part of this program, you will stay with an Ecuadorian host family. You will have access to laundry services, and you will be staying in a private room in the home and have the opportunity to experience being part of another family! You will live approximately 15-45 minutes from campus using public transportation.
The host family will also pick you up from the airport upon arrival.
You may also opt to rent an apartment on your own but it has to be approved by USFQ. In this scenario, you will be responsible for making your own arrangements.
As part of the host family option, you will be provided breakfast and dinner. Lunch will be on your own. What better way to experience Ecuador than eating their food?
Estimate of Costs
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
Minimum Sophomore standing; 2.5 GPA for the Cumbaya campus. Recommended minimum of 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or three semesters and a mandatory two week intensive Spanish class before starting the semester (for Fall semester only).
Service Learning: Students can participate in service-learning through the course “Aprendizaje – Servicio.” In this class students are required to be part of a charitable foundation helping the community.
Student Clubs and Organizations
USFQ offers a number of student clubs in a variety of interest areas including theatre, tango, salsa, chess, ecology, cycling and many others! If you cannot find what interest you, you can always start a new club!
EcuaBuddies Programs: As an International student at USFQ, you have the option of becoming involved in the EcuaBuddies program. This opportunity allows you to become connected to USFQ degree-seeking students to gain an introduction to USFQ, meet local friends, and share in Ecuadorian customs and social events.
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
About the City
With a rich pre-Colombian history, Ecuador’s capital was founded on the ruins of an Incan city but offers everything a modern traveler might need. Quito is a capital city in the Andes squeezed between mountain peaks. Quito is home to one of the largest, least-altered and best preserved historic centers in Latin America. Quito’s formal name is Francisco de Quito due to its Spanish and Incan origin. Quito is also the 2nd most populated city in Ecuador so if you are interested in meeting a whole bunch of people and students, you should go here!
Quito lies between two mountain ranges and its altitude is 2,800 meters or about 9,200 feet. It may take you a couple of days to get accustomed to the altitude. Quito is roughly divided into three parts: the Old City at the center, with southern and northern districts to either side.
Nature PBS created a documentary about the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, located in the Yasuní Biosphere, one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Click here to view the documentary.
A valid passport is required to participate in this program. As your program is longer than 90 days, you must apply for a VISA which will take a few weeks to process and will have an extra cost. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring program: July
- Fall/Year: December
08/14/2019 to 12/19/2019
01/08/2020 to 05/10/2020
About the Program
La Universidad de San Francisco USFQ is considered the best University of Ecuador and # 57 in Latin America. Each year, USFQ campuses vibrate with 8,393 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 80 nationalities and countries (including 500 indigenous students and 1,000 international students), 967 teachers and staff, and 10 colleges and academic schools.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at USFQ, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
USFQ’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.