The USFQ Exchange immerses students in the cultural and ecological diversity of the northern Andean country of Ecuador, through direct enrollment in university coursework and all-inclusive excursions throughout the country. Students can choose from two programs: the Cumbayá Program or the Galápagos Semester Program (GAIAS). The Cumbaya students, who are considered full-time undergraduates at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), have access to the full curriculum at USFQ and enroll in five to six semester-long courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses at USFQ carry three credits each. Students also may participate in a local community service affiliation for two credits. Galápagos Semester Program students will spend a semester studying the vast and diverse ecosystems of Ecuador through intensive hands-on experiences. The program consists of four ecology courses based on field research in the montane, tropical rainforest and coastal regions, as well as an intensive Spanish language course. All science courses are taught in English. Graduate credit may be awarded to full-time graduate students for the ecology courses by conducting additional independent research.
Requirements & Considerations
- All students must enroll according to, and remain in compliance with, the Boston University Study Abroad Course Load Policy.
- Admissions requirementsfor all programs
- Cumbayá Program:
- Minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish language or the equivalent
- Galápagos Semester Program GAIAS:
- Students must have completed at least one general biology or one ecology course at the college level
- Two semesters of college-level Spanish language or the equivalent
- Must be able to engage in intensive fieldwork for significant periods of time
- Students have access to the full curriculum at USFQ and enroll in five to six semester-long courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses at USFQ carry three credits each. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a local community service affiliation for two credits.
- For the most up-to-date listings of courses available, please refer to the USFQ website.
Galápagos Semester Program GAIAS
- The Galápagos Semester Program offers four Academic Tracks in the biological and social sciences, all taught in English. Students may choose one of the following tracks:
- Evolution, Ecology and Conservation
- Marine Ecology
- People, Politics and the Environment
- Sustainable Tourism
- Galápagos Semester Program Information and Course Descriptions
Housing & Student Services
- Single bedroom in a shared home with a local family, including shared bathrooms; key access to home; all housing has A/C, window screens, or mosquito nets where necessary
- Kitchen available to use in Quito with permission from host
- Board included; breakfast and dinner with host family seven days a week, stipend for lunches
- No dining hall available but there are many local places to eat near the university and in Quito
- Laundry included—in home or handled by host family
- Study spaces available at the USFQ and local cafés throughout Quito
- Fall Semester: mid August to late December
- Spring Semester: early January to mid May
- Fall Semester: March 15
- Spring Semester: October 1
This program is not on a rolling admissions cycle. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials have been received by the BU Study Abroad office by the application deadline. Decisions will not be made until after the application deadline. Applicants will receive their decision via email.
Information on other programs that do not follow a rolling admissions cycle and information for BU Students Awaiting an Admissions Decision can be found here.
Cost & Financial Considerations
- 2022/2023 Tuition & Fees: $30,762
- Cost includes tuition, program related activities, administrative fee, overseas medical insurance and emergency evacuation coverage.
- Budget sheet, including cost of living expenses.
- Grants and Scholarships available