About the University
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) - Cumbaya Campus
USFQ was founded in 1988 with the mission to provide Ecuador with a private institution that meets superior educational standards. Students stay busy with the many student clubs, such as: Salsa, Astronomy, Martial Arts, Yoga, Tango and more. There are always campus-wide events ranging from theatre performances to symposiums. USFQ has a student population of around 8,500, including over 1,000 international students. USFQ’s main scientific stations include “GAIAS” in the Galapagos Islands and the “Tiputini Biodiversity Station” in the Amazon Rainforest.
About Quito, Ecuador
Quito has been placed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. It was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city. The culture and history has been influenced by both the Spanish and the Incans, therefore, one can enjoy both European and indigenous culture in one location. The city center is historic and the buildings are of Spanish architecture. Visitors can enjoy museums displaying both Spanish and indigenous art and visiting both Spanish cathedrals and Jesuit churches.
Located in the Andes Mountains, Quito sits at the highest elevation of any capital in the world. A gondola lift (the TelefériQo) reaches from the edge of Quito up to Pichincha volcano—one of the highest aerial lifts in the world—providing an expansive view of Quito, as well as the surrounding mountains and volcanoes. Quito is also located just miles from La Mitad del Mundo (the Middle of the World), where students can find a monument to the equator, a museum of indigenous heritage, and various shops and restaurants.
Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse throughout the country, but in Quito students will most likely be eating meals consisting of a soup appetizer; chicken, pork, or beef served with rice, corn, or potatoes; and fresh fruit juice.
Students can expect a temperate climate that remains fairly consistently between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ecuador is roughly the size of Nevada and features four main geographical regions: the Pacific coastline in the west, the highlands of the Andes through the center, the Amazon rainforest in the east, and the Galápagos Islands off the western coast.
Ecuador utilizes American currency, so students can use US dollars throughout the country with no exchange required.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ ) offers courses in both English and Spanish in a variety of fields of study. To search for courses currently offered fall semester, click here and select “Primer Semestre” in the top right corner under “Período.” For spring semester, select "Segundo Semestre." Check the box “Mostrar sólo cursos en Inglés,” and then click on “Buscar.” You should see a list of courses in different fields. All courses taught in English will have an “E” at the end of the code or have the course title in English. To see a course description, click on the black & white symbol to the right of the course title (the red symbol should list any prerequisites). Many courses in English are in the area of Administración (Business).
Students can also take Spanish Language courses. Please refer to the USFQ course listing for more information. Every student will be required to take the Spanish placement exam.
Additional Academic Opportunities
Semester-long research opportunities are available through the Latitude Zero Ecuador Research Initiative (LoERI). More information is available here.
USFQ offers a Quito Government Summer Internship Program for international students. The main focus of this internship is within the areas of public policy and administration, social development, and international cooperation. It is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the local government of the vibrant city. For more information on the internship, click here.
Fall semester: August to December
Spring Semester: January to May
Students live with host families. Students will fill out a Family Preference Questionnaire with their exchange application materials and USFQ will try to match the student with a host family that matches the student’s personality and preferences. For more information, click here.