What is the Ecuador Study Abroad and Intern – Environmental Science and Conservation Track all about?
Spend a semester studying abroad and interning through the Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador. Improve your Spanish by living with a homestay family and taking a language course based on your current skill level. In addition to that, take 3 classes taught in English so you can earn credits towards your degree and progress your education, all while exploring and enriching your knowledge of another culture.
The Environmental and Conservation Track combines study in Cuenca for approximately 4 months with a 1 month internship at a rescue and conservation center in the Amazon. There, you will discover Ecuador’s amazing wildlife!
Combine study abroad with real-world experience and complement your studies in a different kind of way!
If your degree is focused on Latin American Studies, please check out our Latin American Studies track here!
Why Choose This Ecuador Study Abroad and Intern Program?
By studying abroad through Kaya, you can earn credits towards your degree, progress your studies, and immerse yourself in a new culture. The Study and Intern Abroad program in Ecuador will take you further in your language-learning journey and add another dimension to your resume. This experience combines living and studying abroad with an internship abroad, allowing you to grow both as a student and a global citizen. Plus, why not explore and enrich your knowledge in your own way, rather than following your home university curriculum!
Study Abroad Details
While you take 4 courses and earn up to 12 credits at one of Ecuador’s universities, you will live in Cuenca. During the current pandemic, you will arrive in Quito and quarantine just outside the city for 5 days. There, you will start your classes and attend a virtual orientation and a series of cultural sessions, so you can expect the time to fly by during this short isolation period! If fellow volunteers and interns join you at the same time, you will quarantine as part of a pod.
What classes can you take? Natural Heritage of Ecuador + World Agriculture and Food Problems + Structure and Functions of Plants, Forestry and Society + Spanish Class (based on your language level).
On the fifth day, you will take a PCR test in-country, and once you receive a negative result, you will be driven to Cuenca and meet your host family. You will be given a city tour of Cuenca so that you can get to know your new home. During your time in Cuenca, you will have the chance to participate in two social activities each month and two excursions in order to help you explore the area.
Intern Abroad Details
After 4 months of studying abroad in Cuenca, you will be transferred to a Wildlife Rescue Center near Puyo where you will have the opportunity to intern and interact with amazing and diverse species rescued from animal trafficking or abuse cases. Whenever possible, the center works on rehabilitating the animals rescued and releasing them back into the wild. You will have the opportunity to learn about Ecuador’s biodiversity and help care for the animals at the center. You will be on the front lines at the wildlife center, feeding, cleaning, repairing enclosures, or creating enrichment activities. If you are interested in veterinary science, let us know, because you may be able to learn from the resident veterinarian on-site as well.
RECRUITING NOW FOR FALL 2021
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To improve your language skills
To earn credits towards your degree while immersing yourself in a new culture
To learn about the environmental science and conservation in Ecuador
The requirements to join the Ecuador Study Abroad and Intern program are:
• Minimum GPA: 2.5
• Academic Reference
• Personal Statement
A Kaya representative will contact you upon application to get these materials. In order to establish your level of Spanish, you will be required to take a Spanish placement test to be evaluated and placed accordingly.
Where will I study while in Ecuador?
About the Location
Ecuador has an amazing mega-biodiversity with 4 regions including the Amazon basin, the high Andes, the Coast plan and the Galapagos Islands. You’ll study abroad in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cuenca, located in the highlands of Ecuador. Cuenca is the third-largest city of Ecuador and the economic center of the southern sierra region. Located at about 2,560 metres (8,400 feet) above sea level, it is known for rich colonial architecture as well as a wealthy intellectual, philosophical and art culture. Cuenca is also famous for its breathtaking scenery, colorful festivals and distinct food. During your time there, you will enjoy spring-like weather as temperatures never go beyond highs of 70s F and lows of 50s F. The views from the city are astonishing as it is surrounded by mountains.
For the first five days of orientation, you will stay in our local accommodation right outside of Quito. While studying in Cuenca, you will be able to experience Ecuadorian lifestyle to its fullest by living with a homestay family. During your extended stay on the conservation placement, you will stay at the rescue center sharing a dorm room style with other participants on-site.
What to do in your spare time
During your time in Cuenca, you will have the chance to attend local concerts, cooking and salsa classes. We will also organize two excursions including the Parque Nacional El Cajas and the thermal waters from Baños de Cuenca.
Details & Costs
- Duration: Study Abroad 4 months with 1 additional month of interning on conservation
- Cost: $12065 for a total of 5 months abroad
*payments in USD
- Requirements: Minimum GPA: 2.5 - Academic Reference - Personal Statement - Transcript
- Location: Quito, Cuenca and Puyo, Ecuador
- Working hours: Depends on class schedule
- Project availability: Fall and Spring Semesters
- Arrival day: Fall - End of August arrival date in country (apply by mid July). End date Mid January - Spring - January arrival date in country (apply by early December). End date late May.
What is included
- Accommodation: volunteer house during the 5 days quarantine and host family during your study abroad experience. During your extended stay on the conservation placement, you will stay at the rescue center for the last month.
- Meals: 3 meals daily
- Airport: pick-up in Quito
- Courses: 4 courses at Universidad de Cuenca. One is a language course
- Excursions and activities
- Internet access
- Official transcript and grade report
- Support: 24-hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff helps organize weekend activities (extra fees may apply)
- Training: Pre-departure pack, on-site orientation, project induction provided, Fundraising Guide
1 Month Extension for Internship Component
- Transfer to the rescue center
- Accommodation: Shared room at the rescue center
- Meals: 3 meals per day
- Training: Pre-departure pack, on-site orientation, project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support
- Airport: Drop-off at Quito Airport
What is not included
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure, in-country and upon re-entry
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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