Ecuador: Students

Our current Spring 2015 students!


The Ecuador Semester exists to provide an academically excellent semester where students will engage the challenges of a developing nation and learn to respond with an appropriate Christian Worldview.

Ecuador is one of Latin America's most diverse countries. While in Ecuador you can experience the high mountains, low desert, tropical rain forest, coastal beauty, the Galapagos Islands and the deep Amazon Jungle.

This Semester abroad opportunity is based in Quito, the nation's capital. Quito has amazing weather and is famous for its eternal springtime conditions. The city offers rich history, architecture, friendly people and safe living conditions in which to grow and learn. Living and Learning in Quito is part of a 15-year-old organization called Youth World. We offer the amazing mixture of Adventure, Academic Excellence, Culture, Practical Experience, Language, Mission and Integrated Living as you participate in this Semester Abroad program.

Dates of Semester

Spring 2015 : January 28 - May 9, 2015  (current semester)

Fall 2015: September 2 - December 13, 2015

Spring 2016 :  January 27 - May 7, 2016

Why Ecuador?

Living and Learning in Quito, Ecuador is a study abroad program available to students
who desire to continue their college education in an international setting. Living and Learning
in Quito will function under the supervision and guidelines of your North American institution.   

This semester is designed to combine classroom learning and practical internships in a
unique and challenging cross-cultural setting. Along with  receiving up to 16 units of college credit
(must be approved by your academic institution), students will live, learn and grow academically,
experientially, and spiritually.  

The men and women who participate in this program will be asked to consider how they can use their gifts and
talents to reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.  

While living in Quito, students will experience a variety of new cultures, gain a global perspective, and understand
in a new way, the joys and challenges of serving God in a cross-cultural setting. Students will enjoy rich interaction
with teachers, faculty, and ministry site hosts in both a classroom setting, and one-to-one level. We believe this
unique opportunity and community setting will lend itself to lifelong impact.

Experiential Learning

Service Learning & Internships

Cultural exposure and learning experiences in Quito and to surrounding cities/areas of Ecuador will offer an alternative to classroom instruction. Opportunities to see and be involved in ministry will challenge students to put into practice all they are seeing and learning.

Each student will either participate in Service Learning in a volunteer setting OR perform an internship with partner ministries in and around Quito. Practicum credit can be earned towards your major.

Missions and Ministry

It is our goal that you will experience ministry and missions as a part of this Semester experience. No matter what your discipline of study, skills, talents and passions God has a place for you in His global kingdom. It is our desire that you would get a firsthand opportunity to serve while you are in Ecuador. 

Some of this will happen as you attend your weekly service learning or internship site.
It will also happen as you venture together as a group into weeklong missions experiences. 
Typical weeks include a 5 – 6 hour bus ride out of Quito to the Amazon Jungle. 

We partner with local and established ministries to serve as a group. Construction, VBS, sports ministry, drama or music are some of the ways we have served in the past. While experiencing the Amazon Jungle we also see how God is already at work and how we can join in.

Missions Experience

Galapagos Islands

Located just off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos are a world-famous site attracting thousands of visitors every year. The Galapagos Islands maintain a natural environment, teeming with pristine beauty and awaited adventure!

As a part of your semester with Living & Learning International in Quito, Ecuador, you will have the opportunity to see firsthand this amazing place, it's history, animals, and awe-inspiring beauty.

As a group we travel to the Galapagos and stay for a multiple-day excursion. We become explorers of the Galapagos by land, boat, snorkeling and with the company of a professional guide. You will experience one of the world’s most sought out travel destinations... and believe us, it is AMAZING!!

Cultural Activities

Experiencing Ecuador’s rich culture will happen throughout the semester. Some of it will naturally occur as you live with an Ecuadorian family, learn Spanish, or move throughout the city of Quito. Other opportunities include field trips in some of your classes and intentionally scheduled outings by the Ecuador Semester staff.  

These outings can include soccer games, salsa lessons, cooking latin style, trips to museums and art galleries, special Ecuadorian restaurants, journey to the middle of the world (equator) monument, historic old town Quito, local hikes and taking a bus to zip-line through the rain forest. You will come to appreciate the rich diversity in the country of Ecuador.

...come LEARN and ADVENTURE with us! #ecualife

Home Stays

Living with an Ecuadorian host family is one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of the Ecuador Experience.   All homes are carefully screened for suitability and are inspected regularly by our staff.     
During this semester you will have the privilege of living with an Ecuadorian family for 4 weeks. Our program has ongoing relationships with Ecuadorian families who are interested in hosting international students.
We call this our "homestay" program because when you participate in this program, you are not only renting a room in somebody's house, you are being welcomed into their home as if you were a member of their family.

Home Stay Families

A glimpse of some of the incredible families we have the privilege of working with in our home-stay program:

Housing and Food

    Living arrangements during the semester are varied. Students will start out in program-operated apartments for the first few weeks. After adjusting to Quito and improving their Spanish, students will live with Ecuadorian families for a month.  After the month with Ecuadorian families, students will move back into their apartments. Lodging will also be provided for students during trips outside of the city and in the Galapagos.

 When students are not with their home stay families:

  • Students will live in program-operated apartments in Quito
  • Guys and Girls have separate apartments
  • We have a Living and Learning Resident Coordinator that lives in each apartment with students
  • Students will live with other college students who are also attending the same semester program
  • Apartments are fully furnished, including a kitchen, washer, and dryer
  • Students will cook for themselves when they are living in the program apartments



In MOST cases, studying in Ecuador for a semester will cost the SAME as you are paying now to go to school.    
This will vary depending on the Global Studies policies of your host college or university.

Total cost of the Semester is determined by your college or university.
Check with your Off Campus Study Abroad office for exact costs.

Semester cost covers all of your in-country program expenses.
This does not include international airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador
and it does not include personal expenses like shopping, personal needs or personal travel.

If you are not currently enrolled in a college or university and would still like to attend,
contact Phil Payne for your exact price.    
He can be reached at:


College Credit

Living and Learning in Ecuador is a fully accredited program wherein participants receive credit from their participating college or university. All Living and Learning professors hold their MA and/or PhD in order to teach academic courses.  

Academic credit can be earned directly through your college or university. Students can also recieve academic credit through transfer credit from our academic sponsor school, Trinity Christian College.


Course Descriptions

For most colleges and universities, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units to be considered full-time.

Required Courses

Spanish (4-8 Units)

Each participant will be enrolled in a Spanish Language Institute during their time in Quito. After introductory testing, each student will be placed in classes that reflect their appropriate level of learning. U.S. college credit will be earned for these courses.

Students come to Ecuador with varying degrees of fluency in Spanish. Consequently, after initial placement testing, students are placed in classes that will correspond to their level of proficiency. Courses will introduce the students to the sounds and structure of the Spanish language through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Courses will provide the basis to understand and communicate Spanish effectively. Students will be under the direct instruction of the Andean Study Program. Each 4 unit course is the equivalent of 39 hours of instruction.

Ecuador 250 - History, Politics, and Culture of Ecuador (3 Units)

This course provides an overview of the history, politics, and culture of Ecuador, along with the relationship between various factors. The course includes guest speakers from local organizations and visits to community groups, along with lectures and readings. Open only to students who participate in the Ecuador Semester Program.

Core Courses

Intercultural Practicum (3-6 units **could be more depending on your school requirements**)

An integrative cross-cultural experience designed to help the student understand and form his or her Christian worldview, cross-cultural engagement, and understanding of diverse social and cultural contexts. Field experience sites involving small teams of students will be utilized in this intercultural practicum. Students will perform 7 weeks of internship. Extensive daily journaling of experiences both positive and negative, instructions in learning and observing will be noted. A debriefing process will conclude the practicum.

Spiritual Formation (3 Units)

This course will examine the dynamics of personal development in student's lives, focusing on spiritual growth. Biblical principles that govern the character and conduct of Christians will be addressed. Students will employ analytical tools and reflection skills to develop a greater self-awareness. From this foundation they will explore the process of spiritual formation and establish an initial life-plan for the regular practice of spiritual disciplines.

Worldview and World Religions (3 Units)

The goal of this course is to understand the nature of a worldview and the function of faith and reason in developing a worldview. To define and analyze eight basic worldviews (Christian theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism, Eastern pantheism, New Age spirituality and postmodernism). To explore and critique six major world religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Taoism & Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. To offer an internal critique of each worldview and an evaluation from the standpoint of historic Christianity.

InterCultural Communication  (3 units)

This course is designed to examine the principles and practices of communicating from one culture to another. Focus for the course lies in differing perceptions, ways of thinking, values, non-verbal expressions, language expression and subgroups within a culture as they relate to the media and the message. Furthermore, students will have opportunity to discuss strategies for practical application that will address these issues and integrate Christian values.

Electives (pending)

  • Cultural Anthropology, 3 units
  • Global Marketing Management, 3 units
  • Business as Mission, 3 units
  • Principles and Practices of Community Engagement, 3 units

Grading / Evaluation

Evaluation of your work is based on many factors. These include but are not limited to: participation, written assignments, and examinations. A "C" grade indicates adequate performance, a "B" grade indicates good, competent and complete work, and an "A" grade indicates creative excellence that is integrative and exceeds requirements.