Study Abroad

SIT Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

  • Location: Quito, Ecuador
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors and seniors


COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, then read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.

The capital of Ecuador, San Francisco de Quito (Quito) is surrounded by Mount Pichincha, and just about 20 miles away from the Equator. Declared by UNESCO in 1978 the First Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, Quito is the home of 2 million people.  Quito offers a mix of Spanish and indigenous traditions creating a vibrant environment with a small city atmosphere. The city also has beautifully preserved colonial architecture all over that contrast with the more contemporary buildings. Students will be able to experience the stratified economic conditions as they see the colonial and modern architecture along the rich and poor neighborhoods.


Previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields.  Since students are expected to have attained a usable level of language proficiency, one course beyond intermediate Spanish or its equivalent of four recent semesters of Spanish is required.  It is preferred that students be enrolled in a Spanish course the semester before they are expected to study abroad.

Academic Credit

Each semester, students must carry a minimum of 15 credit hours, which equals 4 credits at Haverford. All SIT Comparative Ecology and Conservation students are required to take a 3 credit language for the natural science course (different levels), which will help with reading professional scientific literature. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above. Students will receive natural science, social science, and humanities divisional credit. 


Through this ecology program, students learn about the diverse ecological zones of Ecuador, major plant and animal adaptations to life in each zone, local use of natural resources, and current environmental and conservation issues. Students are also introduced to a panorama of Ecuadorian life and culture. Throughout the program, students improve and apply their Spanish skills to broaden their understanding of Ecuadorian ecology and conservation and to gain a deeper understanding of the country. Students can view course syllabi on the SIT website

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

Course Highlights

Ecology, Natural Sciences, Spanish

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


During the first week of the program topics such as academics, culture, and health and safety are discussed. Through group discussions, readings, and participatory methods, students are introduced to the host country and develop skills for successful cross-cultural communication.

Number of Students


Housing/Meal Plans

Homestay only. Each SIT Study Abroad student studying on the Quito, Ecuador Program lives with a carefully selected host family. Because most of the culture of Latin America revolves around the extended family, living with a host family is one of the best ways to immerse into the culture and language of Ecuador. The SIT Study Abroad program fee includes a full meal plan, meaning students have 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. Students will have the accommodations of living standards that Ecuadorian students have.

Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.


Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester


  • Semester I: Early September - mid-December
  • Semester II: Early February - mid-May

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1

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