Study Abroad

SIT Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages

  • 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.


Since students are expected to have attained a usable level of language proficiency, one course beyond intermediate Spanish or its equivalent of three recent semesters of Spanish is required. Students should have the ability to follow coursework in Spanish as assessed by SIT. 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. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


Students study power and politics in Ecuador, focusing specifically on both dominant development paradigms and resistant models that different groups have proposed. Because power and ideology are reproduced and challenged through language, students will also explore how different stakeholders in Ecuador have used both Spanish and indigenous languages to instill, reinforce, subvert, and reinvent power relationships, both historically and today. The program thus combines a political and economic focus with an emphasis on discourse and language. Students will leave with a highly sophisticated understanding of how this small, bio-diverse, and multi-ethnic country is thinking about development. Students can view course syllabi on the SIT website.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

Course Highlights

Political Science, 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, cultural, 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

25-30 per semester

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.

Students will live in 3 different homestays. The first will be in a small town in the valley of Los Chillos, located 40 minutes outside of Quito. Students will live with a middle-income family for two weeks. The program’s second homestay is with a family in an urban neighborhood in Quito, this is the longest homestay lasting about five weeks. The last homestay is in a rural Amazonian community, offering students a very different perspective of Ecuador. This homestay last about a week and provides the opportunity for students to practice their recently acquired Quichua language skills.

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: Late August - early December
  • Semester II: Late January - early May

Application Deadlines

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

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