Ecuador: Culture and Development

Key Features

"While studying abroad with SIT you are constantly being stimulated, constantly learning, and constantly being challenged. It redefines education and provides you with the tools to redefine the world, and your role in it."

—Lucy Wallace, Connecticut College

A soccer field in Quito.

Study issues of language and power in Ecuador.

Key topics of study on the program include:

  • Political discourses, ideology, and difference in Ecuador.
  • The successes and failures of different development paradigms in Ecuador.
  • The state of indigenous languages in Ecuador, in particular Quichua, and the concern for languages in danger of extinction.
  • Particularities of Ecuadorian Spanish, especially in relation to region, ethnicity, and class.

Review course syllabi.

Live in Quito (program base).
Students spend a considerable part of the program in the city of Quito. Founded by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century on top of an existing indigenous settlement, Quito has a mix of colonial and contemporary styles and a huge mix of people from different ethnic, class, and national backgrounds.

Students find both traditional and trendy areas to explore, and rich settings of urban sounds, signs, and sites to analyze, as they think about the city’s development. As they wander through Quito, students discover markets, businesses, churches, museums, bookstores, stunning mountain views, and quaint plazas.

Advance your Spanish skills while learning Quichua.
Students on the program have a choice between taking the Spanish course Advanced Readings on Contemporary Ecuador or taking Beginning Quichua. Regardless of the choice, all students will have plentiful, ongoing opportunities throughout the semester to advance their Spanish and gain exposure to Quichua and other indigenous languages.

Complete an Independent Study Project (ISP)
All students produce a final Independent Study Project. The ISP offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program’s broad concerns with power, politics, language, and development. The ISP can be conducted in Quito or in another approved location in Ecuador appropriate to the project.

Sample ISP topics include:

  • Linguistic landscape of Quito
  • Political perspectives on endangered languages
  • The discourse of development in Ecuador
  • Bilingual intercultural education
  • Language and activism


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Quito

Language Study: Kichwa,  Spanish

Prerequisites: 3 semesters college-level Spanish or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT. Read more...

Ecuador

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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