SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Comparative Ecology and Conservation

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Explore tropical ecosystems, conduct biological fieldwork, and study conservation efforts in Ecuador, one of the world's most biodiverse countries.This program studies biological and ecological sciences applicable to conservation efforts, using ke... read more

All Reviews

Based on 12 Reviews
Cost of Living
Overall Experience
I loved the experiential learning that this program offered. With a greater independence in our projects, I became a lot more confident as a student and a scientist. The academic rigor of this program made it all the more rewarding. The leaders of our program, Xavier, Ana María, and Diana, were all very knowledgeable and availab... - Gettysburg College View Entire Review
It was very much so worthwhile. I gained friends, experience, and loads of knowledge that I'll be able to use to develop my education and push myself towards my career goals. - Northwestern University View Entire Review
I have so much experience that I feel comfortable pursuing a career in biological research. Learning in the field, being exposed to different field methodologies, carrying out an independent project, and gaining lots of experience with scientific writing fulfilled much of that. Secondary learning in language and culture was also... - Muhlenberg College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Comparative Ecology and Conservation
field techniques, knowledge of natural history, spanish proficiency, comfort in navigating a foreign country. Yes. - Davidson College View Entire Review
The program was definitely worthwhile - I improved my Spanish, learned about important ecological concepts, conducted my own research, and learned to live with less during a month of living in the Amazon. - The College of Wooster View Entire Review
I gained confidence in myself, as well as an appreciation for familial bonds and a different perception of life and family structure. I learned about important environmental issues while visiting some of the most beautiful and biodiverse places in the world. I also made amazing friends who share my passions and values, both from... - Colby College View Entire Review
I learned how to deal with sexism, poor organization, somewhat unsafe situations, and generally adverse circumstances. I am a better person for this and am glad to have learned this. - Middlebury College View Entire Review
Experiential learning is key, it's better to go with the flow - Wofford College View Entire Review
I learned greatly about my own comfort levels, and I greatly gained confidence in myself to navigate a totally new culture and place on my own. It also opened me to different ways of life. I lived both with a family in Quito and also with a family in a small village with only 100 people. Both families demonstrated were incredibl... - Whitman College View Entire Review
I apologize for the cliche, but you will truly broaden your view of the world and of foreign cultures on this program. Yes, it is a science program, and I feel like I now intimately understand the ecology and ecosystems and the complex conservation issues that Ecuador faces--and the workload of the courses will make sure that yo... - Colby College View Entire Review
An appreciation for the effort of anyone trying to speak a language when it is not their native language, lots of new knowledge, 2 more moms and families. Absolutely worthwhile - Brandeis University View Entire Review
The program was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I had the absolute time of my life and have truly grown so much as a person as a result of my time there. My Spanish is better, I've learned an incredible amount about plants, animals and the environment, and I'm just a more confident person in general. This program w... - Swarthmore College View Entire Review
Past Review I Loved Ecuador!
It was absolutely worthwhile! I learned so much about Ecuador, and gained a lot of confidence in myself from living abroad. - Middlebury College View Entire Review
I was challenged academically and I gained a lot confidence in myself. We were given many opportunities to practice field techniques, and the various assignments throughout the semester helped prepare me for the Independent Study Project, which was the most challenging and rewarding academic experience I've ever had. - Oberlin College View Entire Review
This program allowed me to pursue my academic interests (environmentalism, conservation, biology), improve my Spanish skills, learn about a new culture, and make friends with like-minded people. I had many experiences that I never would have been able to have as a tourist or visitor in the country. I felt very well supported by ... - Tufts University View Entire Review
I gained confidence in my language abilities, as well as confidence in field techniques. I gained tools to define effective research methods and complete independent projects to successful conclusions. - University of Colorado - Boulder View Entire Review
It made me really appreciate home, and I don’t know if I needed to go to Ecuador to do that. - Middlebury College View Entire Review
The program absolutely lived up to the expectations of being immersed in Ecuador's amazing biodiversity and complex conservation challenges. I learned so much through the experiential, comparative approach of the program. Furthermore, the opportunity to perform independent real-world field research was invaluable and allowed me... - Whitman College View Entire Review
I got to be in entirely new ecosystems learning in person about the organisms and system interactions. I learned how to live in uncomfortable situations and how to leave my comfort zone and grow as a person. Extremely worthwhile - Macalester College View Entire Review
I feel much more qualified for research opportunities in ecology, and much more confident in my Spanish classes. It was 100% worthwhile! - University of Virginia View Entire Review
I had never traveled abroad before this experience. First, I learned a lot Spanish and increased my confidence in speaking. I also learned a lot about different perspectives in regards to culture, ecology, and conservation issues. One thing this program stresses is our responsibility as students and guests in another country. It... - University of Denver View Entire Review
I got to go to some very cool places. - Wellesley College View Entire Review
Past Review Amazing Semester
I better understood what I do and do not want for my future. The exposure to many different topics helped show me what I enjoy doing. - Sewanee: The University of the South View Entire Review
Ecuador is an amazing country, and if you're interested in science or love the outdoors, there's no better way to experience it for a semester than through this program. - Claremont McKenna College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Comparative Ecology and Conservation
I felt that my conversational spanish greatly improved and I felt more confident speaking in spanish by the end of the program. I thought the entire experience was worthwhile and I would love to go back to Ecuador and continue to learn about the culture and environment. - Macalester College View Entire Review


Explore tropical ecosystems, conduct biological fieldwork, and study conservation efforts in Ecuador, one of the world's most biodiverse countries.

This program studies biological and ecological sciences applicable to conservation efforts, using key biological and ecological indicators such as plants, insects, birds, mammals, and other biological taxa. The program looks at the botany, entomology, ornithology, mammalogy, geology, and natural history of Ecuador’s unique ecological zones. You will visit the high sierras of the Andes, the epiphyte-rich cloud forest, the high Andean páramo, and the vast rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and you will spend a week on the Galápagos Islands.

Major topics of study include:

- Ecology/biology of Ecuador’s four distinct ecological regions: the Andes, the coast, the Amazon, and the Galápagos Islands
- Major plant and animal biological indicators, ecological adaptations, and population studies
- Forestry and field techniques such as quadrants and transects, water and soil analysis, research analysis, and bio-statistics
- Local natural resource use
- Ecuador’s current environmental challenges

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Spring
Instruction Language(s):
  • Spanish
  • English
Language Requirement(s):
  • Spanish
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology, Evolution Biology
Minimum GPA:
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SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad awards need-based scholarships and grants. We do not offer merit-based awards at this time. Average awards range between $500 and $5,000 for our semester programs, and between $500 and $3,000 for our summer programs. Our scholarships and grants are available to all students accepted into an SIT Study Abroad program irrespective of citizenship, national origin, or home school. We do not require a separate scholarship application for each scholarship fund; eligible students will be evaluated for all funds for which they are eligible. Please note: SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants are only applicable to tuition and room/board fees billed by SIT Study Abroad. We do not award scholarships or grants to cover any other expenses, including, but not limited to, immunizations, visa fees, books, or study abroad fees charged by your home school. If your home school has an established billing agreement with us, it is your responsibility to communicate with your home school as to how your SIT scholarship or grant will be passed on to you by your home school. For a list of available scholarships and grants, click here.

$500 - $5000

April 1 for summer programs – extended to June 1 for summer 2020 May 15 for fall programs — extended to June 1 for fall 2020 November 1 for spring programs

The SIT Study Abroad scholarship application process has been fully integrated into our online program application. After ticking the scholarship box in the program application, please complete the following steps: Provide us with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school. Electronically sign and date the FERPA release included as part of the application process. The financial aid officer at your school will be emailed a link to a secure web form where s/he will provide information about your financial aid at your home school


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