SIT Study Abroad: Ecuador - Comparative Ecology and Conservation

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Explore tropical ecosystems, conduct biological fieldwork, and study conservation in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.You will live like a biologist as you explore the Amazon basin, the Andes, cloud forests, Pacific Ocean coastline, an... read more

All Reviews

Based on 7 Reviews
Cost of Living
Overall Experience
I wanted learning to be fun again, and this program did just that. Moreover, I study environmental engineering; as such, I am used to examining similar issues we learned about but from a completely different angle. I was glad to gain an understanding of the biological/conservation side of environmental issues. I was able to lear... - Johns Hopkins University View Entire Review
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
I gained an incredible amount from this experience. Among them: -Fantastic experiences in ecological methods that prepare me for a future career -The opportunity to see a myriad of ecosystems and wildlife across the country -Significant growth in Spanish ability -Ecuadorian connections in my professional sphere -Lifelong fr... - 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


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

You will live like a biologist as you explore the Amazon basin, the Andes, cloud forests, Pacific Ocean coastline, and the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador—unique climatic niches that harbor ecological treasures and a plethora of flora and fauna. Within these diverse and vulnerable settings, you will conduct biological fieldwork, studying plants and insects, taking soil samples, conducting species counts, using mist nets, and observing birds. You will also have the opportunity to live with two different homestay families: in capital city of Quito and the rural cloud forest.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Spring
Instruction Language(s):
  • Spanish
  • English
Language Requirement(s):
  • Spanish
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology, Evolution Biology
Minimum GPA:
Take me there!


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad is committed to increasing access to international education and to ensuring you have the information you need to successfully access funding for your study abroad program with us. SIT has awarded an average of over $1.3 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students in the past three years. We encourage all qualified students to apply for our need-based scholarships. SIT scholarships are not available for online courses or virtual internships. Your scholarship application is created when you select your interest in SIT need-based scholarships when asked in the drop-down section of your SIT Study Abroad program application. Your application is then reviewed separately, on a rolling basis, when complete. For a list of available scholarships and grants, click here.

$500 - $5000

April 1 for summer programs May 15 for fall programs 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: 1) Once your scholarship application is started, you will be asked to provide SIT with the name and email address of a financial aid counselor at your home institution, or the general email address of your financial aid office. This is very important as it allows SIT to consider any financial aid that may be available from your home institution when reviewing your scholarship application. 2) Add SIT’s school code (008860) to your FAFSA form. 3) Your scholarship application is complete and ready for review when SIT has your FAFSA and the financial aid information from your home institution. Confirm receipt of all required financial aid information with the SIT Study Abroad Scholarship Office ( or 802.258.3503). 4) If you do not receive an award decision notification from SIT before the billing due date, please know that your scholarship application was not complete.






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