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office of international programs

isthmus in Ecuador

Ecuador is a patchwork of highland and jungle, colonial cities, snowcapped volcanoes, unspoiled beaches, the Amazon rain forest, and the wonder and magic of the Galápagos Islands. Perched on a high plateau in the Andes Mountains, the city of Quito has been the heart and soul of Ecuador since the times of the great Inca empire. Founded in 1534 by the Spanish conquistador Sebastián Benalcázar, Quito takes great pride in its rich colonial tradition, preserved to this day in the architecture and splendor of its churches and monasteries. Because of its beauty and historical wealth, Quito has been named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Yet Quito is also a bustling metropolis: directly north of the colonial city lie sprawling modern neighborhoods with contemporary architecture, high-rise office towers, chic outdoor cafés, nightclubs, and spacious shopping plazas. Indigenous, Spanish, and contemporary influences blend together in this wonderful place that 1.5 million call home.

BC Programs - Semester & Academic Year

BC students wishing to study in Ecuador can do so at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), which is located just outside the city, but with strong ties to the metropolis itself.

BC Programs - Summer

Please visit our Summer Programs Page to learn about current offerings.

Approved External Programs

Boston College has over 60 BC programs around the world. To accommodate those students who would like to study in a country or a city in which BC currently does not offer a program or need tailored programs for certain majors, the Office of International Programs has compiled the following list of approved external programs.

Please note that if Boston College has a contractual agreement with an institution abroad, BC students may attend that institution only through a BC program and not through direct enrollment or through another college, university or independent organization.

Pat's photo

Speak to an OIP Advisor

In preparation for your study abroad in Ecuador, you will work with a Boston College OIP Advisor who specializes in this country and in BC's programs there. Your advisor will help guide you through the application and pre-departure process, as well as act as your main contact with BC while abroad. For students studying abroad in Ecuador, your advisor is Patrick O'Donnell.

To find out more information about this program, or to schedule an appointment with Patrick, please click here.


Ecuadorian buildings in valley

Currency in Ecuador

Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. They are identical to those issued in the USA.







students in a tropical courtyard

Current Events & News Resources

In preparation for your time in Ecuador, you should familiarize yourself with the current events and contemporary issues facing the country. By knowing about your host country before you arrive, you are making yourself a more informed traveler, a more receptive student and a better prepared individual. It is also helpful to know about your host country so you can pack correctly. Following these and other news sources will be of great value in preparing you for your time abroad.


Language & Customs

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, and while many Ecuadorians do speak other indigenous languages, such as Quichua and Shuar, students will be able to use primarily their own Spanish language skills.

Ecuadorian customs may be very different than many in the United States. It is best to familiarize yourself with acceptable practices before you arrive in the country. Some tips for successful cultural integration may be found here.


Visa Information

Passport/Visa information

Students must apply for the 12-VIII “Cultural Exchange” Visa

Consulate in Boston: Mrs. G. Beatriz Almeida de Stein, 52 Cranberry Lane, Needham,
MA 02492 Email: Phone: (781) 400-1212

Students will receive visa workshop and pre-departure orientation information via e-mail.

All workshops and orientations are mandatory.

As part of the program, students will take some trips that require immunizations. Therefore, students need to have the following: Typhoid, T.D., M.M.R., Hepatitis A

Students may need a yellow fever vaccination and/or malaria medication if they take any independent trips to the jungle. They may get those in Quito if they need them. BC also recommends the influenza vaccine, since the travel dates coincide with influenza season and the risk of influenza increases with coughing and sneezing in crowded places (i.e., airports and airplanes). HIV test (Students will need results in order to apply for the student visa.) Please visit BC’s Office of Health Services in Cushing Hall if you have questions. Some of the vaccinations and the HIV test may be administered at BC’s Office of Health Services. Students should book appointments in advance to avoid delays.

Quito has a very high altitude: Students are advised to take it easy during the first few days in Quito as their bodies adjust to the altitude. Heavy exercise is not recommended.

Students studying at USFQ are prohibited from traveling to Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, and the site of any volcanic eruptions.