International Exchanges

Pitzer Exchange in Ecuador
(open to Pitzer and non-Pitzer students)

Advanced Andean Studies Track (AAS)    
Courses
Course
Credits
Semester
Units
Core Course
1.0
4
Beginning Quichua
1.0
4
Elective
1.0
4
Directed Independent Study Project
1.0
4
TOTALS
4.0
16
Suggested Preparation
At least four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent in proficiency.
Intensive Language and Culture Track (ILC)    
Courses
Course
Credits
Semester
Units
Core Course
1.0
4
Intensive Spanish
2.0
8
Directed Independent Study Project
1.0
4
TOTALS
4.0
16
Suggested Preparation
There is no language requirement, though it is recommended that students take one or more semesters of Spanish when possible.
Program Date for Both Tracks
Fall: Early August to mid December
Spring: Early January to late May

Location

Botswana

High in the Andes and with a spring-like climate throughout the year, Quito, Ecuador, is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. In 1978, UNESCO designated Quito as a world cultural heritage site, ensuring the preservation of some of the most impressive architecture in Latin America. With a geography that encompasses tropical Pacific beaches, Andean mountain villages, and Amazonian rainforests, Ecuador provides a dynamic setting for studying the challenges that face a small, developing nation.

Host Institution

The Pitzer Exchange in Ecuador is affiliated with Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE).

The Core Course

Taught in Spanish for the Advanced Andean Studies Track and in English for the Intensive Language and Culture Track by an Ecuadorian university professor, the Pitzer core course integrates all components of the program, including lectures, study trips, involvement in a local community organization and the family stay. It offers an important framework for understanding the social, political, economic, and environmental issues in contemporary Ecuador. Students will meet once a week in class and spend additional hours participating in a community organization in Quito to gain firsthand experience with the issues explored in the course.

Beginning Quichua (AAS only)

At PUCE, students will take an introductory language course in Quichua (also known as Quechua) the language spoken by the largest of Ecuador’s thirteen indigenous language groups.

Intensive Spanish (ILC only)

Intensive Spanish is offered at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels through Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Becoming fluent in Spanish, however, is not just a classroom exercise. Language learning is part of your everyday life through interactions with your host family, program staff and field exercises that immerse you in the community. The competence you develop in Spanish will be crucial to realizing your educational goals in Ecuador, and a vital component of this will be the commitment you make to creating a Spanish speaking environment both in and out of class.

Elective Course (AAS only)

Students have the opportunity to choose one university course available at PUCE.

Directed Independent Study Project

The independent study project for this program will be an ethnographic study culminating in a major paper written in Spanish for the Advanced Andean Studies Track and in English for the Intensive Language and Culture Track. You must select a project that involves field research, and other techniques that facilitate cultural immersion. Topic selection may be limited by available resources and local conditions. Project locations will be limited to areas within and nearby Quito.

Family Stay

The heart of the Pitzer Exchange in Ecuador is the semester-long family stay in Quito. The opportunity to become a part of a family and develop a personal relationship with the individual family members is a distinct privilege. The families usually speak little or no English. Though the space and amenities of their homes may seem modest in comparison to similar American homes, many of these middle-class families will have domestic help.