Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is one of the top liberal arts universities in Ecuador.

About the University

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is one of the top liberal arts universities in Ecuador. Located in the valley of Cumbaya, just twenty minutes from downtown Quito and twenty minutes from nearby indigenous Andean communities

The campus offers a tranquil, community feeling to its 900 international and 5500 Ecuadorian students. Ecuador’s largest library, a Galapagos campus, Tiputini Biodiversity station in the Amazon, local community service program, Ethnical Diversity Academic Program covering all 14 different indigenous cultures, excursions, and student support services and activities make it an ideal choice for a student interested in exploring Ecuador’s ethnic and natural biodiversity from a comfortable home base.

Students live in Quito with carefully screened homestay families so they can still enjoy the best of the big city. Service opportunities can be coordinated in nearby communities.


Summer: Approx 8 weeks
Fall/Spring Semester: Approx 16 weeks

Dates will coincide with US universities and vary by year.


To be updated

Location details

The project location is in Quito.




To be updated



USFQ offers excellent courses for students studying Spanish as a second language, though it’s  recommended to have at least two years of college level Spanish before coming. There is an online Spanish placement exam to help you register for courses in the College of Liberal Arts, the Spanish Department, or Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras. USFQ also has strong programs in biology and environmental science, liberal arts, arts and communication, marketing, international relations, business, and hospitality and tourism. Courses include anthropology, cultural studies, Spanish, volcanology, culinary arts, and studio arts.


Credit and grading system

USFQ’s credit system is the same as the North American/United States system. 1 credit is equal to 15 hours. Normal courses are 3 credits, and classes meet for three hours a week in a 15-week semester. A full undergraduate course load is 16 credits.

USFQ’s grading scale is based on the standard U.S. 4.0 A, B, C, D, F scale. USFQ does not use pluses or minuses.

Number of Credits Required / Allowable

International students must take at least 12 credits “presencial” (courses where you are “present”, that meet on a regular basis in a classroom) and usually take no more than 16; however, students may request exceptions in very special circumstances. 
During the Summer Session students can take from 3 to 9 credits.




College credits

Students participating in a study program through EcuaExplora will receive an official transcript from the Ecuadorian institution showing classes taken while abroad. U.S. universities often accept transfer credit from foreign institutions, but ultimately it is up to individual schools to determine credit transfer on any study abroad program.

To ease the process of transferring overseas credit, students should consult the Registrar at their home university to determine the transferability of credit from foreign schools.


For students studying in Ecuador, tuition at the Ecuadorian university is included in the program cost. The U.S. equivalent of 12-18 semester credit hours is considered a normal course load for students studying in Ecuador, and this amount of tuition is included in the cost.

For interns and volunteers taking Spanish language courses (up to five hours/week), tuition is also included. Additional language hours and certifications are not included in the program cost. If students request or require additional hours or certifications, all costs incurred are the students’ responsibility.

What’s Included?

Not Included?



Available during the length of the project (Either at the project or local homestay families with 2 meals included)

Transfer to project

Insert a short description or more info here


Local cell phone is included with a refundable deposit of $50

Aiport pick-up/ drop-off

Ecua Explora staff ready to transport you

Support 24 hours

On the ground Ecua Explora staff available

First weekend accomodation

In a hostal in Quito with breakfast


(includes city tour and lunch)

Meals not specified


Transportation to/from the homestay to the project each day


Optional extras

Add $70 for day excursion upon arrival.
Add $50 per week for 6h Spanish classes if in Quito.

Sounds amazing? Ready to start your study abroad in Ecuador experience?