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Female Study Abroad Student Hiking near Rocky River in Ecuador.

Ecuador Semester Program

The Ecuador Semester Program, set in Cuenca, Ecuador, involves a three-prong partnership with Taylor University, the Universidad del Azuay, and the Arco Church of Cuenca. This study abroad program provides a full-immersion experience into the Latin American culture, the Spanish language, and the beautiful country of Ecuador while taking classes in a major field of study or in general education.

The Ecuador Semester Program is offered during both fall and spring semesters. Students will have opportunities to engage with a nurturing Central American community that will assist them in examining their own culture and their own engagement in the world. Students are encouraged to attend Arco Iglesia, Taylor’s partner church, and participate in its many outreach programs.

Offered: Fall & Spring Semesters
Location: Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador
Cost: Taylor tuition/room/board + off-campus program fee + insurance fee + activities fee.

*This includes roundtrip air travel from Indianapolis to Cuenca, tuition, room, and board in Ecuador, admission fees for all class-related activities, and program-related travel in Ecuador.
Emphasis: Biology, Business, Christian Education, Exercise Science, Spanish, Engineering

Studying Abroad in Ecuador

This program offers a multi-disciplinary semester that has a core of Ecuadorian culture and Spanish language study. Departmental courses and practicum experience in the students’ areas of specialization are provided in Biology, Business, Christian Education, Engineering and Exercise Science, as well as general education courses in history, literature, and science. Students also are required to enroll in a two-hour cross-cultural class on Ecuadorian culture. All coursework is Taylor University accredited and taught in English, except for Spanish and Spanish Culture.

Students are enrolled in two semesters of Spanish at the Arco Iglesias language institute, overseen by Taylor University’s Department of Languages. Immersed in the language, students progress very rapidly to a conversational level of Spanish.

Immersive Life in Ecuador

Ecuador semester students engage the culture intimately as they live with Christian host families facilitated through the Arco Church. Families also provide the daily meals for the student. Transportation is sometimes provided by the family, hired bus, and public transportation. However, walking is popular with the students as the city is easy to navigate.

Students have access to the Internet at the universities, Arco Iglesia, in many coffee and mall locations, and even in some of the homes. We also provide each student with an Ecuador cell phone which allows instant communication between each other, Taylor University staff in Cuenca, and students’ families.

Taylor University and Arco work together to assign and monitor home stays, plan, implement in-country educational travel, provide cultural and emotional support of students, and engage with semester students in group settings and individually.


Students travel to three of the four main regions of Ecuador—the Galapagos Islands, Amazon Jungle, and the coastal region—while living at 8,500 feet in the fourth region, the Andes mountain. Ecuador’s unequaled natural beauty, diverse population, tremendous biodiversity, and fascinating history make it not only an incredible travel destination, but a wonderful place to study and learn about the varied regions of Latin America.

Students explore the Amazon rainforest with guides, visit Shell, and snorkel with sea lions and exotic fish in the waters of the Galapagos Islands while studying the historic volcanic islands, touring the capital city of Quito, and visiting the port city of Guayaquil.

The Ecuador program incorporates education with experience in a manner unlike any other Study Abroad trip ... Taking classes at local universities allows you to more fully understand what it is like for an Ecuadorian at your age. The trips to the Galapagos, the Amazon, El Cajas park, etc., are not only incredibly fun but also educational and engender relationship and unity within the group. Sarah Manko


Dr. Ken Kiers
Director of Ecuador Programs