Ecuador Fall or Spring Semester

This semester abroad opportunity is based in Quito, the nation's capital. Quito, Ecuador has amazing weather and is famous for its eternal springtime conditions. The city offers rich history, architecture, friendly people and safe living conditions in which to grow and learn. Living and Learning International in Quito is part of a 25-year-old organization called Youth World. We offer an amazing mixture of adventure, academic excellence, culture, practical experience, language, mission, and integrated living as you participate in this semester abroad program.

Quito, Ecuador Program calendars

These schedules will help you get all of your details in order and plans in place.

Jan 11, 2022
Semester Begins

Arrival date and start of orientation week.

Jan 17, 2022
First Day of Classes

First Day of classes

Jan 24, 2022
Internships Begin

First day of internships

Feb 12, 2022
Homestays Begin

Students will move out of their apartment and into a homestay with an Ecuadorian family

Feb 23, 2022
Depart for Amazon Jungle

Students and staff depart for ministry site in Amazon jungle

Mar 11, 2022
Homestays End

Students move back in to Living and Learning apartments

Apr 15, 2022
Last Day of Classes

Last Day of Classes

Apr 16, 2022
Galapagos and Machu Picchu Departure

Cohort #1 departs for the Galapagos Islands, cohort #2 departs for Machu Picchu

Apr 23, 2022
Machu Picchu and Galapagos Departure

Cohort #1 departs for Machu Picchu and cohort #2 departs for the Galapagos Islands

Apr 30, 2022
Beach Debrief

Cohorts #1 and #2 come together at the beach for final debrief

May 4, 2022
Final Banquet

Final Banquet in Quito

May 6, 2022
Semester Ends

Departure Date

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Living and Learning International in Quito, Ecuador is a study abroad program available to students who desire to continue their college education in an international setting. This semester is designed to combine classroom learning and practical internships in a unique and challenging cross-cultural setting. Along with  receiving up to 18 units of college credit, students will live, learn, and grow academically, experientially, and spiritually.

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An Experience Like No Other

Study abroad with us and you'll be immersed in culture, ministry, and learning. And we'll take you to some world class destinations.

  • Experiential Learning

  • Internships and Service

  • Mission and Ministry

  • Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu

  • Cultural Activities

  • Home Stays with Local Families

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Quito, ECUADOR Courses:
Fall and Spring Semester

3-12 UNITS

Each participant will be enrolled in at least one Spanish class but can enroll in more. After initial placement testing, students are placed in classes that will correspond to their level of proficiency. Courses will introduce the students to the sounds and structure of the Spanish language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Courses will provide the basis to understand and communicate Spanish effectively. Spanish Courses Offered Include: 101 & 102: Elementary Spanish 1 & 2, 201: Intermediate Spanish 1, 250: Readings and Advanced Grammer, 310: Advanced Grammer and Conversation, 320: Advanced Grammer and Composition, 330: Voces del Ecuador: Select Topics in Ecuadorian Perspectives, 400: Overview of Latin American Literature and Culture.

Ecuador 250/350: History, Art & Culture
1 Unit or 3 UNITS

This course provides an overview of the history, art, and culture of Ecuador, along with the relationship between various factors. The course includes guest speakers from local organizations and visits to community groups, along with lectures and readings. The one unit seminar is required for all students. Completing the course for three units is elective.

Community Development 100 & Internship/Service-Learning

An integrative cross-cultural experience designed to help the student understand and form his or her Christian worldview, cross-cultural engagement, and understanding of diverse social and cultural contexts. A 1-hour per week course requires the attendance of all students. The goal and emphasis of this course are to provide students with a set of tools to utilize in interacting with people in work, community, or educational settings. Community development interventions in this course are understood as activities to facilitate, strengthen, and improve less-advantaged communities, empower residents to define and participate in the development process, and interact in larger social, political, and economic systems on behalf of the community. As part of this course, all students complete a local internship. This course can be taken for one or three credits. Students may request to take the course for more units if needed but must receive approval from L&LI.

Christian Spiritual Formation 320

This course will examine the dynamics of personal development in student's lives, focusing on spiritual growth. Biblical principles that govern the character and conduct of Christians will be addressed. Students will employ analytical tools and reflection skills to develop a greater self-awareness. From this foundation they will explore the process of spiritual formation and establish an initial life-plan for the regular practice of spiritual disciplines.

Worldview and Global Religions 340

The goal of this course is to understand the nature of a worldview and the function of faith and reason in developing a worldview. To define and analyze eight basic worldviews (Christian theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism, Eastern pantheism, New Age spirituality and postmodernism). To explore and critique six major world religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Taoism & Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. To offer an internal critique of each worldview and an evaluation from the standpoint of historic Christianity.

Intercultural Communications 300

This course is designed to examine the principles and practices of communicating from one culture to another. Focus for the course lies in differing perceptions, ways of thinking, values, non-verbal expressions, language expression and subgroups within a culture as they relate to the media and the message. Furthermore, students will have opportunity to discuss strategies for practical application that will address these issues and integrate Christian values.

Biological Principles 100 & Lab

Introductory course designed to provide a broad survey of biological principles and is primarily designed to provide meaningful and adequate exposure to biology for the non-science major. It will also help to prepare students for further study in the biological sciences. Because Ecuador is rich in biodiversity, it is an ideal place to survey biological principles. These principles will include the nature of science, discussion of origins, ecology, cell biology, genetics, zoology and human anatomy, as well as an overview of their effects on daily life. While there is no laboratory class required for this course, a hands-on lab component and field experience will be included.

Social Entrepreneurship & Leadership 360
3 Units

Social Entrepreneurship is an emerging and rapidly changing business field that examines the practice of identifying, starting, and growing successful mission-driven for-profit or nonprofit ventures, that is, organizations that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. This course is designed to provide a socially relevant academic experience in order to help students gain in-depth insights into economic and social value creation across sectors including social justice, poverty alleviation, energy, health, and sustainability. Through case studies, lectures, and classroom dialogue, students will learn to think strategically and act opportunistically with a socially-conscious business mindset. Topics will include problem/opportunity assessment, acquiring the necessary resources to grow a social enterprise, including leadership and management styles, and the tradeoffs between social and financial returns on investment. Students will also gain exposure to various social organizational models that are making tangible and potentially scalable progress in serving the poor.

Notes of course offerings:
Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units to be considered full-time.

Required courses include 1) At least one Spanish class, 2) Ecuador History, Art, and Culture for a minimum of one unit, and 3) Community Development 100 & Internship/Service-Learning for a minimum of one unit.

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Study Abroad
Faculty-Led Program
Full Accreditation

What does it cost?

Depending on the program you select, you will need to check with your college or university for exact costs. However, in most cases if you are a student at one of our partner schools a semester in Ecuador will not cost you more than what you are currently paying for school!

Cost Includes: 

  • 12-18 semester credits
  • All Lodging and Transportation during program events
  • All meals during program events (about 50% of meals during semester)
  • Excursion to the Galapagos
  • Excursion to Peru and Machu Picchu
  • Mission Trip to the Amazon Jungle
  • Final Debrief Trip to the Coast of Ecuador
  • Homestay with an Ecuadorian Family
  • Cultural Experiences and Student Activities
  • Internship Experience (for credit option)
  • Visa
  • International Travel Insurance (not primary medical insurance)

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Passport
  • Immunization
  • Meals when not with program (about 50%)
  • Personal expenses like shopping, personal needs or personal travel.

If you are not currently enrolled in a college or university and would still like to attend, contact us.


These Q&A will help you get all of your details in order and plans in place.

When are the application deadlines?

April 1st for the following Fall semester

‍November 1st for the following Spring semester

‍March 1st for the following Summer

If the application deadline has passed, you are still invited to submit an application then reach out to our team directly to discuss the option of a late add.

We would be happy to accommodate your late application if possible.

Do I need a passport?

Yes you do.  It must be valid and not have an expiration date within 6 months of your travel.

Do I need a visa?

You will receive a 90 day Tourist Visa upon arrival. While in Ecuador, our staff will facilitate you receiving an extension of your visa. You don't need to take any action prior to arriving in Ecuador.

What are the dates of the semester?

Program dates are listed on the website and updated regularly. Look at the individual program page under opportunities and under the course calendar.

When are the application deadlines?

April 1st for the following Fall semester

‍November 1st for the following Spring semester

‍March 1st for the following Summer

If the application deadline has passed, you are still invited to submit an application then reach out to our team directly to discuss the option of a late add.

We would be happy to accommodate your late application if possible.

What if I have a Dietary or Physical limitation?

Dietary Restrictions:

Travelling overseas with any sort of food allergies and/or dietary restrictions is challenging, particularly in a developing country and require careful planning, patience, and flexibility. L&LI can accommodate (during homestays, chapel, and on trips) vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or nut-free diets.


Students with additional food allergies and/or dietary restrictions (ie: vegan) other than those listed above, should 1) anticipate cooking for themselves, in addition to bringing or purchasing personal cookware if separate cookware is needed 2) plan on spending additional personal funds on food, and 3) understand that food options, at L&LI meals and at the grocery store, will be limited. Strict or life-threatening food allergies and/or dietary restrictions must be communicated to L&LI staff during the application process and as soon as possible.

Physical Limitations:

Travelling overseas with a physical disability and/or impairments is challenging. L&LI participants must possess the necessary physical capacity to safely perform the essential functions of a study abroad student with or without reasonable accommodations. L&LI is limited in providing reasonable accommodations; a developing country has physical barriers and structural obstacles in natural and manmade environments that prevent or block mobility and/or access. L&LI students must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time, walk for thirty minutes uninterrupted, possess the ability to transport themselves from one place to another in a timely manner (specifically on public transportation), and be able to carry at least twenty pounds.


While the following is not an exhaustive list, participants will need to navigate these and other environments: uneven roads, dirt paths, stairs, steps, boarding and de-boarding a river canoe, boarding and de-boarding a city trolly with a short window of time that doors stay open,  etc. Physical disabilities and/or impairments are to be communicated to L&LI staff during the application process.

Who can I call in an emergency?

In the United States & Ecuador:

Philip J Payne: President 

Phone - 1 (805) 823-5839 

Email -

In Ecuador:

Meg van Rijn: Director of Operations

Phone - 1 (602) 321-2420

Email -

In the United States:

Greg Belgum: VP Strategic Partnerships

Phone - 1(408) 306-7073

Email -

What airline and airport should I use?

Our recommendation is to find a good fare. American, Delta, United and Continental will connect in the United States (Miami, Atlanta or Houston), Avianca, Copa, and TAME will connect in Central America. All of them are good options. You will fly into Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito (The airport code is UIO).

When should I arrive and depart?

You should book your flight to arrive on the date our program starts. If the program dates are January 12-May 7 (for example) the buy your flight to arrive any time on January 12th, and leave anytime on May 7th. Remember that flights arriving from the US usually come in late at night, that is okay! We will be there to get you, even if your flight arrives at midnight on January 13! Please note that if you want to arrive early or leave late, those dates listed for your semester are when L&LI will provide you with housing and transportation. If you choose to arrive early or leave late, you will be responsible for your own housing and transportation.

Who will pick me up at the airport?

A leader from Living and Learning will be at the airport to meet you. The airport is easy and organized. You will land, go through immigration where they will stamp your passport. You will then claim your luggage and leave.

Where will I be staying and how will I get around?

You will be staying in a clean and safe apartment in Quito for most of your time. This apartment is well known to us and will be properly supervised by our staff. During the middle of the program, students will transition in to homestays with Ecuadorian families. We know and trust these families and have worked with many of them for 5+ years.

We will have buses for transportation. Quito also has a good public transportation system. Taxis are also available and reasonably priced.

Is Ecuador safe?

Although the government changes and volcanoes make the news, we are safe here in Quito. There is occasionally “petty” crime like pick-pocketing, but there is not violent crime. Student safety is L&LI’s highest priority. Due to L&LI’s long experience with risk assessment, emergency preparedness, and crisis management, L&LI is able to adapt quickly to dynamic international challenges. Given that socioeconomic, political, environmental, and medical conditions vary, L&LI specifically tailors health, safety and security measures to current circumstances.

L&LI staff are dedicated to addressing health, safety, and risk management issues first from a preparation and prevention approach to reduce risks. And second, from an incident response approach that functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The various types of health and safety situations that arise for individual students are reported to the RCs or Director of Student Life, who works with the Assistant Director and Program Director to respond carefully, appropriately, and swiftly. L&LI staff are trained in risk assessment and crisis management. L&LI infuses safety and security throughout the program curriculum. Key elements of the L&LI model help minimize risk, including:

° Orientation: during the initial orientation period, L&LI staff educate students about potential safety risks and strategies for students to keep themselves safe within their new context. L&LI staff provides further safety and security briefings at key junctures throughout the semester, most notably at times of movement or travel to different locations throughout the country, and at times where public transportation is utilized.

° Homestays: homestays provide students with grounding in the local culture, critical to building realistic perceptions of risk. Host families help students navigate their new surroundings by providing first hand exposure to local norms, modeling culturally appropriate behavior, and giving precautionary advice about the local environment. Total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad just as it cannot be guaranteed anywhere. L&LI is committed to taking necessary steps to maximize student safety.

Should I bring my laptop?

YES. We would recommend you bring one for writing papers for class and for keeping in communication with others in Ecuador and at home. The Internet will be provided in your apartment, at our offices, and in the Education Center. Most coffee shops and restaurants around Quito also have wifi.

Do I need any shots or immunizations?

If you do not have one, ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccinations with your inoculation record and keep this with you. It is a yellow passport-size booklet, obtainable either from a hospital or from the state board of health. Everyone, traveler or not, should be up to date on routine vaccinations. 


+MMR (measles/mumps/rubella)

+varicella (if you have not had chickenpox)

+tetanus-diptheria (which should be administered every ten years)

+various booster shots as directed by your doctor. 


+Yellow Fever (Can be received in Ecuador during your semester, it tends to be cheaper there, and clinics have it around Quito)

+Hepatitis A 

+Hepatitis B

Malaria is a parasitic blood disease characterized by fevers, chills, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue. Transmission of malaria occurs by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is critical for you to research and become informed of the risks associated with malaria and preventative measures against infection.

Malaria medication is NOT required while traveling to Ecuador BUT please read malaria information on the CDC website. Discuss with your physician the risk of malaria in the areas you will be visiting weighed against known side-effects of anti-malarial drugs.

Malaria Pills can be bought in Ecuador, if you would like to wait to get them in country.

What is the food like?

Typical Ecuadorian food is rice, lentils, chicken and/ or beef. However, there are many different kinds of restaurants here and the food is excellent.

What happens if I get sick?

Medical care is readily available and there is a large HCJB missionary hospital within 10-15 minutes of anywhere you will be in Quito. L&LI staff will stay with you throughout the entire experience you are sick.

How does billing and payment work?

School Billing

L&LI maintains special billing relationships with some colleges and universities. These agreements facilitate the use of financial aid to cover the cost of L&LI programs. The terms of the agreements vary by school. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of their home institution’s current billing policies and agreements.


Students attending a college or university that has a billing relationship with L&LI will pay their home institution directly for the study abroad program. L&LI will bill the students’ home institution for the L&LI Program Cost which includes tuition, room, and board. Students attending a college or university that L&LI does not partner with will pay L&LI directly the full Program Cost.

Payment of the full balance of the Program Cost is due 30 days prior to the program start date.

Liability & Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that L&LI has a correct mailing address at all times. Failure to receive full payment for the semester may result in a Bursar or administrative hold on a student’s account which could restrict transcript and future registration access. Students are responsible for the payment of all financial obligations: this includes the cost associated with collections; a past due account can include late fees.

What the program is cancelled? Or what if I need to back out, withdraw, or need a refund?

Refund Policy

It is the policy of L&LI that students who withdraw from a program for any reason are entitled to a refund in accordance with federal and school policies, whether or not they are recipients of federal or institutional aid. The period of enrollment for which the student is charged is defined by L&LI as from the program start date to the program end date. Students who are dismissed from a program are not entitled to a refund.

Program Cancellation Policy (Updated in light of COVID-19)

Cancellation Pre-Departure:

In the event that L&LI needs to cancel or suspend a program prior to the start date, participants can:

  1. Transfer enrollment to an alternative program that has not been cancelled (Italy or Ecuador). There are no change fees however students will be responsible for any difference in Program Cost. When transferring to a less expensive program, participants will receive a refund of the difference.
  2. Postpone their enrollment to a future semester in the same program. There are no fees associated with postponement. Any monies paid will be applied to the future program.
  3. Withdraw entirely from L&LI programs and receive a full refund.

Cancellation During an Active Program:

In the event that L&LI needs to cancel or suspend a program while it is already active, a full refund cannot be guaranteed. However, students can expect the following:

  1. L&LI will make every reasonable effort to recover costs for the cancelled portion of the program and refund those monies to the student. However, L&LI pays the bulk of program costs, including but not limited to educational expenses, housing, health, safety and security and administrative costs upfront and before the program start date. These upfront payments are non-recoverable costs and are non-refundable. A partial refund may be issued based on what L&LI is able to recover.
  2. Provide regular and clear communication to students and their home institution.
  3. Where possible, provide alternative options for completing course work and award academic credit. 

Change in Program Design

L&LI makes every effort to deliver all programs as published in web, print, and in-person advising. Occasionally, Changes in Program Design need to be made due to local or global circumstances. 

These changes may include but are not limited to trips and excursions, internship options, staffing, housing, and/or academic course offerings. Changing from in person instruction to online instruction is considered a Change in Program Design.

As long as Changes in Program Design are similar to original arrangements, no refund will be given. Determinations of similarity will be made at the sole discretion of L&LI.

Voluntary Withdrawal Refund Procedures

After acceptance to L&LI, students must notify the Program Director as well as the Registrar/Study Abroad Office at the home institution, if one decides to withdraw from the program. Notifications must be in writing. The effective date of withdrawal is the date L&LI is notified or the last date of association with the program, whichever is later.

Students who are accepted into a program and withdraw within 30 days of the program start date are responsible for $2,500 for housing. Students who withdraw or are dismissed from a program after the program begins may be eligible for a partial refund of tuition, room & board fees. Refunds for students who withdraw after the program begins will be given at the sole discretion of L&LI.

If a student believes individual circumstances warrant an exception to these procedures, they may appeal through a written report. This report along with supporting documentation should be sent to the Program Director for review.

Dismissal for Nonpayment of Fees

Students are expected to pay their tuition, room & board fees in full as outlined by dates in the “payment” section of the handbook. If payments are not made on schedule, the student will be administratively withdrawn for nonpayment. The L&LI refund policy will apply in such cases and collection procedures will be initiated.