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

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?

This information is provided on the individual course pages 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: Program Director 

Phone- 1 (805) 823-5839 


In Ecuador:

Bryan Cole: Assistant Program Director

Phone - 1(719)258-8754 OR +593 98-944-9673


In the United States:

Greg Belgum: University Relations

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)…LACSA, Copa, and TAME will connect in Central America. All of them are good options.. You will fly into Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito (uio is the airport code)

Who will pick me up at the airport?

A leader from Living and Learning Semester Program will be there to meet you. The airport is easy and organized. You will land, go through immigration where they will stamp your passport and 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.   Home stays will  be in homes of Ecuadorians that we know and trust.    We will have buses for transportation.   Quito also has a good public transportation system. Taxis are also available and reasonably priced.

Is it 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 managament, 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 in-country safety, 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 firsthand 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. Internet will be provided in your apartment and at our Youth World offices.

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

+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.


Will the classes be in English?

Yes…all classes (except Spanish class) will be taught in English. Some of the travel and trip options will be in Spanish…but even these we will provide translators into English.

What currency is used in Ecuador and how much spending money do I need?
Currency in Ecuador

Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar, so there is no need to exchange money. Ecuador accepts all U.S. coins and bills, but does mint its own coins (half dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies). ATMs are readily available for use; make sure you know your PIN. ATM fees are dependent upon your bank’s fees. Traditionally, a $3-5 fee per transaction is debited. Some businesses in Ecuador accept debit and credit cards, but most prefer cash, and often there is a 3% transaction fee associated with international debit and credit card use. Money for incidentals, clinic visits, pre medications, souvenirs, and independent travel plans are the responsibility of the student.

Money Logistics

You might want to bring $100-300 in cash (preferably $1, $5 and $10 bills) due to the difficulty of using large bills and obtaining change in Ecuador. L&LI encourages students to
open a joint account or add a parent/guardian to their current bank account in the case of needing funds deposited during their time abroad. Call your credit card, debit card and bank branch to communicate travel dates. ATMs are readily available for use; make sure you know your PIN. ATM fees are dependent upon your bank’s fees. Traditionally, a $3-5 fee per transaction is debited. Some businesses in Ecuador accept debit and credit cards, but most prefer cash, and often there is a 3% transaction fee associated with international debit and credit card use. Money for incidentals, clinic visits, pre medications, souvenirs, and independent travel plans are the responsibility of the student.

Student Budgeting

All meals are covered while students are at Program Events. This works out to approximately 50% of all meals. Students are responsible for covering the remaining 50% of their meals as well as local transportation and shopping/discretionary spending.

Meals: $400 - $500

Local transportation: $100 

Shopping/discretionary spending: $50 - $100

Total *$550 - $700


During the semester in Ecuador about half of student meals will be covered by the program. This includes meals during Orientation, each wednesday night at Chapel, the Jungle Short Term Mission, Breakfasts and Dinners during the four weeks of Home stays, the Cohort Trips, and the end of semester beach debrief. 

The other half of meals students can plan to eat out or go grocery shopping. Depending on the students’ preferences, it would be realistic to budget $400-$500 to cover these meals while in Ecuador. 

Local Transportation

While in Ecuador students will navigate the city of Ecuador. They’ll need to budget for public transportation and taxis to get to their internship site, homestay family, and to explore the city. Around $100 should cover this cost while in Quito.

Shopping and Discretionary Spending

There are lots of great shopping opportunities in Ecuador. Depending on how many personal souvenirs and gifts students plan to purchase, $50-$100 is a realistic amount to budget.

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.

What if I need to back out, withdrawal or need a refund?

After students are confirmed to participate in Quito Semester they must notify the Quito Semester Program Director and the University Registrar, at your home institution, if they decide to withdraw from the program. Notifications must be in writing or by email. Depending on the date of notification, the following withdrawal/refund policies will be followed.

Students who are accepted into the Quito Semester, confirm their participation with the $500 non-refundable deposit, and withdraw 30 - 45 days before the posted start date for the program are responsible for paying $2,500 of the program fee.

Students who are accepted into the Quito Semester, confirm their participation with the $500 non-refundable deposit, and withdraw within 30 days of the posted start date are responsible for paying $2,500 of the program fee and an airline cancellation fee of the value of the ticket if we bought your ticket as part of the program.

Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the Quito Semester after the program begins may be eligible for a partial refund of the tuition. The program fee will not be refunded. All refunds and withdrawal fees are calculated from the date a written statement of withdrawal or dismissal is received by the Quito Semester Program Director and the University Registrar at your home institution.