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Universities in Ecuador and study in Ecuador - International Student Country Guide


ABOUT ECUADOR
Find universities in Ecuador and study in Ecuador, our guide for international students to study abroad. When you think of Ecuador, you might immediately think of turtles floating in the shallows of the Galapagos Islands – and you’d be right; the country is a tropical paradise. But did you know that it also stretches as far as the Andes, and the Amazon? Or that its capital city, Quito, was the first in the world to be granted UNESCO World Heritage status? Or that lakes, beaches, mountains and jungles are only a stone’s throw away?

Ecuador is moving forward in an increasingly globalised world, and offers almost unrivalled opportunities for students with a sense of adventure.

There are both public and private universities in Ecuador, and positive changes to the higher education system in recent years have seen tougher standards imposed on institutions and lecturers in order to raise standards. There has been a large amount of growth in the sector over the past two decades, particularly in numbers of private universities, and there are currently nine Ecuadorian universities in the QS rankings for Latin America.

How can you study for a degree in Ecuador?

In Ecuador, undergraduate degrees run for almost the entire year, with two semesters – the spring semester (usually starting in January) and the autumn semester (usually starting in August.)  Like most undergraduate courses across Latin America, they usually take four years to complete.

The language of teaching in Ecuador is Spanish, so you’ll need to be proficient in order to gain a place on and succeed on a university course.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees at public universities in Ecuador were abolished as part of the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador. Students at private universities, however, are still required to pay fees, and these are likely to be due at the beginning of each term – so in December (for the spring term) and July (for the autumn term.) Costs will vary across different universities.

Immigration and visas

International students studying in Ecuador need to obtain a Student Visa (12-V), which is valid for a minimum of six months and needs to be renewed after one year. You can obtain this visa from the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country. You must also be able to prove that you have at least $1,000 (US dollars) to cover your expenses, and have proof of your acceptance to an Ecuadorian university. The 12-V visa costs approximately $130.

Accommodation and living costs

Whilst staying in Ecuador it’s likely that you’ll live with a host family, which will enable you to fully absorb the local culture and immerse yourself in a typical family’s life. In a homestay you are likely to benefit from regular cooked meals and your own room, and you might even benefit from perks such as a laundry service. The extra security that a homestay offers is also likely to be of huge benefits – in the majority of cases, host families will have been carefully selected and vetted by your university, and they may even have been matched with you because you share similar interests. You can find out more about host families here.  
If staying with a host family isn’t for you (maybe you want more independence than this would allow) there are also various options for independent housing. Check with your university to see what help they can give you.

For parents

How safe is Ecuador?

Ecuador is relatively safe, although international students (and visitors in general) are advised to stay away from the Columbian border. It’s also advisable to take general security precautions, as you would in any foreign country:
-          Avoid carrying around large amounts of money
-          Staying groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
-          Don’t make valuables obvious
-          Always have a route home planned and never get into unlicensed taxis
-          Be wary of strangers
-          Be careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying in another country might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next

If you would like more information on studying abroad, in Ecuador or elsewhere, sign up to our Free Application Service and we'll be in touch with you promptly.

For more details on studying in Ecuador as an international student click here.