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Ecuador: Quito - Ecology

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Quito Ecology Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Ecuadorian history, politics, economics, human rights and gender issues, sustainable development, ecology and conservation.

Host Institution
School for International Training (SIT)


Program Dates
Fall semester: late August to early December.
Spring semester: early February to mid-May.

Tucked high in the Andes, Quito is blessed with a spring-like climate throughout the year and is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. In 1978, UNESCO designated Quito as a world heritage site. Ecuador boasts a spectacular geography that encompasses tropical Pacific beaches, Andean mountain villages, and Amazonian rainforests. Home to over 1,500 species of birds, 10 percent of the world’s known vascular plant species, and animal species found nowhere else on earth, Ecuador provides a dynamic setting for studying conservation strategies and the many pressures faced by a small, developing nation.

The School for International Training (SIT) program in Quito focuses on the theme of "Comparative Ecology and Conservation." The curriculum offers students intensive Spanish language study alongside two core seminars; Comparative Tropical Ecology and Conservation and Sustainability Practices in Ecuador. Both core seminars are taught in Spanish and English and will cover the following sub-themes: Ecuadorian Life and Culture; Comparative Ecology; and  Conservation and Policy. The core seminar is supplemented by excursions to the Ecuadorian Amazon, a cloud forest reserve, the highland Andes, and the Galapagos Islands, as well as a rural homestay in the cloud forest. The other academic components of this program include a required environmental field study seminar and an independent study project. 

Academic Program

The program begins with a week of orientation conducted by the program co-directors in Quito. Following orientation, students are placed in an intermediate or advanced Spanish course based on a placement exam. The academic program consists of: Spanish for the Natural Sciences (0.75 Pomona credits); Comparative Tropical Ecology and Conservation and Sustainability Practices in Ecuador core seminars (0.75 Pomona credits each); Environmental Field Study Seminar (0.75 Pomona credits); and the Independent Study Project (ISP), (1 Pomona credit).

There is no P/NC option on this program.

Living Arrangements

Eight-week homestay in Quito. Brief rural homestay in cloud forest. Other accommodations during the program include hostels, field camps, reserve lodges, and boats. 

Number of students

Approximately 4 Pomona students; total program approximately 20-25 per semester.


Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. Four recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish. Applicants should schedule an advising session with Professor Fowler, the faculty liaison.

Internet Link

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