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Ecuador: Quito - CEC

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Quito CEC Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Ecology, conservation, Ecuadorian history and culture, environmental studies, Spanish language and public policy. 

Host Institution
School for International Training (SIT)


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

SIT: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

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 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. 

Academic Program

The program begins with a week of orientation conducted by the program director 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 (0.75 Pomona credits)
Conservation and Sustainability Practices in Ecuador (0.75 Pomona credits)
Environmental Research Methods and Ethics (0.75 Pomona credits)
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

SIT enrolls approximately 20-25 students, selected from a competitive national pool. 


  • Completion of advanced Spanish (Spanish 44), or equivalent, and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish.
  • Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. 

Internet Link

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