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Loyola Exchange - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE)
Quito, Ecuador (Exchange Program) (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Courses Offered: Click here to view
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Required GPA:
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Language Requirement:
2 semesters or equivalent
Housing Options:
Host Families
Internship/Service Learning Options:
Program Description:

Akeem and Katherine

Next Program will run in Spring 2017

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE)

Quito, Ecuador

Program Highlights

  • Spanish Language classes plus academic classes for those with sufficient command of Spanish
  • Courses  on Ecuador and Latin America offered in English with Service Learning
  • Exciting field trips to the Amazon and the Galapagos (depending on the semester)
  • Homestays and Resident Director

The University and Program

Loyola in Ecuador is based at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), a Jesuit University, located in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. PUCE, founded in the mid-twentieth century by the Society of Jesus, is the oldest  and one of the most prestigious private educational institutions in Ecuador and is home to 14,000 students.

The program will provide students with an exciting individualized program combining Spanish language instruction, a course on Ecuador and Latin America with a service learning component taught by the Resident Director, Dr. Ximena Sosa, academic courses in Spanish for those with adequate proficiency, biology internships and field trips to various locations including the Amazon and the Galapagos in alternating semesters.

Downtown Quito #1Location

The city of Quito, founded in 1534 at an altitude of 9,350 feet, is a major metropolitan area with a population of almost 2 million. The Historic Center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas and was one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.

Quito is located in Ecuador's Guayllabamba river basin, which makes up part of the country's highlands region. The city is surrounded by many volcanoes, with Pichincha being the closest one. The average temperature hovers around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is divided into two seasons: dry and wet.

Academic Program

Core Courses

Core program courses are taught by the Resident Director. Courses will focus on Ecuador in a comparative perspective with the Andean and other Latin American countries and will provide students with a clear understanding of historical processes that impact contemporary issues.  Field trips will supplement the courses and all courses will include a service learning component. All students on the Loyola in Ecuador program are required to take these courses.

Fall –  Ecuador and Andean Societies: This course will focus on Ecuador in a comparative perspective with the other Andean countries (Peru, Bolivia and Colombia).  The course will cover gender issues, indigenous and mestizo identity, urbanization and the informal sector, popular uprisings, and political regimes in particular different types of populisms. During the fall semester, students will tentatively visit the Amazon, and  indigenous and mestizo villages.

Spring – Minority groups, politics and regional integration in Latin America: This course will provide an understanding of political, gender and ethnic issues in contemporary Ecuador and Latin America in light of  new political constitutions, particularly how they affect women, Afro-Latin Americans, and Island inhabitants. It also analyzes the impact of the economic and political relationship between China and Latin America.It also includes topics related to the three field trips to Esmeraldas, Galapagos and Riobamba and “Nariz de Diablo”.

PUCE #1 SkateboardSpanish Language Classes

PUCE’s Spanish as a Second Language program has 6 levels and meets 15 hours per week. Each level is 8 weeks long and students should be able to complete 2 levels in a semester, the equivalent of 4 semesters of university level Spanish. Students in full-time language courses will receive 7 hours of credit for each level passed . All the courses incorporate cultural immersion with classroom activity. Besides linguistic competencies, students will discuss topics of Ecuadorian everyday life.
  • In the first levels, the student learns how to communicate in the local environment, with basic vocabulary and syntactical structures. 
  • In the intermediate levels, the student deepens his/her grammatical knowledge, text reading and comprehension, writing skills, and at the same time, becomes more fluent and secure in the usage of the Spanish language.
  • In the advanced levels, the student explores Latin American and Ecuadorian Literature and culture, writes essays, participates in debates, makes oral presentations, and expands his/her knowledge of vocabulary in academic fields.

All students on the program will study with students from all over the world which allows for a wonderful opportunity to learn about Ecuador and explore the rest of the world at the same time. Students beginning the program at the 5th level will be able to take other academic courses at PUCE.

Biology Courses taught in English at PUCE

  • Invertebrate biology – fall
  • Entomology – spring

Academic Courses in Spanish

In addition to studying Spanish language and the course on Ecuador, students with adequate Spanish language proficiency can take courses in a myriad of subjects, including archaeology,  communication, economics, psychology, geographic sciences, history, international relations, literature, natural sciences, political science, sociology, sustainable development, linguistics and many more! PUCE's anthropology, biology, Latin American, and environmental studies are particularly exceptional fields of interest.

Annie and Akeem in greenhouseBiology Research Internships

Research internships are available for students majoring in biology in one of the many laboratories at PUCE.  Students applying for the internship should have completed their introductory courses in biology and chemistry.

Resident Director

Dr. Ximena Sosa is the Resident Director for the Loyola in Ecuador Program. Dr. Sosa is an adjunct professor of history at PUCE. She has her Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of New Mexico and has written numerous books and articles on Ecuador and Latin America. Dr. Sosa will teach the core courses on Ecuador, assist students in their adjustment and coordinate the field trips.

Academic Calendar

Ecuador follows the same academic calendar as the U.S. Important dates and deadlines for international students can be found here.

Fall - early August to mid-December
Spring - mid-January to mid-May

Visa Regulations

Useful links for the Visa application process are listed on the website of PUCE's Department for International Relations (DRI).

RiverThe Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, DC, details the requirements for students visa ("VISA12 - V") on the webpages of its Consular Services.  Please note that the visa application requires a personal appearance at a consulate.


Students will be placed in homestays no more than 20 minutes from campus. Wireless access will be available on campus if not in the homes, and the rooms are furnished.


Students have a 2-day orientation onsite. Representatives from the U.S. Embassy will speak to the students about health and safety issues. The core courses on Ecuador will also function as an ongoing introduction to Ecuador. The PUCE exchange program also features a buddy system between a local student and an exchange student.

To Apply

Loyola students: Please make an appointment with a study abroad advisor in the Center for International Education.

Non-Loyola applicants: Please send an email to or have your study abroad advisor from home institution send an email to with your name, date of birth, major, and email.

2 Sea Lions and Guy in Galapag

Links to learn more

PUCE Website

Website for the Dirección de Relaciones Internacionales at PUCE

Health Issues and Information

Ecuador Country Information

Tourism Websites:


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Year 2016-2017 04/15/2016
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2016 04/15/2016
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2017 09/01/2016 09/15/2016 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed