Study in Ecuador

In 1995, the College of Law established a second-semester study program at the premier law school of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) in Quito. The program provides second- and third-year law students with an opportunity for intensive study in the fundamentals of a civil law system and Latin American institutions. The program was designed for students with particular career objectives related to Spanish-speaking countries or in transactions related to those countries. Participants take law courses in Spanish at PUCE.

In order to provide for room, board and tuition at no cost to the university, the College of Law arranges family stays in Quito for participants and an annual course of study at Willamette for a student from PUCE. The College of Law also can make arrangements for internships for our participants. These have included hands-on work in major law firms in Quito, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, non-governmental organizations focused on environmental work and a foreign corporation.

Students enrolled in the law school program are jointly supervised by the program administrator, Professor James A.R. Nafziger, and a resident full-time member of the PUCE faculty. The American Bar Association has annually approved credit for the students.

Applying to the Program

Participants are selected on the basis of an application that should include a one-page personal statement that sets forth the participant's objectives in the program. Good academic standing and proficiency in Spanish are prerequisites.

Students are selected on the basis of their application and a language proficiency exam in Spanish. Some priority is given to academic background and career plans in international law. Selection of courses requires joint approval by Willamette and PUCE.

For more information on study in Ecuador, please contact Professor James Nafziger.


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