Ecuador Summer Language Program


UPDATED 10/12/2023:  THE SUMMER PROGRAM HAS BEEN POSTPONED at least until 2025 and might be suspended.

Please check back in Fall 2024 for program status.


Summer programs offer students an opportunity to study abroad outside of the academic year. All offer credit, however each program is structured differently. This program is a partnership between University of Portland, WU, and ACLAS (the Andean Center for Latin American Studies). 

The Ecuador Summer program offers an intensive Spanish language immersion experience along with features to provide access and insight into the culture. This program is located in the capital city of Quito, high in the equatorial Andes.

Designed with many components to ensure a successful immersion experience, it includes classroom instruction, program-related excursions, and room and board with a local host family.

Minimum GPA required by host program: 2.0 GPA.  Preferred GPA: 2.5 or higher.

Offered every summer.

Requirements - What you need to have to apply:

  • Completion of at Spanish through SPAN 232 or equivalent college level Spanish prior to program start. All terms must be successfully completed.
  • MUST BE be enrolled in a Spanish course (SPAN 260 will not satisfy this requirement) during Spring semester prior to the start of this program (pre-program course enrollment).
    • Pre-program course enrollmentWhile exemptions to this policy are rare, the student should contact the Spanish Department Chair by November 1st to enquire. 

HOUSING and Meals: Students live with host families (including full meals and laundry) 

EXCURSIONS: Excursions will take students to different places around Ecuador such as the jungle, the coast and a town with a large indigenous market. Exact excursion itinerary may change from year to year at the discretion of the University of Portland, WU and ACLAS.

LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION: Students take intensive language courses at ACLAS, the Andean Center for Latin American Studies.

Program Specifics:


Quito, Ecuador


ACLAS staff and faculty provide and organize academic instruction and grades, tutoring, home stay placement, planned excursions, on-site support, and oversight of the service learning opportunities.

A University of Portland faculty member will be the accompanying Summer Program Faculty Leader. The WU Spanish Department provides academic program oversight.

Credit & Grading

Earn 8.0 WU credits. 

Students have the following option in summer 2024

  • Complete SPAN 390 (UP SPAN 302: Advanced Spanish Composition, Conversation and Culture) and span 391 (a 300-level course taught by ACLAS: Culture of Ecuador)

You must complete at least TWO YEARS (SPAN 231, 232) of college level Spanish AND be enrolled in a Spanish course during Spring semester prior to the start of this program (pre-program course enrollment). Pre-program course enrollment: While exemptions to this policy are rare, the student should contact the Spanish Department Chair by November 1st to enquire.

Students earn a grade (A-F) for each credit earned which will be added to the WU transcript and will be calculated into the GPA for all students.


2024 program dates are still being set.

  • Special notes: Students selected MUST be able to travel to Quito on a specific date (no earlier, no later). Students selected will be given specific instructions on when to arrive (time of day), so please DO NOT BOOK tickets until AFTER the first orientation in spring 2023. If you book incorrectly, you can be required to rebook your flight at your expense.
  • Housing benefit in Quito ends on the last day of the program.  
  • More specific date information will be given after acceptance so do not book a ticket until instructed to do so by the OIE.


Price is based on a minimum of 10 participants. The price is still being determined.

Program prices are set based on a minimum number of participants and can increase if we don't meet the minimum requirement.

Program price includes tuition, full room and board with a local host family, program-related excursions, onsite support, and study abroad health insurance.

NOT included in program price:

  • Airfare to and from Ecuador IS NOT included in the program cost. Transportation to and from the Quito airport to your host family IS included provided all of the group arrives on the same date and time (you will be told after acceptance into the program). If you do not arrive as instructed, at minimum you will be charged $75 for incorrectly booking but you can also be required to rebook your ticket at your expense. We do not book group flights so that you can take advantage of any options you may have (miles, family travel benefits, etc.) BUT you still must book to arrive as instructed.
  • Textbooks are also NOT included in the program cost. Students will be directed about textbooks to buy after selection in the program.
  • Participants are also required to purchase and use a local cell phone while on the program in Ecuador. This cost is NOT included in the program cost.
  • Local transportation, if necessary, is NOT included in the program cost. This can include bus or taxi or train service to and from the homestay family's home and ACLAS and/or transportation to and from the service learning location.

Possible Scholarship (external to WU and the OIE)

Students interested in this program should consider applying for Gilman summer scholarships. Students who are receiving Federal Pell Grants and are studying abroad for at least 4 weeks in one country are eligible to apply for Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships. Those interested should consult the Gilman website for more information, If this link is not working, start from the IIE Gilman page,

Application forms and deadlines are posted on the Gilman website.


WHERE TO START?  Visit the OIE How to Apply page to view the virtual FIRST STEP information session and request a study abroad advising appointment with an OIE advisor.

Also, view the Ecuador interest session video for lots of photos about Ecuador and a bit more information about both the summer and the semester programs.

Questions? Contact WU Office of International Education at

UP website.

Study Abroad Application

To Apply: The program name is Summer Ecuador. The deadline to apply is December 5, 2023 for summer 2024 participation.

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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