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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Ecuador Cuenca


Offered: Annually
Program Focus: General Culture


Spanish 201 with a “B” average or better in language study.                                                 

Spring 2016 Program

Wendy Woodrich
Senior Lecturer in Foreign Languages
ext. 7428

Spring 2017 Program

Janis Lochner
Professor of Science
ext. 7538

Program Design:
Academic study will focus on intensive language study, and the history, culture, and socio-economic institutions of Ecuador.  Following an orientation program in Quito, the program is centered in Cuenca and includes field trips to Jatun Sacha (primary rain forest) as well as local areas of interest.  Students live with host families while in Cuenca.

Read about what Ecuador Program students have done!

Requirements Fulfilled:
Fulfills the two-course international studies requirement.

4 courses per semester/ 16 credits


IS 241:  Contemporary Ecuador:
This course explores different aspects of Ecuador through an anthropological optic.  The main purpose is to provide students with information, conceptual tools, and methods with which to investigate and interpret their Ecuadorian experience.  Class discussion and questions from students are very important.

The specific topics covered in the course are chosen anew each semester, in order to address current affairs and new anthropological work.  Globalization, Andean prehistory, traditional medicine, identity politics, indigenous rights movements, gender roles, religion and society, race, ethnicity, witchcraft, agricultural economics, transnational migration and Plan Colombia are some of the topics included in recent courses.  Social structure and culture in Cuenca are also included. 

The course includes day trips and a week-long fieldtrip.  Some class assignments require students to investigate and report on questions about Cuenca and its environments. Course material is presented in required readings and class lectures.  There are films and occasionally guest speakers to complement this material.  Grades are based on exams, short writing assignments, and a term paper. 

See syllabus here.


IS 242 Biodiversity in Ecuador:
This course is an introduction to Ecuador’s ecology and to conservation biology with an emphasis on Latin America and Ecuador in particular.

The first part of the course will be an overview of Ecuador’s main ecosystems and will introduce students to the general concepts of conservation biology and biodiversity at the species, genetic, and ecosystem levels before going on to examine in more detail the geographical and evolutionary factors responsible for Ecuador’s outstanding biodiversity.  We will then explore the ecology, community structure, and ecological importance of each of Ecuador’s main geographical regions.

The second part of the course will overview the threats to Ecuador’s biodiversity and the various problems faced by small populations of endangered species.  Consideration for conservation strategies will be explored for individual species and for ecosystems both from theoretical and practical standpoints. 

See syllabus here.

Click here to view projects at the Bioparque Amaru Zoo in Cuenca.


2 Spanish Language Courses - 8 credits

Course level will be determined by previous subject study and placement exam results.

Relationship to On-Campus Curriculum:

    Recommended Courses:

HIST 141:  Colonial Latin American History

HIST 142: Modern Latin America

SOAN 266: Social Change in Latin America

BIO 114: Investigations in Ecology and Environmental Science

  • General Information

    Passport Details:
    You will be required to email a high-resolution, color scan of your passport to the Overseas Office within 30 days of being accepted into a program. We recommend that you apply for a passport as early as possible. For more info, visit our Passport Resources page.

    Visa fees and requirements: A visa is required for this program.  You will be notified when it is time to apply and our office has received all of the necessary supporting documents. 

    Please make an appointment with Student Health Service to get an updated list of immunizations that are recommended or mandatory for this program. You may also be required to submit various test results (HIV, chest x-rays, etc.) as a part of your visa application.

    Students will be required to show proof of health insurance with coverage for international travel, as per the Affordable Care Act. Lewis & Clark College will provide supplemental travel insurance coverage through iNext.

    Fees To Plan For:
    Fees for the following items are not included in the comprehensive program fee:
    Passport fees
    Required photographs
    Visa fees
    Immunizations and health exams
    Transportation to city of departure
    Post-program travel


Blog Feed: Ecuador

  • November 16, 2015 at 12:30am
    I have been looking forward to studying abroad for most of my life; now it is so close I can feel the excitement building as each day takes me closer to the start of the program. It will be so good to be able to practice my Spanish outside of the classroom. I am incredibly […]
  • November 15, 2015 at 10:27pm
    I was visiting the Portland Art Museum and got myself thoroughly lost.  I stumbled upon these artifacts from the Peru/ Ecuador area and I was utterly fascinated.  I remember one of the stories from the Ecuador Reader talking about ceramic ware that was very advanced.  I believe one of the theories about that was that some […]
  • November 15, 2015 at 2:38pm
    I leave six weeks from today. So much is happening between now and then that it’s crazy to think there is such little time before I start my adventure in South America! I am beyond excited for everything so to gather my thoughts, I’m giving in to my compulsive-list-maker tendencies, and making a list (in no particular […]
  • November 15, 2015 at 10:33am
    Here are some of my various thoughts, in no real coherent order… I’m sitting in my flat in Budapest and trying to anticipate my semester in Cuenca that’ll start in less than two months (!). One thing I’d determined before deciding to do spend two semesters in a row abroad is that I’d try not […]
  • November 11, 2015 at 1:15pm
    As January 10th approaches, I’m finding more and more things to be curious about! I am extremely excited about the experience I will be having in just few short months. However, I am a little nervous when I think about how much I still need to learn. I have accepted that most of my learning will […]
  • November 4, 2015 at 6:55pm
    Now that we’ve learned who our host families are, the fact that our trip to Ecuador is fast approaching is really beginning to set in. I feel a curious combination of nerves, excitement, anticipation, and trepidation about our upcoming departure. Most of all, I can’t wait to get started. I don’t think there’s a good […]
  • September 28, 2015 at 10:55am


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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

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