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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Ecuador Cuenca




Mid-January to mid-April
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 (4 credits):

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.

  • BIO 115: Biodiversity in Ecuador (4 credits):

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.

  • SPAN XXX: (2 classes for 4 credits each):

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 141: 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

  • January 31, 2016 at 4:54pm
    Culture shock for me in Cuenca has not been nearly as prominent as I expected it to be. There are little differences that pop up most days, but this overwhelming feeling of being in a different country really hasn’t hit (yet?). The most prominent of these differences pop up in the home, but outside I […]
  • January 27, 2016 at 4:36pm
    When I arrived in Quito at the beginning of this program, I was prepared to be immediately confronted with so-called “culture shock.” However, I didn’t have this immediate response, probably because we were traveling in a group of very similar “extranjeros,” and so the full effect of this phenomenon was buffered. However, once I arrived […]
  • January 24, 2016 at 3:02pm
    When I was abroad last semester, one of the first things in orientation we did is look over a diagram similar to this: about culture and reverse culture shock. I was pretty sure that I’d be immune to it, but sure enough after a couple weeks I found myself getting frustrated that I didn’t know […]
  • January 20, 2016 at 8:23pm
    I’ve officially been here in Ecuador for a week now (It had been when I started writing this, anyways), and I left Colorado with the intention of keeping a blog, so here’s a step in that direction! For now, run-down (of varying brevity) of the days of my first week: Sunday, Jan 9th: I arrive in […]
  • January 17, 2016 at 6:37pm
    This weekend was the first spent in Cuenca with mi familia.  On Saturday, my host mom unfortunately had to work, so I spent the day with mi hermano (brother), two cousins, and a family friend, instead.  After enjoying a late lunch of traditional Ecuadorian seafood, we spent the majority of the afternoon simply relaxing, laughing, […]
  • December 3, 2015 at 10:47am
    There are roughly thirty-nine days until we leave for Ecuador. Thirty-nine! This is simultaneously enthralling as well as terrifying. It still doesn’t feel real. Alas, I must move past the point of denial and accept it. I chose Lewis & Clark for many reasons, but the overseas program was a definite factor. In my senior […]
  • December 1, 2015 at 8:08pm
    My Spanish is at what I can only describe as survival level, meaning that if stranded I might (note: might) be able to talk my way home again. Though meeting my host family is what I am most excited for, I do have a few concerns. If I somehow manage not to offend my host family […]
  • December 1, 2015 at 5:54pm
    Carnival, much like Marti Gras, originated in Catholic Italy centuries ago although it may have been adapted from pagan rituals from pre-Christian times. The fasting period of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday was proceeded by several days of partying. The idea is to let loose before behaving for the 40 days leading up to […]
  • December 1, 2015 at 4:11pm
    When I was first searching for an overseas program, Ecuador was not the first location to stand out to me on the list.  Yes, I wanted to speak spanish, but I did not necessarily think I would want to go to South America.  I had romanticized a fulfilling semester studying in the beautiful Spain or […]
  • December 1, 2015 at 10:57am
    I am beyond excited to be able to travel to Ecuador next spring! I am also becoming increasingly nervous as the reality of the difficulties will be.  I am sure that the first month in particular will be scary, because I still don’t feel extremely confident in my Spanish, and the cultural differences will be […]


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