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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language Prerequisite: Yes Housing Options: Homestay
Language of Instruction: Spanish Program Including Multi-Country Travel: No
Program Type: External Providers' Program Internship/Service-Learning/Practicum Availability: Yes
Program Meets Bethel Residency Requirement: No Minimum GPA: 2.5
Eligibility by Grade Level: 2-sophomore, 3-junior Areas of Study: Anthropology, Economics, Education, Environmental Science, Gender Studies, International Business, International Relations, International Studies, Missional Ministries, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Social Work, Sociocultural Studies, Sociology, Spanish
Program Name: HECUA Open to all majors: Yes
Gen Ed Tags: Z-tag Cross-Cultural Experience
Program Description:

HECUA Study Abroad in Ecuador

Explore competing and collaborating visions for social change. Experience the rich political, cultural, and geographical diversity of Ecuador.


In 2008, Ecuadorians voted in a referendum to adopt a new constitution. Progressives were thrilled by the document, and the accompanying promises of then-president Correa. This enthusiasm has waned, and HECUA's Community Internships in Latin America program examines why. CILA students analyze the ideals embodied in the Constitution of 2008 and the challenges the country has faced in applying those ambitious goals. 

Based in Quito, the CILA program weaves together a project-based internship, coursework focused on the promise and perils of development, and field visits ranging from the Andes to the Amazon river basin. When not in the field, students live with a host family in Quito, Ecuador's historic capital city. In the third week of class students begin internships at a diverse range of community organizations. Past sites include: an organic farm (Granja Integral Pachamama), a media hub (El Churo Comunicación), and a women's safe house (Casa Mathilde). Students end the semester with significantly improved Spanish, a deep understanding of models of community participation with a focus on indigenous perspectives, and a firsthand view of the effects of oil politics and globalization on Ecuador's environment and economy. Click here to read more about CILA!


  • Politics and Development in Ecuador (4 credits)
  • Community Participation and Social Change (4 credits)
  • Ecuador Internship (4 credits)
  • Independent Study Project (4 credits)
Total: students will complete all four courses for a total of 16 credits.

  • Highlights

    A home stay is combined with a 20 hour per week hands-on field placement (past examples include youth centers, media organizations, and an urban farm), field visits, and an independent study opportunity designed to meet individual students' learning goals. A field seminar involving local experts and activists provides an intensive immersion into Latin American daily life and culture. Students will also participate in field excursions to the Amazon Rainforest and visit indigenous communities. 

  • Subject Areas

    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Environmental Studies
    • Geography
    • Global Studies
    • Humanities
    • Interdisciplinary
    • International Relations/ Studies
    • Internship Programs
    • Latin American Studies
    • Liberal Arts
    • Political Science
    • Social Sciences
    • Sociology
    • Spanish
    • Urban & Regional Planning
    • Women's Studies
  • Program fees:

    Please consult the HECUA website for up-to-date pricing.

  • Fees include:

    Group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.

  • Experience Required

    Yes. Four semesters (or equivalent) of College-level Spanish is required to participate in our semester-long study abroad program. 
  • This Program is open to

    Undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions who have completed their first year of college.

  • Typical Living Arrangements

    • Homestays
  • Scholarships are Available

    HECUA provides up to three Scholarships for Community Engagement, Scholarships for Social Justice, and Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.

  • Application Process Involves

    • Online Application
    • Essay
    • Two Letters of Reference
    • Transcript
    • Spanish language review

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2021 11/01/2020 11/01/2020 TBA TBA
Fall 2021 03/15/2021 04/01/2021 TBA TBA
Fall 2022 05/01/2022 05/14/2022 TBA TBA
Spring 2022 11/01/2022 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

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