Why the Galápagos Islands?

There’s no place in the world quite like the Galápagos Islands. Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, these 3.5-million-year-old islands are home to some of the rarest species on the planet, and are where Charles Darwin first formulated his Theory of Natural Selection. Studying abroad here with us allows you to discover the incredible beauty and biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands that has captivated famous scientists and world travelers for decades.

What You'll Study?

This three-week January Term is perfect for students interested in Marine Ecology and Environmental Studies. You’ll study at the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) on the island of San Cristóbal. This remote campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito was established to further efforts in conservation and sustainable development on the Galápagos Islands.

The Galápagos Islands will also be your classroom. Throughout your time here, you’ll learn about the ecology of the marine habitats found on and off the coast of these islands. Through course readings, discussions, and course-related trips, you’ll also begin to discover the effects human impact is having on these delicate ecosystems. You’ll leave here with a more complex understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment.

Academics

Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible, which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer a unique course that explores Marine Ecology and the Galápagos Islands ecosystems through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

This January term program is organized through the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS), a remote campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) located on the island of San Cristóbal. While in the Galápagos Islands, you enroll in one course for a total of 3 credits.

In the classroom and on numerous course-related trips, you will learn in depth about the ecology of the marine habitats found on and off the coast of these islands, including coral reefs, rocky shores, and hydrothermal vents. You will also discover the effect that human impact is having on these delicate ecosystems. Your course is taught in English, and previous Spanish study is not required.

Courses

  • EG 396 Marine Ecology

Partner Institution(s)

The Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS)

GAIAS is a remote campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) that was established to further efforts in conservation and sustainable development in the Galápagos Islands. As a world-class academic and research institution, GAIAS attracts both local and international students and scholars from around the world.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in the Galápagos Islands, so we do everything we can to help you quickly integrate into student life. From homestays with local residents to field trips visiting the islands surrounding San Cristóbal, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic experience possible. You will live with local residents for the majority of your time here, which helps you familiarize yourself with the Galápagos Islands, its people, and its culture.

Orientation

The program begins with a one-day mandatory orientation in Quito that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, and your program. Topics include:

  • Meeting IES Abroad students and IES Abroad staff
  • Discussions on intercultural understanding, safety, Ecuadorian family life and practical aspects of life
  • Assistance in navigating transportation, banking, and shopping

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the program with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

Housing

We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave the Galápagos Islands, it will feel like home.

Homestays - You have a private, furnished room in the home of a family or señora in the Galápagos Islands. Homestay hosts provide breakfast and dinner.

Get to Know Your New City

1. Explore the Charles Darwin Research Station

A must-see for budding scientists, check out the breeding center, and learn about the islands’ fascinating ecology and history.

2. See Turtles at Turtle Bay

You just might observe hatchlings emerging from their eggs and heading to the ocean!

3. Snorkel with Sea Lions

Head to La Loberia beach, and spend a day in the sun with these unique marine mammals.

4. Hang with the Local Penguins

Take a trip to Las Tintoreras, and get up close and personal with the islands’ penguins.

5. Visit the Santa Cruz Fish Market

Watch fishermen unload their catches from the day, and grab a bite of fresh seafood.

Galápagos Islands January Term - Marine Ecosystems Application Requirements

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.5 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • One general biology, environmental studies, or ecology course at the college level recommended
  • No previous Spanish language study required
  • Freshmen may participate as long as they are 18 years of age and meet the above requirements.

Application Requirements:

  • Online Application: Applications may be considered after the published deadline on a space available basis. Please note that late applicants may be required to submit a non-refundable confirmation deposit upon acceptance in order to secure a place in the program. Please contact us with questions about applying after the deadline.

Submit the following in your MyIESabroad account after your Online Application is processed:

  • Home School Authorization: Your on-campus study abroad advisor can either complete the Home School Authorization electronically through IES Abroad’s PartnerPortal system, or by filling out the PDF form linked above. Consult your study abroad advisor to determine how they would prefer to complete your Home School Authorization.
  • Official Transcript(s) for each college/university you have attended since high school. If you have multiple transcripts, IES Abroad will average the GPAs for all colleges/universities you have attended and use that cumulative GPA when reviewing your application.
  • Color Passport Copy (signature page and photo page only).
  • Students attending higher education institutions outside of the U.S. may need to submit English language proficiency exam results. Contact your IES Abroad Representative for more information.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS IF CUMULATIVE GPA IS BELOW 2.5:

  • Professor Recommendation Letter: Although there is no length requirement, the recommendation must indicate a professor’s opinion of the applicant’s academic ability to pursue university-level coursework in a foreign country, in addition to any information that would help IES Abroad gain a better understanding of the applicant.
  • Personal Academic Essay: Although there is no length requirement, the essay must address your GPA, any particular academic challenges faced, reasons you chose this IES Abroad program, and how it fits into your academic career.

Passport & Visa Requirements:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required. Visit travel.state.gov to locate U.S. passport agencies in your area.
  • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required. Visit travel.state.gov to locate U.S. passport agencies in your area.
  • U.S. citizens in possession of a valid passport do not need to obtain a visa to enter or study in Ecuador. Non-U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a student visa prior to arrival. Please contact us for more information.

AT A GLANCE

  • Language prerequisites: None
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Credits: 3 credits
  • Housing: Homestay
  • Estimated Cost: Price TBD
  • Upcoming Program Dates: Spring 2019: January 6 - January 26
  • Upcoming Application Deadlines: Spring 2019 - November 01, 2018
Program taught in:
English
IES Abroad

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Last updated February 7, 2019
This course is Campus based
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Jan 2020
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