Universidad San Francisco de Quito Exchange

Language Requirement: Recommended 2 years of college-level Spanish
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or Above
Location: Americas, Ecuador
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

In this exchange program, you will participate in the Cumbayá Program and enroll directly in classes at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. USFQ has 10 colleges and more than 9,000 students enrolled in academic programs, including almost 1,000 international students per year. The university provides exchange students with the unique opportunity to meet local and international students through their course enrollment, by joining student clubs and experience the culture and lifestyle in Quito by living with host families.

USFQ offers a number of student clubs. A list of clubs can be found: https://www.usfq.edu.ec/en/students/campus-life

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was declared one of the first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1978. Nicknamed the “Luz de América” (Light of America), the city of Quito was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and proudly possesses one of the best-preserved, least altered historic centers in Latin America. Today, almost 2.8 million people live in Quito. At an elevation of 2,850 meters (9,350 feet), Quito is located along the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano and bordered by the hills of Panecillo and Ichimbia in the Andes Mountains. Given the complex topography, the city presents a remarkable combination of Indigenous and European artistic traditions in the city’s architecture, urban routes and thriving art scene. The city has many plazas, museums, cultural centers, and festivals.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Fall Semester 2024 02/01/2024 Mid-August Late December
Spring Semester 2025 02/01/2024 Early January Mid-May
Academic Year 2024-25 02/01/2024 Mid-August Mid-May

Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program (Summer 2024 and beyond) to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

The academic year at USFQ is divided into two semesters. The fall semester starts in August and finishes in December. The spring semester starts in January and finishes in May.

Exchange students in the Cumbayá Program can choose their courses from across USFQ's 10 colleges. USFQ offers around 2,000 course each semester across a wide variety of disciplines. More than 80 of these courses are taught in English. Spanish language classes at all levels are also offered to international students. Courses can be found: USFQ Cursos

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Application process

The application process for this program is competitive: GEO staff will review your application materials, and a decision about your enrollment will not be made until after the application deadline. In some cases, an interview is required. If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted with further details about this process after the application deadline. Early applications are encouraged.

Acceptance will be based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.

If you are selected by GEO for the program, you will also need to complete a secondary application to your host university directly. Instructions will be provided after acceptance by GEO.

Housing Description

Exchange students stay with host families in Quito. Students will have their own room which will be furnished with a bed, a place to study and a place to put your clothes. Wi-Fi internet access is provided in your host family’s house. Bathroom may be shared with other members of the host family. Your host family will provide two meals a day – breakfast and dinner. Most host families do not speak English, so this will be a great opportunity to practice your Spanish. Host families generally live within a 15 to 45-minute commute by public transportation from the USFQ campus in Cumbayá valley.