Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and is on the Equator (which is how it got its name).  Off the coast are the famous Galapagos islands.  Ecuadorians are proud of their heritage and traditions.  Throughout the country you will find local community markets where vendors sell traditional goods such as woollen clothing and national costumes.  There is no language requirement to go on exchange to Ecuador, however a desire to learn Spanish is required.


Credit: Melissa from SA

Exchange students are usually placed students in private schools in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian school system divides 11th and 12th grade students according to specializations: usually mathematics, biology and social sciences. Students do not choose their own courses, but rather follow the regular courses according to their specialization. All schools use uniforms and at most schools, classes begin at 7:30 am and finish at 1:30 pm. The regular school calendar is from September to July.  For students going to the coastal region (Portoviejo, Santo Domingo, Manta and Machala) classes are from April to January. During 1 month of the school year, students placed in the highlands of Ecuador may have the option of participating in some type of volunteer work in various foundations of Ecuador.  This will be announced at the arrival orientations and students will be able to choose the type of volunteer service they prefer.  Students placed in the coastal region will do the volunteer work in February or March, instead of attending school.


Students to Ecuador will usually be placed in complete families (mother, father and children). As family life is very important in the Ecuadorian culture, students must be prepared to share plenty of time not only within the immediate family, but also with extended family.  Many families in Ecuador are religious and conservative.  Parents are often protective of their children, especially of their girls.  Host families emphasise on eating meals together and table manners are very important to them.

Program Departure Price Discount Deadline Application Deadline
Semester August 2019 $11,750 NZD  February 28, 2019 April 15, 2019
Year August 2019 $12,900 NZD  February 28, 2019 April 15, 2019