This program has been modified with a later in-country start date preceded by one to two weeks online. The online portion will include: program orientation; introductory activities to get to know your academic director and local program team; faculty-led sessions; guest lectures to provide the theoretical frameworks for the course and historical background to the sites and partner organizations; readings; preliminary assignments; and discussions about independent study projects and, if applicable, internship opportunities. We will also have online discussions to debrief sessions and prepare you to join faculty, local team, and peers in country.
Living in Ecuador, you will experience a multilingual and multiethnic nation that is also one of the America’s most biologically diverse countries. Here, you’ll study development as well as alternatives grounded in indigenous worldviews that call for respect of natural resources. Two homestays will deepen your understanding of both urban and rural life and culture in Ecuador.
On excursions to the threatened Intag Forest Reserve and the Galápagos Islands you will observe the conflict between development and natural resource preservation. You will also visit Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and main port, to learn about the city’s social inequity and ethnic diversity, and examine issues of cultural identity, development, and regionalism.
You’ll explore how Spanish and indigenous languages are used to reinforce and reinvent power relationships as you consider how intercultural and interethnic relations are shaped. You will learn basic Quichua and develop your Spanish language skills through classroom instruction, homestays, excursions, and cultural immersion.
- Study development, power, and language in a multilingual, multiethnic society.
- Visit the spectacular Galápagos Islands, the Cloud Forest, Upper Amazon Basin, and Guayaquil.
- Explore how languages instill, reinforce, and subvert power relationships.
- Learn how to identify your own cultural biases and imagine a different society.
Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.