International Business Exchange Program
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)
Founded in 1988 USFQ is one of the first private universities in Ecuador.
Every international student at USFQ has the option of becoming involved in the EcuaBuddies program. This opportunity allows international students to become connected to USFQ degree-seeking students to gain an introduction to USFQ, meet local friends, and share in Ecuadorian customs and social events.
USFQ also offers a number of student clubs in a variety of interest areas including theatre, tango, chess, ecology, and cycling, to name a few. If students cannot find what interests them, they can always start a new club!
Each semester the OPI offers international students the opportunity to participate in optional excursions to many parts of Ecuador for a nominal fee. These trips can be for the day, weekend, or even a week. Past trips have included Tiputini, Mindo, Peru, and the Galápagos Islands. Options vary each semester. The summer term includes three excursions: to the coast, to the highlands, and to Tiputini. The cost for these trips is included for students from USFQ partner institutions.
Accepted students will receive information on upcoming excursions from the OPI.
Top 10 Reasons to Study at USFQ
- Only liberal arts based university in Ecuador.
- Offers 47 undergraduate majors.
- Most faculty are bilingual and over half hold PhDs (the most in all of Ecuador!).
- Receives close to 1,000 international students each year on its various program types.
- Offers 28 student clubs that international students can join.
- Has a close connection with the local community and service-learning is required of all degree-seeking students (also available to international students).
- Opportunities for travel to USFQ research stations, including Tiputini (Amazon rainforest).
- Only university with a campus in the Galápagos Islands.
- The largest source of academic research in Ecuador.
- The only Ecuadorian university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that was awarded a grade of “A” by the Ministry of Education.
Quito lies between two mountain ranges and its altitude is 2,800 meters or about 9,200 feet. It may take you a couple of days to get accustomed to the altitude. Quito is roughly divided into three parts: the Old City at the center, with southern and northern districts to either side.
The greatest concentration of tourist facilities is in the North, including the airport. Quito's Old City is the largest in the Americas. Quito is an excellent city in which to learn Spanish. The Spanish spoken in Quito is very clear and it is spoken slowly as compared to coastal areas.
Students can independently choose their courses from any of USFQ’s thirteen different colleges. USFQ offers about 1,200 courses a semester.
Fall Semester: Mid-August to Late-December
Spring Semester: Early-January to Mid-May
Link to academic Calendar: http://www.usfq.edu.ec/programas_internacionales/exchange_students/Documents/2017/cumbaya_academic_calendar_2017-2018.pdf
Students can choose their courses from across USFQ's ten colleges. USFQ offers hundreds of courses each semester, including a growing number taught in English.
Courses offered can be searched on our online: http://evaluaciones.usfq.edu.ec/banner/ssb/cursos.htm
- All international students are subject to the USFQ Honor Code.
- Please contact the Office of International Programs with any questions.
- Please note the classes that are not available to all international students.
(Information Coming Soon!)
USFQ's credit system is the same as the North American/United States system: 15 class contact hours is equal to 1 credit. Typically each USFQ course is worth 4 credits and meets for three hours a week in a 15 week semester. Please note this 4 credit system is only for internal purposes (Ecuadorian students only) to comply with a new disposition of the National University Council, therefore, international students will receive a transcript with 3-credit courses, except for sports and lab classes that are worth “0” credits.
International students must take at least 16 credits "presencial" (courses where you are "present," that meet on a regular basis in a classroom) and usually take no more than 24 (four to six classes in total); however, students may request exceptions in very special circumstances. During the Summer Session students can take from 4-12 credits (one to three classes).
USFQ's grading scale is based on the standard U.S. scale: A, B, C, D, F (no pluses or minuses). There is not an option to take a course on a “Pass/Fail” basis unless that is the grade structure for a particular course.
Language of Instruction
Courses are taught in English and Spanish.
Students who wish to pursue courses taught in Spanish must have completed two upper-division Spanish language courses (300+) prior to departure in order to qualify for the exchange program. All applicants must meet the language prerequisite by the end of the semester prior to departure.
A Language Proficiency Recommendation Report completed by your most current Language Instructor must be submitted in the Aztecs Abroad application to verify language ability.
Exchange program participants pay their regular full-time tuition/registration fees to SDSU to participate on the exchange program. Students are responsible for all other additional expenses such as passport, visa, airfare, housing, meals, books, etc. Refer to the budget sheet on blackboard for more information.
Housing and Meals
Housing/room & board expenses are not part of the SDSU exchange program. Students must arrange housing via their host institution or independently.
USFQ houses international students with carefully screened host families in Quito. Host families are required to provide students with their own bedroom (bathroom may be shared), Wifi internet access, and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner). Host families generally live within a 15-45 minute commute by public transportation from the USFQ campus in Cumbayá.
All participants must purchase the comprehensive CSU Comprehensive FTIP Insurance. Students will need to pay via SDSU Student Account Services. Approximately $300 for one-semester.
Exchange participants are responsible for purchasing airfare. Hold-off on purchasing airfare until a Letter of Acceptance is issued by your host university (one-semester prior to going abroad). The Letter of Acceptance is issued typically 4-6 weeks after students apply to the host university and will contain official program dates.
Student Visa Requirement
U.S.A. citizens are required to obtain a Student Visa to study abroad in Ecuador for one semester or longer. The visa process varies by nationality, length of program, and consulate of jurisdiction.
Southern California residents:
SDSU (1 year prior)
- Students will be required to attend the visa appointment in-person.
- Spanish Consulate of Los Angeles Student Visa Requirements:
- Please note that you will need your official original acceptance letter by the day of your visa appointment.
- Students studying abroad in the Fall: schedule visa appointments no later than mid-July.
- Students studying abroad in the Spring: schedule visa appointments no later than early-December.
International Business majors must apply one-year prior to anticipated term abroad via Aztecs Abroad by clicking "Apply Now" on the button above.
Host University (1 semester prior)
After being approved by SDSU, students will also need to complete the application process for their host university. Students will receive an email with application instructions after the add/drop deadline (titled Post Decision).
Fall Semester (August to December): June 1
Spring Semester (January to May): October 25
Summer Term (May to July): May 1
Students must have:
- Minimum sophomore standing
- Minimum 2.5 GPA (or minimum required by students’ home institution)
- Recommended minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish
International Business majors refer to SDSU blackboard for eligibility criteria
International Business majors: apply 1 year prior to intended term abroad
December 17th for the Fall Semester
May 12th for the Spring Semester
All other majors: apply 1 semester prior to intended term abroad.
February 20th for Fall Semester
September 20th for Spring Semester
International Student Manual: http://www.usfq.edu.ec/programas_internacionales/exchange_students/Documents/Orientation%20Manual_2016%28OPI%29.pdf
Navigating Quito: http://www.usfq.edu.ec/programas_internacionales/exchange_students/Documents/2016/manuals/Quito_Transportation_and_Travel_Guide.pdf