Yale Summer Session in Quito: Advanced Spanish Language and Andean Culture | Study Abroad | Yale University
Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyCIPE

Yale Summer Session in Quito: Advanced Spanish Language and Andean Culture

You are here

Program Information


Quito, Ecuador




Saturday, June 27, 2020 to Saturday, August 1, 2020



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills L5 or Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number



2 Yale credits


Margherita Tortora 


Yale College Applicants: SPAN 140 (Intermediate Spanish II), 145 (Intensive Intermediate Spanish), or placement exam into L5.

Other Applicants: Completed four semesters of college-level Spanish and evaluated by the Spanish Language Program Director, Ame Cividanes. Please contact Prof. Cividanes (ame.cividanes@yale.edu) prior to the February 15 application deadline.


This course is a language program that explores the cultures and history of the Andean peoples through Ecuadorian and Latin American literature and films. The objective is for the students to understand, from a personal point of view, the complex relationships of the region within the context of today's modernity and rapid globalization of society. The students will practice expressing those ideas in written and oral forms.

Quito is at the center of the planet Earth. The equator ("ecuador") is where North, South, East, and West meet.

Ecuador is the embodiment of both cultural and ecological diversity with a great mix of peoples, and natural environments. From the Andes Mountains, to the Pacific Coast, to the Amazon Region and the Galapagos, Ecuador is particularly gifted with an abundance of natural beauty.

The course will consist of three classes per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.): language study, readings, film viewings, and discussions on a wide range of topics such as the environment, indigenous cultures, history, and politics. The program includes weekly trips to culturally diverse areas inside and outside Quito. Students should expect about 5-8 hours of work outside the classroom each week.

Participants choose to receive credit in either LAST or SPAN at the time of application.

The syllabus below is from a previous summer and contains dates that differ from those of the upcoming summer.


Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad updates program budgets in late January. Please note the year listed on the button below.

Summer 2020 Budget

Trips and Activities

There will be numerous short trips around Quito to various museums and places of interest. There will be weekly longer trips to explore the Cloud Forest, various Indigenous communities (such as Otavalo and the Amazon region), and the Afro-Ecuadorian community of Esmeraldas. A filmmaker will create a video documentary of our experiences.


Students will live with carefully selected host families in Quito, who will provide both breakfast and dinner on a daily basis. Living conditions and distance to INCINE, where classes will be held, will vary amongst housing assignments.

Homestays are an integral part of this program. This living arrangement provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about the host culture, increase language proficiency, and form meaningful connections in the community. Students admitted into the program are expected to spend time getting to know their homestay family and be mindful of the need to balance time spent at home with time spent traveling or going out with friends. If you have any questions about living with a homestay family, we encourage you to reach out to the program instructor.

Participants must depart housing on the last day of the program.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and are expected to arrive in Quito on the first day of the program, and depart no earlier than the last day of the program (see 'Dates' above); additional information will be provided upon admission.

Quito has an elevation of 9,350 feet. Some conditions may be exacerbated by this high altitude. Students for whom this is a concern should speak with their doctor in advance about their physical ability to live and move about comfortably in Quito.  In addition, some program activities may include prolonged periods of walking.


For course content questions contact instructor, Margherita Tortora. For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Learn More

Review eligibility requirements, the application process, and deadlines:

How to Apply