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

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International Study Award (ISA)

The ISA provides a stipend for one credit-bearing summer study abroad experience for eligible undergraduates receiving a Yale scholarship. You must apply to Yale Study Abroad and be approved for a Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad program. Yale Study Abroad does not administer the ISA. For all ISA-related details, including how to request funding, when it gets disbursed, how much funding you can expect, and more, visit the ISA website.

Program Information


Quito, Ecuador




Saturday, June 29, 2024 to Saturday, August 3, 2024



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.

Spanish placement exams are valid for one year. If you took a placement exam prior to July 2023, or if you need to confirm your Spanish language placement level, please contact Professor Jorge Méndez-Seijas at your earliest convenience. Students who do not have a valid placement by the YSS Programs Abroad deadline will not be eligible for a Spanish language YSS Program Abroad in 2024.

Note: Students who have met the pre-requisite by either receiving a 5 on the AP Spanish exam or having taken SPAN 140 or SPAN 145 at Yale do not need to take a placement exam, regardless of the amount of time that has passed.

Spanish placement tests will be offered  for all Yale students who need it for their study abroad applications. Please contact Jorge Méndez-Seijas for more details.

Other Applicants: Completed four semesters of college-level Spanish at another institution?  Please contact Professor Jorge Méndez-Seijas prior to application deadline.


[NOTE: Program details (overall status, dates, costs, etc.) are subject to change each summer, and the information on this page will be updated as such details are finalized.]

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. (Class times may be subject to change.) 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.

Learn about study abroad in Spanish and hear more details about this YSS Program Abroad. This session also covers details on the Spanish major and Spanish certificate. 


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

Summer 2024 Budget

Trips and Activities

Trips and activities are included as examples only. 

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 El Valle del Chota. A filmmaker will create a video documentary of our experiences.


[NOTE: Students are required to stay in program-provided housing.  There is no option for individually-arranged housing.]

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.

Important Information Before Applying

  • All YSS Programs Abroad are intensive, highly structured academic programs for Yale credit and grades.
  • Students may only apply to one YSS Program Abroad per summer.
  • Admission is not guaranteed. Applicants should anticipate that more students will apply than there are spots available, and Yale College students should apply to a backup Non-Yale Summer Abroad opportunity.
  • Ensure that your transcript reflects how you have met the pre-requisite, if applicable, prior to applying.
  • Participants must commit to the full program dates. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.
  • Participants are required to be enrolled in all program courses.
  • Participants should expect evening and weekend requirements. Students who have questions about religious observance during a YSS Program Abroad are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.
  • Program-arranged housing is required for all YSS Programs Abroad. Students are not permitted to secure independent housing. Students who have housing-related questions about placements, allergies, religious observance, or disability-related access are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.

Apply to a YSS Program Abroad

Yale Study Abroad Adviser

Marcus Alaimo