The program includes a city tour of Guayaquil, a field trip to Parque Historico, overnight excursion to Cuenca and Inca ruins, and a 3-day field trip to Quito and surrounding area. Transportation, lodging and admission for planed activities are included in the program fee. KEI reserves the right to change planned excursions for destinations of equal value and interest. Excursions may change based on availability, local festivals and interest. Academic year and multiple term students participate on planned excursions during their first term of study.
Guayaquil City Tour (day activity)
Discover the city of Guayaquil by visiting downtown, River Walk and Las Penas. The purpose of this excursion is to orient students to Guayaquil and the transportation system (buses).
Parque Historico (half-day activity)
This living park showcases Ecuadorian culture and nature. The park consists of four sections:
The nature reserve has walkway bridges to observe animals and birds in their natural swamp habitats.
The historical area showcases life in the 1900s.
The traditional area showcases indigenous life, with performances on Sundays.
The gardens feature a variety of medicinal plants native to Ecuador.
Cuenca & Inca Ruins (overnight excursion)
Cuenca in the South Andes is the third largest city in Ecuador. The city’s colonial architecture dates to the 18th century. Cuenca is known for its cobble streets, cathedrals and monasteries, and considered the cultural hotspot of Ecuador.The group will also visit Cajas National Park and Ingapirca (Inca ruins). Temple of the Sun, is one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Inca Empire. Built entirely without mortar, the bricks were chiseled to fit tightly. Like Stonehenge in England, the temple was positioned so that the sun’s rays shine through the center of the doorway during the summer and winter solstices.
Quito (extended excursion)
Quito derived its name from the Quitus tribe who inhabited the area in pre-Inca epochs. Quito became a major stronghold of the Incas Empire under Huayna Capac, who triumphed over the indigenous peoples. During the Spanish Colonial era, Quito served as the main administrative center for the region. Today, the City is the political capital of Ecuador.Quito’s Old Town is characterized by museums, galleries, cathedrals, colonial buildings, balcony furbished homes and outdoor markets with narrow cobbled streets. In 1978, UNESCO sanctioned it as a World Heritage Site. The city is situated on the slopes of Volcano Guagua Pichincha, flanked by the Andes mountains and canyons, at an elevation of 4,790 meters (the second highest in Latin America). On a clear day you see snow capped volcanoes in the far distance adding to this truly unforgettable city.
Students who plan to travel independently in Ecuador and South America during holidays and school breaks MUST inform the Onsite Director and provide their itinerary and contact information. We recommend visiting the following locations. These excursions are not part of the KEI program, but the Onsite Director can assist you with planning.
Galapagos Islands (3 nights)
Amazon Basin (3 nights)
Route of the Sun (2 nights)
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The homestay experience has been incredible. I am so fortunate to have been welcomed not only into a home, but also into a family! The cultural aspects I have learned and the memories that I have made are permanent; and my language abilities have improved much faster thanks to the patience and help from my family. This experience has been and will be one of my fondest memories of Ecuador. Thank you again for all of your help! Your hard work made a huge difference in my experience in Ecuador. I am truly thankful for all of the work and worry that you put into our group of students.
Rachel WantyWashington State University
Interning abroad in Guayaquil not only increased my Spanish language proficiency, but it taught me the value of growing independently and appreciating cultural differences. I was yearning for adventure and more importantly, a program that would permit me to use both my language skill and undergraduate degree in public relations. The KEI crew did just that! Thank you for introducing me to my new favourite place.
Harlie CollinsUniversity of Kentucky
Ecuador was my first time abroad ever and I don’t think I could have picked a better location or program. I loved being able to travel around the country and make local friends. My Spanish speaking ability made leaps and bounds and the clinical internship was a great way to practice speaking and learn skills in a very hands-on environment. View my videos…
MacKenzie LeMayKing University
I loved my experience. Ecuador was amazing. The classes and internship helped me realize that international affairs is a career I will find most rewarding. Everyone at KEI helped me come closer to achieving my future goals. Claudia (KEI Onsite Director) was wonderful, like a mom. She made me feel at home. If anything were to happen, I had someone to call for assistance.
Melissa ByasUniversity of South Florida
I was able to learn about many illnesses and preventive health measures which are prevalent in Ecuador. In the afternoons, I was treated to three hours of Spanish classes with some of the most fantastic teachers I have ever had. I never expected to learn as much Spanish as I did in such a short time!
Rozalin NikiaJohn Hopkins University
I had fallen in love with Ecuador. I left the country with my initial impression confirmed; the biodiversity and landscape were breathtaking, and my host family and new friends were incredible. Studying abroad was one of my most significant and enjoyable experiences, and I cannot wait to return. KEI did a wonderful job.
Jessica BorrellUniversity of Pittsburgh
I’m doing great. Classes are exactly what I need, host family is terrific, and Ecuador is beautiful! I’m planning to stay in Ecuador for the summer and possibly longer. I don’t want to leave South America. View my video…
Fred WellerColorado State University - Denver
This program was a once in a lifetime experience. I will always cherish it. Thanks to the KEI staff. I am grateful.
Ronald TiboniKing’s College
My experience in Ecuador was incredible. Ecuador’s diversity is like no other place in the world. One weekend I could either be biking in the mountains, relaxing in the beaches, trekking through the jungle, or seeing wild-life at the Galapagos Islands. There is so much to do here. From bungee jumping, white-water rafting, zip-lining, repelling of waterfalls, to horseback riding and hiking beautiful trails, there’s adventure here that you can’t get anywhere else.
My medical internship was outstanding. The doctors showed me how to perform intravenous injections and I actually administered shots to patients as if I was a medical student. They’re not afraid to really give you hands-on experience. It’s an authentic environment to really practice and learn Spanish as well. I am so thankful for the medical internship I had in Ecuador with KEI. It will set me apart from other applicants to medical school.