Accommodations and Meals
While in Quito and the Galápagos, students will stay in shared accommodation in economy hotels (2–4 per room). There are food options available for vegetarians. Although networks can be unreliable, internet access is available in internet cafés in Quito, and limited access is available at GAIAS. Some daily meals will be provided (mainly breakfasts) as part of the program, with most purchased by students on-site.
Health and Safety
This program will involve fieldwork and extensive travel by air, water and land; Students will need to be prepared for extreme differences in temperature and precipitation. Students must be in good physical health and should not be especially prone to motion sickness. If you are under medical care of any kind, you should consult both a physician and the Professional & International Programs office before applying. Students will be expected to respect the health and safety rules of each facility. Care must also be taken on independent travel in Quito, following the directives concerning risk provided by the Government of Canada.
Admission to the Ecuador program requires the successful completion of the "Swim to Survive" swim test, to be taken in January 2024, before the February 1st application deadline. This is a strict requirement, as many program activities take place in and around the water. The test entails rolling into deep water, treading water for 1 minute, and swimming 50 metres (any strokes). Students with Lifeguarding or Scuba certification may submit a scan of their certificate in order to be exempt from the swim test. See Program Overview page for details
PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (PDO)
All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online pre-departure orientation (PDO), which will provide general information and advice on international health and safety issues. There will also be a program-specific PDO in April which students must attend.
The university will not be arranging a group flight for this program; students must make their own flight arrangements.
To encourage students to travel together, we will provide the itinerary of a suggested flight to and from Quito. We strongly advise students to book themselves onto this flight. This information will be in your post-acceptance materials.
Transportation between the airport and the hotel in Quito will be provided to students on the suggested flight.
The internal flights that take students to/from Quito and the Galápagos will be booked by our partner, USFQ.
All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order for them to enter Ecuador as visitors. Information on the entry requirements is available by visiting the Global Affairs Canada website. Please note that most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.
Information on entry requirements is also available from the Consulate of Ecuador in Toronto: