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Programs : Brochure

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  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: IPSL: Study Abroad + Service-Learning 
  • Restrictions: Augsburg applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Sustainable Service through the IPSL Service-Learning Plus Program!

IPSL students have an exclusive opportunity to work and live with a local coastal community and serve alongside the villagers to help create sustainable change. For a week at the end of each semester, IPSL service-learning students live in a sustainable eco-lodge learning about the issues this small Ecuadorian community are challenged with. Working closely with a local National Park located next to the village, IPSL students have an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of Ecuador's extensive Marine biodiversity. Students can volunteer with the Geobotanical Reserves helping to identify and catalog native birds, butterflies, plants and medicinal plants.  National Park biologists and IPSL students can work together on marine projects with sea turtles and other marine life. Helping the community in their agricultural development with an emphasis on organic farming and agricultural products is another area of service. The local elementary school also welcomes IPSL students to work with young children teaching English and teaching them about their natural environment.

IPSL students return each semester to the coastal village to help further the goals of the community and engage in hands-on service to promote equitable relationships, social justice and sustainable change for local communities.


Deeper, More Meaningful Study Abroad

Ecuador spans the equator on the northwest coast of South America. With its cultural diversity and wide range of environments—the Galapagos Islands, the coastal areas of the Pacific, the Andes mountain range, and the headwaters of the Amazon—Ecuador provides an ideal location for you to live in and learn about South America, encountering directly the issues and concerns of this great southern continent. In Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and gateway to the Galapagos, you will enjoy a tropical climate with varied and abundant flora and fauna and a newly revitalized waterfront, or "Malecon." You will also encounter dramatic contrasts of wealth and poverty, and the social issues generated through that disparity.

You will spend a semester developing your Spanish skills; studying Ecuadorian history, culture, and society at Universidad Espiritu Santo; living with an Ecuadorian family; and serving 15–20 hours a week in an Ecuadorian community agency. Your volunteer service immerses you in the culture and deepens your understanding of Ecuadorian society in a way that goes beyond that experienced in traditional study abroad programs. It also facilitates your mastery of Spanish.

Experience Guayaquil from a Local Perspective

Ecuador's main port and largest city, Guayaquil is a bustling coastal urban center, known for its friendly people, tropical climate, and vibrant nightlife. You will enjoy strolls along the refurbished riverside "Malecón," the colonial Barrio Las Peñas, the colorful houses and view from Cerro Santa Ana, the Mercado Artesanal (artisan's market), beautiful parks and plazas, and an abundance of cafés and restaurants. Guayaquil is also gateway to the Galápagos Islands and some of Ecuador's most beautiful beaches.

Program Facts

Language of Instruction: Spanish and/or English

Affiliated Institution: Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES)

Courses & Credits 

  • Spanish Language | Credits: 3-6 (3 per module)
  • Institutions in Ecuadorian Society (IPSL Service-Learning™ Course)| Credits: 3
  • IPSL Reflections / SL Practicum Seminar | Credits: 3
  • Electives | Credits: 3-6 (1-2 classes)
Summer Courses & Credits
  • Spanish Language (Beg, Int, Adv)  | Credits: 3
  • Spanish for Healthcare Professionals | Credits: 3
  • Institutions in Ecuadorian Society (The IPSL Service-Learning™ course| Credits: 3


Service Opportunities:

  • teaching English as a Second Language
  • health care through medical and dental clinics
  • health education
  • tutoring and recreation for children and teens
  • community and economic development
  • ecological preservation
  • eco-tourism and sustainable microbusiness
  • marine biodiversity

…and More...


You will live in a homestay with a middle-class Ecuadorian family, who provide most of your meals and introduce you to Ecuadorian family life. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce language skills, and experience the culture from "the inside." Host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students.

During the Service-Learning Plus extension, students live at a rustic eco-tourist lodge in an Ecuadorian coastal village.


  • Accelerated language learning
  • Integrated study abroad experience
  • Making a difference to people in need
  • Full cultural immersion
  • Real cultural understanding
  • Meaningful growth and personal insight
  • SUSTAINABLE CHANGE ON A GRASS- ROOTS LEVEL with ISPL Service-Learning Plus Program

Program Director(s): Andrea Losada

Eligibility: The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550. Academic studies are taught in Spanish and/or English. (See individual course descriptions.) Minimum Spanish prerequisite: 2 years of secondary school Spanish or 1 year of college/university Spanish, or the equivalent.

What's Included: Fees include all tuition; orientation; housing and 3 meals per day; service placement and supervision; health insurance; academic excursions; administrative fees; and pre-departure materials. All components (transportation, room, board, coursework, service supervision) for the service-learning plus week.

What's typically NOT Included: passport, visa and vaccine fees; airfare; books; spending money; local personal transportation; local cell phone and independent travel.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall Semester 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring Semester 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.