Ecuador: Biology

A GVSU Faculty-led Program

  • Ecuador: Biology Photo
  • Ecuador: Biology Photo
  • Ecuador: Biology Photo

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Tell me about this program

Open to: All majors

*** PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page is for the 2016 program. Updated 2018 program information will be available soon. Program details may be similar, but are subject to change. ***

Quito, Ecuador — ¡Bienvenidos a Ecuador! Students will explore and experience the ecology and biodiversity of the cloud forest ecosystem of the equatorial Andes Mountains as well as canoe and explore the Amazon River headwaters —all the while being immersed in the South American, Incan and Amazonian indigenous cultures in and around the Quito region. Students will work in 3 river systems at the research reserve, Reserva Las Gralarias, located in the Parish of Mindo along the Western front of the Andes mountain range. This program will explore land-use in and around the reserve including the impact of rural farming and grazing. 

Students will have the opportunity to assist with ongoing forest re-vegetation efforts. The baseline data collected during this program will inform the local community about enhancing and maintaining their local ecosystem. During the second week of the program, students will move to a higher elevation and gain hands-on experience of tropical wildlife rehabilitation at the Otavalo Condor Rehabilitation Center. Guided tours will introduce students to the local community, including a trip to one of the best known Indian Markets in the region.

When can I go?

May 2018 - tentative (3 weeks)

Where will I live?

Students will stay in a lodge on the reserves and in hostels.

Who is eligible to participate?

It is recommend but not required that students take BIO 215 (general ecology) before departure. 2.5 GPA required.

Non-GVSU students are eligible for this program.

How do I apply?

To apply for this program, log on to to begin your online application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE (2018 Program): February 1, 2018

Non-GVSU Students are welcome to apply. Please view Non-GVSU Student Information 

What credits will I receive?

Students will register for a total of 6 credits:

BIO 417: International Field Biology (3 credits) AND

NRM 407: Natural Resources and Society  (3 credits)

Accepted students will meet 3 hours per week during the second half of winter semester

How much does the program cost?

Program Fee: $4,368

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Accommodation
  • Some meals
  • All excursions and field trips
  • All ground transportation
Other Expenses
  • Tuition ($2,916)
  • Personal expenses ($300)
  • Passport ($140)
  • Additional Meals ($100)
  • ISICoptional ($28)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST: (Program Fee + Other Expenses): $7,852

Financial Aid

To contact the Financial Aid office, email with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FAQs


Students may fund study abroad by using financial aid, scholarships, grants and personal funds. A study abroad adviser can help you create a funding plan.

Faculty-led Program Grant (Up to $1,500): Students who apply to a faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a FAFSA on file.

James F. and Virginia L. Goode Global Programs Scholarship: The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad. MyScholarships:

View more information on Scholarship/Grants

Who can tell me more?

Program Director:

Eric Snyder 
Biology Department 

All program information including courses, duration of program, dates, and other logistics are subject to change. Programs may be cancelled due to extenuating circumstances.