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

Quito & the Galápagos Islands, 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 spend 5 days on a research boat traversing the Galapagos archipelago, surveying, snorkeling, and hiking the islands, all the while being immersed in the South American, Incan and Amazonian indigenous cultures. Students will conduct research in 3 river systems at Reserva Las Gralarias, a tropical bird sanctuary located literally on the equator, in the Parish of Mindo along the Western front of the Andes mountain range. We will have the opportunity to assist with ongoing forest re-vegetation efforts.
During the second week, we travel to the Galápagos Islands; a tropical paradise that is home to some of the most unique and undisturbed wildlife in the world. For five days, our class has exclusive access to a small research vessel that will travel to several of the islands. The Galapagos has generated almost 200 years of revolutionary thought on where we come from, how species arise, and the power of natural and sexual selection to drive these changes.
During the last third of the program we will explore the world-famous Indian markets of Otavalo and a condor rehabilitation center, hike around a local caldera and lake, and spend two days at a working ranch in the high-elevation Paramo ecoregion at Antisana.

When can I go?

June 5 - June 20, 2018
(16 days)

Where will I live?

Students will stay in hotels and hostels and boat berth.

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.

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)

Independent study credits available
Accepted students will meet 3 hours per week during the second half of winter semester

How much does the program cost?

Program Fee: $5,920

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Accommodation
  • Some meals
  • All excursions and field trips
  • All ground transportation
Other Expenses
  • Tuition ($3,150)
  • Personal expenses ($300)
  • Passport ($140)
  • Additional Meals ($100)
  • ISICoptional ($28)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST: (Program Fee + Other Expenses): $9,638

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.

Las Gralarias Foundation Ecuador Study Abroad Scholarship
The purpose of this scholarship to support students studying neotropical conservation in Ecuador.
Award: $2,000
Deadline: March 1

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 
3390e Kindschi Hall of Science

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