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Education Abroad Office

Global UofSC in the Galapagos

Area: Global UofSC
Location: Galápagos Islands
Country: Ecuador
Term: Maymester

Students participating in the Global USC in the Galápagos: Sustainability program are accompanied by a USC staff member, and courses are instructed by USC faculty. During this program, students study at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) Galápagos campus while living in a homestay on San Cristóbal Island. USFQ is the only university in the world with a campus on the Galápagos islands. In addition to taking courses, students participate in educational and cultural excursions, which include trips to several other islands in the Galápagos.

Eligibility: USC undergraduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA are eligible to participate in this program. All majors are welcome. There is no foreign language requirement.

Cost: 2024 Cost TBD

Dates:  May, 2024 - Exact dates TBD

 The program fee includes:
  • Homestay accommodation
  • Two meals per day, provided by host family
  • Two day-long excursions to sites on San Cristóbal Island
  • Week-long excursion to Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands
  • Tour of Quito
  • Welcome lunch and farewell dinner
  • Round-trip airport transfers in Ecuador between Quito and San Cristobal
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee
  • TCT Transit Control Card
  • 24/7 support from UofSC faculty and staff in-country

The program fee does not include:

  • USC tuition (paid directly to USC on at a rate of $1,536 per 3 credits)
  • Round trip airfare to Quito
  • Local transportation (if needed)
  • Education abroad application fee of $150
  • Meals not listed on itinerary 
  • Personal expenses and optional activities
  • USC Travel Insurance fee of $35.36
  • Dive fee (if applicable) 

Students have the choice of 3–9 credits of USC course offerings. Anticipated course offerings include:

BIOL 599: Darwin's Ideas Then and Now (Brian Hollis) Charles Darwin, inspired in part by his observations in the Galapagos, proposed the theory of evolution. Darwin’s ideas led the way to a revolution in biology; it would not be an exaggeration to say all modern biology draws directly from evolutionary principles. In this class, we will first discuss Darwin’s major ideas, beginning with some background on his life and the intellectual development of the theory of evolution. We will then spend the rest of the course evaluating Darwin’s ideas—where Darwin got it right, where Darwin got it wrong, and everything in between. This portion of the class will focus on examples from the biology literature since Darwin’s time. Students will place themselves in the shoes of biologists from different eras, learn how hypotheses and testable predictions are made, and learn how to interpret the scientific literature. This class is highly conceptual and students will need to master “evolutionary thinking”, which includes tree thinking and an understanding of variation, adaptation, and the importance of randomness.

HRTM 595: Economically Sustainable Hospitality Operations in the Galapagos Islands (Kevin Ayres) The overriding academic goal of this program will be to analyze the financial impact of sustainable operations initiatives in the economic environment of the Galapagos as it relates to its number one industry:  hospitality and tourism.  Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the complex social, economic, and environmental ecology of the Galapagos tourism by listening, meeting, interviewing, participating, and reflecting on the growth of tourism in this unique country.  This course is designed to help students develop both ethical and global awareness. They will recognize and appraise ethical dilemmas involved in business decisions as well as economic and environmental sustainability; and competently engage in discourse aimed at resolution of these dilemmas utilizing relevant discipline specific knowledge.  They will also recognize and examine the global (economic, environmental, and social) implications of business decisions while evaluating and integrating innovative applications of these implications utilizing relevant discipline specific knowledge.


Various funding opportunities exist for this provider. Please note the terms eligible listed for each:

  • Carolina Global Study Award: All USC students participating in semester, academic year, or summer programs are eligible to compete for this award. The number of awards available varies from year to year. The goal of this award is to help provide a study abroad experience for students with financial need. 
  • Passport Travel Grant: The Passport Travel Grant is a financial award of up to $2000 to be used to help fund a Maymester or summer study abroad experience for Capstone, Honors, and Top Scholar students. 

Per university policy, all USC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. 


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