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Study Abroad Office

  • The Galapagos

Global UofSC in the Galápagos: Sustainability

This program provides students a unique opportunity to gain UofSC course credits while learning about sustainability and culture in the Galápagos.

Program Description

Students participating in the Global UofSC in the Galápagos: Sustainability program are accompanied by a UofSC Study Abroad Office staff member, and courses are instructed by UofSC 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.


San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


May 10-30, 2020


$4895* plus cost of in-state tuition & airfare

*Cost breakdown below

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Courses & Credits

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

HIST 109 / LASP 398: Latin American History / Special Topics in Latin American Studies (Matt Childs) Comparative approach to understanding the different experiences and realities of the Galápagos. This course introduces students to Latin American history, society and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. The goal of the class is to illustrate historical trends, opportunities, questions and challenges in Latin America that all countries have faced, and dealt with, in different ways. 

HRTM 590: Photography and Sustainable Travel (Keith KenneyA camera is really an excuse to explore. Travel is also about exploring. Travel photography, therefore, is about interacting with the people, wildlife and physical environment in order to better understand ourselves and the places we visit. This course will help you take pictures and video of the Galápagos wildlife in the air, on the land, and under the sea. For example, you will take pictures of sea lions, iguanas, tortoises, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, crabs, penguins. You will shoot video of sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, and so on. You will also learn how to photograph the beaches and lava flows that are characteristic of the islands. In addition, you will tell a story about people and what they are doing and not doing to sustain the Galápagos ecosystem. First, however, the course will go through the basics of exposure, lighting and composition as well as how to operate a digital camera for land animals and a GoPro camera for under the water. 

MSCI 599: Special Topics in Climate Change (Lori Ziolkowski) Introductory course designed to provide students with the fundamentals of climate change be it as a career or as an educated citizen. Topics focus on the fundamentals of the greenhouse effect, the global carbon cycle, current emissions, and future projections. The goal of the class is to investigate the science of climate change and equip students with the fundamentals of the science for engaging in factual discussion about climate change outside of the classroom.

SPTE 490: Sustainability, Eco-Tourism, and the Diving Industry (Rich Southall) This course employs an experiential learning approach to provide students with an understanding of the business ingredients that comprise the scuba diving experience in the Galapagos Islands. This course introduces students to the Four Es: Education, Equipment, Environment, and Experiences that comprise the scuba diving industry. Throughout the course students will be provided opportunities to experience how the identified Es are delivered to consumers via various scuba diving industry segments: PADI dive centers, dive resort, and live-a-board dive boats. *Additional fees apply; Must be advanced open water scuba certified prior to program start date.

Cost Breakdown

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 Isabel Islands
  • Tour of Quito
  • Welcome lunch and farewell dinner
  • Round-trip airport transfers in Ecuador between Quito and San Cristobal
  • Overseas emergency medical insurance
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee
  • INGALA Immigration Card
  • 24/7 support from UofSC faculty and staff in-country

The program fee does not include:

  • UofSC tuition (paid directly to UofSC on at a rate of $1,482 per 3 credits)
  • Round trip airfare
  • Local transportation (if needed)
  • Study abroad application fee of $150
  • Meals not listed on itinerary 
  • Personal expenses and optional activities

Application Information

To apply for the Global UofSC in the Galápagos program, please follow the instructions found on the Apply to Study Abroad page, under the Steps to Study Abroad tab of the Study Abroad Office website, Click on the link for Global UofSC programs and follow the instructions for the Global UofSC in the Galápagos program. Complete applications are due to the Study Abroad Office by the Priority Deadline of January 31st, 2020. Applications after the priority deadline will be accepted until March 1st, 2020 as space permits. Students will be notified of their acceptance by email shortly after the deadline.

For More Information

Contact Anuja Parikh

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