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Study Abroad Office

The Galapagos

Global USC in the Galápagos: Sustainability

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

Program Description

Students participating in the Global USC in the Galápagos: Sustainability program are accompanied by a USC Study Abroad Office 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.


San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


May 12 - June 1, 2019


$4875* 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 (Allen Wallace) Designed to promote the tourism experience of the Galápagos Islands (above and below the water) through the medium of photography. Students will learn basics of photography and photo editing as well as travel photography etiquette, such as how to approach people for photos. Students will leave the course with a sampling of photographs focused on travel, including landscapes and cityscapes, interiors/exteriors of religious buildings and other important historical/cultural sites, food and markets.

MSCI 599: Special Topics in Climate Change (Lori Zoilkowski) Introductory course designed to provide students with the fundamentals and inspiration to pursue an understanding of the oceans, as a career or as an educated citizen. Topics focus on how oceans provide key ecosystem services, such as food, recreation and materials. The course includes inquiry-based learning during field trips and lectures on basic oceanography with related hands-on lecture tutorials.

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 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
  • Overseas emergency medical insurance
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee
  • INGALA Immigration Card
  • 24/7 support from USC faculty and staff in-country

The program fee does not include:

  • USC tuition (paid directly to USC 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 USC 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 USC programs and follow the instructions for the Global USC in the Galápagos program. Complete applications are due to the Study Abroad Office by March 1st, 2019. Students will be notified of their acceptance by email shortly after the deadline.

For More Information

Contact Sam Crook