Spend a semester in the scenic Andean city of Cuenca! Study Spanish and complete an internship with a local organization in this amazing setting steeped in rich history and culture.

Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Gap Semester: Cuenca, Ecuador (Fall 2022) 15 Weeks

Pre-departure training online and group training upon arrival in Ecuador

September 1–December 14, 2022

 

17–22 Coming soon!

Program fee $13,775

Need-based financial assistance is available!

Gap Semester: Cuenca, Ecuador (Spring 2023) 15 Weeks

Pre-departure training online and group training upon arrival in Ecuador

January 26–May 11, 2023

17–22 Coming soon!

Program fee $13,775

Need-based financial assistance is available!

  • Gap Semester: Cuenca, Ecuador (Fall 2022)
  • Length
    15 Weeks
  • Training Dates

    Pre-departure training online and group training upon arrival in Ecuador

  • In-Country Dates

    September 1–December 14, 2022

     

  • Ages
    17–22
  • Application Deadline
    Coming soon!
  • Price

    Program fee $13,775

    Need-based financial assistance is available!

  • Gap Semester: Cuenca, Ecuador (Spring 2023)
  • Length
    15 Weeks
  • Training Dates

    Pre-departure training online and group training upon arrival in Ecuador

  • In-Country Dates

    January 26–May 11, 2023

  • Ages
    17–22
  • Application Deadline
    Coming soon!
  • Price

    Program fee $13,775

    Need-based financial assistance is available!

What to Expect

THE BASICS

  • Intern approximately 30 hours per week
  • 15-week session
  • Live with a host family in Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Robust health and safety protocols

 

What You’ll GET

  • Live with a host family and plug in to daily life in Cuenca
  • Intern with a local organization and complete a project you’re passionate about
  • Group excursions to national parks, Incan cultural sites, and Andean communities
  • Mentorship through coaching, supervision, and support
  • Spanish classes tailored to your level at Amauta Spanish School
  • Earn 200 service hours
  • College credit is available through the Gap Year Association and Portland State University for a fee of $1,700. Email Admissions at [email protected] for more information.

 

What You’ll Need

  • Age: 17–22 (high school graduate)
  • Interest in community engagement

 

What’s Included

All expenses in Ecuador are covered, including:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day
  • Spanish classes
  • Excursions and entrance fees at sites we visit
  • 24/7 On-Call Safety System
Start an Application

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About the Program

Example Internship Placements

  • Fair trade store supporting local artisans and tourism
  • Nonprofit that supports marginalized populations
  • Urban agriculture program

Example Excursions

  • Cajas National Park
  • Andean Highlands
  • Ecuadorian Coast
  • Indigenous Community
  • The Amazon

Example Service Projects

  • Develop a women’s empowerment workshop
  • Support a summer camp for kids with diabetes
  • Lead a reforestation initiative in a national park

 

Questions?

Join an online info session!

RSVP Here

A Day in the Life

Spend your first month in intensive Spanish classes, putting your skills into practice with activities like salsa lessons, cooking classes, scavenger hunts, and outings around the city.

After your first month, you’ll begin an internship based on your skills and interests and the partner agency’s needs.

Your day might look like this: Start your day with breakfast and coffee with your host family before heading to your internship. You might lead English classes for kids, harvest vegetables in a community garden, or take photos of handmade products for sale. Share a typical lunch at home with your host family and take an afternoon break before meeting up with some friends for a yoga class. Return home and play card games with your host siblings after dinner.

 

 

Ready to Apply?

Click here!

FAQ

What is it like to live with a host family?

You’ll get the totally unforgettable experience of immersing yourself in the Ecuadorian way of life! Take part in your host family’s customs and celebrations, like birthdays and holidays. Share meals, play games, and gain a second family.

 

How is the program staffed and what is the ratio of staff to students?

The program will be led by a Project Director assisted by Project Coordinators. The staff to student ratio is near 1:7. Staff members meet with gap students regularly to make sure they are adjusting well, provide support, and help with any issues that arise. Staff also organize workshops and lead excursions.

 

What are some of the activities I might take part in?

Hike to high peaks overlooking pristine lakes in Cajas National Park
Learn to cook traditional Ecuadorian dishes
Stroll through Cuenca’s historic center
Play soccer in the park with your friends
Visit an indigenous community and take part in a traditional celebratory pampa mesa style meal
Explore Ingapirca, the largest-known Inca ruins in Ecuador
See if you can spot whales near Machalilla National Park

 

Do I have to be enrolled in college to participate?

No, you do not need to be enrolled in college or planning on enrolling in college to join. This program is open to all students ages 17–22 who have graduated high school, regardless of college plans. You should have an interest in the Spanish language or Latin American culture and a commitment to your community.

 

What COVID-19 precautions are you taking?

We continue to carefully monitor the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will make adjustments to COVID-19 protocols as we get closer to the start of the program. AMIGOS policies and procedures are updated routinely in consideration of the most current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), local ministries of health. All policies are reviewed by our AMIGOS Medical Director.

See our COVID-19 FAQ here.

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“The things you will learn and experience and the relationships you will build will remain with you through the rest of your life.”

—Emma, AMIGOS Gap Volunteer

Program Requirements
  • Age: 17–22 and high school graduate
  • Interest in community engagement
  • Elective participation (AMIGOS does not accept court-mandated participation)
Apply Now

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