The SIT: Ecuador Development, Politics and Languages program analyzes the connections and interplay between language and power in Ecuador.  Students will examine how language shapes politics and how different groups in Ecuador have used languages to instill, reinforce, subvert, and reinvent power relationships, both historically and today.  Students participate in many educational excursions including a trip to the Galápagos where students study the discourses related to sustainability and tourism.  Students produce a final Independent Study Project.

“I came out a different person than I went in. I really got what I wanted from this program; I was surrounded by people with similar interests and intensity, I learned material that was immediately applicable to my situation and experiential learning, I got to work with queer activists, I examined my position in a 'first-world country.' I had to be more independent than I had ever been in my life before. I have a clearer idea of what I'm doing after college.” - Helena P. '19

Student Blog:

Helena Platt | Fall 2017

Fields of Study:

Intensive Spanish, Quichua, politics and linguistics


Minimum cumulative gpa of 2.8 (Whitman requirement)

Language Prerequisite:

Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish


16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Paradigms of Development & Political Discourse in Ecuador (3 credits)
Languages in Contact: Spanish, Quichua, and Other Languages in Ecuador (3 credits)
Spanish Language for the Social Sciences (3 credits) 
Research Methods & Ethics (3 credits)
Independent Study Project (4 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit




Seven-week homestay in Quito, 4-5 day homestay in a rural Amazonian Quichua community.


During the homestays, students take meals with their host families. During the other periods, students are either provided with meals or given a stipend so that they may purchase their meals.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


late August-December; late January-May


Rolling admission - students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

SIT: Ecuador Development, Politics and Languages