OUS: Ecuador, Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts & Sciences (GAIAS)

Program Administrator: 
OUS (Oregon University System)
Host Institution: 

The Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) is a branch of the USFQ in Quito. The Institute sits on the island of San Cristóbal in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, population 5,400. From the front door of the institute, it is a one minute walk to the beach, but you’ll have to step around grumpy sea lions to get there. It’s a ten-minute walk into town and another ten minutes in the opposite direction to the Galapagos National Park Interpretive Center. Visit the GAIAS website.


The Galapagos Archipelago is a cluster of some thirteen volcanic islands, six smaller islands, and associated islets and rocks located just under the equator, about 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador. The oldest of the islands are about 5 million years old and the youngest are still in the process of being formed. The islands are best known for their vast number of endemic species and the studies made by Charles Darwin that led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Ninety-seven percent of the land surface of the Islands is a Natural Park and has been named a World Heritage Site. The Galapagos Marine Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covers 133,000 km and is home to sea lions, sea turtles, albatross, seals, and penguins.

Winter/Spring Semester
Summer/Fall Semester
Class Format: 
Classes Primarily with US and International Students
Residence Hall
Host Family

One year college-level Spanish
2.75 minimum GPA
Completion of at least one course in general biology and ecology

OUS Ecuador Deadlines

Winter/Spring Semester: October 15

Fall Semester or Fall, Winter, Spring: March 15

Program Contact: 
Program Details: 

Visit the OUS website

Program Costs: 

Visit the OUS website

Academic emphasis: 
Earth Science
Environ. Science
Fisheries & Wildlife
Natural Resources

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