The University of Massachusetts maintains an exchange program in Ecuador with the Cumbaya Campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) for semester or year exchanges. This is a complete immersion program into an Ecuadorian University. There is a wide selection of courses taught in Spanish to choose from in the subject areas of politics, anthropology, sociology, literature and history. Popular courses for exchange students are "Literatura Hispanoamericana," "Historia de America Latina Republicana," "Arqueologia Andina," "Arte Quito Colonial," "Genero y Sociedad," "Español Avanzado," "Fonetica" and many more.
"Mitad del Mundo," which is Spanish for middle of the earth, is about 25 kilometers from the city of Quito. Since it is so close to the equator, Quito enjoys mild days and cool nights almost year-round. It is a sprawling metropolis bordered on all sides by green, cloud-cloaked peaks. At an altitude of 9,252 feet it is almost twice as high as Denver.
USFQ is a private university founded in 1987 and legally exists beneath the umbrella organization "Corporación de Promoción Universitario" (CPU), a non-profit foundation. The CPU is dedicated to improving education in Ecuador through the principles of liberal arts education. USFQ (which first opened its doors in 1987) and its programs have been officially recognized by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education and Culture since 1995.
The Cumbaya Campus, just outside Quito, is USFQ's primary campus. This campus is home to 13 colleges and is the main administrative headquarters. USFQ, like Ecuador, is a unique and quite amazing place. Its founders revolutionized education in 1988 when they established the first private university in Ecuador. To this day USFQ is seen as the standard of excellence in Ecuadorian higher education. If you have 5 semesters of college-level Spanish you can take classes taught in Spanish in all disciplines. There are some courses taught in English in Business, Political Science, Psychology, Ecology, Economics and Environmental.
Homestays with Ecuadorian families in Quito includes breakfast and dinner, laundry service and a private room in the home. You can rent an apartment after approval from the UMass coordinator, but the student is responsible for making all arrangements.