Last Updated: April 11, 2022
Study in Ecuador
Ecuador is one of the Latin American countries, that is not very popular among international students. The country has Spanish as its official language and is an extremely affordable place to live in even for international students. Though it is not popular among international students, the country has universities that provide high-quality education in different fields of study.
Students will be able to study here at the best universities for low tuition fees. The country has over 70 universities in all with over more than 61,000 students in all. The international student population is relatively low in the country which makes it an ideal place for students who wish to immerse themselves in a new culture and environment.
Popular Programs for International Students
- Spanish Language Programs
- Latin American Studies
Major Universities in Ecuador
The best universities in Ecuador include-
Escuela Politecnica Nacional
This institute is also known as the National Polytechnic School. It was established in the year 1869 and is a publicly funded institute. It has a student population of around 10,000. It has 8 faculties dealing with fields like administrative sciences, computer science engineering, mechanical engineering, geology, etc. It has been ranked as the 3rd best university in the country.
Universidad del Azuay
This university was established in the year 1968 and is a private university. But the university is partly funded by the state and hence the tuition fee here is affordable. It has a student population of around 6,000 along with over 400 academic staff. It is the 14th best university in the country. The university has 6 faculties dealing with design, art, philosophy, education, medicine, etc.
Universidad de Cuenca
The university was established in the year 1867 and is a publicly funded university. It has a student population of over 12,000 and is known for providing educational programs in every field of study possible. The university is ranked 8th in the country out of over 71 other educational institutions. The admission acceptance rate is around 55% since it is done through separate entrance examinations conducted by the university.
Universidad del Pacifico
This university was established in the year 1997 and is a private non-profit university. It has a student population of around 2,500 along with over 400 academic staff. The university has been ranked 37 in the country. It has a 66% acceptance rate and the percentage of the international student population is extremely less here. The fields of study offered here include design, arts, business, politics, pharmacy, natural sciences, etc.
Universidad de Guayaquil
This university was established in the year 1883 and is the oldest university in the city. It is publicly funded and hence offers many programs of study without a tuition fee for all candidates. It is also the first university in Ecuador to have 18 different faculties of study. The university offers 48 bachelor’s programs in the fields of social communication, chemical sciences, psychological sciences, economic sciences, agricultural sciences, etc.
Universidad Nacional de Loja
This university was established in the year 1859 and is a publicly funded university. It has a student population of over 13,000 along with over 900 academic staff. The university has been ranked as the 18th best university in the country. It has an 85% rate of acceptance with the enrolment based on the entrance examination conducted by the university.
Universidad Estatal de Bolivar
This university was established in the year 1977 and is a state-funded university. It has a student population of 500. It is ranked 23 among the 71 educational institutions in the country. They have faculties for administrative sciences, business management, agricultural sciences, natural resources, political sciences, health sciences, etc.
ESPE- Armed Forces University
This university was established in 1922 and is a publicly funded university. It has a student population of around 21,000 out of which there are around 50 international students. The institution has above 900 academic staff. There are multiple campuses for this university and it has departments for computer sciences, life sciences, earth & construction sciences, etc.
Working While Studying in Ecuador
International students who wish to work here while studying will be able to do so for 16 hours every week. They will not be able to exceed this time limit. Students will be able to work in the service industry by getting jobs in restaurants, bars, etc. If a student wishes to work in this country, they will be required to speak and understand Ecuadorian Spanish well.
Student Visa in Ecuador
Candidates who wish to study in Ecuador will require a student visa based on the duration of the
program they are applying to and their country of origin. Students who are US citizens will not
require a student visa if they have chosen a program with a duration of less than 90 days. If their
program exceeds 90 days, they will have to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa or an extended Tourist
Students who are not from the US will have to apply for a Visa (12-V). They will have to apply to the Ecuadorian diplomatic mission or zonal coordination office to obtain this visa.
Career Options in Ecuador
Those who wish to work here after completing their education will be required to get a non-immigrant work visa or a permanent resident visa to work in the country. Most of the immigrant population will be able to find work in the oil industry along with industries like chemicals, machinery, etc. that are closely linked to the oil industry. It is not easy for people from outside Ecuador to find jobs in the country but with the right specializations, one will be able to find decent jobs for themselves.
Major Cities for Studying in Ecuador
A few of the cities one can study in while in Ecuador include-
This city is home to universities like the Universidad Metropolitana, Universidad de Guayaquil, Universidad del Ecuador, University of Santa Maria, etc. This is the largest city in the country and also has the highest population count. Though the city is less appealing than Quito, it is a student destination with 12 educational institutions offering undergraduate and graduate programs.
Quito, being the capital of this country, contains both public and private educational institutions. This city contains Escuela Politecnica Nacional, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Universidad Internacional SEK, etc. making it one of the popular student destinations in the country. Students who live here will be able to visit the volcano, the equator, etc., and explore this UNESCO heritage site to the best of their abilities while at the same time studying.
This is a less popular place that is home to 4 educational institutions including the Eloy Alfara Lay University of Manabi, the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, and the San Georgio Private University of Portoviejo.
Cost of Studying in Ecuador
Ecuador is one of the cheapest countries for international students to live and study in. This is mainly because the living costs in the country including accommodation, grocery, and transportation are extremely inexpensive when compared to other international student destinations. The place offers good bachelor’s and master’s programs in most fields of study with public universities offering even tuition-free programs.
Ecuador offers education for international students at extremely affordable rates. While higher education is free for domestic students here, international students will have to pay a fee based on the institution they have enrolled in and the course they have chosen. Professional programs generally have a higher tuition fee than liberal arts programs. Public universities offer tuition-free programs to all students since 2008. Private universities generally have a fee range between $2,000 to $6,000 based on the program that is chosen.
Most students who come to Ecuador stay in hostels or homestays. They will also be able to take up family student residences based on the duration of their study. The cost of accommodation here is based on the city the student is planning to stay in. Cities like Quito and Cuenca have higher rents when compared to other places in the country.
The rent in the country depends on the kind of accommodation one chooses to stay in and the city in which they are staying. The rent for an apartment can range anywhere between $250 to $350 per month based on how close they are staying to the city center.
The price for basic grocery items is-
- Milk- $0.99 per liter
- Cheese- $4 per kg
- Potatoes- $1 per kg
- Tomatoes- $1 per kg
- Onions- $1 per kg
- Wine- $8 per bottle
Students who live here will be able to use the local buses which are both inexpensive and reliable. The local buses connect most parts of the city, unlike the trains which cover only the main cities in the country. The cost for a one-way ticket on the local transport is $0.30. Students will also be able to get a monthly pass for $20.
There are private bus services also in the country called Wanderbus which students can make use of. Students who plan to go on trips will be able to rent a car or hire a taxi for a few hours. Boat travel is also common in the country.