Universidad San Francisco de Quito, or USFQ, is a private liberal arts university in Ecuador. Located on a modern campus on the outskirts of Quito in the town of Cumbayá, USFQ resembles a small liberal arts college in the U.S., combining small class sizes with world-class facilities and the advantages of a big-city environment.
As one of NC State’s most popular student exchange partnerships in Latin America, USFQ offers a variety of disciplines to its students, including agriculture, architecture and design, sciences, business, engineering, humanities, contemporary arts, gastronomy, tourism and hospitality, and more.
Nathan Marquard recently studied abroad at USFQ and had the opportunity to see diversity beyond what he thinks most study abroad programs provide. “Just within a 5 hour bus ride from the capital, I could summit a 15,000 ft volcano, visit the Amazon rain forest, take a dip in the Pacific Ocean, or even go bungee jumping in the most beautiful canyon I’d ever seen!” said Marquard in a recent Study Abroad student spotlight. “Ecuador is a wonderfully diverse country that made my inner environmental self overjoyed, and the people are so excited and willing to share it with you.”
The Ecuadoran capital of Quito is nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by the green slopes of the Andes. Once the northern capital of the Inca empire, it became an important colonial center under the Spanish and is now a cosmopolitan, modern city of over one million inhabitants. Because of its high elevation (over 9,000 feet) and location just a few miles from the equator, Quito also enjoys a year-round, spring-like climate.
Although relatively small in size, Ecuador offers diversity in geography and cultures. The tropical forests of the Oriente, the beaches of the Costa, and the indigenous market towns of the Andes can all be found within a few hours bus ride of the capital, while the ecological wonders of the Galapagos islands can be reached by boat or plane.
Learn more about studying at USFQ through NC State’s Study Abroad Office.
Learn more about NC State’s global partners through our Global Partners database.