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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Program Sponsorship: Creighton Sponsored Program Program Type: Affiliate Program
Areas of Study: Biology, Ecology, Environmental & Energy Science, Marine Science, Photography, Political Science, Spanish & Hispanic Studies Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.8
Language of Instruction: English Housing Options: Host Family
Open to Non-Creighton Students?: No
Program Description:

The City
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, Galapagos has a population of approximately 6,000 people, most of whom make their living principally off artisanal (small scale) fishing and tourism. In San Cristobal, water temperature averages 22-23 Cª / 71-73 Fº, although it can range from 19Cº - 26 Cº / 66Fº - 78 Fº. Other islands (such as Española) have lower water temperatures depending on the time of year.  Students are surrounded by some of the most unique wildlife species on the planet. On this island alone, they will have the opportunity to observe Chatham Mockingbirds, Blue Footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, Frigate birds, Pintail Ducks, Gallinules, Pelicans, Giant Tortoises, Sea Tortoises, Crabs, Sea Lions, and various other sea and land birds, including some species of the famous Darwin finches.

The University
Universidad San Francisco de Quito is a liberal-arts, private, and non-profit university with the mission to “train leaders, free from constraints, educated, innovative, creative and enterprising.” The university has three campuses, and this program is located at the Cumbaya campus. Cumbaya is a small town close to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Approximately 5,500 students attend USFQ.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is a private liberal arts university located in Quito, Ecuador.

- Founded in 1988, it is the first private university of Ecuador.
- USFQ has approximately 8500 students enrolled.
- USFQ is ranked #1 University in Ecuador and #57 in Latin America (2016 QS University Rankings).
- There are more than 100 Bilateral Exchange Partnerships at USFQ.
- 1000 International students attend USFQ every year.
- USFQ’s main scientific stations include “GAIAS” in the Galapagos Islands and the “Tiputini Biodiversity Station” in the Amazon Rainforest.

- 2.5 minimum GPA
- Proof of having taken at least one general biology or one ecology course at the college level
- Those with no previous Spanish experience may enroll in a Spanish conversation course 
- Meet all other study abroad eligibility requirements as outlined in Creighton’s Study Abroad Policies & Procedures

Program Features
-  Personalized, small classroom settings
-  State of the art teaching, research and laboratory facilities
-  Hands-on classes and field trips
-  Visits to the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuadorian highlands, a cloud forest.
-  Free Spanish lessons
-  Experiencing Ecuadorian culture and the opportunity to live in one of the most unique and amazing places on earth, the Galapagos Islands.
-  Cruise and tour of the Galapagos Islands
-  Ph.D. trained professors with vast teaching, research and field experience

Students select courses from one of three Academic Tracks in the biological and social sciences:

(1) Evolution, Ecology and Conservation

Creighton Course Name CU Course Code Galapagos Course Name USFQ Course Code
Terrestrial Ecology BIO/EVS 481 Tropical Ecology ECL 0440
Evolution BIO/EVS 581 Evolutionary Ecology  
BIO/EVS Elective BIO/EVS 999 The Tree of Life and the Origin of Species ECL 0320
BIO/EVS Elective BIO/EVS 999 Native and Introduced Plants of the Galapagos BIO0420
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems EVS 570 Geographical Information System REC 0317
BIO/EVS Elective BIO/EVS 999 Island Biogeography BIO 0309

(2) Marine Ecology
Creighton Course Name CU Course Code Galapagos Course Name USFQ Course Code
Marine Ecology Laboratory BIO/EVS 487 Techniques of Marine Research I ECL 0335
Marine Ecology Laboratory BIO/EVS 487 Techniques of Marine Research II ECL0322
BIO/EVS Elective BIO/EVS 999 Marine Life ECL 0327
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology BIO/EVS 435 Marine Ecology ECL 0396
BIO/EVS Elective BIO/EVS 999 Marine Ecosystems Based Management ECL 0324

(3) People, Politics and the Environment
Creighton Course Name CU Course Code Galapagos Course Name USFQ Course Code
  EVS/BIO 471 Wildlife Conservation Management REC 0315
EVS Elective EVS 999 Strategic Planning for Natural Resource Planning REC 0316
Environment and Society: Sociological Perspectives EVS 355 Political Ecology ECL 0637
EVS Elective EVS 999 Marine and Island Ecosystems ANT 0385

Each academic track consists of five intensive 3-credit courses taught in 3-week modules. The first module takes place near Quito in the main USFQ campus at Cumbayá. The remaining four modules take place on San Cristobal Island, Galápagos.  All courses are taught in English. Please note courses are subject to change. Students can take up to two courses from different tracks, assuming they meet any necessary prerequisites and spaces are available (see Academic Tracks). Students in all tracks also take a required Spanish conversation class (1 credit). Volunteer placements (non-credit) in San Cristobal are also available to interested students.

From Fall 2018 onward, courses taken while studying abroad will transfer back to Creighton University with a letter grade.  These grades will be factored into your Creighton GPA.  Grade equivalency charts will be published on the study abroad website in early 2018 to help you understand how the grade abroad will reflect on your Creighton transcript.  This change is in contrast to the former "Pass/Fail" grade policy. 

Students stay with carefully screened host families in Cumbayá (Quito) for the first module, and with host families in San Cristobal Island for the remainder of the semester. During overnight excursions students stay in hostels or hotels. Students will pay Creighton at the Kiewit freshman standard double rate that can be found on the Creighton housing website.

On-Site Assistance
Students will have an on-site orientation upon arrival.  Students will also be assigned 2 "Ecuabuddies", or current USFQ students, in order to better acclimate to the city and culture.  Host families will pick students up from the airport and help take them to and from school and activities for the first few days, until the student is comfortable on their own.

Phone plan
Students are provided a SIM card by USFQ, free of charge, during orientation.

  Pay to Creighton Pay to USFQ Student Responsibility N/A
Tuition X      
Room X      
Board X      
Fees X      
Housing Application Fee       X
Visa     Appx. $250  
Flight     X  
Creighton Traveler Security Program $100      
Special Note
US Dollars are the official currency in Quito, so no exchange is necessary. Approximate costs in Quito include a soda which would cost 30-60 cents, and an hour of bus travel would cost approximately $1.00. 

The visa process for visiting students was updated February 15, 2018.  All students are encouraged to either procure a student visa prior to travel to Ecuador, or obtain a tourist visa which will be extended once the student is abroad.  This does NOT apply to Galápagos Program students, who are required to obtain a student visa before they travel abroad.

Financial Aid
If eligible, institutional aid and federal financial aid are portable. Please consult with the Creighton Financial Aid Office for questions on your specific program and situation.

In Effect for All Fall 2018 Participants and Beyond
Students may only participate in study abroad programs that are pre-approved by the Global Engagement Office (GEO) as part of an employee benefit remission program. Such participants must pay the difference between their employee benefit remission program and the special cost to Creighton University for the study abroad program. Regular registration and fees in addition to the tuition remission fee and any additional fees for special Creighton University programs (i.e. Global Scholars) are applicable during each study abroad semester. Short travel courses are not covered under the employee benefit remission program.

For questions, please e-mail, or call the Global Engagement Office at 402-280-2221.
To make a student appointment, please call the Global Engagement Office, or schedule online through Creighton Connect:
     - Go to
     - Click on “Access Creighton Connect”
     - Log in with your and Blue Password
     - Under Services, search “Curran”
     - Click on “Members”, then “Schedule an Appointment”

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 10/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.