High School in Ecuador

High School

Create lifetime memories living and studying in Ecuador.

Why study an academic year or semester of high school in Ecuador?

Why study an academic year or semester of high school in Ecuador?
Even though Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, it has it all: the jungle, the Andes highlands, beaches, Galapagos Islands and more in a small sized territory. Ecuador is also known for its friendly people, fine cuisine, wonderful landscapes, and spring like weather year-round, among other things.

Your exchange year in Ecuador gives you the opportunity to live in an interesting country and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. If you’ve ever wanted to learn Spanish, here’s your chance! You will engage fully in a second language; you’ll learn faster because you’re practicing it daily, and you will pick up the conversational language enabling you to speak like a local.

Studying in Ecuador is a rewarding experience that will allow you to connect to a different culture and perspective, including new traditions and customs. Adapting to a new country will open your mind and make you tolerant. When you’re away from everything that’s familiar to you, you gain a different perspective. By immersing yourself in another culture, you develop valuable life skills needed for personal growth, including independence and flexibility.

While the experience can be overwhelming, successfully completing the challenge is extremely rewarding. It will also help you gain more confidence by improving skills such as: leadership, communication and cross-cultural awareness. By the end, you’ll wonder how it went by so fast and you’ll have enjoyed yourself so much that you’ll regret having to leave!

¡Living abroad
is challenging and exciting
.... just rewarding!


Most students will be placed in a private high school; they wear uniforms and study the regular curriculum. Teachers, classmates, host parents, guidance counselors and XPLORER staff will all be eager to help you learn and adjust. We understand the challenges of learning the material through years of experience.


  • Documentation for obtaining the ecuadorian student visa.
  • Placement with a Host family.
  • Enrolment and tuition in a school.
  • Orientation given by XPLORER upon arrival.
  • Permanent supervision by a XPLORER coordinator in Ecuador.
  • Progress Reports for natural parents.
  • Monthly activities or excursions for students.

Not Included

  • Airfare; students fly into Ecuador’s capital city Quito.
  • Living expenses: Personal items, pocket money. A monthly average of $200 to $300 USD is recommended. Also, suggested to bring $300-$500 the first month for books, school material, possible one time fee and uniforms, etc.
  • Private Spanish lessons if necessary.
  • After school classes such as soccer, yoga, gym, etc.
  • School lunches / school bus.
  • Other expenses: Documents, laboratory material, sports uniforms, extracurricular activities, notebooks, locker, revalidations, etc.
  • Vaccinations if necessary (the student must travel with all recommended vaccinations).
  • Passport and visa costs.
  • Medical Insurance.
  • Tours to visit Ecuador.
  • ** Extraordinary GALAPAGOS 1 week High School Student Expedition**.


  • Basic Spanish.
  • 15 to 18 years of age.
  • Grades of 7/10 in the last 3 school years.
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Ability to solve problems and follow family, school, and government rules.
  • The desire to live an excellent experience.
  • Complete COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster for all who are eligible. All vaccine doses must be administered at least 14 days prior to program departure.

High School in Ecuador

Ecuadorians would also like to learn from you. They will be excited to welcome you and everything you represent.


  • In host families there is a wide variety of ethnicities
  • There are families formed by retired parents, divorced, with only one father or mother with children or without children
  • Most families practice the Catholic religion
  • Ecuadorian families are close knit. They participate in or attend most activities together.

Programs – Start dates – Duration

Academic year

August / September
Duration: 10 months

Fall Semester

August / September
Duration: 5 months

Spring Semester

Duration: 5 months

Ready to start?

Do you have any questions?

Gallery – High School in Ecuador

We are Explorers… Our foreign exchange students in Ecuador…


Our stories, our experiences, our testimonies.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Read the most common questions and answers about the
High School Exchange program.

There is a great variety of ethnicities, and diversity among Ecuadorians. The Ecuadorian culture is family oriented; a typical Ecuadorian family consists of parents and children, it can also be formed of a single parent with or without children, who agree to host a foreign student during the exchange program. These families provide a room (can be shared with another kid of the same gender and close in age), a quiet place to study, food and support during the stay. They treat their student as a member of the family, not as a guest. In return, they enrich their homes and communities, getting to know a different culture and creating lasting international friendships.

Students are placed with carefully matched host families in or around Quito, with close proximity to everything they need. Ecuadorians place great emphasis in family life. Meals are an important time for bonding. The most important meal of the day is almuerzo (lunch). Food is freshly prepared at home daily. Families participate in or attend most activities together. They usually travel together either on day trips or vacations. Children are expected to be respectful to their parents and elderly. Ecuadorians are friendly and always interested on knowing other cultures.

In the morning the students get ready, eat breakfast, and head to school. In most cases, students can expect to be back home by around 2:00 PM, where they’ll have lunch with the family and do their homework. We encourage students to have an afternoon activity or join extracurricular classes such as Spanish classes, gym, music, etc. Ecuador offers a variety of activities to choose from. Transportation is not an issue as public transportation is readily available.

Students are mostly placed in private schools. Schools require students to wear uniforms. Students’ schedules are set by the school based on the curriculum established by Ministry of Education. Students remain in one classroom while teachers rotate rooms.

In the Sierra of Ecuador where the students will be placed, classes typically run Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. The school year runs September to June and includes one week of vacation over Christmas/New Year, and another one for Holy Week. Summer vacation is about two and a half months between July and September.

Formal education is categorized into 3 levels: primary, secondary school, and higher education.

Approximately 10 to 45 minutes. Students usually take school bus.

Students have two breaks of 15 minutes each. They eat lunch during one of these breaks. Students usually buy food in school, which costs about USD$2 or USD$3 daily.

With few exceptions, most schools offer soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Ecuadorian students typically enroll in extracurricular activities outside of school. These activities include various sports, joining a gym, yoga, cooking, language classes, dance, music, martial arts, ceramics, etc.

The student cannot be guaranteed to receive academic credit as each high school has different regulations. Depending on the school and student’s performance they can get a diploma. The government is very strict about the necessary documents required for getting a diploma. Students will get a certification of attendance as well as an official document stating that they have been an exchange student with dates and subjects.
We encourage you to talk to your guidance counselor or academic advisor at the host school to explain what you need to do to earn credits.

Exchange students are participating in an academic program and that is the primary focus of their exchange year. This means they must attend and be active participants in all their classes, and maintain at least a C grade average or higher in each subject. Also, it is expected the student will become a member of their family with open communication. They have to keep their bedrooms tidy and help at home. The students have to be open minded and flexible to cultural differences.

Students must respect the rules of the house and obey all government laws. They could be expelled from the program and sent back home for breaking them. The student will receive a document with the rules that must be complied with responsibly.

Yes. We provide a full mandatory orientation with our professional team and Ecuadorian alumni students. Host families are also required to attend orientation for their part prior of student arrival.

At the beginning they find the food different (rice almost every day), the altitude in some cases, the overprotective families, and may become overwhelmed with the transportation system. However, they get adjusted to the new environment fairly quickly.

Remember that the main focus of the program is on attending school, integrating with your new family, and learning from your host country. Exchange students must spend important holidays such as: Christmas, New Year and/or Easter at their location. Independent travel is not allowed without your host family, school, or local representative for the duration of the program. You will have monthly activities or excursions planned by Xplorer.

You may have the opportunity to travel and explore Ecuador independently, but that can only take place at the end of the program. The trip must be planned, documented (dates, names of adults in charge, places, etc.) and approved in advance by Xplorer, sponsor, and natural parents. The trip can be taken with a chaperone or a natural parent visiting. If the student and natural parents fail to present all the documentation and ensure student’s safety, the trip will not be approved.

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