A truly fascinating destination, Ecuador has diverse vibrant cultures, historical colonial architecture, volcanic landscapes, and dense rainforests. The country also has four distinct regions—the highlands, coastal areas, rainforest, and the famous Galapagos Islands—all making Ecuador an exciting country to explore. Although quite friendly, Ecuadorians tend to be formal in the way they speak and dress.

In recent years, bicycling has become very popular and in the city of Quito the main streets are closed to cars every Sunday for cyclists and skaters. In addition to playing sports, going to parties, and watching movies, teenagers in Ecuador also enjoy going to clubs and salsa dancing.

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Host Family & Community

You will probably live in a suburban area, close to a major city like Quito or Guayaquil or in small towns throughout the country. Young people maintain close relationships with their extended family members, so expect to spend lots of quality time with your family.


If you live with a family in the coastal area or the Galapagos Islands, your school year will run from April to January. Students living in the highlands and the Eastern provinces, attend school from September to June. Either way, your school day begins around 7 am and ends at 2 pm, and all students wear a uniform.


Spanish is the main language spoken in Ecuador. Having a basic knowledge of Spanish will be an asset.


A typical Ecuadorian diet calls for some kind of meat (beef, pork, poultry, fish or other seafood, cold cuts), rice, potatoes, noodles, vegetables or salad. Beans, yucca and plantains are also quite prevalent. Meal portions are usually large, and your family will be happy to see you enjoy the food they prepare.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Year Exchange PROGRAM

Program Date: August/September, 2020 – June/July, 2021
Birth Date Range: 28 May 2002 to 28 February 2005

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.

Program dates may vary and are meant to help with general scheduling only.
All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and programs are filled first-come, first-serve.

Apply Now!