Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Quito, Ecuador
  • Program Terms: Summer B-Term
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
sociology italy
 Location Quito, Ecuador
Summer B 2017
July 24 – August 23, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $4,100
 Credits 13 UW credits plus 2 credits of UW spring prep (15 total)
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Michelle Habell-Pallan, Jaime Cardenas Jr., PhD
 Program  Manager Carrie Moore |
 Application    Deadline March 15, 2017 (deadline extended)
 Information  Session(s) Wed, Dec. 7 at 12:30, MGH 211, Honors Suite Tuesday, January 24 at 3:30, MGH 211, Honors Suite
  General This program will explore the historical and social context of the buen vivir, with a focus on sustainable culture (specifically Indigenous and Afro-descendant artistic practices and community building -- from traditional to hip hop ).
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description

Ecuador is one of two countries on Earth that has constitutionally redefined itself as a “plurinational state.” Responding to Indigenous and Afro-descendant social movements for justice and dignity, and propelled by gender equity activists, Ecuador has helped to re-think cultural and national identities by centering the demands of communities most vulnerable to neoliberal policies for the right to sumak kawsay (“buen vivir” or “well-being”). To do so, Ecuador’s constitution has incorporated the concept of sumak kawsay, an Indigenous perspective of well-being, or “living well” rather than “living better.” To this end, Ecuador has been at the forefront of recognizing that its patrimonio cultural inmaterial (intangible cultural patrimony), consisting of anceUNESCO), is of equal importance as its tangible heritage in the form of artifacts, statues, and sites. This intangible culture is viewed as a remedy to global commodification of culture because deep “understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life”(UNESCO).

Given this rich context of Ecuadorian cultural transformation and dialogue, the program will be centered around the concept of sumak kawsay. This program will explore the historical and social context of the buen vivir, with a focus on sustainable culture (specifically Indigenous and Afro-descendant artistic practices and community building -- from traditional to hip hop ). In Quito, students will explore representations of transformative Indigenous and Afro-descendant cultural identities and practices in Ecuador at large and on social media, while examining the intersectional impacts of gender and queer organizing. The course will explore if and how arts and culture support the development of dialogue and social infrastructure required to be true to a plurinational ethos.

Quito is an excellent venue for the study of culture, politics, neoliberalism, and resistance because of the the city’s history and contemporary condition. For more than 450 years, the city has been a site of: indigeneity, colonialism, and anti-colonialism; dominant gender formations and resistance to them; African resistance to enslavement and cultural resurgence; global capital and its questioning; and a vibrant and hybrid cultural politics.


Quito, Ecuador


Universidad Técnica Luis Vargas Torres (Esmeraldas, Ecuador) and Universidad de Otavalo


The Jhomana Guesthouse was chosen because of its good reputation hosting groups of young people, amenities, location, and cost. Here is their website: The Jhomana Guesthouse has experience preparing rooms so that groups can share rooms. All of our students will share rooms.


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

This program is open to students in the Honors Program and also students across campus. The program is focused on recruiting a diverse group of students, in particular students who are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Students of all majors are encouraged to apply and the program encourages freshmen-seniors. A basic knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not required.

Acceptance into the program will be decided based on application materials, interviews, and student's demonstrated motivation to challenge themselves intellectually across academic disciplines and cultures and to work collaboratively in small groups.


13 UW credits plus 2 credits of UW spring prep (15 total)


HONORS 384 (VLPA/I&S) - 2 credits: “Sumak Kawsay: Well-Being, “Race,” and Gender in Ecuador” Prep Seminar, Spring Quarter 2017, Day and time, TBA

The program will include a 2-credit preparatory seminar, spring quarter 2017, which will engage students and faculty in collaboration on campus and through a digital platform (Canvas). These highly focused seminar meetings (once/week throughout spring quarter) and their digital platform will introduce the students to the course’s structure and topics, as well as Ecuadorian society. At the end of the course, students will be able to: identify the major cultural, political, and economic changes in northwestern South America during the last three decades; and, identify the major origins and developments of social movements in northwestern South America during the last three decades.

HONORS 213 (VLPA) - Honors Humanities - 5 Credits: “Sumak Kawsay: Well-Being in Theory and Practice in Ecuadorian Society”

This course, held in Quito, Ecuador, will explore the historical and social contexts of sumak kawsay (or well-being, or, in Spanish, buen vivir, with a focus on sustainable and resistant culture (specifically, Indigenous and Afro-descendant music and community building -- from traditional practices to hip hop). As sumak kawsay has an Andean (indigenous) origin, in Quito, students will explore representations of transformative Indigenous and Afro-descendant cultural identities and practices in Ecuador at large, and on social media, while examining impacts of feminist and queer organizing upon them. The course will explore if, and how, performing arts and culture support the development of dialogue and social infrastructure required to exist in a state of sumak kawsay

HONORS 384/GWSS 390B (the 5 credit 384 "wither" with GWSS 390B) (VLPA & I&S) - Honors Interdisciplinary - 5 credits: “Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and Feminist/Queer Cultures in Plurinational Ecuador”

The course will explore how arts and culture support the concept of “buen vivir” within a plurinational context. This course will explore indigeneity, colonialism, and anti-colonialism; dominant gender formations and transformations of them; African-origin resistance to enslavement and its cultural resurgence; globalization and the questioning of it in Quito. The city is an excellent venue for the study of culture, politics, neoliberalism, and transformation because of the city’s history and contemporary condition. As an anchor, we will inquire into the idea of a “plurinational” society. As such, there is a wide array of Indigenous, feminist, queer, and Afro-descendant organizations in the city, such as: Fundación de Estudios, Acción y Participación Social; Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Negras; Centro Cultural Afroecuatoriano; Mesa LGBTQI Quito; Femrock Ecuador; and many others.

HONORS 384 (VLPA/I&S)- Honors Interdisciplinary - 3 credits: “Connecting with Communities in Ecuador: Service Learning Best Practices”

One of the main ways that students will interact with the host cultures is through service-learning. Service-learning with appropriate and registered NGOs will allow students to link the theoretical with the practical. To do their service-learning students will select from NGOs that focus on: reinforcing and expanding Indigenous women’s and Afroecuadorians’ cultural rights; gender equity work; lgbtq (human) rights; and other relevant organizations. The final project will entail the creation or expansion of a digital presence for the organization in order to make it more accessible and visible to other Ecuadorians and beyond. Students can opt to do oral histories that will be preserved by the UW Libraries’ Women Who Rock Oral History Archive.

Program Directors & Staff

Michelle Habell-Pallan, Department of GWSS, Program Director

Habell-Pallán is currently Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She has experience working with international graduate and undergraduate students from Latin America and Asia. She is director of UW Women Who Rock Oral History Archive.

Jaime Cardenas Jr., PhD, Seattle Central College, Program Director

Dr. Cardenas Jr., Seattle Central College, is currently a tenured Instructor of History at Seattle Central College, where he also holds the position of faculty advisor to the Global Studies Emphasis. He routinely teaches classes that enroll 50-80% international students, mostly from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

Program Expenses

Cost: $4,100

Estimated Program Fee of $4,100, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $25-30/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,500 - $1,800* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 August 4, 2017
Program Fee Balance $4,100 August 4, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.