Universidad Especialidades Espiritu Santo

Guayaquil, Ecuador

The exchange agreement

The exchange agreement between the University of Lethbridge and the Universidad Especialidades Espiritu Santo (UEES) was signed in 2005.

Semester dates

Fall semester
End of August to end of December. Please note that there is a mandatory arrival day/date and mandatory orientation. For specific details, please contact our office.
Spring semester
Beginning of January to End of April. Please note that there is a mandatory arrival day/date and mandatory orientation. For specific details, please contact our office.

The country

Straddling the equator on the northwest coast of South America, Ecuador is characterized by cultural and geographic diversity, and includes the Galápagos Islands of Darwinian fame, the coastal areas of the Pacific, the Andean Mountains, and the headwaters of the Amazon River. Ecuador is a democracy with more than 16 political parties and is characterized by extensive ethnic diversity. It is an ideal site for individuals interested in learning about and experiencing Latin America.

For more information about Ecuador see sites such as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuador.

The city

The site of the UEES is Samborondón, a satellite community of Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. The university grounds are located on a large campus in a residential neighborhood. Located on the Guayas River, Guayaquil has a population of approximately 2,500,000 inhabitants. Noted for its hustle and bustle, and the friendliness of its people, Guayaquil is the hub of an active import-export industry and serves as the financial center of Ecuador. It has several malls with attractive shops and boutiques: there are also numerous theaters and museums in the city. The city has several malls with attractive shops, boutiques, among the numerous theaters and museums. Within an hour by car from Guayaquil, there are several important ecological areas - mangrove swamp land, desert, tropical dry forest, cloud forest, and pristine beaches.

For more information about Guayaquil, visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guayaquil

About the university

One of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in Ecuador, UEES has eight major divisions: the School of Economics and Management; the School of Law, Policy and Development; the School of Communications; the School of Science and Liberal Arts; the School of Architecture, the School of Computer Sciences; the School of Tourism; and the School of Graduate Programs. In addition, the International Career Program offers a wide array of courses in the English language. Espíritu Santo University currently has an enrolment of approximately 4000 students.

For further information, check the Universidad Especialidades Espiritu Santo website and International Programs website.


UEES offers an optional pre-semester Spanish courses that include 4 hours of Spanish language instruction over a 7 week period, designed to improve Spanish communication and culture, complemented by visits to sites of historical and socioeconomic interest. The cost of each pre-semester Spanish program (June–July) is US$1456; including home-stay, application fee, group insurance and course fee.


UEES offers students (of varying degrees of working knowledge of the Spanish language) the opportunity to participate in an internship and experience working in a Latin American environment. The program includes an orientation and a series of 4 seminars on culture, organization and business in Guayaquil. Students wishing to participate in the Ecuadorian Internship Program must commit to a minimum of 30 days and must register for 4 months in addition to taking a Spanish language course (min. 4 hours weekly). Internships are offered year round and cost approximately $803 US for a one-month program and $2156 US for a full-semester program. Included in the program fees are home-stays with meals and laundry arranged by UEES. Additional costs to consider are texts, Spanish language course, and visa registration. Students may receive credit for the internship as an Applied Study and should attain approval before their exchange.


The UEES international office arranges for exchange students to live with Ecuadorian families in a home-stay. The cost of $600/month (US$550/month) includes 3 meals a day and laundry. Home-stays are recommended for exchange students as it is part of the culture of Ecuador for university students to live with families. In addition it helps to accelerate the Spanish language learning process. However, for students who do not wish to live with families, the UEES International Office can make arrangements for students to live in private apartments or suites.


Approximate costs involved with an exchange semester at UEES in Ecuador are:

  • Registration and student services fee: $150
  • Housing: US$550/month, including 3 meals/day and laundry
  • 5-day orientation tour: US$350
  • Textbooks: $175 total
  • Food: approx. $200–275/month
  • Transportation: approx. $50
  • Visa: $130–$300, depending on the travel arrangements
  • Flight: $1600

The mandatory orientation tour costs US$370 and includes: 5 nights accommodation; breakfast every day; welcome dinner; airport transfers; private bus transport; local bilingual guide for Quito and Guayaquil City tours; entrances to all the locations set out above; presence of CEI staff members to provide 24-hour support and care.

Other required elements for the UEES Program will be:

  • accommodation within Samborondon District (preferably home-stay family)
  • attendance at a weekly Meeting/Cultural Seminar

The school will offer the following optional activities:

  • day-long or overnight trips to areas of ecological or cultural interest
  • cultural classes such as salsa dancing, Ecuadorian gastronomy
  • documentary/movie screenings relating to Latin America
  • short outings to museums, areas of interest in Guayaquil
  • “intercambios”, i.e. language exchanges, where CEI will facilitate contact between Ecuadorian and international students with a view to practicing Spanish and English

Students already have the following elements included:

  • classes in both Spanish and English (more limited) of up to 15 credits
  • considerable number of service-learning and internship opportunities
  • UEES bus transport to/from university
  • access to all university facilities, including gym and pool, library, TV and radio studios
  • 24-hour support and care from CEI staff

Visa requirements

Students are required to attain a 12V visa before departing to Ecuador. Visa applications must be made in person to the Consulate General of Ecuador in Vancouver, where the visa is usually issued the same day. There is a fee of US$100 for the visa and another US$30 application processing fee. Upon arrival in Ecuador, students should register with the Direccíon General de Extranjería.

The visa application process may have changed since this page was updated. Please email International Programs (int.programs@uleth.ca) for more information.

For further details about this visa, contact the Consulate of Ecuador in Vancouver.

Consulate General of Ecuador

3835 Trinity Street

Burnaby, BC V5C 1N4

Phone: 604-299-6600

Fax: 604-299-6609

email: Ecuador@telus.net


Guayaquil, Ecuador