A Study Abroad Guide To Ecuador; Tuition Fees, Cost of Living, Top and Affordable Universities Reviewed

Find out the universities in Ecuador for international students that are very affordable, their cost of living, tuition fees and rankings.

Studying in Ecuador can be fun if you love nature, they have much vegetation and coastlines. 

Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil. Currency: Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar.

In time past, studying abroad in Ecuador may not go down well among a vast number of study abroad enthusiats. Universities, especially public universities in Ecuador, were not worthy for any foreign students to consider.

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“Ecuador probably has the worst universities in South America” are the words of President Correa, whose attitude to the country’s higher education system is one of anger directed at many private institutions which have failed their students.

Interestingly, things aren’t the same any longer. There is a recognised improvement in the education sector in Ecuador, seeing nine Ecuadorian universities making the QS rankings (top 300) for Latin America.

Language of Instruction

If you then decide to study in Ecuador, you must bear in mind that the language of instruction will be Spanish so you’ll need a good level of speaking and writing.

If you’re going to Ecuador, it is important to learn the language(Spanish) for easy adaptation. Though, there’re private Spanish language lessons available. And if your study abroad program doesn’t include it, see if you can arrange housing with a local family. A home-stay will enable you experience Ecuadorian culture and other things you might find interesting to learn.

Top and Cheap Universities in Ecuador

  • Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
  • Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja
  • Universidad Politécnica Salesiana
  • Escuela Politécnica Nacional
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Universidad de Cuenca
  • Universidad Central del Ecuador
  • Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial
  • Universidad de Guayaquil

If you’re interested in these programs biology, conservation, marine life, architecture, or fine arts, then Ecuador is for you.

Tuition Fees

Tuition and study programs in Ecuador tend to be less expensive than in other Latin American countries.
Tuition fees at public universities in Ecuador were abolished as part of the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador.
Students at private universities, however, are still required to pay fees, and these are likely to be due at the beginning of each term – so in December (for the spring term) and July (for the autumn term.) Costs will vary across different universities

Cost of Living

Quito and Cuenca are considered the best places to study in Ecuador. Both have a wide variety of language schools to choose from. The cost of living is estimated at $700 to $1,500 per month depending on the city,  for an international student; this includes housing, transportation, feeding, books etc.

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Cost of living in Quito, Ecuador


  • Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area-$708
  • Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area-$478

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