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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Carrie Martins
Minimum GPA:
2.5
Class Standing:
3 - Junior
Graduate/Undergraduate:
School of International Affairs, Undergraduate
Language of Instruction:
Spanish
Language Requirement:
4 semesters
Internship Available:
Yes
Fields of Study:
Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Global Studies, Health Policy and Administration, Internship, Literature, Music, Political Science, Spanish, Sustainability, Visual Arts
Research:
Yes
Program Description:

Overview

Eligibility

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Junior standing or above at the start of the program
  • 4 semesters college-level Spanish or equivalent

Program Description

Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and of people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.

Study international development in Ecuador—a blend of indigenous and Spanish colonial—while improving your Spanish language skills. You’ll also contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization while you are there. Explore the complexities created by issues such as the environment, globalization, public health, and social justice.

Dates

Fall: Early September-mid-December (optional language pre-session from early August to late August)
Spring: Mid-January-early May (optional language pre-session from late December to mid-January)

Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.

Location

Few countries as small as Ecuador contain such remarkable geographic and biological diversity. Geographically, it ranges from coastal deserts to temperate mountain valleys to Amazon forests. Culturally and racially, its population includes a mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African elements. The program is based in Quito, an Andean city that houses a remarkable combination of colonial and modern, rich and poor. Internship sites are scattered within a 3-hour radius of Quito.

Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation

In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.

Academics

Available Fields of Study

Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Global Studies, Health Policy and Administration, Internship, Literature, Music, Political Science, Spanish, Sustainability, Visual Arts

Course Listings

To find courses on the MSID-International Development in Ecuador program, follow the instructions on the host program page.

To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with your host program
MSID students enroll in 4 required courses, in addition to an internship or research project. Students can choose to take an optional intensive Spanish language course prior to the start of the program, which is available at an additional cost. Students may also choose to enroll in an online Global Identity course for 1-credit, which is included in the program fee.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 16 credits and a maximum number of 21 credits for students who choose to participate in the optional language pre-session (4-credit) and the Global Identity Course (1-credit)
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
 
Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Grade
A A
A- A-
B+ B+
B B
B- B-
C+ C+
C C
D D
F F
 
Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
4 credits 4 credits
 
 

Housing and Meals

Housing

Housing is guaranteed and included in the program.

Homestays
You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Ecuador. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Quito will have a second homestay placement. Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience, and often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing and most meals but also a vital connection to Ecuadorian culture. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Ecuadorian life with an MSID program participant.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions. 

Meals

Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily; you will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but if you have severe food allergies and/or restrictions, contact the University of Minnesota Program Adviser prior to applying.
 

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Fall Costs
Spring Costs

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser
 

Scholarships 

The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Program Specific Scholarships

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
 

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility 

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Quito and many surrounding cities are at a high altitude, so students should be prepared for this, particularly when arriving to the program.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
 

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website. 

Deadlines

You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website

Social Media

Facebook for Penn State Education Abroad    Instagram for Penn State Education Abroad    Twitter for Penn State Global Programs   YouTube for Penn State Global Programs


For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!
 


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 03/01/2020
03/12/2020 TBA TBA
Spring 2021 09/10/2020
**
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed