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Summer Spanish in the Andes


Late applications for this program are being accepted on a first-come, first-enrolled basis until each program is filled to its capacity.

Get application instructions

The Summer Spanish in the Andes (SSA) program is designed to provide an opportunity to study the language and experience the culture of Latin America. The program includes formal classroom instruction, the opportunity to live with and learn from an Ecuadorian family and visits to sites of cultural, geographical and historical interest in Ecuador and Peru.

This program is co-sponsored by Augustana College and the Centers for Interamerican Studies (CEDEI), a not-for-profit institution of higher learning in Cuenca, Ecuador, which offers academic programs in Latin American culture and literature, international business and teaching English as a foreign language.

Full summer program for Spanish at all levels (11 weeks)

Students fly to Quito, Ecuador, in late May or early June (depending on the year) and spend several days in Northern Ecuador exploring the capital and visiting sites such as the Otavalo Market.  Following overland travel, the group moves to Cuenca, Ecuador, a colonial city in the south and among the Andes.

In Cuenca students are placed in houses with families. Our host families work with the students to teach them about the culture of Ecuador as well as to encourage the use of Spanish outside of the classroom. Classes are held at the Centers for Interamerican Studies during the week and weekends offer several dynamic excursions.

There is a mid-term trip into the rain forests of Ecuador's Oriente region and the program ends with a seven-day foray into Peru to visit Lima, Cusco and the Incan city of Machu Picchu. Students earn nine credits (equivalent to three trimesters or two semesters) of Spanish. Courses are available at every level, from beginner through advanced coursework on literature and culture. 

The program typically ends the second or third week of August.

Intensive program for advanced Spanish (five weeks)

The five-week option begins alongside the 10-week program. Students engage in the same activities, live in homestays and take coursework at CEDEI (Centers for Interamerican Studies).

This program is only available to students who have completed Spanish 301 or 305 at Augustana (equivalent to five semesters of college Spanish elsewhere). For more information on class levels, see below. This program ends at the mid-term break and students return to the United States in early July.  Students in this program will enroll in Spanish 458: Indigenous Culture & History (Taught in Spanish) and Art 343A: Art of the Americas (Taught in Spanish & English).  

Eligibility:  Students at any level of Spanish are eligible for the 11-week program.  The 5-week program is restricted to students who have taken Spanish 301 or 305 (equivalent to 5 semesters of college Spanish.)  Both Augustana and non-Augustana students are invited to apply to the SSA program. Non-Augustana students should contact the Office of International & Off-Campus Programs for instructions on how to apply to this program.

Recommended for: Any student interested in a Spanish language immersion program.  Both program models are particularly recommended to students seeking to complete a Spanish Major or Minor as well as those seeking to complete a minor in Latin American Studies.

Anticipated Program Cap: No cap.

Faculty contact: Dr. Araceli Masterson (Spanish)

Program dates: 2018 dates will be available in Spring 2018.  Typically this program runs from Memorial Day weekend through July 4  (five-week program) or through the second week of August (11-week program).  Information regarding the exact start and end dates will be given to students in February 2018 in time to book flights to the start/endpoint of the program in Miami.

Course information

The Ecuador program offers up to a full year of Spanish (nine credits) to students at every level of Spanish during its 11 week program and up to six credits of Advanced Spanish Electives (Literature & Culture) to participants in its 5 week intensive program.

Spanish 150: Beginning Spanish.  (9-credits, Full Summer program only.) Equivalent to Augustana courses 101-102-103.  No prerequisite.  Recommended for students who have completed 1 semester of Spanish or less.  Students at Augustana who placed at the 200 level or higher should not take this course.

Spanish 250 Intermediate Spanish: (9-credits, Full Summer program only.) Equivalent to Augustana's 201-202-203.  Prerequisite is Spanish 103, 2 semesters of college Spanish or placement at the 201 level at Augustana.

Spanish 350 Advanced Spanish: (9-credits, Full Summer program only.)  Equivalent to Augustana's 301, 327 and three credits of elective credit in Spanish.  Prerequisite is Spanish 203, 4 semesters of college Spanish or placement at the 301/305 level at Augustana.  Completion of SPAN 350 with a grade of C or better grants Augustana students a Learning Community (LC).

Upper Level Literature & Culture Courses: Completion of two courses from this list with a grade of C or better grants Augustana students a Learning Community (LC).  These courses require completion of either Spanish 301 or 305 (or equivalent) as a prerequisite.  Two courses are offered in the first five weeks (Intensive or Full Summer) and two are offered only during the final 5 weeks of the program (Full Summer option only.)

Weeks 1-5

Art 343A: Art of the Americas (PA): (3 credits, Full summer Program or Intensive 5-week program)  Study the major modes of artistic expression throughout Andean culture.  This course carries PA and G suffixes as part of Augustana's General Education program. The course is team taught by Augustana and CEDEI faculty and is conducted in both Spanish and English.

Spanish 458:  Indigenous Literature & Culture (PH):  (3 credits, Full Summer or Intensive 5-week program)  Equivalent to SPAN 344 for majors & minors.  Prerequisite =301 and/or 305

Weeks 6-11

Spanish 454:  Latin American History (PP):  (3 credits, Full Summer program only)  Equivalent to SPAN 326 for majors & minors. Prerequisite: 301 and/or 305

Spanish 457: Contemporary Latin American Society:  (3 credits, Full Summer program only)  Equivalent to SPAN 327 for majors & minors. Prerequisite: 301 and/or 305


While in Cuenca, students live with local families, offering them the opportunity to explore Ecuadorian culture from the inside, while enjoying the warmth of Ecuadorian hospitality. The family stay environment also greatly expands each student's opportunities to practice and use Spanish in real-life situations. Students are housed 1 per family.  Each family is carefully vetted and complete an orientation program to prepare them to host American students.  


The 2018 summer program fees are $9,270 for the 11-week program and $7,095 for the five-week program.

Cost includes: Roundtrip airfare from Miami, ground transportation, accommodations, meals included in homestay, all program excursions, full-time support staff on site, tuition and medical insurance.  

Cost does not include: Transportation to/from Miami for each student, meals when away from Cuenca, or discretionary spending.

Financial Aid; As this program occurs in the summer, the college is unable to offer financial assistance in the form of tuition reduction scholarships. This program is eligible for Augie Choice, Freistat Grants and IOP Grants. The $1,000 IOP Grants are competitive and limited in number.

Augie Choice: This program is Augie Choice eligible for all Augustana students who have completed 6 terms or 60 credits (junior status) or higher at the time of departure. Transfer students who have also completed 3 terms or 30 credits at Augustana are also eligible for the Augie Choice grant. 

Other Augustana Grants: This program is eligible, as a language immersion program, for Freistat Grants and grants from the Department of World Languages, Literature & Cultures.

Freistat Grants can range from $500-$3,000. Students should see William A. Freistat Center grants for students to find out more about the Freistat Grant for Language Immersion.

World Languages, Literature & Cultures grants of up to $1,000 are are available to students who qualify. For more information on these grants, see World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures or speak with a faculty member in any of the world languages.


For both Augustana and non-Augustana students there is a multiple-stage application process.  Augustana Applications are due Jan. 15 each year, while students from other universities may apply through March 1.

Application process for Augustana students:  Augustana students are encouraged to attend the Study Away Fair on campus in October. Each program will also hold informational meetings later in the Fall.  The online application for this and all programs will go live in November. Online applications and a $300 deposit are required by Jan. 15 in order for full consideration.  

Application process for non-Augustana students: Students from other universities are encouraged to contact the Director of International & Off-Campus programs at Augustana College to find out more about the program and the application process.  Applications are available beginning in November.  All non-Augustana students must apply to both the program and to Augustana College in order to enroll at Augustana College as a summer-only student. 

More information

Dr. Araceli Masterson, Spanish
Office: 309-794-8276

Dr. Allen Bertsche, Director of International & Off-Campus Programs   
Office:  309-794-8283

Centers for Interamerican Studies