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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador; Otavalo, Ecuador; Papallacta, Ecuador; Quito, Ecuador
  • Program Terms: Winter Break 1
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: CWRU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break 1
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 1 2021-2022 10/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Sponsorship: CWRU-arranged Click here for a definition of this term Program Purpose: Study
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No
Housing Options: Cabin, Home Stay, Hotel Minimum GPA: 2
Program Director/Assistant Director: Valerie Rambin, MSASS ( Credit Type: Graduate, Professional, Undergraduate
Case Credit Type: Engineering Social Sciences Credit, Global and Diversity Credit, Social Work Minor Number of Credits: 3
Deposit: 200 Click here for a definition of this term Remainder of Program Fee: 2895
Included in Program Cost: Admission fees, Housing, In-country transportation, Insurance, Most Meals Not Included in Program Cost: Flights, Some Meals, Tuition, Vaccinations, Visa fees
Program Description:

Due to COVID-19 , International travel for Winter Break 2020 programs has been suspended. 

Health, Human and Social Development in Urban and Rural Ecuador

Course Dates
: December 28, 2020 to January 8, 2021
Students arrive in Quito on Sunday, December 27, 2020 and depart on Saturday, January 9th
Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Saturday Seminars: Dates TBA

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Ann Nguyen, PhD ( and Dr. Marjorie Edguer (
This 3-credit course to Quito, the Amazon Basin and rural highlands of Ecuador will acquaint students with the history and culture of Ecuador, its social, political, and economic development, and the impact it has on human development. Ecuador’s historical and current relationship with the United States will also be explored. This course provides an integrated approach to the study of multicultural issues related to policies and services that center around human and community development and healthcare in Ecuador. Students will be immersed in the rich human diversity and biodiversity of Ecuador.
Through experiential visits in urban and rural Ecuador, students will be exposed to knowledge of the country’s history, biodiversity, environment, politics, economic system, social and health services, and the rich diversity of the people. Students will visit programs in health and traditional medicine, environmental issues, and education. A unique way of understanding the cultural diversity will be through home stays in small groups with Quichua indigenous families and with Quito families, a highlight for past students. The course also includes several days in the Amazon rainforest where students will explore a different Ecuadorian lifestyle influenced by the indigenous people, flora and fauna and traditional medicine. 
Some site visits include (subject to change):
  • Yasuni Biological Reserve, a protected corridor in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin and one of the most biodiverse places on earth, excellent for seeing wildlife, especially birds, monkeys, and large wild mammals
  • Otavalo, Cotacachi & Runatupari, community cultural-tourism in Quichua indigenous communities that have designed strategies for preserving their culture while attracting tourists
  • El Chota, an Afro-Ecuadorian community in which students are hosted by a women’s cooperative for the day
  • A visit to one or more hospitals, meeting with medical team members and social workers
  • Homestays in groups of 2-4 students with indigenous families in Runatupari and homestays with Mestizo families in Quito, providing an opportunity to understand and compare these cultures
  • Visit to Tucanopy, an organic farm and nature reserve dedicated to the preservation of a mountainous cloud forest (optional zip lining is included in this visit)
  • Papallacta hot springs, thermal pools and spa resort high in the Andes, at 10,600 feet, provides a place to relax and be rejuvenated within view of snow-capped volcanoes
This course is designed for students who are interested in developing an international perspective in social work and related health and community development fields. It will expose students to various intervention models within a cultural context and provide opportunities for cross-cultural comparison. Maximum of 24 students may enroll in this course. This course includes significant hikes in the rainforest and walking in rural areas, which can be physically demanding.
Program Fee: $3,995 (billed to student account minus deposit) covers international airfare, accommodations, most in-country transportation, most meals, agency visits, guest lectures, and emergency medical insurance abroad
Out of Pocket Expenses: Six meals, zip lining, tips, taxis, personal spending money, vaccinations, passport or visa fees. Program fees are separate from tuition charges.
Visit and contact Valerie Rambin (, Assistnant Director of International Education Programs at the Mandel School, or Dr. David B. Miller (, Director of International Education Programs, for more information on this or other Mandel School study abroad programs. Contact Nancy Issa ( for financial aid eligibility.
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