UMD: A Globally Connected University
IES Abroad Galapagos Islands Direct Enrollment - GAIAS
There's a reason why some of the world's most famous scientists have visited the Galápagos Islands—now it's your turn to discover one of the world's most beautiful and biologically-diverse island locations. It's here that you will get hands-on experience studying topics such as Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Marine Ecology, and Sociology.
This direct enrollment program is organized through the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS), a remote campus of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) located on the island of San Cristobal. Before you head to the Galápagos, the program will begin with a month in Quito, where you participate in an orientation, classes at USFQ, and field study excursions. The remaining months are spent on San Cristobal in the Galápagos Islands, although additional field study excursions allow you to spend time in other locations, as determined by your chosen track: Evolution, Ecology and Conservation; Marine Ecology; or People, Politics, and the Environment.
The Galápagos Islands and Quito will be your classroom. Witness the famous land iguanas and giant tortoises as you study the evolution of these unique species. Visit indigenous and traditional Andean communities to better understand the relationship between humans and their environment. Dive into the Pacific to get close to the marine life you will be learning about. Welcome to study abroad!
Visit www.IESabroad.org for complete program details.
Why the Galápagos Islands?
The Galápagos Islands hold endless wonders of natural beauty. Imagine stepping foot onto this mysterious dark land knowing it's an estimated 3.5 million years old. Yes, million. This environmental haven awaits you 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador—complete with sea lions, iguanas, and tortoises galore waiting to welcome you.
We strive to make sure you feel safe, cared for, and at home while you’re away from home. Whether it’s the orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, the cultural events that make it easy and fun to meet other international and local students, or the field trips and walking tours that take you to places tourists don’t usually see—we’re all about our student service. Learn more about the day-to-day studying abroad on this program. From field trips to housing, it’s all on IES Abroad’s website.
Scholarships & Aid
IES Abroad firmly believes that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad program. That's why we commit $5 million in study abroad scholarships and aid, all offered through one quick and easy application. Check out all of our scholarship options at www.IESabroad.org/aid.
Aid Application Deadlines:
Summer – April 1
Fall/Academic Year – May 1
Spring/Calendar Year – November 1
The IES Abroad Difference
We can say that our academic standards are completely unmatched, our partnerships with more than 500 global universities and colleges speak to the quality of our programs, and our health and safety practices have set the standards for the entire field of study abroad. And all of that would be true…. But what really sets us apart is our commitment to you. As a not-for-profit study abroad and internship provider, you are our bottom line. Your success is our success. And in today’s world, that’s a pretty extraordinary thing.
- 135+ Award-Winning Study Abroad and Internship Programs
- 33 Global Locations
- Advising & Student Support from predeparture to after you return home
- Strong Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
- $5+ Million in Aid and Scholarships
- Passionate, Mission-Focused Staff and Faculty from our headquarters in Chicago to our Centers around the world
- 70 Years of Experience
About IES Abroad
Founded in 1950, IES Abroad is a not-for-profit academic consortium of more than 260 top-tier American colleges and universities, with more than 240 additional partner universities worldwide. IES Abroad provides premier study abroad and internship programs around the world through IES Abroad, IES Internships, IES Abroad Customized & Faculty-Led Programs, and The Study Abroad Foundation. With more than 400 study abroad programs in 85 locations worldwide, the organization creates authentic global education opportunities for thousands of students annually. IES Abroad has nearly 140,000 alumni who have benefited from studying in IES Abroad programs since its inception. Discover more about what we offer with all of our programs.
Call us at 800.995.2300
To apply to this program, you must complete two main steps:
- Submit a UMD approval application - start by clicking “apply now” at the top of this page. This application allows UMD Education Abroad to approve your study abroad program selection so you may earn credit in a program outside of UMD.
This application will require you to meet with your EA advisor, who will communicate important details related to participating in this program. If you do not complete this application by the stated deadline, you may not receive credit for your study abroad program and will lose your student status for the time you are not studying at UMD.
- Apply directly to the program provider. After receiving UMD approval, you should submit the program application directly to the program sponsor by their deadline. Your program sponsor will determine your official acceptance to a program. You must adhere to the provider's timeline, eligibility standards, and application requirements.
After being accepted to your program, your EA advisor will guide you through the course pre-approval process where you will determine which credits you will fulfill abroad.
UMD partners with IES to offer affiliate program options to UMD students across the globe. You will maintain your UMD student status while abroad and you will work directly with IES program staff as a participant on their program. Your EA advisor will assist you with this process and can answer questions you may have.
Academics on an IES program
Visit the Academics & Study Abroad page which outlines key considerations for your academic planning as you navigate different phases of study abroad:
- Pre-Departure Course Selection & Approval
- Finalizing Course Enrollment Abroad
- Transcripts and Credits on your UMD Record
Browse UMD course evaluations in the Study Abroad Course Database:
There may be other course offerings on this program that are not currently listed in the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD). If you are interested in taking a course not listed in the SACD, please submit a transfer credit evaluation request.
Transcript from an IES program
UMD will require the IES School of Record transcript from the University of Rochester in order to apply your study abroad credits to your UMD degree. The fee for the University of Rochester school of record transcript is $375 and paid to IES directly. This should be sent to UMD Education Abroad at the end of your semester abroad. IES will provide instructions and deadlines for submitting your School of Record Request.
Costs & Billing for an IES program
The affiliate program costs apply to this program. All fees are billed to your UMD student account unless otherwise noted. UMD students studying on IES fall or spring programs will get a $2,000 discount off of the published IES program fee through the Public University Grant.
Please note that students on IES programs are exempt from paying the UMD mandatory health insurance as a comprehensive insurance policy is included in the IES program fee. You will also need to pay the $375 school of record fee directly to IES. More details about the specific fees for this program are available on the IES program page.
Once accepted to your IES program, you will pay a $500 deposit to IES directly. The remaining IES program fees will be charged to your UMD student account. You will be able to use any financial aid you have from UMD towards these charges.
Scholarships for this program are available through the UMD Education Abroad Scholarship and IES Scholarship Funds including the Diversity Scholarship, Disability Scholarship and need-based awards. Pell Grant recipients should also apply for the Early Aid Program to get a financial aid decision before you have even been accepted to your program!