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Ecuador Tropical Biodiversity

Dates: 1 May–8 June 2023 (approx.)
Application Deadline: 1 March 2023

Ecuador is one of the most interesting, biologically diverse countries in the world. It stretches from the Pacific Coast, over the Andes, and into the Amazon Basin. The animal diversity is astounding, and you will be able to watch it change as we travel from high to low elevation. It is a place for students to effortlessly experience rich culture, adventure, and biology. Students involved in the Ecuador study abroad will combine coursework and mentored research. Research will focus on the evolution of insects with a major focus on dragonflies and beetles. Students will cover a diverse set of habitats and see both the east and west slope of the Andes from dryer forest to deep tropical forests. We will travel mostly by car to document the species present and their distribution and behavior. The study abroad is designed to not only provide a completely unique mentored research experience but to also result in presentations at national meetings and peer-reviewed publications with student authors.

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More Information

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Students are required to take 6 credit hours of BYU courses while on the program; they may choose from the following courses:

BIO 120—Field Biology (3 credit hours)
BIO 441—General Entomology (3 credit hours)
BIO 494R—Research Credit (3 credit hours)

Students may not take any other courses on this program, including BYU Online courses, without approval by the program director and ISP.
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Includes Latter-day Saint undergraduate full tuition (increased cost for grads and non–Latter-day Saint students) and international health insurance. The basic program cost includes several small and large group activities throughout Ecuador.

Does not include international airfare to and from Ecuador, preparation course tuition, most meals, or personal expenses such as souvenirs. Low-cost meals are available throughout Ecuador.
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Funding Sources

Regular BYU tuition scholarships, Pell Grants, and Federal Insured Student Loans may be applied to study abroad programs.

Students who submit the financial aid section of the ISP application and who have a current FAFSA form on file at the Financial Aid Office (A-41 ASB) will be considered for a Study Abroad scholarship.

Academic departments and colleges may assist with scholarships and grants.

Private grants and scholarships outside of BYU may also assist (see
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Students would benefit from taking BIO 130 prior to the program, but it is not a prerequisite to apply.

Accepted students are required to participate in an international, cross-cultural preparation course (IAS 201R, 1 credit hour).

Accompanying spouses need to be credit-bearing participants on the program; they will need to apply online and participate in the preparation course.

Students must meet all country- and program-specific COVID and health requirements for travel.
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Housing will be arranged for students in different settings in each region (e.g., bungalows, hotels, native living). Students will be responsible for their own meals.
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Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program sites. Airline reservations must be made through BYU Travel. Students should contact a BYU Travel agent.

BYU Travel
280 HRCB
(801) 422-6293
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Application Process

Students must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

Complete the online application here. A nonrefundable $35 application fee is required; applicants will be interviewed once the application is complete.

Students will be notified via e-mail of their acceptance into the program. The first payment is due upon acceptance; please refer to the Payment Information document.

Application Deadline: 1 March 2023
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Program Adjustments

International Study Programs (ISP) reserves the right to cancel this program, revise its offerings, or make any adjustments to the preliminary cost.

If it becomes necessary for ISP to cancel a program, all program payments made to BYU ISP will be refunded to the student’s BYU Financial account.

ISP is the only office authorized to cancel any of its programs.
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Seth Bybee is a professor of phylogenetic systematics in the Department of Biology. He has traveled to over forty countries throughout the world to conduct biological research focused on dragonflies and beetle groups. Along with his wife, Libby, and his family, he looks forward to exploring one of the most diverse places on the planet: Ecuador.

4057 LSB
(801) 422-3152
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International Study Programs
101 HRCB
(801) 422-3686
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ISP Student Handbook

To see the student handbook, click here.
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Payment Schedule

To see the payment schedule, click here.