IOI offers the rare opportunity to study abroad in the Galapagos. We have challenging and exciting higher education programs – run through an academic partnership with the University of Miami (UM) – that focus on the specifics of the unique Galapagos marine, coastal and social environments. Our higher education program is designed in two ways: full exchange semesters in the Fall and Spring and short programs for winter intersession, Spring Break and Summer.
“When you first get to the Galapagos you are mesmerized by the beauty of the land, but as time passes you also come to know and love the people of the islands, an experience most Study Abroad programs fail to offer. The spirit of the Galapagos rubs off on you and you leave the islands with a whole new outlook on the world. The Galapagos will always be one of the best times of my life”. Judy H. (Student, Spring '10)
The 12 week semesters run mid-September to early December and mid-January to early April starting with an orientation week and with a one week fall/spring break programed into the schedule. Every semester consists of 5 consecutive block seminar courses, taught by rotating UM faculty and totaling 15 credit hours per semester from UM. All FAFSA and other student loans apply and IOI is an official UM study abroad campus.
The Fall semester is chaperoned by UM’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy (ECS) – an innovative, interdisciplinary initiative that bridges the gap between science and environmental policy. The Fall program is designed for social and natural science students alike who are looking to satisfy a broad suite of general education requirements in one of the most beautiful and unique natural environments on Earth. It will introduce students to the unique environments of this island archipelago through a series of interrelated courses in anthropology, ecology, ecosystem policy, geology and international studies, each focused on the Galapagos.
The spring semester is hosted by the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) – one of the best and most renowned marine science schools in the country/world. The spring semester curriculum is geared for marine science and other basic science majors who wish to get a hands-on introduction to the geology, biology, ecology, oceanography and evolutionary history of the Galapagos Islands. All spring semester courses are taught by faculty of RSMAS.
The summer and intersession classes are also taught by rotating faculty from the University of Miami Intersession programs are 2 – 3 weeks long and worth 3 credits each. The Summer 2011 courses will be organized and conducted through the Latin American Studies program. For more information on these course offerings, visit the UM Study Abroad website:
Our programs emphasize cultural exchange and foreign language immersion, complimented by field-based and hands-on experiences in the unique natural and social environment of the Galapagos Islands. You will see and understand the nature and character of these islands not as a visitor but as a resident. Our curriculum concentrates on the specific uniqueness of Isabela and the Galapagos Islands. In order to provide an effective Professor-Student ratio and in order to not culturally overload the community there is a cap of 15 students for each class.
Students need to enroll into UM’s system rather than signing up with IOI directly. Of course IOI is still in charge on the ground and is integrally involved in the oversight and coordination of the academic program.
Christine Q. (20) says her experience at IOI “was truly amazing, different, beautiful, informational, fun, peaceful, funny, surprising, volcanic, oceanic, and Galapagonian all at the same time. I would go back in a second!”
Upon arrival in Galapagos students get an important cultural orientation to prepare for living with families in Galapagos with respect and understanding for the people and the environment. The homestay is a basic principle of IOI that gives each student and host family intensive intercultural and Spanish/English language exchange.
A regular day at IOI looks like this: a seminar/lecture in the morning including theoretical background material and then time for individual projects; fieldwork during the afternoon; and an overview discussion of the day's work before dinner. Throughout the 12 weeks on Isabela, every student under the mentorship of community members and IOI staff will participate in community service and conservation projects.
*Note: A homestay coordinator who keeps in close contact with IOI staff will be available to council both the host families and the students.
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS
The Isabela Oceanographic Institute admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.