Quick Info

  • Andes and Amazon Field School
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : Anthropology, Biology, Health and Rehab Sciences, Latin American Studies, Pre-Medical, Religious Studies, Studio Arts
  • : June 2, 2018 - June 30, 2018
  • : In-State $4,900; Out-of-State: $5,100
  • : January 28, 2018
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers), Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record


All undergraduates will enroll in the Health Population and Nutrition of the Kichwa People in the morning session and Amazonina Arts: Making and Meaning in the Afternoon.

Need to fulfill a general education requirement?  We've got courses for that!  Take a look below:
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences:
This program satisfies the 3 foreign culture requirements.  It also fulfills the non-Western requirement.
This course will provide an introduction to the study of the health, population and nutrition concerns of indigenous peoples; provide an understanding of the health concerns of the Kichwa speaking people of the Ecuadoran Amazon and provide a grounding for research on the health of Amazonian peoples. It will be taught as a combination of lectures, discussion of readings, site/field visits, interviewing of key actors and analysis of primary materials derived from interviews and observations of Kichwa people, healers and patients.
This course introduces students to the arts of the Amazonian region in the context of their function and meaning. The course will be taught as a combination of lecture and hands-on experience working with Native potters from the Bobonaza River. Students will learn to make pottery in the Kichwa (Quichua) tradition, and to understand the role of pottery and material culture in the daily lives of people in this region. On a number of occasions, students will accompany the Native potters on journeys into the adjacent forest to gather materials and to study the patterns in nature that inspire them. Here students will observe related arts such as face paint patterns, beaded ornaments, ritual singing and storytelling. Carefully selected readings and lectures will use these arts as a window for exploring Amazonian thinking about the natural world behind the designs, and the ways in which the designs can be used to understand patterns of social interaction. Interviews with potters will aid in understanding these arts in the context of daily and ceremonial life. In the process, the arts become a doorway allowing the student to explore Amazonian culture and environment first hand. Comparative material from several other world regions will also be discussed.


On-Site Faculty And Staff

Tod Swanson, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, PhD University of Chicago, is the on-site director for the Pitt in Ecuador program.  He is a specialist in Amazonian culture and environment.   His areas of research includes indigenous relations to plant and animal species and Kichwa linguistics. Swanson manages the 1300 acre Iyarina Forest Preserve as an ongoing experiment in sustaining of fragmented Amazonian forest. In 1999 Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River.
In 1999 Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River. Swanson's administrative experience includes having directed Arizona State University's Center for Latin American Studies as a Title VI National Resource Center from 1997-2007.  He has also held elected office as a councilman for environmental affairs for the Santu Urku Amazonian Kichwa Community. Contact Tod Swanson.

Kathleen Allen, Senior Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh, is an archaeologist and potter interested in the intersection between contemporary Indigenous potters, cultural identity, and the interpretation of prehistoric pottery assemblages. She has taken workshops on Native pottery manufacture from contemporary Mohawk and Acoma potters, and has focused on hand-building pottery using pinch, coil and slab techniques of manufacture. She has taught courses on Native perspectives on pottery making for ten years and especially values working with the expert artisans in Amazonian Ecuador. 


You will be staying in spacious rooms that look out on the river and forest. Double or triple occupancy. Bathrooms in room with abundant hot water. High quality mattresses for a good rest. You will sleep to the sound of frogs, the river, and heavy rain on the roof. Wake to the sound of birds.

Three meals per day are provided for you in a dining room with an expansive view of the Napo River. A single menu du jour is served family style to all guests. Recipes include a mixture of Ecuadorian and American dishes with opportunities to savor Andean and Amazonian cuisine. Vegetarian meals are available. All meals are prepared with high standards of food safety.

Pricing And Dates

2018 June Session

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$4,900 $5,100
Depart USA Depart Quito
June 2, 2018 June 30, 2018

Reminder that there is a double session option for the Ecuador program.  If you are interested in participating in both the June and July sessions at the Andes and Amazon Field School for a total of 12 credits, you must apply from the page titled "Pitt in Ecuador - Both sessions."  If you have any questions contact your Program Manager.

Also, keep in mind that dates may change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

Please Note: All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 10, 2018 at TBD in TBD. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!


Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your Ecuador - June program fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for six credits
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure (group transfer only)
  • Transportation from Quito to the Andes and Amazon Field School
  • Three family style meals a day while at AAFS
  • International travel health insurance
  • Cultural activities

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Pitt study abroad administrative fee ($300)
  • Roundtrip international airfare (~$1200)
  • Additional meals and personal expenses (~$500)
  • Passport fees (~$100)
  • Vaccinations (~$200) - Please refer to the CDC's website for suggested vaccinations for Ecuador

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

  • You will fly into Quito, Ecuador and fly home from Quito, Ecuador at the end of the program
  • The field school is tucked in the rainforest along the Napo River.
  • Classrooms are held in open air rooms.
  • There will be bugs. 
  • Some classes will involve hiking in the forest for a few hours.  
  • The juice at breakfast is phenomenal

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.