• Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• The course is open to upper-level UW-Madison degree-seeking students from a variety of majors, but is especially suited for students in the Global Health and Environmental Studies programs.
• 2.75 cumulative GPA
• Some Spanish language ability preferred but not required.
• Good academic and disciplinary standing


Agriculture, biological science, environmental studies, humanities, social science

Classroom Language



Field Research Station

Program Duration

Summer: Mid-June - Early-July

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Summer 2018  TBA
Program will not be offered summer 2018. Check back for summer 2019 application.

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Ecuador, Multiple
UW Water for Life: Sustainability and Community Health in Ecuador

Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices | Apply

The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is teaming up with UW-Madison Global Health Institute and the communities of Tabuga and Camarones in rural Ecuador to offer this two-week service-learning course.

Water quality is rapidly emerging as one the most pressing environmental concerns facing humanity in the 21st century, and the cross-cutting importance of clean fresh water supplies is emphasized in global initiatives on conservation (COP10), development (Millennium Development Goals), health (WHO 2012), and economics (World Economic Forum 2011).

This course on the coast of Ecuador highlights the interconnections between human use of water resources and health. The group will examine the sustainability of land and water management practices in a rural area of coastal Ecuador where people rely on rivers for their water needs.

You will participate in an assessment of the health risks in local water supplies. You will work with communities to discuss water-related health concerns, and conduct participatory planning of strategies that will increase sustainability and reduce the risk of water-borne diseases. The program provides opportunity to engage directly with the community on an issue of real importance, and provides field training in concepts and approaches for managing water-related human health risks. Through this program, you will gain knowledge and skills directly applicable to solving the emerging global water quality crisis while providing tangible service in severely under-served rural communities in Ecuador.

This program is offered in partnership with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, a non-profit organization offering field courses taught by highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. Their field courses provide quality education while taking you to some of the most remote and pristine ecosystems left on earth.

Learning Objectives

We have overall Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad. Additionally on this program, you can:
  • Deepen cross-cultural understanding through the study of community health within the context of the host community
  • Learn field research techniques for assessing health risks from water, and enhance your awareness of the social and environmental realities that underlie the global water quality crisis
  • Engage with fellow UW students and faculty
  • Achieve personal development and the ability to adapt to a new culture