Jun 1, 2011

FVCC Introduces Learning Adventure in Ecuador

College to Host Informational Meetings June 8

Flathead Valley Community College will host two informational meetings June 8 on its inaugural cultural immersion program in Ecuador that will be offered during the college’s winter interim session January 3-15, 2012.  Students who participate in the 12-day learning adventure will explore the Galapagos Islands, Amazon Basin and the capitol city of Quito.

Participants can earn up to six college credits while discovering the natural diversity and rich culture of Ecuador, the second smallest country in South America.  Students are required to enroll in the “Issues in Wilderness Ecology” three-credit course and have the option to enroll in “Cultural Anthropology” for an additional three credits. 

In addition to the course work, activities in the Amazon Basin will include studying ecotourism at the Yachana Ecological Reserve, river canoe trips, jungle hikes, plant identification, animal and bird watching, visiting black lagoons and local communities and participating in the Yachana Foundation effort to educate local communities on the importance of preserving the Ecuadorian Amazon region.

Galapagos Island activities will include boat exploration of rural rock formations and beaches, a volcano hike, visiting the Charles Darwin research Center, spending time on the San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands of the Galapagos Archipelago, giant tortoise and marine iguana watching, snorkeling, exploring and identifying marine life and discovering pristine beaches.

The cost to enroll in the program is $3,500 and includes round-trip airfare from Kalispell, accommodations, all meals excluding five dinners, six-day Galapagos land-based tour, Galapagos flights, hot springs visit, Quito city tour, ground transportation, four-day Amazon eco-lodge tour, island transportation and guidance services by FVCC Multicultural and Study Abroad Coordinator Mick Stemborski.  Additional expenses not included are course tuition and fees, airport taxes, Galapagos luggage check, Galapagos National Park entrance fees, airport meals, Newark layover, snacks and beverages, gifts and souvenirs, bottled water and transportation to and from the Glacier Park International Airport. 

The informational meetings will take place at noon and 5 p.m. in the college’s Multicultural Lounge in room 226 inside the Arts and Technology Building on the FVCC campus.  Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to attend one of the meetings.         

Space in the program is limited.  A deposit of $1,000 is required by October 5, 2011, to secure a place in the program.  The remaining balance is due by November 4, 2011.  Payments are to be made to the FVCC Business Office.  Students must be at least 18 years of age to participate.

A pre-trip interview is required before making any payments.  Please contact Stemborski to schedule an appointment at (406) 756-3945 or at  For more information, visit