Quito is the capital of Ecuador and the political center of the country. With nearly three million people, this year Quito surpassed Guayaquil in terms of size and became the largest city in the country. The metropolitan area offers a wide variety of cultural, historical, and hip attractions to discover. Quito´s geography is complex since it sits along the valley between two mountain ranges, but this also allows for spectacular views of the Andes and several of their snow-capped mountains. The Old Town, also known as Centro Histórico de Quito, was the first World Cultural Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in 1978. In the heart of the Old Town you’ll find the Presidential and Municipal Palaces as well as numerous century-old churches, which make the Old Town one of the main tourist attractions the country has to offer. Beyond this, Quito is the academic center of the country. Dozens of public and private IB schools as well as several international private schools are located here. Most of the top-ranking universities of Ecuador are also based in the city, including the best university in the country, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (private), the only liberal arts institution of higher education in Ecuador.
According to the most recent Open Doors survey, in the 2017-2018 academic year, 3050 students from Ecuador were embarked in some form of educational experience in the U.S. This represents an increase of only 0.6% from the previous year, but any upward trend is tremendously positive, especially considering that the financial situation of the country continues to be difficult. Having climbed up one spot this year, Ecuador remains within the top 25 destinations for U.S. students, currently holding the 18th place in the ranking. The Fulbright Program offers scholarships for graduate education in the U.S. in all fields of study at any accredited institution; and the OAS also offers a scholarship program for graduate education at pre-selected US institutions. Quito is one of the cities with the highest level of English in the country and the U.S. is one of the top places people consider when thinking about education abroad, which makes it a very good market for recruitment.