My son studied there for 4 months about 2 years ago. He lived in Quito but traveled a fair amount thru out the country. He didn't think Quito was any less safe than any other large city but he was told that if you came across a large group of people leave the area. The goverment doesn't like that and will get out the water cannons to disperse the crowd. The year before my son was there a student from his school got caught in the crowd was run over and badly injured. My sons own experience was that he had his pocket picked on a crowded bus,had to leave a soccer game when a brawl started in the stands, a cab he was in had an accident(he said it was pretty funny how they settle disputes when there is an accident. the drivers don't call the police they call relatives and who ever gets the most people to come to the accident wins) and while he was jogging thru a park near his home a homeless man tryed to hold him up with a broken bottle. Another group from his school was held up at gun point and I think they were in the historic section. So now that I've given you the bad review my son said he had a great time and would go back in a heartbeat.