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CISabroad participants CISabroad participants
Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Semester in Cusco (Fall Semester 2014)

I participated in the semester in Cusco program and had the best 4 month experience of my life. I had the great opportunity to travel to many different areas around the region of Cusco. We went to Machu Picchu, hiking in Calca, we went to Puno and Manu, as well as parts of Quillabamba. The adventures I participated in were once in a lifetime and even to this day, and being back home, I still reminisce about them all. But it was also really the people that made all the experiences. The people I met in the program became some of my closest friends I have ever made and I can rest assure knowing they will be lifelong friends. Our group was amazing and we had the best times together on our adventures and daily excursions. The classes I took were all so very informative teaching us a lot about the history, culture, and way of life of Peru and Cusco. It was refreshing to take classes that focused on culture more so on our specific majors. The classes in Lima are more focused on your major so I would have taken mundane business classes, but the classes I took in Cusco were very focused on the culture and the area such as history of the Inca civilization, andean nutrition, biodiversity of peru and spanish. I learned a lot about the country of Peru and also learned a lot about the outside world. And lets not forget that I learned a lot about myself. The experience I had in the Semester in Cusco program was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone who is looking to study abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The Best Spot in Peru

Cusco could not have been a better cultural, social, academic and overall wonderful experience. I have nothing but positive things to say about my four months studying abroad. Unlike Lima, Cusco is not as city-like, which I preferred. My program consisted of 10 students and we were all family and very tight-knit by the end of the trip. The classes were all about the culture and could be applied very easily. There are hundreds of shops, restaurants, nightlife spots, museums, markets and natural settings to explore within walking distance or a short taxi ride. I was able to visit other places such as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Manu National Park and more. Everything was inexpensive compared to the US and I made a lot of local Peruvian friends. My spanish improved greatly, I know so much about Cusco, the Incas and history in general. It was very hard saying goodbye to this beautiful city, but I will definitely be returning in the years to come!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Peru

It was cool.

Academics:
Classes were very informative, I feel like I have a much greater understanding of Peruvian society. I felt that the Spanish class was too fast without enough time for review.

Living Situation:
Don Ignacio is a great place to live. Although constant construction is frustrating and the breakfast could use more variety.

Cultural Immersion:
Including field trips in the classes really added to the element of cultural immersion.

Program Administration:
Everyone at USIL and CIS was great. Very helpful and knowledgeable of the process.

Health and Safety:
I always felt very safe in Cuzco, however watch out for your belongings while traveling.

Social Life:
You can go out every night of the week if you want.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Cusco Review

Cusco is the best place to study abroad. There is everything you could want here from night life to outdoor adventures.

Academics:
Good

Living Situation:
I live with a host family and it should be ofered to everyone doing CIS in Cusco.

Cultural Immersion:
Cusco is such a fasinating and beautiful place to live and study.

Health and Safety:
I was worried about my saftey at first being a woman in South America. I feel really safe here as long as your city street you should be fine in Cusco.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Room to Wander: Four Months in Cusco, Peru

My vast range of my study abroad experiences in Cusco, Peru is comparable to the ever shifting climate of a city that is today both a tourist hotspot as a jumping-off point to Machu Picchu and the home to a varied population of professionals and indigenous peoples. One day saw me exploring the Peruvian jungle, the next in class studying that same region. I studied Spanish by day, using what I had learned to converse with my host family and buy copious amounts of produce (I promise you, the mangoes in the States will never compare with a Peruvian mango) from my favorite vendors. While the process to get to Peru was extended and tedious, in the end it was more than worth the cost. If you're looking for a little adventure, a location off the beaten track, and an experience that will teach you patience and flexibility, Cusco is the city for you.

Academics:
The courses at USIL were varied and interesting, taught my professionals active in their field of study.

Living Situation:
The host family I was paired with exceeded my expectations. I left Peru feeling like I was leaving my (Spanish-speaking) family behind. My host parents shaped my time in Cusco, providing me with an insider's view of the city and invaluable advice.

Cultural Immersion:
Cusco, Peru is an incredible study abroad location, where you are immersed in both the Spanish language and the living legacy of Pre-Colombian cultures, the Incas, and the Spanish Conquest.

Program Administration:
The staff of the USIL extension center located in Cusco, Peru, was incredible. Each member was there for matters big and small - from advice for treks into the jungle and the best ceviche in the city to academic concerns.

Health and Safety:
I felt safer in Cusco than I do in a big city in the United States

Social Life:
Cultural immersion is an inevitability in Peru, especially when living with a host family. You will come to know and love the quirks of Peruvian culture and have to opportunity to meet travelers from all over the world (who are often on their way to Machu Picchu).

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Magical Cusco, Amazing Peru!

I had the pleasure of spending 4 months in Peru while studying abroad and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Cusco is a fascinating city with so much to offer in the way of history, culture, nightlife and endless beautiful memories. While in Peru I lived with a wonderful Cuquenan family who accepted me into their lives and homes with open arms and made me feel like I was one of their own children or sisters. I was able to study Inca history and architecture right at the heart of the Incan empire and visit many famous sites, partake in numerous festivals and see the different sides of Peru. Peru is the land of a thousand landscapes, it's topography changes from highlands and mountains, to jungle, to deserts and beaches. For anyone who wants to learn Spanish, or even just have an adventure, I recommend a semester in Cusco. If you keep an open-mind it will be an unforgettable and un-regrettable experience!

Academics:
The courses were very easy and didn't require very much depth of analysis, critical thinking or much study. However, the cultural class and business class were very good as they both gave a good perspective on issues relating to Peru and South America.

Living Situation:
Loved my host family!!! This was one of the best parts of my experience. They made me fell so welcomed and at home and I was blessed to see their culture and lifestyle up close and personal! I highly recommend homestay to anyone seeking for an authentic experience abroad!

Cultural Immersion:
Because I stayed with a local family I was able to use Spanish on a daily basis, eat local food every day, see how festivals and holidays are celebrated in Peru, and got to make a number of wonderful Peruvian friends.

Program Administration:
Overall the administration was very good, however there could have been a little more information about the courses themselves as I pretty much had to choose the courses based on their names and guesswork.

Health and Safety:
Nothing negative every happened to me in Peru and I always felt very safe walking around in Cusco, taking public transport, and even travelling late at night. I was always very alert but never felt threatened or had cause for concern.

Social Life:
I was able to interact with not only my program peers and my extended host family (who are friends for life) but I also developed friendships with many great local people: business owners, guides, musicians, professors, photographers and VJs-- Beautiful people who enhanced my experience and ensured that was never alone unless I wanted to be.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Come to Cusco!

Studying in Cusco, Peru was an awesome experience! So may tourists pass through Cusco on the way to Machu Picchu, but getting the opportunity to live there was a totally different (and in my opinion, better) experience. Of course, it's what you make of it. Practice speaking in Spanish as much as possible, try new foods, travel to new places. Be open minded and humble about what you experience, and you'll have an amazing time!

Academics:
more classes should be offered in spanish and english although the information offered was really interesting

Living Situation:
live with a host family! it's the best way to immerse yourself in the culture and language

Cultural Immersion:
cultural immerison is up to you, however, i would have preferred to attend a university with foreign students as well as locals, rather than only americans

Program Administration:
in the case of any emergency or major problem, very helpful, but also at times a bit scattered since the coordinator held other responsibilities at the school

Health and Safety:
cusco is a safe place to be, but especially if you're coming from a smaller town, you have to be conscious of pick-pocketers on public transportation

Social Life:
cusco is a really fun place to go out in! lots of bars with live music and discotecas. since lots of people come in and out of cusco on the weekends, there's always something going on

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Life Altering Experiences

My time in Cusco, Peru was absolutely Incredible. My homestay was the nicest, most open and friendly family I could have hoped for, and the campus of USIL is gorgeous and located right near the center of the city, where everything is happening. The professors at USIL are also incredible, though at time the administration can be a little disorganized. In general, though, I'd give the whole program an A or A- in it's totality, because the very few problems I had don't even come close to outweighing the amazing, life-altering experiences I had while here.

Academics:
USIL was pretty good. The academics were a little easy, but not too elementary. The organization of USIL left a little to be desired though.

Living Situation:
I AM IN LOVE WITH MY HOST FAMILY

Cultural Immersion:
It's too easy to spend all your time with Americans, but once you branch out it's awesome

Program Administration:
If this is about USIL, then it's more of a C. If it's about CISAbroad, Then this rating is A++ because CIS did EVERYTHING and made it so easy.

Health and Safety:
Cusco is super safe, as long as you're smart about it. Don't do things that draw attention to yourself, and don't walk alone in scary alleys at night. But that's common sense. The city is very safe in general.

Social Life:
lots of interactions with people from Cusco and with other americans.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    2

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    5

For the most part, a great experience

I had a great time during my study abroad in Cusco, Peru. I learned so much about the history and subsequently about the culture and was able to visit some amazing places. I made great friends here and am definitely glad I came here for the semester. However, like anything, there are down sides. I had little opportunity to make friends with locals. I think this is because it is such a touristy city that locals don't take the time to get to know the tourists. It would have been nice if the program offered a way in which we could get involved.
The student housing is also great, I have no complaints about it. We are right by everything in the downtown area and in a clean, safe, and hospitable place.

Academics:
why its not an a: midterms had questions which were too detailed for all the material covered, and there is no review.
Also, the teachers are not very good at communicating expectations of work, the student has to continually ask.
However, on a daily basis I enjoyed my classes

Living Situation:
I lived at the student housing and it was great. Clean, safe, and awesome rooms. Also, we got a great free breakfast every morning and our room was cleaned 3 times a week. We were only a 10 minute walk from school and 15 from the main plaza. No complaints

Cultural Immersion:
While we learned about history and contemporary society, there wasn't a component that helped us get involved in the community or meet people, which can be difficult here. I wish there had been more of this so I could have gotten to know more locals.

Program Administration:
Good, but it takes a lot time to hear any responses to a question or issue because communication doesn't seem to be too good. Also, there can be unclear responses.

Health and Safety:
I never felt threatened living in this city. I could walk around by myself during the day or the evening and feel completely safe. At night I do suggest walking with a group or taking a taxi, just to be cautious, especially if you are outside the main downtown area.

Social Life:
While I made some great friends at the school, I had a very difficult time meeting locals who wanted a friendship. Most of the locals don't take the time to get to know you because they are used to tourists coming and going quickly. Be cautious of the bricheros (or bricheras if you're a guy) who only want the sleep with you and milk you for your money. They are usually the ones who will approach you if you are out at night.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Cusco is amazing

Cusco is an amazing town for cultural immersion. The local people are friendly, especially in the rural outskirts and in the mountains. The scenery is stunning, I suggest taking hikes whenever you can if you`re staying in Cusco. There is so much to be learned about history and the Spanish language, you just have to go out and participate in as many activities and in Cusquño daily life as possible.

Academics:
Some of the syllabi need adjusting. Teachers need to make some improvements in methods.

Living Situation:
La Casa de Don Ignacio is great for privacy and the staff is very friendly

Cultural Immersion:
All students at the University speak English, making it hard to practice Spanish at school other than in class

Program Administration:
A little slow to respond to issues

Health and Safety:
I never feel threatened, but I also never walk home alone at night

Social Life:
There is always something to do and people to meet here.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Semester in Cusco

Cusco is a great city and I would recommend studying abroad here if you are interested in living in a culturally and historically rich city. There is a lot to do and see throughout your time here. However, I would reccommend shopping around for the program that best fits you.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

the lesser known cusco

I had a great time travelling around the cusco area. There is an amazingly diverse amount of people living in the city. The mountains are beautiful, the culture is rich, and theres something new to see and learn everyday.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    1

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Favorite Resterant

Incanto. Kind of expensive, but well worth it.

Academics:
five exams and five 20 pg papers the final week. They could have spread this out better

Living Situation:
Hotel has been under construction for a month. It's been two weeks since I've seen a maid, received new sheets, or even a new towel. I suggest living with a host family.

Health and Safety:
You'll have nothing to worry about.

Social Life:
The people you meet, you will never forget