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Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Studying abroad with SIT in Peru was one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. I had the chance to learn more than I have in any other semester of my academic life, get to know a place that was totally unfamiliar to me before, and to make some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I could not speak more highly of the program staff or program design. Every experience I had-- each of my different classes, time spent with my host family, trips to Lima or the Amazon, hiking and exploring around the Sacred Valley, getting to know the city of Cusco, interactions with Indigenous communities, and putting together my independent research project—it all came together in a remarkable way to deepen my learning and understanding of Peruvian history and culture and of the issue of globalization. You will be challenged, pushed far outside your comfort zone, and made to understand yourself as you relate to a globalized world in a totally new way. My interest in Latin American studies, globalization, and indigenous peoples and history have totally transformed.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

one of a kind experience

Throughout my semester abroad in Peru with SIT I experienced and witnessed some of the most amazing things of my life thus far. Living, breathing and learning within the culture of Peru is something I will never forget, something that will live on in my heart forever. At the end of my time there I walked away with one over arching idea, that we are all living together in the same world. This program opened my eyes to the beauty that lives within our world, the complex social structures that limit certain people and favor others, the incredible life that can be found within culture, the complex idea of living in a globalized world and so much more. It was truly more than just an academic semester, but a semester spent living fully and learning so much about our world and about myself and my place within it.
I absolutely loved my time abroad with SIT. I made so many amazing friends, connected deeply with our directors and fell in love with Peru. I wish every day that I could be back there still living in that world because it was truly a one of a kind experience, one of the best in my life. I encourage anyone thinking to go on an SIT program (especially the one in Peru) to DO IT! It will change your life, no doubt.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Mis meses en Perú

Studying abroad was the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I studied abroad with SIT Perú during the fall semester of my junior year, and it was an absolutely amazing experience for me. Having always loved the Spanish language, I set a goal in high school to spend a college semester in a Spanish-speaking country where I could further develop my language skills while being immersed in a different culture. After researching and considering various programs, I chose SIT for several reasons. One is that I appreciate the structure that SIT offers, which has each student alternating homestay weeks with ones of travel and exploration. It was incredible to stay with indigenous communities in the Amazon and Lake Titicaca region, to visit Machu Picchu and Lima, and to give back to schools in both cities and the campo. Another reason I chose SIT is that I value the opportunity to do research outside of the classroom in a primary experience manner. SIT requires that each student spends the last month of the program conducting their own research, related to the program theme. I worked in schools at an altitude of 12,500 ft in the Andes, and it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A third is the homestay itself. I loved my host mom and host brother, and they taught me a lot about Peruvian culture as well as helped me greatly improve my Spanish. A fourth is Cusco being offered as the “home base”. It is a wonderful, very lively, and culturally diverse city, providing a continual point of contrast to our rural journeys. I feel that I now have a deep understanding of Peru, its people, and its culture thanks to SIT.
The ISP was the culmination of all we learned in the program. It felt intimidating to me at first, but I always had the support of my advisor and the SIT staff. My ISP entailed spending two weeks in the rural Peruvian sierra studying intercultural bilingual education as a way to help maintain and reinforce the cultural identity of young native Quechua speakers. I formed rewarding relationships with students and teachers alike, and learned first hand about the quality and challenges of education in the campo. After completing my ISP, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and gratitude for having had the opportunity to be involved in such an intimate experience with native communities.
One thing that I noticed throughout my time in Peru was how friendly Peruvians are. I was always amazed at how many people were willing to go out of their way to help me if I was lost or needed anything. It truly speaks to the peoples and cultures there, and is something that I won’t forget.
I will close by saying that my assumption I would make valuable friends on my study abroad trip was accurate. The size of our group, eighteen students, was ideal for developing close friendships. Sharing such intimate time with peers from colleges all over the country created lifelong memories and connections for me.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

BEST STUDY ABROAD EVER.

I deeply cherish my study abroad opportunity with the SIT Perú: Globalization and Indigenous People program. Community within the program grows deeply and closely between the students within the program and the program staff, while also offering endless possibilities for you to be as much or as little immersed into the Peruvian culture, and that of Cuzco specifically during your time there. The lectures and courses we took within the two and a half months in Cusco and travelling to other communities during the excursions were challenging and enriching, providing a unique and realistic visual of the diverse culture, the history of the indigenous communities, and the current state of indigenous communities and their lands today in Perú. The experiences during the excursions were all so beautifully different, but enticing in how we learned hands-on about cultures and the people of varying indigenous communities, learning values and crafts of their communities alongside them. However, the most life-changing aspect of this program, other than the love and care of Alex Alvarez, the program director, and Milagros del Carpio, the program coordinator, is the month-long independent study project. The idea that a program would grant you the opportunity to study not only a topic of your passions, but also with a community or in an area of the country which interests you most, is beautiful-- especially when the first two and a half months of the program help to create, form, and execute your topic of investigation, with the aid of the knowledge and encouragement of the program staff and your own personal adviser who specializes in the theme of your investigations.

Investing in the culture and the communities and hearts of the people of Perú was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I went to learn about Peruvian culture and study the language, but I left with a heart full of locals who felt completely like family, of memories and laughter of adventure, self-discovery, and exploration, and of an enrichment in not only the Spanish language, but of what it looks like and means, and feels, to get your hands in the dirt alongside of different versions of "Peruvian." A part of me, and life, and love, and home, and place, and the power of people and storytelling remains in the mountains of Perú, in friendships with fellow tíos and tías, and in el monte of the Amazon jungle with more family with the people of Quero who so invitingly and humbly allowed me to live with them, taught me the elements of their culture, and filled my heart and knowledge with stories of the past and what it means to be Wachiperi.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Living, Learning, Breathing --Peruvian

This program was amazing, not only did I get to adventure out into the world, but I was able to participate in things I never thought I would be able to do. I traveled into the Amazon Rain Forest and stayed with an indigenous tribe, while they taught me how to make arrows, fish without hooks, make baskets, jewelry, and paint. Then I was lucky enough to stay with a family who spoke Quechua and practice my Quechua. All while learning about the wonderful country that is Peru. When we returned to Cusco where our program was located we were lucky enough to learn about Indigenous cultures and what is happening around Peru to these cultures with the modernization and globalization of Peru's industry. It was crazy seeing what we learned in class on our excursions. It was quite the unique experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

The Andes for a Semester

I had an amazing time during my semester in Peru, and I made friendships (both Peruvians and fellow Americans) that I will keep forever.

The program does an amazing job picking host families. I had my own room, excellent internet and 3 amazing host siblings. I lived 4 blocks from the SIT program center.

My favorite memory is the group excursion to Lake Titicaca, and spending 3 days on Taquile Island in host families with one other student. Myself and a friend hiked to the top of the Island and were surrounded by Incan ruins and 360 degrees of blue water and snowcapped mountain tops in the distance.

Classes are interesting, though perhaps not as rigorous as my home university. The ISP (Independent Study Project) is by far the most challenging, because it involved living in and adapting to a remote community for many of us (several people choose to stay in Cusco or go to a city).

The program is very immersive and everyone's Spanish improved a lot. We even learned a little Quechua which was very cool. A possible drawback is that it is potentially difficult to meet Peruvians your own age- it took a little extra effort on my part to do so. I spent a lot of time with my host siblings and their friends and joined a gym and basketball team. Cusqueños are very friendly so making friends was actually very easy.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

SIT: Peru Indigenous Peoples + Globalization

This study abroad program was a great way to experience Peru while improving your language skills in both Spanish & Quelnua and learning basic Peruvian indigenous history.

The ISP portion of this program is particularly helpful, and gives you an opportunity to conduct your own fieldmark in any discipline, and set up the basis for my senior thesis. In summary: Great program, great people, as long as you put effort in.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    7

Great experience overall

Memorable Experience was hiking with friends and seeing

I wanted to come out of studying abroad with something useful, and the ISP research fit.

I lived in an apartment with my host family. I was very comfortable and well-fed.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Great experience overall

I love Peru, and definitely recommend spending some time in the country. If you want to study abroad here, I definitely recommend SIT as the best program in Cusco, but there were also some frustrating things about the program. It was not academically challenging until the ISP month, and most people didn't feel that the program had prepared us for it. However, I still loved doing my ISP and am so glad to have accomplished that research. I also loved my host family, the excursions, and the program directors.

Academics:
The ISP month was great, but the months leading up to it were not as challenging as I expected. Still, this was way more challenging than the other programs in the area.

Living Situation:
Loved my host family.

Cultural Immersion:
It was hard to meet Peruvian friends our age, but the host family situation helped with cultural immersion.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

Cultural Immersion

My most memorable experience was swimming in an amazonian river with my classmates and staff, and seeing dolphins jumping only 30 feet away. I also got to watch a beautiful moon rise in the evening.

I chose this program because I wanted to improve my Spanish in a Latin American country. I liked the educational excursion aspects of it, and the opportunity to conduct my own field research.

I was set up with a host family: father, mother, and 30 year old host brother. I had my own room. My family asked what foods I liked, all meals were provided (already paid for). We went on weekend trips together to local religious and archaeological sites.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Cultural Immersion and Independent Research Project

I was looking for a program that would be academically engaging, yet had a big travel component --this program was the perfect combo. We got to learn as we travelled around various regions in Perú--the andes, the coast, the amazonian jungle, the high plains, the canyon. I wanted a Spanish immersion program, and was excited that I got to work on an independent research project.

I was very satisfied academically, culturally, and socially. I made great friendships and got to see and learn about many places in Perú.



Academics:
Everything was in Spanish, so I felt like I really improved my speaking and writing skills in Spanish. I liked the small, seminar style classes. I got a chance to speak and share, and hear from other students. We studied research methods as we took educational excursions, which was really unique. We had a month to conduct field work and write an analysis all in Spanish. I felt like I had the resources I need to learn and to perform well.

Living Situation:
I was set up with a wonderful family that allowed me to be immersed in the culture, from home cooked meals, to watching local television programs, to celebrating local holidays. We went out on weekend trips, hiking and visiting nearby religious or archaeological sites. They were very understanding and accommodating in every aspect.

Cultural Immersion:
A component of the program is to have educational homestays with indigenous people, where we would participate in daily chores and activities, we even sometimes wore traditional clothing and spoke in Quechua. I felt like I learned a lot from many cultures. I just wish I had made more local Peruvian friends at my homebase in Cusco.

Program Administration:
They are relatively new, working there under 3 years, so I feel they can grow in certain areas. They were respectful to the students and attentive to their needs. I was met with great follow up each time I had a concern. The staff felt like family, very approachable and friendly.

Health and Safety:
If you stick to common sense things like being mindful of your wallet and electronics, traveling in a safe taxi, traveling in groups you'll be fine.

Social Life:
Met great people who were in the program and good times with my host family. I did not meet or befriend many local Peruvians. Cuzco has a wonderful nightlife scene, you can stay out as late as you want and there is always something to do.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Live it up in Cusco!

SIT Peru gives students a chance to live in Cusco which is a small, diverse city in the Andes as well as a chance to travel around the country. The ISP (Independent Study Project) gives students a chance to do their own research.

Students live w/ host families which for me was fine, the situation really varied from house to house.

The program directors worked really hard to connect with students though the academics were lacking