Anna Catherine Caldwell - 2013 Program Participant

Nighttime view of Lima, Peru

Nighttime in Lima, Peru

Why did you choose ISA?

I chose ISA because they had everything and more that I was looking for. They offered excursions to Machu Picchu, my number one reason for choosing Perú, as well as to the Amazon Jungle, Amazon River, the deserts of Ica.

What advice would you give to other students about to study abroad in Perú?

Use your Spanish, or at least try. Peruvians are such accepting and caring people; they truly appreciate your attempts at using their native tongue (for the most part – Quechua is a whole different ball park). Also, choose a homestay for the same reason. The people of Perú are so ready and willing to share their beautiful culture with the world. They welcomed us openly into their homes. I was terrified, but ended up in a wonderful home with two sisters who taught me so much about Peruvian Spanish and culture (A big plus - one happened to be a professional chef, so the food was always delicious!).

Why was Lima the best place to study abroad in Perú?

Since Lima is the capital of Perú, there is so much history there! It was really neat seeing the National Cathedral, the President’s House, the Changing of the Guard, and the national futból stadium all within a five minute walk. Also, due to its location, Lima is the perfect place to study if you want travel to different parts of Perú. I was there for five weeks in June and the beginning of July. In those five weeks, I was in four different climates, all within easy travel distance from Lima. I was in the humid Amazon Jungle, swimming and fishing for piranhas; I was in the cool glacier-topped mountains of Cusco to visit Machu Picchu; I was in the hot, arid deserts of Ica, riding dune buggies on what was easily the best roller coaster ride of my life; I was in Lima, on the Pacific coast with beach waves perfect for surfing.

Visiting Machu Picchu

Anna at Machu Picchu

What was your favorite class?

While I was in Lima, I studied at la Universidad del Pacífico, and took two classes: Advanced Spanish Grammar and Latin American Literature. I enjoyed both of them; the professors were great and we called them by their first names. My favorite of the two would have to be the Latin American Literature class, though. We read and discussed pieces of literature, from poems to short stories to excerpts of novels, written by authors from all over Latin America. We even had to write our own pieces.

How has study abroad impacted your life?

Study abroad really made me appreciate all that I have here at home. At the same time, it made me realize that I am somewhat spoiled by American culture. In Perú, I learned how to appreciate a three hour meal, and that having your personal bubble invaded constantly is not always a bad thing. My time in Perú also really increased my confidence when it comes to the Spanish language. I feel so much better using it now, even though I’m still not completely fluent.

Another big impact that study abroad has had on my life is that now I cannot stop traveling! I have since traveled to London on my own, studied abroad a second time in Poland and Germany, and have plans to travel so much more!