Overall my experience in Lima was absolutely amazing. It was my first study abroad experience and has definitely enticed me to continue studying abroad (I studied abroad in Ecuador the Spring following my experience in Lima). The Program administration for ISA are very patient and helpful. They do a great job of showing us around the city and familiarizing us with the public transportation. In addition, they provide opportunities for us to travel to different parts of Peru, such as the Amazon Jungle and the Sand Dunes. A trip to Machu Picchu was already included in the Program costs! And believe me, Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see (when you decide to go ;))! In terms of the actual city of Lima, there are tons of fun activities for young people to engage in, such as paragliding, Karaoke, salsa classes/ salsa clubs, shopping, Inca Markets, Museums, Parks, and so much more. You will never be bored! Moreover, there are many restaurants that serve food at very affordable prices and the Peruvian cuisine is delicious! I think I gained a good 5 pounds while living there. When I wasn't exploring the city of Lima, I was attending classes and spending time with my host mother. The classes and class work are manageable and resources are available if you need extra help. My only complaint in terms of academics is the lack of variety and lack of abundance of available classes. One other thing that prospective students should worry about is safety. I would not recommend traveling alone at night. Travel in groups of at least 4. This make taxis less expensive as well because you can split the taxis four ways. In addition, students should use radio taxis late in the night instead street taxis because radio taxis are known to be much safer. They are a little more expensive than street taxis but it is worth it to know that you are safe. Also, please please do not carry anything of value on you if it is not absolutely necessary (iphone, camera, passport). I know that you will want to pictures, so plan what days you want to take pictures and bring a group of people with you. Be careful! Put your money in different locations on your person when you do carry money ( bra, pockets, shoes). Don't worry too much! You are going to have a great experience. Remember to come with an open mind and be willing to immerse yourself into a different culture. I highly recommend this program.
I would definitely recommend this program. I had an incredible experience taking Spanish courses at La Universidad del Pacifico and staying with a Peruvian host family. My language skills improved immensely, I gained an appreciation for the Peruvian culture, and met wonderful people from around the world. Study abroad has been a highlight of my college career and a life changing experience. The onsite staff through ISA are absolutely amazing--willing to help out with anything at anytime. I would also suggest signing up for all of the excursions. I went to on trips to the rainforest, Machu Picchu, and to a desert oasis/beach town, and those were highlights of my entire trip.