Located in the center of South America is a landlocked country which humbly invites the adventurous soul to partake in its rich diversity. From the highest capital in the world, which is the amazing La Paz, to the tropical and fiercely independent Santa Cruz de la Sierra, every person will find something that will fulfill their need for adventure, learning and culture.
Geography & Demographics
Mountains and ocean are both easily reached while studying in Bolivia. The wonder that is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, is a relatively short, scenic, and bumpy drive from La Paz. The Cordillera Real mountain range rising 18,000 feet and higher into the sky is an awe inspiring addition to the ride.
This Andean jewel of more than 10 million people of Amerindian, Mestizo, European, Asian, and African descent will attract a variety of culture seekers. The diversity continues with 34 indigenous languages spoken alongside Spanish, Aymara, Quechua, and Guarani.
The four distinct ecoregions provide great variety for outdoor fun. The Llanos region has an inviting humid, tropical climate. The Valleys and Yungas are also humid but with a more temperate climate. In the Chaco region, visitors experience an environment that is more semi-arid with rain and humidity. Finally, the Altiplano is unique with its Desert-Polar climate which produces strong, cold winds. The red cheeks of the population are a certain testament to the harshness of the Altiplano.
Food & Culture
The staples of the Bolivian diet are beans, corn, rice, pork, chicken, and beef. One should not leave out the mighty potato which originated in Bolivia and its neighbor to the north Peru. These simple delicacies are usually enjoyed during the larger meal of the day which occurs in the afternoon.
Things to Do
Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of trekking in the Cordillera Real and mountain bikers will certainly desire the adrenaline rush biking down the Death Road in the Yungas. If outdoor adventures are not your thing then head to a festival or religious ceremony at a local church or town held throughout the country. Just remember to be respectful while attending these events as Bolivia is an old fashioned country and take their religion and ceremonies quite seriously. Always ask permission when taking a picture and keep the noise level down.
Studying in Bolivia
There are study choices to fit the academic needs of young and old alike. The main cities where study programs occur are in La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. When your academic needs are satisfied or a study break is needed, then cooking classes or dance classes just may be what you need to keep studies fresh and give yourself an exciting cultural break.