Cusco, Peru: Cradle of a Civilization Past Review

By (Anthropology., University of Florida) for

Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Cuzco, Peru

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This study abroad experience allowed me escape my textbooks and live what I had been reading for so many years. It has helped me realize that I must continue traveling to learn not only about others but about myself as well.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The grading system wasn't anything that was too incompatible with my home university and because this was a new program there are some kinks, but the host university was quick to respond to suggestions and made accomadations as soon as possible. The Professors were wonderful and diverse, I feel they held up a standard that was both professional and worthy of any American university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The computer lab was always open and useful, but when it came to requiring printed papers, it was a bit excessive especially for not providing a printer on campus to accomodate us. Lockers would have been useful and as it gets very cold in classrooms and the lab, more heaters would have been nice. Office staff was helpful, but again didn't appreciate student use of the only printer on campus. Program size was small and helped with getting to know students quicker in a foreign environment and was conducive to healthy student-professor interaction (something that is not readily available in large public universities, U of F included).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was particularly unlucky in this sense, my first host family was going through a divorce when I arrived and the family size was entirely too large to swallow. The bathroom was not maintained in a sanitary manner and helped in my decision to leave the first household. My second homestay was nice, it was just an elderly woman and her aid, they were welcoming and the bathroom and living situation was much cleaner.

* Food:

Awesome. Food is a large part of the the cultural immersion and with the homestays I was able to partake in many meals that I wouldn't have known how to look for in formal dinig situations. The best places to eat out were probably Paddy's Irish Pub, Don Estebans & Don Panchos, The Frogs, Yuraq, Bembos, to list a few.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Cusco city tour and Sacred Valley Tour were the first, but most certainly not forgettable. Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca trips were amazing, well-organized, and provided insight into other cultural regions in Peru.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

the opportunity to use the language was mostly in the homestays or with interactions with people navigating through the city. I didn't improve much, but that's mainly because I already speak Spanish and wanted mostly to work on grammar and writing composition. What true beginners were able to achive is quite impressing and this program is useful for that group of students, but advanced students didn't feel like they improved very much either.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would probably say "go for it". There is a plethora of new and unfamiliar sights, sounds, and tastes; though culture shock may intimidate you at first, be bold and curious enough to discover what else this world has to offer.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

History of the Inca Civilization

Course Department: none
Instructor: Pablo Garcia
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was impecably designed, relevant, and provided a wealth of knowledge I am more than happy with. As an anthropology major who had taken a similar course with an authorithy in this field, this course surpassed my expectations.
Credit Transfer Issues: No credit issues.