I loved it so much, I want to go back to Peru to live and work there. August 12, 2014

By (International Relations and Affairs to MERGE, Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 05/26/2014 to 07/26/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Lima, Peru

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
To some up what I learned in a couple sentence would be impossible. I learned so much about Peruvian culture, the governmental systems, about the people, and some of the realities of developing nations. Obviously my Spanish improved immensely, but also my desire to travel the world as well as my complete love for the Spanish language and Latin culture. Everything was worth it, I made some of the best friends that I hope to maintain as life friends.

Review Photos

International Studies Abroad (ISA): Lima - Spanish Language & Courses in English with Peruvian Students Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Lima - Spanish Language & Courses in English with Peruvian Students Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Lima - Spanish Language & Courses in English with Peruvian Students Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Lima - Spanish Language & Courses in English with Peruvian Students Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Lima - Spanish Language & Courses in English with Peruvian Students Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were in Spanish, however they were small and the professors were extremely helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The onsite staff for ISA was the best I could have asked for! Anytime we had a question or needed help, they were just a call or an email away.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a mother, two host brothers, and two roommates from the program. Leaving my Peruvian host family was one of the absolute saddest things about leaving. My brothers took care of me and were there if I needed anything and my host mother felt like a real mother. They were some of the kindest people I have ever met in my life.

* Food:

Everything is amazing, I recommend people try all the different types of food from all over.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

People were so incredibly friendly. I immediately met people from my university and going around to different events in the city or to things I was interested in, like surfing, people befriended me and were ecstatic to show me around their country.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If someone needed a shot or something, a clinic was easily accessible. There are private and public hospitals. There was a clinic next to our university that our international insurance covered, if we needed anything.

* Safety:

Peru is not like the United States, you must be subtly alert at all times and be smart. I personally felt the most comfortable I have ever felt in a foreign country, more so than I did going around Europe at night. I had no bad safety-related experiences whatsoever, I loved everything! Just be careful with taxis and going places alone. It's better to not speak English, or rather try not to stand out too much.

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

Finances

* 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)

Everything was very affordable. I would rate Peru a 4.5/5

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30-$50, mostly because of the exchange rate (I'm trying to remember exactly), but food is rather cheap.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you work, put the money in your savings account so it is untouchable. Also studying abroad, it is much easier to use cash than a credit card. I only used a credit card 3 times in Peru.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

5, everyone tried to speak Spanish only

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A Spanish Composition class level 303
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? When you study abroad, whether with Americans or locals, SPEAK the language! Read in your language, watch tv and your shows in that language, and the best is listening to music from that culture.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • my host family
  • the food/excursions
  • my classes
* What could be improved?
  • A greater variety of classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I now know that I with confidence and talking to people, going anywhere is possible. Having to be in difficult situations and communicate in a different language and come out of it successfully definitely boosts your confidence. People also greatly appreciate when you make an effort to speak their language. Also, not to be scared to make friends and go on any excursion or experience that you can.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Socioeconomic Reality of Peru

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor:
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The class had two parts to it, an economic professor and a sociology professor. Both were extremely knowledgeable. There was a lot of information and articles that were of more advanced Spanish. We also had a speech and big paper, however I absolutely loved the class and learned a lot.
Credit Transfer Issues: As far as I know, there have been no transfer credit issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Spanish Grammar

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Mercedes Cama
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was very helpful while relaxing. I wouldn't say it was stressful and challenging, but extremely useful and informative, my grammar and sentence formation improved so much by the comfortable conversational classroom environment and by the readings and homework we had.
Credit Transfer Issues: I have not had a problems with the credits getting accepted, or well, no problems that I know of.