A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Xavier University of Louisiana) - abroad from 06/02/2014 to 06/30/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Lima, Peru

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have gained so much from my internship abroad. One of my main goals of going abroad was to see how various countries and cultures are intertwined with one another. It was interesting to see how in one large metropolitan city can have so many different districts that vary in style and culture. I must say interning abroad was definitely worthwhile because not only was I able to gain experience in the psychology field, but the work I was doing helped me figure out what I would like to pursue a career in once I've graduated.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Although I didn't spend anytime working in a classroom, I still learned much about the Peruvian culture and language through cultural activities and speaking with the locals. During my time at my placement, I was constantly pushed to do things outside of my comfort zone and challenged to do new activities I had never done before.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site ISA staff were excited and welcoming towards me the moment we met and extremely helpful when I asked for assistance with a particular task.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my living arrangements, because not only did I get along very well with all of the students staying in the house, my host family's house was close to where the bus would pick me up to take me to my placement.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The health issues were addressed mostly thoroughly during our on-site orientation. On one occasion, I needed help getting to a pharmacy and the staff helped me find the proper medication that was equivalent to what I would have used in the United States.

* 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)

I was able to live a very frugal budget, I only spent roughly $300 the entire I was abroad. I was able to do so by splurging only once a week and eating at my host family's house.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40-$50 depending on the restaurant


* 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

Not many of the locals speak much English, but Lima's the perfect place to practice. At my placement, mostly everyone spoke only Spanish, with a few exceptions, where some spoke English.

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? Intermediate Spanish
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? Constantly read and speak the language. The more comfortable you feel, the easier it gets; and don't be afraid to make mistakes - it's okay!

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

  • Other
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the people (other students and volunteers)
  • Lima's city life
  • the food
* What could be improved?
  • more organized leisure activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The weather! I was expecting the sun to be out for most of my time in Lima, however, I hadn't realized the season was winter and not summer. Most of my days consisted of hazy, grey skies with little showers of light rain. So I definitely suggest you check the weather before you go anywhere abroad.