By (PSYCHOLOGY., Pace University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Lima, Peru

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am more appreciative of other culture and ways of life. Americans tend to feel like the world revolves around us and our beliefs. Going to Peru made me realize that different isn't necessarily bad. And at the end of the day, our differences are what make us unique and give us an amazing story to share. Because of the opportunity that I found to teach ESL in Peru, I'm going to apply to be an English Teaching Assistant as a Fulbright Scholar in Peru next year!!!!!!

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 grading system was really laid back. The professors were more focused on encouraging group dialogue as opposed to lectures. The workload was not as intense as an American University, but it made the learning experience more interactive. There were two professors that I didn't care for at the USIL, but it was more so dut to their organizational and communication styles then anything else. I had difficulty registering for classes, and the International Students office isn't great with customer service so to speak. However, the ISA staff tried to help me and pick up the slack on the part of USIL whenever they could.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

ISA WAS AMAZING!!!! They went above and beyond to make sure that student's were comfortable and that our needs were met. They included trips and cultural activities that were not a part of our itinerary, but made sure to keep us engaged in the culture that surrounded us. I also enjoy the fact that the staff was accessible at all times. They didn't distance themselves from us after work hours, but they acted as resources and friends to us when we needed support and guidance. I also loved the staff's passion about their jobs. Even before I applied to ISA, I was looking for a program that would educate me about the country, not just beg me to go just to get my money. I felt like ISA was invested in making sure I accomplished my personal and academic goals while in Peru.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I LOVED MY HOST FAMILY. They treated me like a daughter from day 1. ISA arranged the stay based on my preferences, and they were amazing. As a part of the program they did my laundry and provided meals, but their support of my endeavors was the real benefit I received from them. I never felt like an outsider in their home, and they did anything in their power to teach me and make sure I was adjusting to Lima. I lived about 20 minutes away from school, via a combi without traffic, and about 10 minutes away from the center of town (Miraflores).

* Food:

I didn't eat meat, and my host family made sure that there was always food for me. They always introduced me to new foods via our family dinners, and always ate the same things I ate (minus one time when I was sick, so I had soup instead of the normal dinner). There are a TON of places to eat in Lima, but honestly, find a place with a Menu. It's about s./8 for an appetizer, entre and either dessert or drink.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had the chance to go see Macchu Picchu, which had to be one of the best trips of my life. It was physically challenging but I was satisfied with how the trip was organized. ISA also organized intercambio events such as the scavenger hunt. It was an activity that involved us traveling around the city with Peruvian students and learning about some of the city's landmarks as we found certain objects.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Do not make yourself a target. As you would do in any other city, just be careful with your personal belongings. People go to Peru with a fear of being mugged, and that in itself is wrong. It was easy for me to get access to health care. I only had to worry about it when I needed a vaccine, but I had no problem finding a clinic.

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?

I took Intermediate Spanish. I also lived with a host family who did not speak English so it forced me to practice my Spanish regularly. I took classes in English, but practiced speaking Spanish to friends outside of class. Most of them were learning English, so it was easier to have conversations with them in Spanish.

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? "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Anyone can benefit from this program if they are open-minded. ISA did a PHENOMENAL job at organizing the program and supporting its students. Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions about my experience abroad.