Mountain Livin' Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., Kenyon College) - abroad from 08/24/2014 to 12/05/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Peru - Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Mastery of a language, a host of new friends (many of whom I consider family), and a different adventure every day. I couldn't have asked for more.

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.

Classes were not as hard as my home university's, but I learned a lot in and especially out of the classroom that I never would have learned at home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mily and Alex are THE BEST. You will feel like they're your friends and parents.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

SIT does a great job picking host families- mine was 4 blocks from the program center and I had 3 amazing host siblings. Their house was a small but comfortable apartment and I had my own room and internet access was great.

* Food:

The food is delicious, if a little heavy on the carbs. Like, a lot of rice and potatoes. But the Lomo Saltado, Empanadas, Ceviche and Aji de Gallina and quinoa are all amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

it is potentially difficult to meet Peruvians your own age- it took a little extra effort on my part to do so. I spent a lot of time with my host siblings and their friends and joined a gym and basketball team. Cusqueños are very friendly so making friends was actually very easy. Other than that the immersion on this program is pretty intense- you'll be spending a lot of time speaking Spanish and visiting different communities.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't get seriously sick- I did get food poisoning once (only lasts a few hours) so beware the fresh fruit (i.e. make sure it's washed, peeled, from a good source etc. Only 1 girl on the program had a little trouble with altitude sickness and the program was really supportive of her.

* Safety:

As a girl there is some cat-calling in Cusco, and certainly a few places to avoid while alone late at night. Overall i felt very safe in Cusco.

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)

Peru is pretty cheap- you can get a 3 course meal for 8 soles (like 3 dollars) and you can always barter in markets.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe about 80 soles (so around 30 dollars) including money for one dinner out and drinks on the weekends


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? advanced spanish literature
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Host Family
  • Program Excursions
  • Cusco
* What could be improved?
  • Academic Rigour
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How amazing the entire experience was going to be- and to bring a pocket knife for arrow carving in the Amazon!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.