Incredible Experiential Learning in Cusco, Peru Past Review

By (Religious Studies, International Studies, Macalester College) - abroad from 08/25/2018 to 12/08/2018 with

SIT Study Abroad: Peru - Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about Peruvian culture, history, politics, and language, as well as a ton about myself. My study away was definitely worthwhile.

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.

The program academics were definitely easier than my on-campus courses. However, SIT capitalized on the benefits of experiential learning and the incredible amount we as students learned just by being abroad, in the field, and with the communities we studied.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family my entire time abroad, and it was one of the best parts of my study away experience. My host parents were extremely welcoming and made me feel like part of the family.

* Food:

It can be hard to get used to the food in the high mountains of Peru, especially with the lack of lots of fresh fruit and veg. Our host families cooked a lot of delicious food and attempted to make foods we would enjoy from back home as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was definitely integrated into the local culture through my host family and the constant Spanish, but it's easy to slip into looking like tourists when you're with the other students on the program. Definitely something to consider, but I'd say those breaks were worthwhile and even helpful for my own mental health.

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Almost everything was covered by tuition! We even received stipends when we traveled, so we didn't have to worry about spending our own money.


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A three hundred level literature course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • Experiential learning / travel opportunities
  • Opportunity for independent research
* What could be improved?
  • Pre-departure communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the local culture and logistics about travel / money / etc. SIT communicated well with us, but having more of an idea of what to expect would have been helpful.

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.'