3 Months I Will Never Forget! Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/26/2018 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 cultures I really had no prior knowledge about. Being able to visit and interact with different indigenous communities was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have had. I also do not believe I would have been able to achieve the level of Spanish I am at now without my time in Peru.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I personally did not find the academics to be very rigorous in general. However, because my Spanish was fairly limited at the start of the program, I found it very difficult to complete readings in a timely manner without having to look up a lot of words.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

For the most part, I had a good experience with the on-site staff. Before starting the program, I thought the staff would be a little more casual and get to know us more personally. However, they were a bit distant and kept a more professional relationship with the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a homestay is definitely not for everyone and definitely has its ups and downs, but I loved my experience living with my host mom. At first I was very disappointed that I was not paired with a family, but living with just my host mom ended up being great. She was incredibly kind and understanding. Being able to talk with her everyday I believe is what allowed me to improve my spanish so drastically.

* Food:

Since I am kosher, I could not eat a lot of the food in Peru as kosher meat is non-existent, however, my host mom was extremely accommodating and always made sure I had PLENTY to eat. By the end of the semester I was really craving any food that wasn't Peruvian since they don't have much variety in cuisines and I mainly ate the same few dishes with my host mom. Additionally I found it kind of hard as they do not eat a lot of fruits and vegetables due to the fact that the altitude does not allow much else to grow besides potatoes, quinoa, and corn.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved living in Cusco and being able to take the city buses to explore the city. It made me feel very independent to be able to navigate and travel around the region to different sites without my program. While it was very immersive living with Peruvian families and being taught by Peruvian professors, I wish there had been a way for us to meet local people our own age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Cusco is a very safe city. I never felt unsafe walking or taking the bus alone.

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? $50


* 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

Every class was taught in spanish and our host families were told to only speak to us in spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? 104
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? Speak as much as you can!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Host City
  • My Host Mom
  • Being able to travel often
* What could be improved?
  • Staff Organization
  • More opportunities to meet Peruvians our age
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More spanish

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.