An Environmentalist's Fantasy Trip Past Review

By (Environmental Science., University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 07/30/2014 to 08/08/2014 with

The GREEN Program: Peru - Water Resource Management & Sustainable Practices

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an understanding of another country. While I was only there for 10 days, it felt like at least a month. I learned about a different culture and saw real-life pollution problems that I had only learned about in a classroom setting. This trip solidified my interest in hydrology and water resources and gave me the motivation to finish out my degree so that I can help solve these worldwide problems. I also made incredible friendships with all of the people I traveled with. I never thought that I could become so close with a group of strangers in such a short period of time! I gained a huge desire to travel the world and I don't think that I'll ever truly be satisfied until I have seen everything.

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.

I really enjoyed learning in the field compared to learning in the classroom. I was able to better understand the culture and the problems we were studying. The university that The GREEN Program partnered with did an amazing job of making me feel like they truly cared about teaching me even though I was there for such a short period of time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Seeing as this was my first time out of the United States, I was very anxious to be traveling to a foreign country. The program administration did absolutely everything in their power to make me feel comfortable and relaxed. They seriously had every detail planned out. There was never a dull moment and never a time when I felt homesick. They constantly motivated our group to keep moving forward and to achieve all that we set our minds to.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The hotel we stayed at in Cusco was incredibly nice! Our trip counselors had it set up so that our roommates were the people we arrived with. I ended up being best friends with the two girls that I roomed with! I was so lucky to have them the first couple of days because the airport lost my luggage. Our overnight trip to Machu Picchu was also amazing! The hotel we stayed in there was also nice. I had no problem with the living arrangements!

* Food:

We had breakfast every morning at the hotel. It was pretty basic breakfast food but the coffee was so delicious. Then every lunch and dinner we ate out. The food choices became quite repetitive to me since I am a vegetarian and there were few options but all of the food I received was prepared properly and incredibly fresh and tasty. I also love pisco sours!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everywhere was walking distance from our hotel in Cusco. We were able to walk to our university and most of the restaurants we ate at. I felt very safe and at home walking around the town. I don't speak Spanish so I wasn't able to communicate with the locals very well, but we had translators that did a wonderful job. I felt very immersed in the Peruvian culture. Honestly, it was more of a culture shock coming back to America.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Both of my counselors were trained in first aid and had massive first aid kits to deal with minor injuries. I got 3 vaccines for this trip: Hep A, yellow fever, and typhoid. I honestly don't believe that I needed any of these vaccines but I would definitely rather have the vaccine than the disease. None of the water was potable so it was important to only drink bottled water or boiled water.

* Safety:

The biggest safety concern in Cusco is petty theft. I was always with our whole group or a couple of people. I never felt threatened by any locals or unsafe in the slightest. Our hotel had a gate and a guard so I also felt very safe there. My advice would be to scatter your money in different places. It's important to not keep all of it in one place incase you did get robbed.

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)

Everything was all inclusive which was the best! I only had to worry about any spending money that I wanted.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $40 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Paying for an all inclusive trip made seem daunting at first, but in the end it is so much easier to not have to worry about paying for everything during the trip.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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 location
  • The people
  • The topic
* What could be improved?
  • The food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that Peru really was not as cold as I had originally thought it was. I overpacked and could have had more room to bring home souvenirs from the market in my suitcase!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Geography of Peru

Course Department: Geography
Instructor: Oscar Ortega
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The first class I attended was all about the different geographies of Peru. Geography is important because it dictates diversity. The class was so interesting because Professor Ortega is a native of Peru and was very knowledgable. He was able to answer every question that my classmates and I had. After that first class, I better understood the country that I was visiting. I believe that I participated in class more than I regularly would because I as so interested in the material we were covering.
Credit Transfer Issues: If you have trouble transferring the credit hours, talk to someone in your department to see if they can get you work-study hours so that you still get credit for the classes you took!