As a graduation requirement for my major I needed to study abroad in a Spanish-Speaking country for at least one semester. ISA, International Study Abroad was heavily recommended to me by several members of the faculty at my college. I chose to study in Lima, Peru, at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). I chose to study for two separate semesters fall, and spring, although a year long program was offered, but I would have needed to wait until spring, as it is a spring-fall program. I could have directly enrolled in the University the second semester, and my found my own lodging, but I was so impressed with ISA I decided to stay within their program
I lived with a different family set up by ISA each semester. Both families were very friendly, and accommodating. ISA took great strides to organize orientation activities, and help the participants to learn about Lima, as well as the country. ISA offers several trips, both included with the program, and available for a reasonable fee. Included trips include Cuzco and Machu Pichu, as well as going to Iquitos.
Overall the majority of my time was spent in Lima, going to classes during the week. I made a variety of friends, went on some trips of my own, explored the city, and enjoyed Lima's nightlife as well as excellent culinary traditions. By my second semester I spent the vast majority of my time only with Peruvians, any I left being fluent in Spanish. ISA offers tutoring for your courses, and has an office at each of the Universities offered through their program. The main ISA office is always open to students who need some guidance or help.
I wish that I had spent more time with the tutors offered, as taking classes in Spanish was difficult for me, and ultimately I did fail several courses. While Lima is a cheap place to live, I should have saved up more spending money for the first semester, as my second semester I was better off and was able to more enjoy the city and explore the country. I would also caution perspective students who will study in a country such as Peru, where the USD is very powerful, to be cautious with their money. I and several other students spent far too much money at first, and everything seemed so cheap; ultimately this adds up.