SFS Semester: Biodiversity & Development in the Amazon in Peru

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At the heart of this program are the conflicts and synergies of conservation and development in the north Peruvian Amazon region. The program includes a multi-day excursion to the Sacred Valley, the city of Cusco—the hub for visitors to Machu Picchu—and the adjacent Andean highlands. Students learn firsthand about the ecological patterns and processes that underpin the extraordinary biodiversity of the Amazon region along the catchment of the western Amazon River and its tributaries. Students explore biological diversity and conservation, ecological interactions, and the value of ecosystem services, as well as the effects of climate change and land use on regional and global biodiversity and human well-being.

  • Field lectures on the overwhelming biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and its causes at several key sites including Alpahuayo-Mishana and Pacaya Samiria
  • Observations on the impacts of extractive industries, such as logging and fishing in the conservation of Amazonian natural resources
  • Collaborations with local Bora indigenous groups in ways to address environmental concerns in their communities
  • Study highland tropical rainforests during a multi-day excursion to Cusco and the Sacred Valley
  • Research on monkey behavior and ecology

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
group photo

Straight Up Amazing

Before this program, I had only left the country once before, and that was to go to Montreal in Canada. I was a little nervous joining the program the to that, but my fears were groundless. This program was stunning in scenery, meticulous in safety preparations, and fascinating in class information.

The field trips were all worthwhile, and allow you to learn more about the culture and ecology of Peru (Andes, Amazon, and highlands) than most tourists could ever dream of. Additionally, it allows you to avoid the more touristy locations and find peace in some harder to reach locales. The program's itinerary is changeable though, as we found when half the program fell sick and could not make it to Manu Wildlife Center (arguably the highlight of the program). Even with this, though, the amount of information we learned and the amount that we traveled seemed unparalleled by any other programs I had researched.

I would hands down recommend SFS Peru for a study abroad program. I would recommend staying after to sightsee and let your hair down a bit, for rules are strictly enforced during the semester and spring break for safety purposes. And if possible, I would also come down early to get a deeper understanding of the language and the present culture too (for SFS lodging is in what may appear normal in the States but are palaces in terms of Peruvian standards of living).

I learned more during my semester with SFS than I had learned in the previous year in University, in addition to meeting and befriending many like-minded nature nuts and hiking pals. I hope that you have the same or better experiences!

Yes, I recommend this program
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SFS Peru

SFS Peru is the place to make lifelong friends who become your family, be surrounded by amazing amounts of wildlife, and study and work in the Amazon rain forest. Unique opportunities to pursue interests in ecology, conservation biology, and political ecology make this program extremely special. Expect to be amazed every day and live in a place you may have never considered a potential home. Travel opportunities and field excursions throughout the rain forest, as well as the highlands, make this program fantastic.

How can this program be improved?
The only major issues are spotty wifi and the occasional electricity failure.
Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

About The School for Field Studies

The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers field-based programs that revolve around environmental studies and research. The programs involve exploration of the human and ecological aspects of issues having to do with the local environments. Students...