• Peru
    • Cusco
Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Cultural Studies Indigenous Cultures Latin American Studies
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Degree Level
Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
SIT Study Abroad is committed to ensuring that international education is within reach for all students. Our Scholarship awards, ranging from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs, reflect our dedication. Applying for a scholarship is easy: simply express your interest in a scholarship when completing your admissions application and follow the provided instructions.

Learn more: https://studyabroad.sit.edu/admissions-aid/financing-your-study-abroad/tuition/
What's Included
Some Activities Airport Transfers Classes Travel Insurance
Apr 23, 2024
Mar 11, 2023
1 traveler is looking at this program

About Program

Up to 45 percent of the population in Peru identifies as members of an indigenous community. Here, you will witness the impacts of globalization on indigenous peoples and be challenged to scrutinize the complexities of identity, transformation, and marginalization. You will have two homestays, one in urban Cuzco and a second on Taquile Island, where you will experience different Peruvian lifestyles, perspectives, and identities.

During three weeks of travel to the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu, and the floating reed islands of the Uros people of Lake Titicaca, you’ll see how communities are working toward their own definition of development and cultural preservation. You will also learn about research methods and ethics, which will prepare you to conduct a month-long Independent Study Project on a topic of your choice related to the program themes.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

Program Highlights

  • Examine how globalization impacts indigenous peoples and communities.
  • Rapidly advance your Spanish and learn introductory Quechua.
  • Travel throughout Peru for three weeks and live with two homestay families.
  • See how communities work toward their own development and cultural preservation.

Program Reviews

4.81 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • 5 rating 93.75%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 6.25%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.1
  • Support 4.6
  • Fun 4.5
  • Housing 4.95
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 16 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Formative, Positive Experience

I did SIT Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization the fall of my junior year. I wanted to go abroad primarily for language-learning purposes; I'm a Spanish major and I felt the limitations of learning a language in a classroom. This particular program aligned very well with my other academic interests too; I had taken some classes on North American Indigenous history and studied Indigenous agriculture. The program was a great fit for me and I found it to be a good balance of challenge and support. I always felt that I had the tools I needed to do what we were asked to do, whether that was field work or essay writing.

I had a wonderful host family in Cusco and got particularly close with my mom while I was there. I went to family gatherings, ate meals, and ran errands with my family as much as possible and learned a lot from them. They were very welcoming.

One thing to be aware of with this program is that you'll be taking classes and travelling with other students from the US; my cohort always spoke English with each other and that impeded our language learning to some extent. For some people having other students from the US around helped with culture shock, but at times I felt that I wasn't getting as much out of the experience as I might have if I'd been forced to make more local connections.

The part of my time abroad that I think about most often is my Independent Study Project (ISP). All students in the program complete a month-long project, the result of which is a 25 page paper in Spanish. Although it sounded daunting at first, I am so so glad I did this. I designed a project on conservation of native potatoes in a group of Indigenous communities and their collaboration with an international seed bank. I stayed in the community I was working with for a week on my own. It was an incredible way to follow my interests and learn how to be a student outside the classroom, and I met people who changed the way I think about the world.

This is a great program! Very organized in terms of logistics, even though changing circumstances sometimes altered our travel plans. I would recommend SIT Peru to students with intermediate to advanced Spanish who don't mind having to study during their study abroad.

  • Homestay
  • Trips within the program
  • Good food!
  • Fairly structured (don't expect to take weekend trips on your own)
  • Academically demanding
62 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester of Growth and Achievement in Peru

My semester in Peru with SIT Study Abroad was all I could have hoped for and more. I entered the program with big goals and I can proudly say that I achieved them. I am now an advanced Spanish speaker, I completed an intensive research project I am passionate about, I am a capable traveler and can engage across cultures. This is not an easy program - it takes commitment, drive, focus. I was so pleased with my professors and the program staff for how they facilitated the program while providing space for independence and challenge. Further, they made me think in new ways and valued curiosity above anything else. Peru as a country and culture is incredible, and being in Cusco offers so much opportunity to learn, practice Spanish, and become comfortable in a vastly different culture. In the end, I am so grateful for all I learned and accomplished and I am confident this experience will benefit me hugely in the future.

98 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Journey Through Peru

When looking at study abroad programs, I knew that I wanted a program that not only would be academically enriching, but that would also provide a fun and adventurous experience. Due to my focus on International Relations, the programs focus on globalization seemed like a great way to put into practice that which I had learned through my college classes. Throughout my semester abroad, I was constantly learning new information which was enhanced by our field based experiences. The staff of the program did everything that they could in order to make sure that we felt safe, comfortable, and engaged throughout the program. Each of the trips we did throughout the program allowed us to learn about indigenous communities while getting to see beautiful sites. I will forever remember all the amazing places that we got to visit. Something else that was great about the program was the host family I was placed with. They did everything possible to make sure that I felt like I was a part of their family and always checked in to see if there was anything they could do so I could feel more at home. Another great thing about the program was the research component. The way the program spaced it out made it a lot less daunting to complete the research project, there were also multiple check-ins as well as due dates which broke up the project in little parts. I will actually be using my research as the foundation for my college thesis. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to explore and go on fun adventures while being academically engaged in a supportive environment.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tend to consider myself a picky eater, so I never thought I would find myself eating oven roasted guinea pig or fried alpaca. However, I do have to say they were both quite good.
105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

SIT Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

I absolutely loved this program. I had so much fun, met so many incredible people, and learned so much about both the country of Peru and the Spanish language. The rigorous curriculum of this program challenged me academically and gave me valuable research experience, while also leaving plenty of time for me to enjoy my time there and explore the city. Cusco has so much to offer, from delicious food in the Plaza de Armas to beautiful hiking scenes in the surrounding mountains. The people are very friendly and welcoming, and the city is very safe. I already wish I could go back! I would recommend this program to everyone and anyone.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate was guinea pig! In Peru it's called cuy, and it is considered a delicacy. The meat is actually very tasty, it tastes like a richer version of chicken. If you are ever in Peru I definitely recommend that you try it, I thought it was quite good!
103 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful country with lots of travel included

I definitely learned a lot during my time in Peru thanks to SIT. The classes themselves were mostly lectures followed by group discussions and could be a bit repetitive, but being able to meet with community leaders and members around the country gave me a more well-rounded perspective of the social and human rights we studied than any class I could take back on campus. The workload is fairly light outside of plenty of reading and a few essays, but it just gives you more time to spend with your host families and to interact with the people you meet along the way!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
As silly as it sounds, drinking straight from a coconut has been a long-time dream. As we were working with a family in the Amazon to learn about local artisan crafts, I joked to our host about eating one of the coconuts off a nearby tree. Next thing I know, she's grabbing a machete, twisting off the closest coconut and whacking off the top. With a spray of coconut water she's created an opening just big enough to stick a straw through and hands it to me!
104 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

SIT Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

I studied abroad in Peru through the SIT Study Abroad program in Spring 2018 and it was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate experience! The program is based in Cuzco, so a good amount of my time was spent there. However, I was able to visit so many different parts of the country. For example, I visited the Sacred Valley, where I hiked Machu Picchu; the Peruvian Amazon, where I got to travel through the Amazonia; Lake Titicaca and Puno, where I lived with an indigenous family, and lastly; Arequipa and Colca Canyon, where I got to relax but continue to explore another amazing region. Besides the excursions, traveling to Peru through SIT allowed me to immerse myself in the culture by living with a Peruvian host family in Cuzco and again with an indigenous Peruvian family where I was able to practice my Spanish and even learn another language: Quechua: the language of the Inca empire. And to top it all off, I was able to travel independently as I conducted field research and developed my very own independent study project. Specifically, I was able to choose a topic that I was personally and academically interested in, travel to a region where my topic was relevant, live in such area, interact and investigate that community and then produce a piece of writing that illustrated my findings. It was quite intense but it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that allowed me to continue learning about various aspects of the Peruvian culture. I would say the program has a strong anthropologic basis. However, if you are interested in learning about cultures, globalization, the environment, religion, and anything related to such, studying abroad in Peru through SIT will allow you to learn and experience each and everyone of these focuses in multiple facets. Ultimately, if you would like to be in a country and with a program that allows you to be in the city but also the country- side, learn inside and outside the classroom, and most importantly, allow you to learn about a different world while also learning about yourself, SIT Peru is the program for you!

What would you improve about this program?
I think this program could be improved by introducing it to more students of color who may also be interested.
106 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experiential Learning in Peru

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.
Living Situation:
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.
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.
Language Component:
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.
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.

105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru was for me

After completing my semester in Peru, I told myself and my host families I would return before I turn thirty. Essentially, my time in Peru was a healthy balance of school life and personal development. The dynamic of indigenous peoples and globalization being put into question, created an expansive space to learn. The seminar classes often brought in professors and experts to complement the theme of the day. For instance, if we were talking about Communism and campesino communities, the professor brought in for the seminar would have extensive knowledge on the topic. The variety of excursions also opens your eyes to the rich diversity of Peru. Diversity in every sense of the word: ecological regions, traditions, indigenous languages and dialects, etc. Living with host families was something I always wanted to accomplish and thanks to SIT, I had several host families. My main host family was in Cusco (they were amazing) and I had other host families for the longer excursions and my Independent Study Project (ISP). The program tries diligently to have you succeed inside and outside of the classroom. The people in my program allowed me to make genuine friendships and a fun social life.

108 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers