SIT Study Abroad Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Video and Photos

Isla Taquile
The Amazon
Mountain Watching
Food fair in Ocongate (during my ISP)
Machu Picchu!
Children from one of the rural schools I worked at for my ISP
Me with just some of the community (and FAMILY) of locals I spent almost everyday with!
Study in Cusco, Peru
Study in Cusco, Peru

About

While studying and living in Cusco, Peru, one will examine Peru's traditional and contemporary societies. This country is home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the Americas. Explore how indigenous peoples in Peru are adapting and innovating to preserve their cultural values and shape their own future in the face of globalization and rapid change.

Topics for study include:

Rights, advocacy, and policy
Community development
The arts, including pre-Columbian artistic expression
Identity-recognition
Impact of international corporations

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.13 Rating
based on 15 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 15
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Sadie
9/10
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.

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Darla
10/10
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.
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Olivia
10/10
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!
Read my full story
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Emily
9/10
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!
Eunice
9/10
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.
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Autumn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experiential Learning in Peru

Academics:
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.
Food:
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.
Finances:
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.

Default avatar
Edgar
9/10
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.

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L
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

some luxe field trip

If your goals for study abroad include:
-meeting people from your host country
-having substantive opportunities to practice a new language outside of class
-thinking critically about how race works in a different society
-doing a cool internship or volunteer thing in your spare time
-having the chance to take weekend trips or go camping
-forming close relationships with professors and getting letters of rec for fellowship apps
-any kind of academic rigor at all

DON'T DO THIS PROGRAM.

Classes are 100% lecture-based and given by a rotating cast of professors, which means you will hear the same introduction to the issues basically every day, never get a chance to form a close relationship with someone, or hear how the different themes the lecturers present are seen to relate to one another. The management actively discourages weekend trips and forbids volunteering and internships. When our methods class got in a fight after they claimed there was no racism against Afro-Peruvians, they managed to backtrack more or less, but told me afterwards that they normally try to avoid the topic of race altogether (in a program titled "Indigenous Peoples and Globalization"!!!!!). Their philosophy is that Peru and the USA are totally incomparable as societies, but also that we are somehow 100% capable of understanding deep and complicated issues within Peruvian society by taking cursory bus tours of indigenous villages and popping in and out of schools. They believe in Humala's consulta previa in the context of government negotiations, but doesn't believe in consulting indigenous subjects before writing anthropological observations of them. They believes in the left's proposals for intercultural bilingual education, but don't seem to care that their classroom is basically absent the intercultural part since there is no space made for connecting with Peruvians. I arrived speaking Spanish fairly well and so have had the chance to discuss some of my concerns with them but they barely give the time of day to people who struggle more with the language.

A side note: It is also very difficult if you get sick on this program because the staff is very liability-conscious and will make you follow the doctor's recommendations exactly, even though they are also aware that the doctor overprescribes. I stopped taking bronchitis medicine a few days early because it cost 13 soles a pill and was giving me hand tremors, and the director said they would send me back to the US for breaking the code of conduct. He also shamed me for being hesitant to waste so much money by implying that I was rich (the SIT insurance makes you pay for everything out of pocket and doesn't reimburse you till you get back). So far I have paid $186, which is over 600 soles, about a quarter of our month's budget for independent research.