Lima Peru Landmark
TRAVEL : QUIXO PERU : Special Interests

Studying in Peru

Your Guide: Catherine Criolla
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There are several approaches to studying in Peru, including college exchange programs through U.S. universities and direct registration at a Peruvian university or language school (even some high school exchange programs also have programs in Peru). Service learning programs (which can involve home-stays and other usual features of exchange programs) are also an option. Note that there are numerous programs available, of variable quality. I am just listing those I can recommend because either I am familiar with the program, it’s content and/or its director(s).

Spanish language study in Peru

Spanish as spoken in Lima and the cities by well-educated Peruvians is a clear and beautiful version of Spanish, making Peru a great place to learn the language. Formal training in Spanish for foreigners is found at any number of language schools in Lima, and there are others in the major cities (certainly Arequipa & Cusco).

If you are a beginner, I always recommend taking some intensive Spanish before traveling. Once you have a grounding in the basic grammar it is very worthwhile to immerse yourself in Spanish. I don’t know much about the myriad of language schools catering to foreigners, but there are hundreds, and many advertise on the internet. As always, let the buyer beware. Check references and research the reputation of any organization in Peru before you sign up.

If you are coming to Peru to move your Spanish to the next level, or to become truly proficient, you might consider the language institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. If your Spanish is already fluent and you are looking to study at a university, La Catolica, as it is known, is one of the best in Peru, and it has a great Spanish department.

For a student interested in more serious work on any specific topic in Peru (in Spanish), including graduate studies, the two most likely universities to have serious programs are La Catolica which is generally the best in Peru, and the University of Lima, a newer university that has become popular with Peru’s elite.

Summer programs in Peru

Summer programs in cultural history, archaeology and related topics aimed at foreign college students are offered by La Catolica in Lima, Cusco, the jungle, and the north coast of Peru.

Archaeology field schools in Peru

Archaeological field schools for college students (and usually suitable for adults as well) can be found in several flavors.

  • The University of North Carolina field school taught by Professor Brian Billman that is good for American students who want college credit are not ready for a full immersion into Peru (students live and work together and don’t necessarily need much Spanish).
  • Another field school out of the University of Illinois at Chicago is overseen by Field Museum curator Patrick Ryan Williams on his Cerro Baul Project.
  • Peruvian archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo runs a field school at San Jose de Moro that can be taken through the Catholic University in Lima or through Harvard .
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