Spend a semester or a year in cosmopolitan Lima refining your intermediate or advanced Spanish language skills while immersing yourself in Peruvian culture.
Through direct enrolment at the oldest private university in the country, homestays, volunteering opportunities and a variety of cultural activities and excursions, studying abroad in Lima offers you a unique intercultural experience and fascinating insight into the country and its people.
Study abroad in Peru and you will:
Prepare for the semester with an intensive two-week Spanish language program
Choose from a wide range of course offerings at one of Peru’s oldest and most prestigious universities; make friends with local student peers
Live with a local Peruvian family and be immersed in the country’s language and unique culture
Travel outside of Lima to Cuzco and Machu Picchu; participate in workshops on Peruvian music, dance, and cuisine; take tours in and outside of the city
The CIEE Difference
In addition to intensive language training, and a number of area studies electives, enjoy an extensive selection of courses through direct enrolment at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Whether you’re interested in Anthropology or Communications, Education, Journalism or Economics, you’ll find courses that allow you to pursue your interests and earn credit toward your degree.
Enjoy excursions to sites of historic and cultural importance in Lima and its environs, including visits to the colonial center of Lima, a music and dance workshop, and professional soccer games.
You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the history and culture of Peru through lectures and tours by locals. This usually includes excursions to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Other shorter excursions may include a visit to an island where you may swim with sea lions and a visit to Lunahuaná, a town in a river valley known for its natural beauty.
Community service and volunteer opportunities are available for interested students. Previous study abroad students have worked with NGOs in the areas of women’s health, Afro-Peruvian human rights, education, and rehabilitation.
Total recommended credit for the semester is 16–21 semester/24–31.5 quarter hours and for the year is 32–42 semester/48–63 quarter hours.
Contact hours for PUCP courses range from 45 to 68 with recommended credit 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours and 4 semester/6 quarter hours respectively.
All study abroad students take the required two-week intensive Spanish pre-semester course. During the regular semester, students enroll in the CIEE core course, Understanding Peru: Race, class, gender, and cultural diversity taught in Spanish. Enrollment in a semester-long Spanish language course is required for students who place into Intensive Advanced Spanish I during the pre-session and is optional for students placing into Intensive Advanced Spanish II. Students must enroll in courses for a minimum of 15 credits, which are to be completed through a number of PUCP direct enrollment courses. Students may also take the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning as an additional elective.
Lima’s colonial legacy is reflected in the location of its main square on the banks of the city’s major river, in its numerous ornately constructed baroque churches, and in its historical homes with elaborately carved wooden balconies. This city of 8,000,000 is located on Peru’s Pacific coast and includes diverse neighborhoods sprawling out from the colonial center. Lima is a cosmopolitan city peppered with charming antiquity as well as ancient archaeological sites. Peruvian music, renowned cuisine, coastal geography, and a fascinating history all make for a rich experience for study abroad students as they immerse themselves in Lima.
Where You’ll Study
Founded in 1917, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) is the oldest established private higher educational institution in Peru. It’s hard to believe that its beautiful 90-acre campus with extensive, well kept gardens, is located in the busy commercial district of San Miguel. The ample and relaxing site has the feel of a huge park that houses classroom and faculty buildings, a central library, computer facilities, a sports center, numerous lively student cafeterias, and even an archaeological site. The University hosts nearly 17,000 students, and many research centers, including the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.
Housing & Meals
Study abroad students live in private Peruvian homes. Housing, three meals per day (at the home stay), and laundry costs are included in the program fee. Academic year students participating in the program from July to July of the following year are responsible for housing and meals during the two and one-half month break between the fall and spring semesters. Calendar year students participating in the program from February to December may remain with the host family at no additional cost.
The home stay is essential to the students’ learning process and integration into life in Lima. The opportunity to live with a Peruvian family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and to observe real life in action, but it also creates opportunities for students to talk about issues presented in their courses and to practice their Spanish language skills. Home stays also provide a unique source for learning about Peruvian culture and for personal growth.
Established in 2007, the Liberal Arts study abroad program is ideal for intermediate or advanced students who have had at least five semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent and wish to continue their language study by enrolling directly at PUCP alongside Peruvian students. In addition to direct enrollment courses, students explore Peruvian history, mestizaje, ethnic identities, globalization, poverty, and Peru’s modern culture through the CIEE Understanding Peru: Race, class, gender, and cultural diversity course and CIEE cultural activities. All courses are taught in Spanish.
For academic year students, it is possible to obtain a Peruvian Studies Certificate issued by Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Perú by studying and passing several courses in the fields of humanities and social sciences that focus on Peru.
Emphasis is placed on memorization and note taking in most classes. It can take a while to learn how to study effectively in the Peruvian system, especially in terms of acquiring reading material and knowing what professors expect. The relationship between professor and student is more formal than in the U.S. class size ranges from 20 to 100 students, with classes averaging 20 to 30 students.
Peruvian students begin their academic studies at PUCP by fulfilling their general education requirements, which takes approximately two years. They then enroll in more focused academic courses in their specialized field of study for three years. Courses outside of the general education requirements are equivalent to upper-level courses in the United States.
An academic year program of study in Lima can begin either during the North American fall or spring semester. Academic year students who begin during the North American fall semester have a two and one half-month break between semesters and are encouraged to participate in the CIEE Study Center in Guanajuato, Mexico. There is a break of about two weeks between the spring and fall semesters. Note that the intensive, two-week language course is not required of academic year students during their second semester.
The first semester of the academic year in Lima begins in late February and ends in early July, and the second semester begins in late July and ends in early December.