Summer in Peru

Program Information

Cusco is the center of modern indigenous culture in Peru, so you’ll learn a ton about South America outside of the classroom when you study abroad in Cusco. Join Summer in Peru at 11,500 feet in an incredible city with a vibrant culture. Start getting excited about:

Study Spanish abroad in the Andes – The way to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in it, and that’s just what you’ll do on Summer in Cusco!

The impressive Sacred Valley* – Imagine a region filled with stunning mountain views, Quechua-speaking communities, and llamas. On the weekends, you’ll get to explore this diverse region’s salt flats, market towns, ancient ruins, and more. It’s all a short, inexpensive trip from downtown Cusco. See it all on your summer abroad in Peru!

Machu Picchu*– This famous site that was recently picked as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. Come discover why!

*Students can choose betwen program options that include or do not include excursions to Machu Picchue and Sacred Valley.

A colonial city filled with history – Cusco is full of pre-Hispanic and colonial history, which often overlap in fascinating ways. Churches built on pre-Inca spiritual sites, European-esque paintings of the Last Supper that include Andean regional cuisine, and leafy Spanish-style plazas atop Incan stone that make Cusco one of the most dynamic cities in Peru.

Highlights and Excursions

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in Peru, then check out our summer study abroad program in Cusco. Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Beautiful Sacred Valley with ruins, market towns, mountain hiking, and more 
  • Study Spanish abroad in the Andes: Spanish-language courses at all levels 
  • Exceptional housing options: apartments with other participants or a homestay with a local family 
  • Students from around the world 
  • Classes in diverse subjects in English 
  • Superb university 
  • Strong on-site support from the University staff 
  • Great, inexpensive Andean cuisine, including local specialty cuy (guinea pig!) 
  • The Cusco region has more than 2,000 types of potatoes to try! 
  • Heart of the Incan and other pre-Hispanic empires 
  • Colorful indigenous and religious festivals

While spending your summer in Peru, you'll have the opportunity to view some of the most famous sites not only in Peru, but in the world.

Machu Picchu This incredible creation of the Incan Empire is made up of walls, terraces and ramps that form one of the most iconic views known to man. If you're spending a summer in Peru, touring their ruins is essential!

Sacred Valley Filled with ancient Incan ruins, bustling modern cities, and beautiful rivers, the Sacred Valley is another Peruvian treasure that is not to be missed.

Did You Know?

According to Spanish syntax, Cusco should be spelled with a 'z' "Cuzco." Locals, as a small rebellion against a Spanish legacy, spell Cusco with an 's'.


Virtually all tourists to Peru visit Cusco, so it’s a cosmopolitan city that never stops, with restaurants and bars that have food from around the world. The people from Cusco are kind and welcoming. As soon as you arrive in Cusco, you’ll find that everyone wants to share their rich history with you! They are always willing to show you the city’s archaeology or explain the history of an Incan building.

Upon arrival in Peru, you’ll be met at the airport and taken to your housing. Then, an on-site orientation will get you used to your housing and the International Center. During the program, you’ll participate in excursions and field trips from the breathtaking ruins of the ancient Incan city Machu Picchu to the imposing Sacsayhuaman fortress and other archaeological sites.

The Summer in Peru program is in a great location, and you’ll find most things are just a quick walk from your housing. But there is so much more to explore outside of Cusco. The Sacred Valley contains dozens of ruins and many villages, each with their own personality and interesting attributes. It would be easy to spend a full year exploring the Sacred Valley.


Courses include architecture, art and design, biodiversity, cultural studies, history, photography, and Spanish language.

Course Descriptions and Catalog:

Spanish (Beginning, Lower-Intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced)
You’ll develop the language skills you need to express ideas and understand everyday needs.

History of the Inca Civilization (English)
Learn the prehistory of civilizations in the central Andean region, with critical and updated opinion about the studied historical periods and the great Inca Civilization.

Contemporary Society and Culture of Peru (English)
Peruvian society has undergone a series of transformations enriched by Andean, Occidental, and Amazonian traditions. These transformations will be addressed from  historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives.

Biodiversity of Peru (English)
Peru’s astonishing biodiversity puts it among the top 12 most biodiverse countries in the world. This theoretical course will focus on developing the skills needed to analyze and value the components of biodiversity. You’ll identify the potentials of this biodiversity and the tools needed for its sustainable use and conservation.

Inca Architecture (English)
This amazing course will develop knowledge of, as well as interest in, the concepts, techniques, and architecture and urban management of Andean society represented by the Inca culture.

Art & Design in Cusco (English)
The course is aimed at critical analysis of the history of Cusco’s art from a visual perspective, creating new spaces for reflection.  Artistic expressions from the different periods of its cultural development are studied and interpreted, within the framework of their particular contexts of time and space.

Photography (English)
While in Cusco, you’ll take hundreds of photographs. In order to have the best shots, you’ll learn the photographic production process, including the study of visual treatment, lighting and mastery of digital photography resources. You will take the best photos of Machu Picchu, rivers, churches, archaeological sites, markets, and people, using the appropriate composition and measures.    

Latin American Literature (Spanish)
This theoretical-practical course develops the skills you need to read critically and value Latin American literature through detailed analysis of poetry and novels.

This is a practical and experiential course in which students use their knowledge in situation that simulate real communication with other speakers of the Andean language. The course is geared toward students' use of the four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to communicate at a basic level through the acquisition of general knowledge of grammar and vocabulary that will enable them to establish communication with the rural Quechua-speaking population in ordinary situations.

Business in Peru and Latin America (English)
The objective of this course is to introdcue the student to the Peruvian Economy, the policital and economic forcers shaping business activities, and the national challenges ahead to obtain social progress. The course also looks at how these factors influence Latin America as a whole and the influence other Latin American countries has on Peru. Finally, the course looks at recent successful Peruvian marketing strategies

Andean Nutrition (English)
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the nutritional wealth of Andean crops and their significance in the population's nutrition, comparing them with other crops and their influence and importtance regarding the world food supply. Healthy recipes will be developed using these products as ingredients. Lastly, we will review the type of Andean crops being exported to the USA, Europe, etc.

Campus Setting


Average Course Load

2 courses (6 US credits)

GPA Requirement


Language of Instruction

English and Spanish

Program Dates

Summer 2015*:

Session 1:
Start Date: May 20
End Date: June 27

Session 2:
Start Date: July 1
End Date: August 8

Program Fee


*Cost may change at any time due to the current exchange rate.

**See CISabroad website for updates


  • Excursion to Machu Picchu
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Housing and some meals
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • Airport pick-up
  • Medical & accident insurance
  • Universidad de San Ignacio de Loyola official transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

How to Apply

  • Set up an appointment with Frances Weiner,
  • Fill out the CISabroad Online Application
  • Pay the $200 application deposit*

*This is NOT an extra fee, but is a non-refundable deposit applied towards your total program fee. You will be directed to pay this after completing the online application.