Mason: Cusco, Peru


Sophomore, Spanish & Political Science
Host Location: Cusco, Peru
Program: UK Partner ISA Centro Tinku
Term: Fall 2013
Overall, on a scale from one to five, Mason rates this program a five.

Why did you decide to study abroad?
Having always had a passion for international travel, I knew that study abroad was a must for my undergraduate career. From day one of my college experience, I researched EA opportunities and found a program that was a perfect fit for me!

What classes did you take and how did they apply to your degree?
I took Peruvian Literature (SPA 464), Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition (SPA 210), Hispanic Culture and Civilization (SPA 314), and Culture for Language Learners (SPA 211). These courses all counted towards my Spanish major.

What surprised you most about your host country?
I was surprised by the authenticity of the indigenous culture. I did not expect modern Peruvians to be wearing the colorful and handmade clothes that were often photographed. However, I found that many Peruvians in both Cusco and the surrounding Andean regions wore these vibrant clothes on a daily basis.

What is your favorite memory from abroad?
The breathtaking experience I had at Machu Picchu. The city in the clouds was everything I could’ve hoped for and more! I recall hiking to the top of Wayna Picchu, the mountain that towers over Machu Picchu and being in true awe of the beauty. Nothing in my life, thus far, has been comparable.

What advice would you give to students doing a similar program?
Go into the experience with an open mind. Peru’s culture is very different from the one we are accustomed to in the US, as are many Latin American cultures. Appreciate the cultural beauty and treat each moment preciously. I promise it will go by in the blink of an eye!