While studying in Peru, you will find that the educational system is similar to that of the US. You will enjoy small classes taught by local and international faculty. Depending on your level of Spanish, you will take the appropriate courses for your language skills. A wide variety of courses are also taught in English. Our programs in both Lima and Cusco offer Spanish-language courses and courses taught in English.
Official name of country: Republic of Peru
Population: 29.1 million
Capital City: Lima
Time Difference: Peru is on Central Standard Time, so it is 1 hour behind the east coast and 2 hours ahead of the west coast.
National Animal: Vicuña
National Currency: Nuevo sol
National Flower: Cantuta
National Food: Ceviche
Languages: Although Spanish is the primary language in Peru, there are a number of languages spoken by people in the Andes. Today, there are still many indigenous languages thriving throughout the country. The most prominent second tongue is Quechua, which is spoken by about 13% of the population. Your Spanish courses will surely improve your language skills, but feel free to try your hand at learning some new Quechua phrases too!
Geography: Peru is located on the western side of South America and shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. The majestic Andes comprise most of the topography of Peru and divide the country into three distinct regions: the coast, the highlands, and the jungle. In just one country you will find arid plains, plateaus, snow-covered mountain peaks, and flat Amazon rainforest terrain. Climate, like the geography, varies throughout the country.
Famous People: Pietro Sibille (actor), Mariano Melgar (poet), Ricardo Palma (author), José Sabogal (painter), and Yma Sumac (singer).
Great Movies: Piratas en el Callao; The Milk of Sorrow; Dragones: Destino de Fuego; City of M; La Mujer de mi Hermano.
In general, Peru is a safe travel destination, but just like in the US, there are certain precautions that you need to take. Pickpocketing is the most common petty crime, but being aware of your surroundings, traveling with a friend, keeping a close eye on your belongings at all times, and common sense will ensure an enjoyable experience abroad. Peru does not have many general health risks beyond those found in the US. However, tap water is usually unsafe to drink, but stick to bottled water and you’ll be fine. Also, be aware of the different kinds of food that your body may not yet be used to or hasn’t yet experienced. At first, you may suffer from food allergies or temporary ill effects until your body grows accustomed to the local cuisine. Health insurance is not required by the Peruvian government, but CIS includes a comprehensive medical and accident insurance plan with all of our programs.