On our Semester in Cusco program, you’ll quickly learn why this great city, with its blend of ancient and modern influences, is a revered World Heritage Site. You’ll study at the small, beautiful, centrally located satellite campus of the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Cusco. This program’s focus is on Spanish language and Peruvian culture, and both classes and extracurriculars will lead explorations throughout the city and to many nearby archaeological sites. Imagine semester-long access to the incredible sights of Peru’s Sacred Valley and the beauty of the Andes mountains, not to mention Machu Picchu!
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
Fall: June 15
Spring: November 1
- Avg Course Load
- 5 courses (15 US credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
- Spanish, English, and Quechua
Key Program Highlights
- Mix of ancient Andean culture with modern conveniences
- Easy access to the beautiful Sacred Valley, with ruins, market towns, hiking trails, and more
- Choice between a homestay or dorm-style apartments
- Classes in diverse subjects taught in English
- Colorful indigenous and religious festivals
- Inexpensive Andean delicacies, including local specialty cuy (guinea pig!)
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Cusco
Welcome and Orientation
Upon arrival you’ll be collected from the airport and taken to your accommodation. In the first few days you’ll take part in both the University and CISabroad orientation program where you’ll learn practical tips for living in Cusco like where to go out, how to stay safe, where to shop, and you’ll enjoy a CIS welcome meal.
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights. We love to stay in touch so although it is farewell for now it is not goodbye.
On Semester in Cusco, you can choose between two housing options:
Apartments: You’ll live in “La Casa de Don Ignacio,” just a few blocks from the main square, Plaza de Armas.
- Dorm-style apartment offers shared bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, a small kitchen with a hot plate and refrigerator, and WIFI
- Housekeeping and changing sheets are included in the housing
- Laundry is available for a small additional fee
- Breakfast is provided to all students, but other meals are self catered
Homestays: Students usually tell us that living in a homestay was their favorite part of studying abroad. You’ll get to truly immerse yourself in Peruvian culture by living with a family and getting an inside look at life in Cusco. Homestays are a 15-20 minute bus ride from the university, but it is much shorter via taxi.
- Your host family will provide two delicious meals a day
- Bed linens, utilities, and laundry services
- Hiking Trails: Enjoy breathtaking scenery throughout numerous hikes around Cusco, with many interesting Inca ruins along the way.
- Plaza de Armas: A beautiful and vibrant square with great restaurants, museums and shopping!
- Local Markets: Enjoy a 'slice of life' in Peru. Experience the day-to-day, living Peruvian culture off the beaten tourist path. Browse for food, gifts, and much more!
More About Cusco
Cusco, one of the oldest inhabited cities on the continent, is a traveler’s favorite. But unlike the typical traveler, you can make the city your home for a full summer or semester. Cusco is situated at 11,500 feet in elevation, giving it a brisk mountain climate and beautiful views of the mountains rising up all around it. Lima remains the official capital of Peru. That said, Cusco is the historical capital of the country for its glorious past as the center of Incan civilization. This vibrant, high-elevation city provides the perfect setting for you to study abroad in Peru.
UNESCO declared the entire city a World Heritage site in 1983, and you can easily see why. All around you, you'll see the marks of Incan civilization, including in Cusco’s population. Consequently, you'll meet indigenous people on Cusco’s streets speaking in Quechua and wearing traditional dress.
While you can feel the history that surrounds Cusco, you'll also notice an undeniable sense of modernity. You're as likely to stroll on cobblestone streets to nearby ruins as you are to attend a salsa lesson at a discoteca. You may listen to Andean flutes or explore the flourishing urban arts scene. Be sure to delve into the city's coffee culture or simply meander around the Plaza de Armas or Plaza de San Francisco.
Oh, and Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World is nearby, waiting for you. Need we say more?
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Machu Picchu is the best-known archaeological site on the continent, and it's an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a New Seven Wonders of the World. You'll explore this "The Lost City of the Incas," which has a breathtaking backdrop of natural mountains and valleys.
Visit the Sacred Valley to explore ancient towns where Quechua is still spoken more than Spanish. Here, ancient ruins are still being discovered and the beautiful Andes mountians look like they go on forever. The excursion includes lunch and a guided tour of many ruins.
Sacsayhuaman and other impressive archaeological sites near Cusco
This excursion includes Pre-Incan, Incan, and Spanish sites such as the ancient citadel of Sacsayhuaman (complete with a great view overlooking Cusco!), Coricancha (the Incan "sun house" with a Dominican convent as a backdrop), Cusco's impressive Incan city walls (constructed without the use of mortar) and other sites that demonstrate the blend of Pre-Incan, Incan, and Spanish architecture prevalent in Cusco.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
CISabroad partners with USIL university for the Semester in Cusco program. Please read through the Cusco Course Catalog to see the different courses offered at USIL. There are options in Business, History, Biodiversity, Inca Architecture, Photography, and Intensive Language in both Spanish and Quechua.
If you need more than a course description to get approval from your home university, please let your advisor know. We’d be happy to get you syllabi for these courses.
Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola is your chance to study with top-notch professors in an exciting city or in one of the world's most beautiful settings. The University is dedicated to high-quality education and ethics, and you'll benefit from close student-faculty interactions. You can choose to study at the University's main campus in Lima, or at the satellite campus in Cusco.
The main campus in Lima is home to approximately 6,000 students. You can delve into eighteen distinct academic areas, from agro-industrial engineering to tourism management. This is a bilingual institution, which means all of your Peruvian classmates will speak English. You can choose to take classes for your major in either English or Spanish. You'll study alongside local students as well as internationals from all over the world. The campus itself is similar to a modern, urban campus in the U.S.
If you choose to study in Cusco, you'll benefit from a small campus designed specifically for study abroad students. Here, you can study Spanish at any level and choose from a variety of courses focused on Peru's history and culture. Because classes are integrated into the city of Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley itself, you'll get hands-on experience with the community and historical traditions of Cusco. This campus is located just five minutes from the main square or Plaza de Armas of Cusco, and a short walk or bus ride from both homestays and apartments.
Accreditation: Ministerio de Educación, Perú
Abby Elliott - Western Oregon University
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Assistant Director of Programs & Program Coordinator - Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Germany
Site Director in Cusco, Peru
Application DeadlineJune 15ArrivalAugust 10OrientationAugust 11Classes StartAugust 14Classes EndDecember 1DepartureDecember 2PRICE$10,590 - $10,990
Application DeadlineNovember 1ArrivalJanuary 11 (Estimated)OrientationJanuary 12 to January 14 (Estimated)Classes StartJanuary 15 (Estimated)Classes EndMay 4 (Estimated)DepartureMay 5 (Estimated)PRICE$10,590 - $10,990 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- Excursion to Machu Picchu
- Full-time tuition and fees
- Housing (apartment or homestay)
- Two meals per day at homestay option. Breakfast at apartment.
- Medical and accident insurance
- CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
- Academic advising
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Predeparture orientation
- Airport pickup
- Universidad de San Ignacio de Loyola orientation
- On-site support
- Wireless internet
- Weekly laundry service (homestay)
- Universidad de San Ignacio de Loyola official transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program