Peru Study Abroad

Open your eyes to the world-renowned Latin American culture, cuisine, and history by spending a semester in Peru! Explore Peru's natural playground by trekking the Inca Trail to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, or adventure into Colca Canyon, home to some of the largest birds in nature, the Andean Condors.
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Study Abroad Program Spotlight

Semester in Cusco


Immerse yourself in the center of Incan culture as you study Spanish- language and Peru-focused courses taught in English. Our program includes a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu!

Semester in Lima


Learn about the Spanish language and the local culture from top professors, alongside students from Lima and around the world. Go sand boarding, visit the highland towns of the Andes, and explore Islas Ballestas to check out penguins, seals, and sea lions.

Summer in Peru


Picture yourself studying Spanish and Peruvian history, art, and biology among stunning mountain views and llamas. Our program includes a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu!

Peru is a country rich in history, as it is home to the oldest city in the Americas, Caral. It's also host to countless sites of archaeological interest, or ruins, from the Inca Empire and many other pre-Columbian civilizations, perhaps the most notable of which is Machu Picchu, which is an included trip in the Semester in Cusco program. Peru also boasts impressive coastline with some of the richest waters in the world. Head into the highlands for spectacular scenery and cultures that retain centuries-old traditions.

When going between the two main cities of Lima and Cusco, you'll think you're in two completely different countries. Coastal Lima is the country's largest city with about 9 million people and the political and economic capital. Cusco is set in a high valley flanked by the Andes mountains, with a population of less than half a million. Cusco is considered Peru's cultural and historical capital, as the city center consists of a blend of Spanish colonial and Incan architecture.

When you study abroad in Peru, you can choose to study in Cusco for either a semester or summer, or in Lima for a semester. These cities offer the incredible chance to study Spanish abroad in a friendly and inviting environment while you get to know the best of Peru! You’ll love the colorful and happy feel of both cities, and all of the various excursions where you’ll get to see some of Peru’s natural and cultural beauty. 

View all study abroad programs in Peru

What Else Should I Know Before Studying Abroad in Peru?
Impressive mountain ranges, lush jungle, and sandy beaches make up the land of the Incas, where ancient ruins and bustling city centers exist side by side. With so much to see and do, there’s never a dull moment in Peru with CISabroad. You may be considering spending your summer or semester in Peru, and looking for a little more information to help make your decision.

Lima vs. Cusco
Lima and Cusco might as well be in different countries. Choosing between coastal Lima and mountainous Cusco high in the valley depends only on what you want out of your summer or semester abroad in Peru. Do you prefer living in a bustling metropolis? Or would you prefer a more intimate experience in a smaller town? These are just some questions to get you started, here are more consideration to keep in mind when choosing between Lima and Cusco:


Big city, capital of Peru
Vibrant city life, hip city
Home to the oldest university in the new world
Gastronomical capital of the Americas
Mild-warm desert climate
Near beaches

Smaller city, comparatively
Cultural and historical capital of Peru, named a UNESCO World Heritage site
Near Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley
Dry and temperate climate, can be chilly
Surrounded by mountains

Whichever city you choose to study in, whether it’s Lima or Cusco, or neither, know that your semester is what you make of it. Take advantage of every opportunity available to you in your host country and your summer or semester is sure to be memorable.

Deal? or no deal?
It’s all up for negotiation in Peru. Haggling for the best price on anything from souvenirs in the market to a taxi is a way of life. In fact, walking through markets or shops there is rarely a set price, so don’t forget to ask “Cuanto cuesta?” (how much?). Be sure to shop around and compare prices before making an offer when haggling in the markets, be wary, but don’t shy away from aggressive vendors, and don’t make an offer you won’t honor if the salesperson accepts.

With all this in mind you’ll be a haggling pro in no time, scoring the best deals on gifts for family and friends, and coming home with hilarious tales of haggling for this item and that. It’s all part of the experience of living and learning in Peru.

Taste Peru
Food plays a huge role in every culture around the world, and that is no different in Peru. Peruvian cuisine is a rich blend of Amerindian and Spanish influence, and fusion foods with Asian influence are becoming more popular, especially in Lima.

Even if you’re not in the gastronomical capital of the Americas, you can’t leave your summer or semester in Peru without trying these famous Peruvian eats:

Anticuchos - translates to “cut stew meat,” a skewer, often beef heart, with vinegar and spices served with bread or potatoes Ceviche - a seafood dish with raw chunks of fish, usually sea bass, marinated in lime or bitter orange with onions, chili pepper, and a little salt and pepper Pachamanca - translates to “earth pot,” refers to how food is prepared, meats like lamb, mutton, pork, chicken and even guinea pig (cuy) are baked with hot stones sometimes with vegetables or tamales

Although food and flavors will vary by city and region based on climate and geography, these three dishes are must-try, and relatively universal in Peru.

A summer or semester in Peru, whether you choose to study in Lima or Cusco, is the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ll be able to learn about and experience the early history of the Inca, explore their rich archeological history, maybe spend your days wandering in and out of shops and markets, and after you haggle for a gift to take home you can grab some authentic Peruvian cuisine and call it a day.