2017-2018 Semester & Summer Programs: Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola – Cuzco, Peru

Spring 2018 click here for price click here for dates
Summer I 2018 click here for price click here for dates
Summer II 2018 click here for price click here for dates
Fall 2018 click here for price click here for dates


Language Eligibility: For all levels of Spanish.

-Beginner level is for students who have not taken Spanish before.
-Intermediate level must have completed at least 2 semesters or 3 quarters of college level Spanish.
-Advanced level must have completed at least 4 semesters or 6 quarters of college level Spanish.
-To take electives taught in Spanish, you must be at the Advanced Spanish level.

For additional eligibility requirements such as minimum GPA, click here.

Total contact hours: 180-225 per semester; 45-120 per summer session. 15 contact hours = 1 semester credit. 10 contact hours = 1 quarter unit.

Possible U.S. Credits: 12-15 semester credits per semester; 3-8 semester credits per summer session.

Final transcript is issued by the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola. Classes are taken with other American and foreign students.

Cuzco, Peru: Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola – Semester and Summer Course Offerings

Students will take 4-5 courses per semester or 1-2 courses per summer session. The number of U.S. semester credits earned is listed below, next to the course title.  Students are not required to take a Spanish language course. To take electives taught in Spanish, you must be at the Advanced Spanish level.


Not all courses run every term.  Semester students MUST get 8 COURSES approved by their academic advisor, in case of changes in availability.  Summer students MUST get 5 COURSES approved by their academic advisor, in case of changes in availability. That way, if a course is full or cancelled, or if some of the courses you want to take meet at the same time, you’ll have back-ups that you can still get credit for.

Course offerings are subject to change.
Spanish Language – Beginner (4 credits), Low Intermediate (4 credits), Intermediate (4 credits), or Advanced (4 credits).  This course enables students to develop communicative skills of the language in order to express ideas and understand everyday needs.
History and Culture of the Incas (3 credits): This course introduces students to the most renowned of all pre-colonial South American societies, enabling them to explore its history in the heartland of the Inca state: the ancient capital city of Cusco. The course covers key
aspects of the social structure, political development, economy, technology, religion and spirituality of the Incas. The central aim of the course is to guide students towards a deeper understanding of this extraordinary non-Western culture and its role in world history. Visits to archaeological sites and museums are included. Taught in English or Spanish.


Contemporary Society and Culture of Peru (3 credits): This course allows students to explore and understand Peruvian society today as the result of a series of historical, anthropological and sociological processes and transformations. This exciting journey through Peru’s past and present begins with the historical background (pre-Inca and Inca cultures, European colonization and independence), providing a pathway to a better understanding of current Peruvian politics and the nation’s economy, spirituality, social conflicts and environmental challenges. A wide range of field trips, ranging from government institutions to informal markets, will introduce participants to different aspects of daily life in Cusco. Taught in English or Spanish.


Biodiversity of Peru (3 credits): The Earth’s biodiversity is composed of many millions of biological species which are the product of four billion years of evolution. Peru is one of the world’s 17 mega diverse countries. The extraordinary biodiversity of Peru means that students are able to observe many of these teeming life forms for themselves, and gain a deeper appreciation of the life that exists all around us. Taught in English.


Latin American Literature (3 credits): This course offers a journey through Latin American literature, from the earliest works of the pre-Columbian age to our own time. It invites students to delve into the magic of Latin American culture and traditions through their reading and critical analysis of some of the continent’s most representative examples of poetry and prose. Students attend literature related events and experience direct contact with the local literary scene. Taught in Spanish.

Inca Architecture (3 credits): In this course students will learn about the evolution of architecture and urban planning among the Incas and other ancient Andean cultures. The course also addresses Andean geography and environment, and how this natural setting influenced Inca architecture. Students will visit archaeological monuments and historical sites undergoing restoration work, and to analyze Peruvian and global regulations governing the conservation of cultural heritage. The classroom for this course is the city of Cusco itself. Taught in English.


Art and Design in Cuzco (3 credits): This course offers students a unique opportunity to experience cultural immersion and develop their personal artistic creativity. Along with lectures on the art history of Cusco and a range of contemporary art forms, they will be invited to participate in a number of field trips to museums, churches, art studios, cultural institutions, galleries and fairs. By the end of the course, students will have completed their own individual or group art projects, based on their experiences in Cusco. Taught in English.


Photography (3 credits): In this theoretical and practical course students will learn about key elements in the process of photographic production, starting with basic technical aspects of the use of a digital camera and moving on to the subtle aesthetic effects of light, color, contrast and focus. They will have the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills in a range of natural and urban settings, as well as in a professional studio and during their travels throughout other parts of Peru. The course also covers the essential facts concerning the history of photography, including the history of photography in Peru. Taught in English.


Business in Peru and Latin America (4 credits): This course gives students a better understanding of the economic environment for investment, trade and importing in Peru and Latin America. It provides a basic understanding of regional economics, marketing, trade opportunities and free trade agreements, in the context of doing business in Latin America. Taught in English.


Beginner Quechua Language (4 credits):Students are introduced to Quechua, once the official language of the Inca Empire and today the most widely spoken native language in the Andean region. The course develops reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, focusing on basic grammar and vocabulary and giving students opportunities to interact directly with native speakers during field trips in Cusco and rural Quechua-speaking areas beyond the city. Taught in Spanish.


Andean Nutrition (3 credits): The purpose of this course is to reveal to students the remarkable nutritional qualities of Andean crops, their role in the diet of local populations, and their value within the context of local culture, comparing them with other crops of foreign origin and tracing their influence on the global food supply. Students will learn about the most widely practiced local agricultural methods and techniques, as well about the culinary products derived from native plant species. Taught in English.


International Trade: Import and Export (4 credits): This course provides students with the tools required for an understanding of how goods and services flow across countries, how savings and investments are moved from one country to another, and how international companies do business in Peru. Taught in English.


Introduction to Communication (3 credits): We believe in the power of communication and media as vehicles for transformation. In this theoretical and practical course students learn how to use and understand communication in the context of a globalized world. They will also gain an overview of the range of current communication resources, from mass media and advertising to social networks, all within the context of contemporary Peruvian society.  Taught in English.


Written Communication in Spanish (4 credits): In this course students learn to write correctly and coherently in Spanish. The course covers the fundamentals of text production, writing strategies and styles, coherence in written texts and the grammar rules of the Spanish language.  Taught in Spanish.


Intercultural Communication (3 credits): This course guides students through an in depth analysis of the role of communication in our modern human society, characterized as it is by the enormous cultural diversity of contemporary reality, through specific illustrative examples from the Peruvian context. The main objective of the course is to enhance students’ capacity for appreciating the richness of any culture, including their own, and to show them the value of cultural identity, through an exploration of the multiple strategies for cross-cultural interaction.  Taught in English or Spanish.


Sustainable Tourism (3 credits): The tourism industry is a major player in the world economy and, more recently, in the Peruvian economy. This course gives students a better understanding of the positive and negative impacts of the tourism industry, through real life situations involving protected areas, local community participation and politics. At the end of the course, students will be encouraged to propose their own sustainable solution for a current tourism related issue. Taught in English.


Healing and Shamanism in Andean and Amazonian Cultures (3 credits): This course introduces students to ancient and current traditional healing and shamanic practices and beliefs in the Andean and Amazonian worlds, focusing upon their origins in the pre Columbian period and their development over time. We will discuss traditional concepts of health and illness, the roles and status of ritual specialists in native societies, the importance of sacred and medicinal plants and other natural resources, and the interaction of ancient Andean heritage with the contemporary cultural context of modern Peru. Field trips will enable students to experience firsthand traditional healing and healing-related practices. Taught in English.

NEW! Institutions in Peruvian Society (3 credits): This course focuses on the main governmental, private and independent non-profit institutions within Peruvian society. Its content addresses the structure and function of social, political and economic organizations at all governmental levels. Students will gain a deeper understanding through field trips in the city and throughout the Cusco region, during which they will be able to compare local institutional frameworks with those of their home country. Taught in English.

NEW! Introduction to Volunteering, Service Learning, and Social Responsibility (3 credits): In essence, this course is intended to serve as an introduction for those students who come to Cusco for a volunteering or service learning experience. Its content addresses the legal framework for volunteering and service learning in Peru; vulnerable local populations and their needs; best practices for volunteering; governmental, non governmental and private organizations and their social responsibility initiatives. Students will be able to apply the lessons learned in class to their practical volunteering and service learning projects. Taught in English.

NEW! Cultural Heritage Conservation (3 credits): This course demonstrates to students the importance of cultural heritage in our contemporary world. They will study procedures and policies designed to conserve culturally significant buildings and landscapes. Topics addressed by the course include: heritage site registration and cataloging, UNESCO Heritage Conservation Charters, and principal restoration and conservation techniques. In Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, a number of conservation projects remain ongoing. Students will visit archaeological and historical sites, in order to see for themselves how such theoretical knowledge is applied in practice. Taught in English or Spanish.

NEW! Communication for Development (3 credits): One of the most important ingredients of social projects is the area of communication. This course takes a close look at the potential of communication resources in development projects, including policy design, creativity strategies and the mechanisms employed to convey a specific message to a target audience. The course shows students how, beginning with a situational analysis, they can select the most efficient communication methods and tools for the success of a given project. Taught in English.

NEW! History of Latin American Cinema (3 credits): This course introduces students to the world of Latin American cinema, from the early influence of the Italian neo-realist movement to contemporary expressions of the seventh art across many of the countries of this unique region. It will also help students to find in Latin American cinema clues for an understanding of different realities, and to construct meaningful comparisons with their own culture, while engaging in personal reflection. Taught in English or Spanish.

NEW! Communication Psychology (3 credits): The aim of this course is to help students comprehend our social environment through a psychological interpretation of different forms of communication. The course explores the role of language as the fundamental tool in the communication process, the use of linguistic signs, and the concepts of message, transmission and reception. Also, a critical review is offered of mass media content, through a deconstruction of the methods and strategies underlying psychological impact. Taught in English.

NEW! Economics and Sociology of Tourism (3 credits): This course discusses the effects tourism has had on Peruvian society and the nation’s economy, focusing specifically on the last thirty years. We will begin with a brief history of major archaeological discoveries and the development of tourist attractions, before examining how the resulting changes have affected local communities and Peru as a whole. At the end of the course, students will be encouraged to discuss the positive and negative impacts of tourism on Peru’s current social and economic situation. Taught in English.

NEW! Cultural Tourism in Cusco and Peru (3 credits): This course addresses the cultural aspect of tourism, which is remarkably rich in the Peruvian context. The aim is to equip students with the concepts that will help them to better understand this aspect of tourism, while introducing them to a broad range of cultural attractions: archaeological sites, museums, local customs and traditions, art and festivities. Students are guided towards a deeper understanding of cultural tourism through a number of field trips in Cusco and the surrounding region. Taught in English.

NEW! Participatory and Immersion Tourism in Peru (3 credits): This course analyzes the experience of tourism in Peru in terms of cultural immersion. It addresses the best known practices of cultural immersion, offering an insight into the life of those native Andean communities facing a future in which tourism will constitute a new economic resource. Students will be guided towards a better understanding of the differences between classic tourism activities and cultural immersion, discovering how tourism has been integrated into the life of Andean communities. Visits to indigenous communities form an essential part of the learning process. At the end of the course, students will be encouraged to propose improvements to cultural immersion activities, based on their own experience. Taught in English.

NEW! History of Peruvian Cuisine (3 credits): In this course students will learn about the importance of ancestral knowledge dating back to the varied and healthy diet of the Incas and earlier Andean cultures, the remarkable biodiversity of native crops such as corn and potatoes, and about cooking and food preservation methods. They will also gain insight into the impact of Old World influences following the arrival of the Spanish, and in the wake of a series of migrations throughout the 19th and the 20th centuries. Field trips will enable students to explore the rich cultural history underpinning Peru’s dynamic gastronomic tradition. Taught in English.

NEW! Gastronomic Tourism in Cusco and Peru (3 credits): Tourism in Peru is about more than archaeological heritage and the Amazon rainforest. Peru is home to a vibrant culture which has so much to offer the rest of the world, including its fascinating gastronomy. During this course, students will have a chance to discover the contemporary significance of Peru’s creative food culture, with its unique combination of styles inherited and adapted from both local and global sources. Peru’s major gastronomic festivals, such as Mistura, will also be discussed. Students will learn about the traditional Cusco dishes prepared during specific local celebrations. And, of course, direct cultural experience will constitute an essential component of the course. Taught in English.