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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Aguas Calientes, Peru; Cusco, Peru; Cusco, Peru; Cusco, Peru; Lima, Peru; Ollantaytambo, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Students should expect long days of walking and hiking for the program and/or curricular activities, sometimes in rugged terrain, and in hot, humid weather conditions.
  • Students may be sleeping and/or engaging in outdoor activities (i.e. hikes) at high elevation. Students should discuss with the faculty leader any concerns and ways to mitigate altitude sickness or physical abilities.
  • Clark Scholars will have first priority for participation in this program

Program Description 

Students are engaged through an immersive global experience in this team-taught course that examines sustainable development challenges and opportunities in Latin America. Multidisciplinary cross-cultural teams of Penn State and Peruvian students work together on site-specific case studies surrounding food-energy-water nexus challenges in Peru. As a pivotal component of this course, students investigate the social, cultural, and economic issues critical to technical implementation projects, prior to learning the technical approaches themselves. Students thereby learn to approach engineering design challenges from a holistic perspective and develop leadership skills on an interdisciplinary platform, appreciating the imperative roles of scientific knowledge and cultural engagement in international development.

Learning objectives: At the conclusion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Describe how the UN Sustainable Development Goals relate to Peru;
  • Apply intercultural knowledge in communication scenarios connected to El Plan Bicentenario: El Peru hacia el 2021, and the US National Academies’ Grand Engineering Challenges;
  • Determine how to approach a technical problem from transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives, with an emphasis on Peru and Latin America; 
  • Utilize a systems approach to define a technoscientific problem, and illustrate how a systems approach can be employed to devise sustainable engineering solutions that benefit specific communities, and humanity at large.  


Summer: May 5 - June 1, 2024


Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Julio Urbina, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
  • Catherine Cohan, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor
Students can contact with program questions.


Course Description

All students will be enrolled in 6 credits.

ENGR 399: Global Engineering, Culture, and Society (3 credits)
The content is focused on issues in a global society and future implications, especially as they relate to climate change solutions and sustainable development. Participants will become acquainted with technical, ecological, and social strategies for reversing global warming (Drawdown) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a Latin American context. Learn how science and global engineering connect with other disciplines in a mixed cohort of Peruvian and Penn State students. Students will approach challenges and leadership from an interdisciplinary perspective, analyzing the role of scientific knowledge in sustainable international development. Students will be engaged in this team-taught course through an immersive global experience, utilizing local resources as an integral component of the academic experience. This course will provide a baseline to understand STEM challenges and opportunities in Latin America. Case studies of site-specific experiences for engaged scholarship and intellectual development will be emphasized.

*Students in the College of Engineering can use this course to fulfill a GN/GS interdomain or for an elective via their major department. A petition must be submitted.


HIST 299: Building Peru: The History and Culture of Survival in the Andes (3 credits)

This course on the history and culture of Peru focuses on how human beings have transformed their environment, knowledge, and beliefs to survive and thrive in a precarious and changing world. Its four weeks will focus on: 
  • The Indigenous engineering of Andean and coastal Peruvian environment, water systems, and technologies to support complex agriculture and stratified societies that could withstand climactic precarity, from 16,000 BCE (Before the Common Era) through the Incas. 
  • The colonial adaptation of Andean, African, and European knowledge to support industries of extraction (from crops to mineral wealth) that made Spain an empire, connected the world and exploited Peruvian labor. 
  • The republican innovation of crops and technologies after Independence from Spain in the 1820s generated both wealth and precarity for Peruvian citizens and communities. 
  • The recent recovery and celebration of Indigenous Andean knowledge and their application to address the hazards and opportunities of development, climate change, and tourism.  
This course will take students on weekly half-day field trips to important archaeological, historical, and technological sites around Lima (Huaycán, Pachacamac, Central Lima, Barranco), culminating in a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Students should expect readings and weekly class discussions, but also experiential learning outside of the classroom, to reflect upon the accessibility of historical and cultural resources and infrastructures to Peruvians today. 
*Students in the College of Engineering can use this course to fulfill a GH. A petition must be submitted.

You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA.
You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis.

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses. To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program.
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
  • Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the courses you want from the (cross-listed) program options.
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options

Academic Policies

  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits.
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals


In Lima, students will stay in homestays with other Penn State students. Additionally, host families will provide a laundry service. 

In Ollantaytambo and Cusco, students can expect to stay at hotels. 


Host families in Lima will provide 2 meals a day, which are included in the program fee. On field trips, some meals will be provided. Students may occasionally be responsible for paying for their own meals.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Penn State Global. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Penn State Global Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Penn State Global website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Penn State Global website for more details.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Penn State Global website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Penn State Global website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Penn State Global website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2023 02/01/2023
02/11/2023 05/06/2023 06/03/2023
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Summer 2024 01/24/2024
02/07/2024 05/05/2024 06/01/2024

Indicates that deadline has passed