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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cusco, Peru; Lima, Peru; Puno, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Program Description:
Visit the Global Programs COVID-19 site for the most current information on Education Abroad programming.



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Students planning to take SPAN 497 must have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish. 
  • All participants will be required to enroll in 1 credit of STS 115: Pre-departure Intercultural Learning prior to departure, during Spring semester.

Program Description 

Students from a variety of Colleges and majors converge in this Penn State faculty-led, interdisciplinary program. The content is focused on issues in 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. Earn six credits as you learn how science and global engineering connect with other disciplines in a mixed cohort of Peruvian and Penn State students, while being immersed in Spanish and experiencing Peru’s rich culture. For five weeks, you will engage with diverse aspects of Peru’s society. The first two weeks will be spent in Lima, where you will be housed with a Peruvian family and collaborate with students from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. During the second portion of the program, you will travel as a group to Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Ancient, colonial, and modern culture melds in a high-altitude environment. After a several-day exploration of this region, students will travel as a group to a research center in the Andes, where you will continue to interact with local communities, exploring sustainability concepts, and developing Spanish language and cultural knowledge. The final portion of the academic programming experience will bring you to Puno, nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca and the Andean mountains.    

This program is designed to be the perfect blend of cultural immersion and interdisciplinary learning. And, by the end, students should expect to move from beyond seeing problems, to identifying practical, interdisciplinary solutions to some of global society’s most pressing issues. Experience life as locals do while you enjoy Peruvian cuisine prepared by your host family, learn about Peru’s society, and improve your Spanish. There is no language pre-requisite. Students from any major who strive to make a difference in the world are encouraged to apply.   


Summer: May 8 - June 11, 2022


Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Julio Urbina, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Students can contact with program questions.


Course Description

All students will be enrolled in 6 credits, with an additional 1 credit being taken before the start of the program.

Pre-Departure Course (1 credit)
Upon committing to the program, all participants will be required to enroll in 1 credit of STS 115: Pre-departure Intercultural Learning. This web-based pre-departure course will prepare participants for their experience in Peru. In addition, it is expected that students will attend several pre-departure meetings. Please contact with any questions about the pre-departure course.

ENGR 397: Sustainable Global Society in Peru (3 credits)
This course is open to students from all Colleges*. The content is focused on issues in 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

LANGUAGE (select one of the following courses):

SPAN 197: Spanish Through Peruvian Culture (3 credits)

In order to derive the maximum benefits from an immersive experience abroad, students should be able to communicate in the language of their international hosts. Students in Peru with little or no Spanish will learn about the history, social dynamics, and culture of Peru, while at the same time acquiring the basic Spanish language skills they need to communicate effectively with their Peruvian hosts and counterparts. This understanding of another language and culture will not only be key to their success in this program, but will also better equip them for success in an increasingly competitive global market, in which sensitivity to foreign cultures and knowledge of foreign languages are among the critical skills of leaders in all fields.

Students in this course will learn basic Spanish, including verb forms in the present and past tenses, appropriate use of pronouns, common prepositions, and fundamental aspects of Spanish syntax. Grammar lessons will be built around vocabulary that students will need in their daily lives in Peru and will introduce the specialized terms associated with their study of sustainable development.  

SPAN 497: Spanish through Peruvian Culture (3 credits)
Students with at least four semesters of college-level Spanish will enhance their knowledge of Spanish while gaining significant insights into the society and culture of their hosts. 
This course is designed for students who have already achieved at least an intermediate control of Spanish and will be able to serve as the linguistic bridge for their American and Peruvian peers.  Students in this course will build on the foundation they have already built in Spanish. Grammar lessons will focus on the areas that are the most difficult for native speakers of English to master, including use of the subjunctive mood, distinction between past tenses, and pronouns, as well as the often complex sentence structure of the language. Grammar lessons will feature the vocabulary associated with Peruvian history, society, and culture, as well as terms relevant to the technical project they will be completing on Sustainable Development. Besides grammar lessons, the course seeks to provide opportunities for students to practice Spanish skills learnt in previous courses such as speaking, listening, and reading. As part of the course, students will be encouraged to: engage in conversation groups with Spanish native speakers; give short presentations on their technical projects; attend to academic presentations or lectures in Spanish; and read short stories or articles regarding’s Peruvian culture and society.  
  • 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 Cusco, students will stay in a dormitory which is affiliated with a research center. 

During excursions, 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. As the research center in Cusco, most meals will be provided.

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 Global Programs. 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 Global Programs 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 Global Programs 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 Global Penn State website.

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 Global Penn State 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 Global Programs 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. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State 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 2022 02/01/2022
02/11/2022 05/08/2022 06/11/2022
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.

Indicates that deadline has passed