Arequipa, Peru

  • Location: Arequipa, Peru (Map)
  • Dates: Fall
  • Class requirement: Sophomore
  • GPA requirement: 2.5
  • Prerequisite courses:
Application 

Spend a semester in Arequipa, Peru in this advanced Spanish language program. Each fall semester you have the opportunity to study at the Universidad Católica San Pablo, live with a Peruvian family and take excursions to places like Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

Imagine spending a semester high in the Andean foothills with a view of three mountain peaks in the second largest city of Peru, a university town par excellence. You will live with a Peruvian family and study with Peruvian classmates and fellow Calvin students at our host university, the Universidad Católica San Pablo. Arequipa's rich and diverse heritage, from the pre-Incan Aymaras to Spanish colonial times to the bustling economic and cultural center it is today, will afford you a unique perspective on Latin American reality. Its breathtaking natural setting provides opportunities to hike or raft with your new friends. This complete immersion experience will expand your cultural horizons, deepen your understanding of intercultural dynamics and increase your confidence and fluency in the Spanish language.

Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa is located about 600 miles southeast of Lima and is about 2 hours by bus from the Pacific ocean. It is 7,661 feet above sea level. Arequipa is known as La Ciudad Blanca because of its buildings built from white volcanic rock. Its beautifully preserved colonial city center has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Chili River runs through the city, and you can see volcanoes Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu from almost anywhere. Arequipa is home to three universities.

Population
Nearly 905,000. It is Peru's second largest city.
Things to do
  • Hike Mt. Misti or the Colca Canyon
  • Raft the Chili River
  • Attend concerts or visit historic museums and churches
  • Join Peruvian classmates in San Pablo's extracurricular activities such as music, drama, sports, or dance
  • Organize a weekend trip to the Pacific coast with your friends
  • Shop for Peru's best alpaca wool yarn and clothing or for the wonderful locally made chocolates
  • Enjoy the beautiful central plaza with its fountain, trees, and cafés
  • Excursions to Cusco, Lima, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Puno and Colca Canyon

Check out the experience of the students who undertook this adventure in the Fall of 2014!

Climate
Described as eternal spring, Arequipa's climate is sunny and dry all semester with an almost invariable high of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and chilly nights.
In Pictures
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Courses

You will have taken at least Spanish 301 at Calvin before leaving for Peru. We offer from Spanish 302 on.

All courses are taught in Spanish. Every student in the program is required to enroll in at least one regular course offering of our host university in order to ensure a true immersion experience. A list of those courses will be available to students accepted to the program, and all courses will count as electives toward a major or minor in Spanish. The San Pablo courses will begin simultaneously with STPE 315 on August 11 and run the whole semester. The other courses listed below begin on August 25. You must enroll in STPE 315 and at least one San Pablo course, then choose among the remaining courses for a total of 12-17 credits. More than that would result in an overload charge.

  • STPE 315: Contemporary Peruvian Culture
  • STPE 302: Advanced Grammar, Conversation, and Composition II
  • STPE 308: Introduction to the Hispanic World
  • STPE 309: Introduction to the Hispanic World II
  • STPE 340: Spanish Phonology and Dialectology
  • STPE 390: A regular course offering of the Universidad Católica San Pablo
  • STPE 393: Independent Ethnographic Study

Accommodations

All program participants will be individually placed with a Peruvian family in Arequipa.

Eligibility

You must have at least a 2.5 grade point average and sophomore status to study in Peru. Because this is an advanced Spanish studies program, you must have completed at least Spanish 301.

Cost

The program cost is expected to be within $1000 of Calvin tuition and room and board on campus. More specific cost information will be sent with your acceptance letter. The final program cost is based on many factors and is not known exactly until the number of students in the group has been identified. The financial information page covers the details that go into the cost of the program and rough estimates for each. The cost includes:

  • Tuition
  • Round-trip air transportation, Grand Rapids-Arequipa-Grand Rapids
  • Full room and board with Peruvian families
  • Administrative fees
  • Program excursions
  • Two-week orientation course in August

Additional expenses not included in the program fee: passport, books, immunizations and medical insurance (required), independent travel, spending money.

Application

Submit an application (link above) to the Off-Campus Program Office.

Questions / contact

Dianne Zandstra

Professor
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Marilyn Bierling

Professor
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