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Course Offerings
  • COSA in Peru (Community Organizing and Social Activism
Elective Course Offerings
  • Spanish Language (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced)
  • Language Across the Curriculum
  • Indigenous Cultures and Traditional Health and Healing
  • Environmental Sustainability and Biodiversity of Peru
  • Environmental Justice as a Social Movement
  • Independent Study
* Some courses may not be offered during a given term. Please inquire. 

Travel and Excursions that Broaden Your Perspective
Travel is an essential part of studying abroad. Taking knowledge from the classroom and applying it through direct observation allows for greater classroom comprehension and cultural understanding.


Excursions MAY include SOME of the following:


City tour of Cusco: "Cusco and the Surrounding Ruins"
Visit the Cathedral, located next to the main plaza, then stop by the famous Koricancha or Temple of the Sun.  It includes a visit to the four main ruins in the outskirts of the city, Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara, Q’enqo, which means “zigzag” in Quechua and Tambomachay, commonly referred as the “Baños del inka” or Inka Baths.
"Valle Sagrado"  - The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba 
The valley is generally understood to include everything between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River, or Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu, as this Sacred river is called. It is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities.  On route through the valley; stop at the Awanakancha where you can watch Andean Artisans demonstrate weavings and dyeing techniques.  After that visit the stupendous ruins of Pisaq, a fortress that is still an enigma to archaeologist. It is a classic Inka Pucara, a huge defended area into which the entire population of a wide area could retreat during a military threat. Pisaq is also particularly well known for the Inka terracing that sweeps around the mountain spurn which the ruin is perched. Finally, explore the major temple fortress of Ollantaytambo and the classic village below it, set out on a river cliff at the lower edge of a canyon.
Machu Picchu!
Ride the Expedition train from Poroy Station, taking a spectacular journey through changing landscapes. Upon arrival in the town of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu, students are guided on  a three to four hour private excursion thought the ruins, and surrounding area to experience the energy and atmosphere of the most significant and spectacular archaeological sites on the planet.

IPSL students in Peru may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Peru and surrounding countries. As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, IPSL program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries.

Hands-on Learning in the Heart of the Incan Empire 

The semester curriculum combines COSA in Peru (the IPSL Service-Learning Reflections course) with courses that are relevant to issues confronting Peru and its people. All courses are taught in English, are  45 contact hours and offer 3 semester credits each.  


COSA in Peru (Community Organizing and Social Activism)

The focus of this course is to explore community organizing and social activism in Peru with the goal of learning how to effectively translate these ideas and techniques into a concrete knowledge of social activism (including a practical tool set and the development of a personal ethic of advocacy) that can be applied across cultures, countries, and efforts. The course starts with an overview of social change institutions, explores the history and ethics of international service and moves to the examination of past and current political and social movements and advocacy efforts in Peru. Students will learn the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in a Peruvian context. This course complements IPSL community service placements and helps students make sense of their international experience in order to develop their intercultural competence. Topics are examined through the prism of hands-on community service in Peruvian NGOs and other non-profits and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of Peruvian non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Peru, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts and the exploration of civil society.

Contact Hours: 45

Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


Possible Electives
Graduates generally take 2-3 electives for a maximum of 12 credits.

Spanish Language (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced)

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to study the local language, even if it is to audit the course.

Contact Hours: 45

Recommended U.S. Credits: 3 

Language Across the Curriculum

In order to receive credit for a language course graduate students need to combine the language course with a project (to be co-determined by student and faculty). in this course, entitledLanguage Across the Curriculum.

Indigenous Knowledge, Health and Human Rights in Peru

Traditional healers are found in every society. Their knowledge and leadership have been key in the survival of ancient communities since the beginning of humanity. This course provides information that underscores this concept. Topics aim to stimulate a critical examination of the role of traditional healers in Peru going back to the Pre-Inca cultures, through the Inca Empire and finishing in our current society.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


Environmental Sustainability and Biodiversity of Peru

Biological diversity is one of the most valuable assets our society has in order to achieve Sustainable Development. This course provides knowledge of the theory and practice of this concept. Topics aim to stimulate a critical examination of the potential of biological resources and interactions in meeting sustainability goals while also understanding the need for constant economic growth and social equity. This course is specifically created to address the complex issues of Environmental Sustainability as they relate to biodiversity conservation with its main focus in Perú.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3 

Environmental Justice as a Social Movement

In this course, students will learn about the disproportionate burdens of environmental contamination and about the health disparities affecting communities in Peru and internationally. Since the early 1990’s, an environmental justice movement, led by many indigenous and racially-diverse leaders, has achieved much progress in advocating for just forms of health research, improved environmental/health policies, and worker protections to remedy these harms of racial/cultural injustice. In this course, we will review environmental health/justice theories and perspectives as they bear on case studies of Latin American indigenous groups and how they – and their allies - have organized to improve health and justice in their rural/urban neighborhoods, regions and cities. We will review programs that have been organized to address childhood asthma reduction, lead poisoning prevention, waste recycling, clean-up and restoration of contaminated sites, sustainable/organic agriculture, clean energy programs and cancer and health disparities research. Students will be asked to critically examine these efforts and also explore unresolved, chronic problems with environmental injustices and health impacts.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3