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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cusco, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer I
  • Budget Sheets: Summer I
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

Program will next run in Summer I, 2019

Photo Gallery

Photo slideshow coming soon!

Program Overview

This course is open to students of all majors and focuses on helping students to examine international development from a social, political, and historical perspective. Participants will explore Peruvian history and language, work with youth in local schools to explore comparative differences, and engage in an applied service project to promote community empowerment and positive change. On this program students will experience full cultural immersion by living with a local host family, although Spanish language is not required. At the end of this program, participants will have an excursion to Machu Picchu and Cuzco to explore the role of eco-tourism in economy and development.

WMU students who participate in this program may be eligible for the Haenicke Institute for Global Education Study Abroad Scholarship and the College of Education and Human Development's Study Abroad Scholarship. (Please note that this scholarship (HIGE) is suspended for spring, summer I, and summer II 2018 programs. Funding is expected to be available again in fall 2018).

Please note: This program will be offered in the summer of odd years and is intended to alternate with International Development and Community Service in Nepal.

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Location & Related Considerations

Urubamba, Peru is a small community in the Andes, located near Macchu Picchu and Cuzco.  It has a very high altitude (elevation 9,420 ft.) and is situated near many beautiful mountain ranges. The indigenous people native to this area of Peru speak Quechua.

Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students.

Safety and Security:
Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about Peru, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State Department. If the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security). For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's International Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue.

The following general comments are derived from OSAC: U.S. and foreign visitors are often perceived as relatively wealthy and may be targeted for their valuables. Counterfeit currency is a serious concern; travelers should exchange currency through hotels and banks rather than through the numerous money-changers that operate along city streets. 
While U.S. Embassy personnel and foreign residents normally reside in affluent areas where private security and local police are more effective, they may still find themselves victims of crime. Residential burglaries are most common when houses are left vacant, but thieves will also target occupied residences by breaking in or using a ruse to gain entry. Theft of vehicles and vehicle parts from parked cars is relatively common.

Incidents involving incapacitating agents have been reported in the Lima area. Criminals debilitate the victim with a drug to facilitate theft/sexually assault. It is advised to purchase one’s own drink and never leave it unattended. If for any reason the beverage is left unattended, drinking it is strongly discouraged.

Infrastructure measures, construction safety standards, licensing, and regulatory procedures vary by country. Try to avoid travel in unsafe vehicles on unsafe roads, and exercise caution when using stairways, ramps, and handrails. Take extra precaution when hiking in areas with poor trail geography and infrastructure, especially if guardrails and other safety features are missing or dilapidated. Bring and use bug spray to help protect against insect-borne illnesses, especially from mosquitos and ticks. Protests occur frequently on university campuses and in public spaces; avoid these protests and refrain from engaging with (including photographing) the demonstrations. In addition to consulting the above-mentioned governmental agencies, review the WMU website, especially the section entitled “Health and Safety Abroad."

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Academic Eligibility
Good academic standing; minimum 2.0 GPA.

Academic Program
This program is a three credit interdisciplinary course conducted outside the United States by Dr. Jeffrey Jones, offered through the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies.

Academic Credit
WMU academic credit will be awarded for ED 3980 (undergraduate) or ED 5980 (graduate) upon successful completion of the program. Prior to participating in the program, students are urged to work closely with appropriate academic advisor(s) to determine how the credits will count toward their WMU degree requirements.

Note: Non-WMU students must work with their home university academic advisor and study abroad office to complete all requirements for transfer credits. Non-WMU students will be admitted as guest students at WMU during the program. Upon completion of the program, they are responsible for obtaining a WMU transcript for coursework completed to provide to their home university, if required.

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Cost & Financial Aid

To access the complete program budget published at the top of this page, click here. Students should bring a copy of the program budget when they meet with their financial aid advisor to discuss funding for study abroad.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the Haenicke Institute for the Global Education Study Abroad Scholarship and the College of Education and Human Development Study Abroad Scholarship.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). *Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.

Note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead! Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable). These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget. 

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Participants will be housed with local host families. In most instances, there will be two WMU students per family. Students are encouraged to direct questions regarding their accommodations to their faculty director.

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Date Morning Afternoon Lodging
5/7 Travel to airport Fly to Peru Overnight flight
5/8 Arrive in Cusco Travel to Urubamba Urubamba, host families
5/9 Service project Class session Urubamba, host families
5/10 Service project Visit to Pisac Urubamba, host families
5/11 Visit to rural school Service project Urubamba, host families
5/12 Service project Class session Urubamba, host families
5/13 Field trip to Machu Picchu Machu Picchu Urubamba, host families
5/14 Rest day Individual pursuits Urubamba, host families
5/15 Service project Visit to Urubamba school Urubamba, host families
5/16 Service project Class session Urubamba, host families
5/17 Travel to Cusco Museo Inca, Catedral Home stay or hostel
5/18 Visit to Cusco school Class session Home stay or hostel
5/19 Cusco school or service project Saqsaywaman Home stay or hostel
5/20 Travel to airport Fly home Overnight flight
5/21 Travel Arrive at home Home
Tentative itinerary subject to change.

Note: Participants must attend all scheduled classes and participate in all activities during official program time, which is determined by the faculty director. Before making any side plans, students should first confirm them with the director. In particular, applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to the Statement of Responsibility included within the application which further details this requirement.

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Additional Resources

Faculty Director:
Dr. Jeffrey Jones
Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies
College of Education and Human Development
4121 Sangren Hall
Phone: (269) 387-3517

WMU Study Abroad
Ryan Rounds
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
Location: 3306 Faunce

Demographic Information (external links)
Peru - Lonely Planet 
Country Specific Information - Peru
Culturegram - Peru

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This program is currently not accepting applications.