Lima, Peru

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú Partnership

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Program Overview


Keep an ear out for unfamiliar words as you explorePeru is home to more than 90 indigenous languages. In this multicultural setting, you’ll take classes in Spanish on a modern, 100-acre campus at one of Latin America’s highest-ranking universities. See big-city contradictions up close as you dig into urban social, economic, and political issues through community service or research with Lima NGOs. Interested in education? Help a local organization support disadvantaged kids. Excursions take you out of the city to explore pre-Incan and Afro-Peruvian culture, capping off an unforgettable semester.  

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: May 1
Spring: Nov. 1

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Single Room Option, Homestay

Instruction language


Language prerequisites

Four semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent.

Visa required?

Not in most cases. Learn more.

Apply Now


IFSA’s program in Lima allows you to enroll in classes alongside local students at the prestigious Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP).

You can also choose from 1-2 IFSA classes designed exclusively for our participants. These classes, taught in Spanish by local professors, are intended to provide you with an understanding of the events and issues that make Peru what it is today.

CHART Your Course
Find the classes you need fast with CHART. Our easy-to-use tool shows you classes recently taken by IFSA students


Advanced Spanish I or Advanced Spanish II
Language of Instruction: Spanish
While in Lima, you can opt to continue your Spanish language study. A mandatory prearrival language assessment will determine your appropriate language level. Based on your score, IFSA may require you to take a Spanish language class to support your academic success in Spanish-taught direct-enroll classes. Language of Instruction: Spanish. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Communities in Action: Lima
Language of Instruction: Spanish
This class presents an overview of social, economic, and political dimensions of the local community groups and contemporary relevant issues influencing Perú today. Through reflexive instances, critical analysis and class discussion students will explore key concepts such as community and interculturality and its relationship within a community organization. This class will enable students to develop a contextualized reading of Peruvian realities, gain a meaningful integration into these communities, and develop their own intervention process in a field of action from a specific organization or institution. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Most of your course load will be taken at PUCP alongside degree-seeking Peruvian students. PUCP publishes their class offerings online. Follow these steps to find classes that may be available during your semester abroad:

  1. Review a list of subjects offered at PUCP.
  2. Click on the especialidad in which you are interested.
  3. Click on the link for the plan de estudios to see the class offerings. For class descriptions, click on sumillas.

Please keep in mind that ciclo or nivel of a class does not indicate which semester the class is delivered. To determine when a class is being offered, please follow these steps:

  1. PUCP course semester and level information.
  2. Enter the name of the class in nombre del curso.
  3. Select the appropriate term from the dropdown menu (i.e. “2018-2” corresponds to semester 2 2018) in ciclo de dictado de curso. 
  4. Click on buscar to see if the class is being offered during the indicated semester.

While searching for classes fitting your interests and academic needs, you may find some host institution classes delivered in English as well as in Spanish. Classes taught in English are open to you as an IFSA student provided you meet the stated prerequisites. However, prior to arrival you should discuss with your home institution’s study abroad advisor any academic requirements related to study abroad in a non-English speaking location.

If a particular class you are looking for is not listed, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for assistance. Class availability changes every semester.

Lab & Field Trip Fees
Please review syllabi and course materials when registering for direct-enroll classes. Certain classes may have a one-off lab or field trip fee disclosed in the syllabus or during the first meeting of the class. These fees are not included in your IFSA program fee. You will be responsible for these fees, whether they are billed and paid by IFSA or billed to you.

Language Requirement
To enroll in Spanish-taught classes, you must have a specific language level. Please visit our Language Requirements page for more details. If you have questions about whether you qualify, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor.

Class Restrictions
There are no restricted departments at PUCP for IFSA students. However, it can be hard to get into some media studies courses. The classes fill up quickly, and there are few spots for international students.

Past students have shared that regularly volunteering enhanced their study abroad experience by providing them with access to the local culture and a deeper understanding of problems that face Peruvians on a daily basis. If you are interested in volunteering during your semester abroad, we encourage you to attend the informational session during orientation to learn about the available opportunities. Below are examples of how you could help the local community during your time abroad:

  • Assist afflicted groups such as domestic workers, women and children, through a variety of activities in impoverished sections of Lima
  • Support the Children’s Hospital of Lima with providing recreational activities and events for families of long-term hospitalized children
  • Play an active role within the world of education and community building by assisting local schools with initiatives on a wide variety of topics or by helping Fulbright or EducationUSA in developing presentations on the U.S. higher education system
  • Participate in one of the longest running archaeological excavations in Lima, a 1500 year old site in the middle of the city, either through excavation efforts or cataloging information already discovered on site
  • Utilize event planning skills by organizing environmental awareness initiatives at Católica University



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.

Language Requirement
Four (4) semesters of college-level Spanish or an Intermediate II level proficiency is required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are a selection of activities and excursions from previous terms; options may vary for your program. Due to the seasonal nature of many of program activities, we cannot guarantee a specific activity or excursion will be available in a given term or program.


  • City-as-Text Activity: Exploring the districts of Miraflores and Barranco will give you sense of the city’s socioeconomic situation and a view into urban sprawl and gentrification. You’ll also learn to navigate Lima’s transportation system.
  • Huaca Pucllana Visit: Go back in time with a guided visit to a renowned archaeological site in the heart of Miraflores, with a history that spans 5,000 years. This visit provides great context for Lima’s pre-Hispanic roots.
  • Lima Historic Center Tour: During this guided visit, you’ll walk through Lima’s history as an important strategic center, with a location that impacted food distribution, mining, and political control of the Vice-royalty, to grow into a sprawling city.
  • Pandemic and the Inequities Seminar: Did the COVID-19 pandemic look the same in Peru? Join the discussion as a guest lecturer explains how challenges were handled here and the pandemic’s impact on the country.


  • Caral Trip: Visit the oldest pre-Incan urban settlement in the Americas, built between 3000 and 1800 BC. As you explore the city’s organizational structure, ceremonial centers, markets, and family homes, you’ll draw parallels to today’s Peru.
  • El Carmen Trip: This overnight excursion takes you three hours beyond Lima to the village considered to be the cradle of Afro-Peruvian culture. It’s an inspiring place to explore race and exotization.

Housing and Meals


Single Room Option, Homestay


All Included


In Lima, students live with families in the Miraflores area in what’s called a homestay. Homestays are a fabulous way to soak up as much culture as you can and provide plenty of opportunity to make language gains. Many students keep in touch with their hosts after they return home.  

Homestays: Who’s at home?  

We place students with carefully screened families in safe neighborhoods, with up to two IFSA students per family. Many families have been hosting IFSA students for years. Often, they have grown children who have left home, and enjoy having young people around.  

You might live with a retired couple and their beloved terrier, with frequent visits from their young grandchildren. Your hosts might have high school-age children and a grandparent living with them. Or you might join a single mom who shares her home with her adult daughter and grandson, with another adult child living nearby. 

  • Location. Miraflores—considered one of Lima’s safest areas, with easy access to shops and services.  
  • Commute. Expect a 60-minute commute to and from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.  
  • Living space. Some hosts have houses; many have apartments. Expect to have your own bedroom, likely smaller than a typical U.S. space. Students share a bathroom with other family members. Your host will provide a desk or other suitable place to study.  
  • Language. Few families are fluent in English, but most can communicate. We do our best to place students without Spanish skills with English-speaking families. 
  • Meals. All meals are included. Students occasionally eat out with friends and should buy snacks independently. Hosts appreciate a heads up in advance if you will be eating out.  
  • Other details. Your host will do your laundry once a week. Keep in mind that washing machines tend to have smaller capacity here than in the U.S.  

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Fall 2024
August 14, 2024
December 7, 2024
Spring 2025
Mid-March 2025
Mid-July 2025
$16,975 (estimated)
Nov. 1, 2024
Fall 2025
Mid-Aug. 2025
Early Dec. 2025
$16,975 (estimated)
May 1, 2025

Get Started

Selena Rincon

Selena Rincon

Enrollment Counselor