Study Abroad in Peru

by Nicole Murray

The Rutgers Spanish Department offers a study abroad program that gives students the opportunity to travel to Peru for 5 weeks and experience the country as a native resident.

The study abroPeruad programis specifically geared for students interested in improving their Spanish. The students can take up to nine credits consisting of two classes and completing 40 hours of community service. The options consist of helping under privileged kids in an orphanage or assist patients in nearby hospitals.

“We had a whole array of students from different majors and backgrounds all who had different interests,” said Rutgers sophomore Vaughn Podlogar who attended the trip to Peru during the summer of 2013. “A student who has a real yearn for adventure would be able to get the most out of this trip because Peru has so much to offer, especially outdoors.”

In order to be eligible, students need to have taken one year of Spanish in college, be a native speaker, or speak directly Stephen Bishop so he can determine if your Spanish abilities are advanced enough for the trip. Otherwise, students not need to major in Spanish or anything specific in order to have an experience of a lifetime. If all nine credits are fulfilled, half of the requirements for a Spanish minor have been completed.

“We want you to function outside of the classroom,” said program director and Rutgers professor Stephen Bishop. “You wouldn’t be going as a tourist but to live and interact. Otherwise you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet the people we have met or have the experiences we have had.”

The students enrolled in this year’s program will leave for Peru on July 11 and return back to the United States on August 14. The itinerary includes flying in the Nazca Lines, staying with families while living in Cusco, and visiting one of the wonders of the world, Macchu Picchu. This is only a small percentage of what the program has scheduled for the 2014 group.

“If you get the opportunity to go, try as many things as you can whether it be Guinea pig, salsa dancing, or climbing mountains,” said Vaughn Podlogar.

The application deadline for this upcoming summer was April 11 but is always on a rolling admission. Therefore, if a student is interested for this summer, you must contact program director Stephen Bishop at

“These programs are important because I’ve seen student’s outlook completely change,” said program director and Rutgers professor Stephen Bishop. “It changes people’s perspective because they are given the chance to be on the outside of their own country and looking in from a different point of view.”