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*Spanish Language and Peruvian Culture

Cusco, Peru

IntroductionAcademicsLocation Faculty Program Director CostsDatesApplication


The MU International Center sponsors this summer, faculty-led study abroad program in collaboration with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. MU instructor Lornaida McCune will lead this six-credit program in Cusco, Peru, in conjunction with Centro Tinku.

There is no better way for students to improve their Spanish language skills than to be immersed in another culture. While most Spanish language programs acquaint students with traditional destinations of study abroad and tourism all over Spain and Mexico, this program challenges students to think outside of the box and study somewhere new. Peru is a country with amazing biodiversity, from coastal climates to the Andes Mountains to the Amazonian jungle. This program will take place in Cusco, which sits over 11,000 feet above sea level in the very center of the former Inca empire. Rich in history, culture and tradition, Cusco is a great place to study abroad.



All students who join the program will be enrolled in two MU courses for a total of six credit hours. Students may enroll in one of two tracks.

Track one
  • SPAN 2160: Intermediate Spanish Composition and Conversation (3) is the first course following the required elementary sequence. It is designed specifically to correct any remaining weaknesses in gross writing skills and to develop further conversational ability with equal emphasis on both of these aspects. Classwork involves written compositions and oral presentations. Prerequisite: Spanish 2100 or equivalent.
  • SPAN 3150/3150H: Advanced Spanish Conversation (3) puts into practice the linguistic skills learned at the intermediate levels. It develops and increases the capacity for comprehension and oral expression in the language. The focus is on practice of certain syntactic structures and idiomatic expressions, and on the acquisition of new vocabulary. Prerequisite: Spanish 2160 or equivalent.
Track two
  • Spanish 3150/3150H: Advanced Spanish Conversation (3) puts into practice the linguistic skills learned at the intermediate levels. It develops and increases the capacity for comprehension and oral expression in the language. The focus is on practice of certain syntactic structures and idiomatic expressions, and on the acquisition of new vocabulary. Prerequisite: Spanish 2160 or equivalent.
  • SPAN 4960: Peruvian Culture (3) will focus on, from a critical perspective, the most important cultural, historical and artistic processes that characterize Peruvian society, with a particular focus on the city of Cusco. You will study Peru from pre-Columbian through modern times. Prerequisite: Spanish 2160 or higher.

Academic credit

All students will be enrolled in actual MU courses. All students are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed courses; however, students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

MU students: Grades will calculate into students' MU GPAs and appear on students' MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the faculty program director. Students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Non-MU/visiting students: Transcripts will be issued from MU and can be mailed to students' home universities. Students must work with their home universities to determine how credit from the program will transfer. The MU International Center will issue one transcript per student to one domestic address, as indicated on the student's Non-MU Student Application for Study Abroad. Additional MU transcripts for study abroad must be requested and purchased from the MU Registrar.


Accommodations and meals

Students will live with Peruvian families and eat all meals with their host families. This offers the unique opportunity to strengthen Spanish language skills and learn about everyday life in Peru. Each home stay has been carefully selected in order to accommodate students' specific needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation.

Host city and surrounding areas

Cusco, Peru, at more than 11,000 feet above sea level, was the center of the mighty Inca Empire until Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, conquered the city in 1533. Incan culture is still palpable in the city's architecture, language and society today. Cusco is best known as being a stop along the way to Machu Picchu, and many precious Incan artifacts can still be seen in the city's churches and museums. This beautiful city has just over 400,000 people and is a 40-minute drive from the breath-taking Sacred Valley, where students will do their service projects.


Students will travel with the group, but they will have opportunities to explore some sites independently during their time abroad.

Tentative itinerary

  • May 30: Arrive in Cusco
  • May 31: Tour Cusco
  • June 1–5: Class
  • June 6: Excursion to Chinchero (weaving class), Moray, Maras and the salt mines
  • June 7: Excursion to Pisac market
  • June 8–11: Class
  • June 12: Excursion to Ollantaytambo
  • June 13–14: Excursion to Machu Picchu
  • June 15–19: Class
  • June 20–22: Free days or optional excursion to Lake Titicaca
  • June 23: End of program

Optional excursion to Lake Titicaca

  • June 19: Take overnight bus to Puno
  • June 20: Uros and Amantani islands
  • June 21: Taquile Island
  • June 22: Visit Pukara, Raqchi and Andahuaylillas; return to Cusco


Faculty program directors

University of Missouri faculty member Lornaida McCune of the MU Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will accompany the students to Peru.

Faculty-led programs enrich the study abroad experience as well as the MU campus by providing students opportunities to study other cultures and disciplines in depth while gaining new perspectives on our own society. Faculty leaders serve as mentors, role-models and resources as students explore their host institution and country.

Lornaida McCune


Lorna McCune serves as coordinator of Spanish 2100 and also teaches various courses including all three introductory levels of Spanish and Intermediate Conversation and Composition. Her general field of research is economic development with an emphasis in Latin America, in particular the Andean region of South America. As a cultural/economic anthropologist she focuses on the effects of socio-historic factors on economic development and growth. Currently she is completing coursework towards her doctorate at the University of Missouri.


Program Budget

Additional Expenses

In addition to the program costs paid to MU, you will have expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. The amounts listed are estimated costs based on current exchange rates and on the information provided to us by your host institution and past participants. Depending on your personal spending habits, you may spend more or less than the figures provided.

Please note that these expenses do not include vacation travel or sightseeing.

Financial Aid Information

If you are awarded financial aid for study abroad, it will be applied to your MU account according to the regular financial aid disbursement schedule. Reminder: You must be enrolled in study abroad and have completed the required financial aid forms for study abroad in order to be considered for aid.

Because non-resident tuition charges apply, MU students should be eligible to use non-resident scholarship towards the program costs.

Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline Decision Date Program Start Program End
Summer 2015 02/17/2015 02/23/2015 05/30/2015 06/23/2015

Early acceptance date for summer 2015 programs: December 19, 2014

Summer faculty-led programs fill up quickly! Submit your application by the early acceptance date to ensure preferred consideration for admission and to be eligible for International Center scholarship funds reserved for early acceptance applicants. Applications are still welcome after the early acceptance date, but must be received by the final application deadline of February 16, 2015 for consideration.


We are delighted that you are applying to study abroad. This is the first step of your journey, and while there is a lot to do, it should not be overwhelming. Once you apply for the program, you will have an electronic checklist to help you through the process. In addition, our study abroad staff are available to answer your questions.

  1. Meet with the MU International Center study abroad adviser for your program or country of interest.
  2. If you are an MU Student, start an application in using the button below. Non-MU students should visit our page for Non-MU participants for more information about the application process. Please note:
    • Once you have started an application, you can login again using the myStudyAbroad button above.
    • By starting an application you will incur a $50 application fee, even if you do not complete your application.
  3. Complete your application. There will be several documents that need to be completed for the application. While specific requirements vary by program, a typical application consists of the following:
    • Material submissions - Printable forms which require the physical submission of materials.
    • Signature Documents - Items you may digitally sign (if you are over 18 years of age) to indicate your agreement and understanding.
    • Recommendation Forms - Recommendations may be submitted electronically by MU faculty and staff.
    • Application Questionnaires - Items that you complete and submit electronically online.
      • Application Certification/FERPA waiver
      • Essay
      • International Center Scholarship Application
      • Recommendation FERPA waiver

This program is not currently accepting applications.

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