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UF in Cusco

Experiential Learning for the Health Professions


Improve your proficiency in communicative Spanish, while exploring the cultures of Peru, with an emphasis on health-related systems. Engage in health-related service learning in the cusqueño community.
Plaza Armas Cuzco panorama
Situated high in the Andes Mountains in Southeastern Peru, Cusco stands tall as the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. The nearby Inca archaeological site of Machu Picchu has long been one of the most inspirational destinations for countless travelers. Spaniards first arrived in Peru in the 1530s, with conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Due to heavy Spanish influence for many decades, much of the architecture in present-day Cusco is a mix of Inca and Spanish design. Today, Cusco is one of the must see destinations in South America, due to the preservation of its culture displayed in amazing archaeological sites, architecture, and colorful Peruvian dress. Many Cusqueños still wear traditional clothing like polleras (long, colorful skirts), play zampoñas (pan flutes), and raise llamas. In addition, the exquisite Andean cuisine provides Peruvians and foreigners alike with innovative dishes. Prepare yourself to be enamored with both culture and a constant breathtaking view of the Sacred Valley as you study abroad in Cusco.


The program is open to UF students of any major who are in good standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher. Program prerequisites are:

  • Intermediate proficiency in Spanish is required for the service placements. This can be satisfied by successful completion of at least one 2000-level SPN class at UF, at another SUS institution, or comparable exam scores. Native or heritage speakers of Spanish should consult with the program director prior to applying.
  • BSC2011 and BSC2011L are the prerequisites for the ZOO class.

Program of Study

All students take the same two courses, both taught by UF faculty.

  • SPN3948: Spanish Service Learning (taught in Spanish). This course meets once weekly and additionally requires  7-10 service hours each week at a community health center (medical, dental or pharmacy). ISA will make placements based on student interest and assignments will be announced on the first Monday of the program.
  • ZOO4956: Emerging Disease in the Americans (taught in English). This course meets daily and is designed to provide an introduction to the ecology & evolution of emerging diseases, with a special focus on Peru in particular and the Americas in general. Case studies will vary depending on current events


Students will be able to experience the unique culture of Cusco by living with host families while on the program. In addition to having an opportunity to be immersed in the Spanish language, students will observe and experience aspects of the Peruvian lifestyle that are inaccessible to most visitors.

Cultural Excursions

This program offers two overnight excursions: Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley; and Puno and Lake Titicaca. Additional day trips and other cultural events are also included:

  • Orientation and tour of Cusco.
  • Welcome dinner on the first night after arrival.
  • Cooking class, where students learn to prepare traditional Peruvian food and drink.
  • Quechua class will teach students basic expressions for communicating in the Quechua language.
  • A local expert will provide a guest lecture on the Peruvian healthcare system.
  • Visit an alternative medicine practitioner in Cuzco, to allow students to compare and contrast traditional and modern remedies, as well as their coexistence.
  • Visit Awana Kancha, a museum showcasing traditional weaving and textile practices combined with an alpaca/vicuña farm and artisan gift shop.

Cost: $TBA

A $375 nonrefundable deposit toward the total cost of the program is due at the time of application. The remaining fees are due no later than 45 days prior to departure. [If you receive financial aid, you can defer payment until it disburses. Deferment decision will be based on the amount of aid to be received.] Students taking any UFGPA credit courses abroad will be charged a $16.22 per credit processing fee.

What’s Included:

Tuition for 6 credits, lodging and daily meals with a host family, cultural and overnight excursions, entrance fees/guided tours, tutorial assistance with ISA, internet access in the ISA office, ground transportation, international health insurance and emergency medical assistance.

What’s Not Included:

Round-trip airfare, additional personal travel, and personal expenses.

Financial Aid

Most financial aid that you would receive on campus during the summer can be applied toward the cost of this study abroad program. UFIC recommends that you speak with your financial aid advisor about your financial aid eligibility for study abroad. More information can be found at Student Financial Affairs.


Applications for summer scholarships administered by the UF International Center are available at UFIC and at the International Center in the HUB. Partial scholarships for UF students are available on a competitive basis through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies, as well as the International Center.

For application and program information:
International Center
170 HUB
Caroline Cully Garbers