Pisac, Peru

Spanish Language & Peruvian Culture

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Information for term Spanish Language & Peruvian Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 9 – Jul 6, 2019 (4 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 7 – Aug 3, 2019 (4 weeks)


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Archaeological treasures abound in this region of the Andes, known for its spectacular landscapes and colorful bi-cultural heritage.

Discover a kaleidoscope of cultural and spiritual history in this picturesque region of Peru. At nearly 10,000 feet, the Andean village of Pisac is situated in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at the base of a mountaintop fortress famous for its range of ancient ruins. Time slows down in this old-world town, and amenities can be rustic. In other words, it’s a truly authentic experience! Here you’ll live with a local host family, practicing your Spanish as you prepare and share meals, shop at local markets, and mingle with villagers who are bilingual in Spanish and Quechua, the local indigenous language. It’s all part of the mix, or mestizaje, of Andean and Catholic traditions, and of old and new — and New Age — that makes this South American experience so unique.

Each morning you’ll stroll down old cobblestone streets to take language and culture classes at a local center of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), housed in a refurbished 1832 Spanish colonial-style home, with classrooms surrounding an open-air patio. Afternoons are for honing your language skills with local peers,  engaging in fun cultural activities, and hanging out with friends.

Although nights are quiet and cool, afternoons are warm, with plenty of daytime activity in this popular tourist destination. Frequent Pisac’s bustling artisan marketplace, snack on tamales and stuffed chili peppers, and explore Inca temples and other archeological treasures on daytrip outings. Then pack your bags for a trip to the amazing ancient city of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, and a once-in-a-lifetime excursion to Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

  • Language

    60 hours of instruction in Spanish by CIEE professors

  • College Credit

    4 college credits may be used to apply toward your future college degree, to demonstrate your ability to do college-level work, or to test out of a language level in college

  • Certificate

    A certificate of language learning in Spanish, and documented language growth through pre- and post- program testing

Location & Culture

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Majestic mountain peaks surround this lively small town situated on the fertile banks of the Urubamba River.

Pisac is located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Cuzco region of the Andes – a place some believe has mystical qualities. Perched above the village is one of the most important Incan archeological sites around – containing acres of ancient ruins, including temples, agricultural terraces, tunnels, and a sacred ceremonial sundial sculpted out of rock.

The tight-knit community of Pisac, with a population of roughly 10,000 people, is best known for its colorful artisan marketplace in the main plaza. Students head there to shop, browse, and strike up conversation. The town has many other handicraft and clothing shops as well, along with yoga centers and boutiques catering to spiritual tourism.

Most of your meals will be enjoyed at home with your host family. Rice and potatoes are a mainstay, along with grains like quinoa, and some amount meat. On occasion you’ll head to restaurants in town with friends, where you’ll find a range of options. If you like corn, you’re in luck! Traditional dishes include adobo, a pork stew made with chicha (corn beer), and lawa, an Andean soup made from fresh-ground corn, potatoes, cheese, and eggs. You’ll also find a variety of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Food stands sell local favorites like empanadas, tamales, ears of fresh cooked corn with cheese, and crispy fire-roasted cuy (guinea pig) – the local most traditional dish!

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After a short climb, we entered upon the amazing view of Machu Picchu. We spent about 3 1/2 exploring the various parts of Machu Picchu and then made our way back down..."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog posts above.

  • Housing

    Carefully Screened Host Family

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities 

  • See the famous salt mines of Maras (in operation since Inca times!), explore ancient ruins in Moray, and watch weaving and other artisan demos.
  • Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime overnight trip to Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Located 8,000 feet high in the Andes mountains, “The Lost City of the Incas” is still considered a sacred place.
  • Visit the ancient Andean city of Cusco, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view fascinating relics dating back to the Incan times. At 11,000 feet above sea level, this is not for the faint of heart. Along with panoramic views you’ll find a lively tourist district with well-preserved colonial architecture, and get to know different archeological sites such as impressive Saqsaywaman or syncretic Qoricancha.
  • See a traditional Quechuan community. Dance, eat and learn with the locals.
  • Meet alpacas and llamas face-to-face in Awanakancha. Feed them and see how they raise them and other southern camelids. Afterwards you can buy a pretty chullo for yourself!
  • By the end of your stay, and in order to better understand Peruvian history, you’ll have an overview of pre-colonial Peru at the Inkarriy Museum. See what their daily life was like, through life-like scenes.
  • Flow with Andean rhythm and dance as you learn to play a zampoña, but be sure to take deep breaths to keep the oxygen flowing!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • At least one year of High School Spanish. For intensive language immersion, see our Alicante or Palma de Mallorca programs.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insureance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.

Optional College Credit Fee

$150  Learn more 


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2019 4 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 9, 2019 Jul 6, 2019


Summer Session II 2019 4 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 7, 2019 Aug 3, 2019


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