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  • Locations: Cusco, Peru; Quito, Ecuador
  • Program Terms:  
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester Minimum GPA: 2.5
Service-Learning Programs: YES Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Academic Area/Focus: Anthropology, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Psychology, Spanish and Hispanic Studies Language Courses Offered: Spanish
Language Prerequisite: Spanish 1 semester Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
Program Description:

Quito, Ecuador / Cuzco, Peru

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is located in what is considered one of the most beautiful regions in Latin America. Situated in the Andes mountains at the foot of Mount Pichincha 9200 feet above sea level, Quito has a spring-like climate all year. Beautifully preserved colonial churches, convents, palaces, and other buildings of note contrast with the contemporary architecture of modern Quito, a cosmopolitan city of great cultural diversity.

Cuzco, a city of over 400,000 located in southeastern Peru, was the famed capital of the Inca Empire and has been a travelers’ mecca for hundreds of years. Vestiges of the Empire are evident throughout the city and surrounding region, drawing visitors from around the world. In 1983 the city was selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
About the Program
Courses & Academic Focus
Money Matters
Application Information
Program Handbook


About the Program

During the program in Quito, Ecuador and Cuzco, Peru participants will be immersed in the dramatic geography and rich history of the Andes, and in the culture of two of Latin America’s most intriguing societies. Students will analyze important historical and contemporary issues through coursework and a series of related excursions.

Quito and Cuzco are ideal locations, Andean cities with beautiful settings and excellent access to many of the most magnificent sites in Latin America.  In Quito the program is based at the Andean Center for Latin American Studies (ACLAS), while in Cuzco the program is based at the Centro Tinku.

Courses & Academic Focus

SPRING 2021 Courses
BIDS 232:  Diversity and Adaptation
In this course students will examine biological and cultural diversity in Ecuador and Peru, past and present.  The focus of the course will be the importance of the physical and economic environments in influencing the adaptation and evolution of species and cultures. Readings for this class include Rival’s Trekking Through History, Kane’s Savages, Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle and Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch
PSY 244:  Latin American Psychology
Students will study psychology based on the perspectives, theories, and research of Latin American psychologists. Topics will include liberation psychology, the impact of colonialism and post-colonialism on Latin American psychology, Latin American indigenous psychology and ways of knowing, cultural identity in Latin America, and local psychological interventions. 
ANTH 354:  Food, Meaning and Voice

In this course we will use anthropological tools to study sociocultural meanings, practices, histories, politics, and economics of the foods Ecuadorians and Peruvians eat, cook, produce, and sell. We will seek to understand how the foods people eat (and those they do not) provide more than simply nourishment—they help to constitute social identities and group formation. Worldwide, we use the social “taste” of food to define and enforce class, race, and gender parameters. A central component of this course will be to cook and eat Ecuadorian and Peruvian foods. We will also experience and assess food markets, with an emphasis on labor and trade, in Quito, Cuzco, and Otavalo.
Spanish Language, Conversation and Literature
Students will be tested and placed at an appropriate level of instruction at the beginning of the program. Advanced students may select a course in Latin American literature or Quechua (an indigenous) language.

This program would be of particular interest to students of Latin American studies, anthropology, psychology, IR, environmental studies, food studies, and Spanish language and culture. 


This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and who have completed at least one course in college-level Spanish. Students who have not completed a course in Spanish must successfully complete one (with a C- or better) in the fall semester before the program. More advanced language study is encouraged and students will be placed in the appropriate level of language study upon arrival. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students will be housed with local host families in both Quito and Cuzco. During excursions the group will be housed in hotels.


A variety of excursions are included as part of this program. Among those planned in Ecuador are visits to the Galapagos Islands (in connection with the study of Darwin and the processes of selection and adaptation), Pasochoa, the Cotopaxi volcano, and Otavalo. Excursions in Peru will include  many of the major sites of the Inca Empire, such as Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley; Puno, Amantani, and Lake Titicaca; and a trip along Peru’s northern coast is also typically arranged. 

Money Matters

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition, room and board fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing, meals, and program-related activities and excursions. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, immunizations, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$1300 from the East Coast, immunizations at $200-300, and books at $200. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation. 

Application Information

HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.

  • This program is offered in the Spring semester of odd years.
  • All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).

Program Handbook

IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.


Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.                     

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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.