Will I have a chance to travel during the program?
Join the masses on a pilgrimage to Machu Picchu or enjoy one of the many other nearby treks. Cusco is a beautiful city in and of itself, but it's also the perfect leaping off point for outdoor adventures including rafting, paragliding, eco-tours, bungee jumping, ziplining, and more! In other words, plan to sign up for some adventures on weekends (and maybe add some time after your immersion program). We can help!
How are the Spanish classes structured?
Spanish classes start Monday morning and you can choose group or private classes (or both!), giving you the perfect opportunity to meet friends and make rapid gains with your Spanish skills. Teachers have master's degrees and/or certification in teaching Spanish as a foreign language and over five years of experience. They will create ample opportunities for you to practice speaking and listening. Textbooks are provided at no extra cost.
You'll meet plenty of other Spanish students, but the school also supports local English learners, with whom you will have the option to connect for one-to-one language exchanges (to help with their English for 30 minutes and practice your Spanish for 30 minutes). Also, your host family will provide breakfast and dinner, which often create additional opportunities for language practice.
What is the accommodation like?
Standard accommodation is a shared room with one or two other students/volunteers of the same sex, in the home of screened, middle-class host family (private rooms available for an additional $25/week). You will receive a key to the home and can come and go as you please, provide you respect the space and routines of your hosts. Your host family's home will either be within a 10- to 25-minute walk or a short taxi/bus ride from the school where InterExchange's partner offices are situated.
All families must partake in a formal application, vetting and interview process before becoming hosts. You'll receive your specific host family information with your arrival packet.
Hostel stays can also be arranged, or apartments for placements four weeks or longer. Please inquire for details.
Can I arrive whenever I want?
Yes, but you’ll want to be there by Sunday, which is when your host family accommodation starts, so that you’re ready to head to your orientation Monday morning. If you’d like to arrive a day or two early, just let us know and we’ll add the extra nights! Please note that there is a small additional fee for adding nights before or after your program, which covers both the accommodation and your breakfast and dinner.
Can I stay with a friend?
Yes. Please let us know in advance and we'll get you placed with the same host family.
I'm a vegetarian – will there be vegetarian food available?
Yes, host families have experience with vegetarians, but please let us know in your application so we can find you the right placement.
How will I get around in Peru?
Walking is a great, free option, but buses are also very inexpensive and support staff will provide info on using public transportation or taxis. Your host family can help you with this as well.
How can I stay in touch with friends and family back home?
You'll have access to a computer room and high-speed internet at school. We recommend bringing a tablet or other personal device, as computer access can be limited during busy hours, but wifi is available. There are also plenty of internet cafés available throughout Cusco. Please note that you may not have wifi at your host family's home, though many homes do. Getting on a local phone plan is also an option and we're happy to help with this.