Program Details

This three-credit travel course in beautiful Cuzco, Peru, introduces students to important themes and concepts in Andean history through classroom study and field trips, including two days at the famed Inca site Machu Picchu. Open to undergraduate and gra
Location:
Cusco, Peru
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Winter Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
The course challenges students to critically read and understand diverse primary sources, including the vast archaeological record that we visit in and around Cuzco, contact narratives from indigenous and European viewpoints, historical accounts, fiction, and film. Equally important are cultural excursions to pre-Inca and Inca archaeological sites, Spanish colonial churches, museums, and other notable attractions. Discussions and excursions help students understand the role of context and worldviews before the Spanish arrived and in the complex cultural interactions between Europeans and Indians.

This three-credit travel course in beautiful Cuzco, Peru, introduces students to important themes and concepts in Andean history through classroom study and field trips, including two days at the famed Inca site Machu Picchu. Open to undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines and interests, the course focuses on the pre-Columbian world (1470-1530), European contact and indigenous resistance (1530-70), and contemporary Cuzco (the rediscovery of Machu Picchu in 1911 to today). The only prerequisites are intellectual curiosity and wanderlust, although students who most thrive in this program prefer hiking boots to bathing suits, comfortable hostals with shared rooms and bathrooms (but with Wifi) to luxury hotels. The course requires moderate hiking and a desire to experience history and culture in the Cuzco people, clothing, architecture, streets, cafes, markets, and food.

Rigorous classroom study and field trips allow students to experience the Andean highlands as a living, breathing historical archive. layers of pre-Columbian, colonial, and republican history are evident everywhere. Inca agricultural terraces more than half a millennium old reclaim steep slopes for corn, potatoes, and other regional crops. Quechua-speaking campesinos gather in Spanish-style central plazas in remote towns and villages, where colonial churches, red-tiled roofs, and checkerboard street design betray enduring but incomplete European influence. Students of all fields can shape assignments and readings to best meet their interests.
Setting Description:
Cuzco today is an international tourist destination and the staging ground for visits to Machu Picchu. At more than 11,000 feet above sea level in the thin Andean air, Cuzco is a beautiful—and literally breathtaking—city in which Spanish colonial architecture rests atop Inca foundations, a visual metaphor for the uneasy melding of European and Andean influences. The narrow, winding streets of the San Blas neighborhood evoke a medieval city in an Andean setting. Historical residue settles like dust over Cuzco and the nearby Sacred Valley.
Cost:
$4,301 Total = $3,153 for Tuition (3 credits) and $1,148 for Travel Fee (Includes Room, Board, Excursions, and Two Days at Machu Picchu)

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