My time studying Spanish in Peru, South America…

Lindsay Hatzenbuehler kindly wrote this article for our blog to give others an insight into studying Spanish in Cusco in Peru. Lindsay was lucky enough to get out of the classroom to practice her Spanish in a local hospital and with local children giving her a unique language holiday experience.

“Each morning, on my walks up the steep winding street to the Saqsaywaman ruins or through the quiet streets in and around the central plaza, I excitedly ventured thru and around a city that is slowly becoming more modern yet is still home to a population that is religiously strong and culturally rich (the elders continue to speak Chechua and wear traditional clothing and restaurants serve traditional Peruvian food).

The staff at the Spanish language school in Peru provided me with a warm welcome: they accompanied me from the Cuzco airport to the school, arranged a host family stay and with its pre-course written and oral evaluation, distributed me into a Spanish language course based on my language strengths.

The instructors are energetic and patient and challenged me so that, after the course, I left with a much better Spanish language comprehension and communication skills.

Private lessons were made available for additional focused one-on-one time to gain individual linguistic confidence, or to learn vocabulary unique to a certain specialty (my classmate and I were able to focus our private lessons to learning medical Spanish vocabulary and we visited the 3 hospitals in Cuzco with our Spanish tutor).

In addition to its intensive Spanish language courses, the school provided after class activities: from a trip to play and interact with mentally and physically disabled children, lectures on traditional medicines or the ancient streets of Cuzco, to Latin American film showings and traditional cooking or music classes and easily accessible tour arrangements.

My recommendations of must sees/dos while you are in Cuzco:

Visit the ruins of Saqsaywaman up the hill from the school which offers awesome views of the city, the Cathedral near the Plaza de Armas which houses the areas famous ¨ultima cena¨ (the last super) depicting Jesus and his disciples banqueting over Cuy (roast guinea pig) (which made my tasting the small animal a much more significant experience), the Museo Inka which through its historical timeline of the Incan empire helped to connect the old with the new with its historical timeline of areas transition from Incan to Spanish civilization (a must see prior to going to Machu Picchu), Machu Picchu (tours can be coordinated with Dos Manos travel agency at the school) which breathtakingly magnificent, and the Pisac open air market (on Sundays) (where artisans sell handmade Alpaca items, jewelry with the ancient colorful stones, in addition to local foods and spices).

I would recommend the Spanish School to any person looking for a Spanish language immersion program located in a beautiful, culturally rich, South American city.”

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