I am studying cultural economics and business administration at the University of Passau and a semester abroad was planned for my fifth semester. I quickly realized that I wanted to improve my language skills in both English and Spanish and that I wanted to do my semester abroad very far away ! So I quickly came across South America and since the winter semester starts there much earlier than in Germany, only a few countries were shortlisted. The decision between Chile and Peru was really difficult. Of course, you hear a lot about Chile, especially about nature.Based on the experiences of friends and acquaintances, I then decided to go to Peru and in retrospect I am very happy about it!
The application with MicroEDU worked really well. Even before I made my decision, the employees helped me with my decision by telling me about their experiences. If you have any questions, you can always get further advice and the application process is really easier than you think. In the beginning I was deterred by the high tuition fees, although they are still quite low at USIL compared to other countries and universities. Thanks to BAföG, the financing was fortunately no longer a problem ! I would also recommend everyone to apply for a scholarship to apply and even if you do not get a domestic student loan, the chances of doing so abroad (especially with regard to tuition fees) are a lot higher.
Fortunately, I already had a few vaccinations due to previous stays abroad. Informing the doctor never hurts, but costs. Techniker Krankenkasse offers free travel vaccination advice over the phone. Maybe your health insurance company too! Otherwise you can also find a lot about the topic on the Internet, but only get information there on reputable sites such as the Federal Foreign Office.
- Learn more information about Peru and South America on printerhall.
USIL is a very committed university and has a strong international focus. The good thing was that you could take courses in English, which is generally rather rare in South America. In retrospect, I would recommend everyone to take at least one course in Spanish. If you don’t get good grades, it’s been a good experience, but most of the time the teachers are forgiving. The level of the English courses is very simple, there will be no comprehension problems or hours of looking up and researching, but good grades are not always the result. It depends a lot on the teacher and how often you are present at weekly tests and presentations. Don’t let the first shock drag you down there. The freedom as we know it in Germany does not exist at universities in Peru. Much is certainly also related to that the students are a lot younger and therefore may need even more discipline. At first glance, a lot reminds me of school. Compulsory attendance, tests, queries, group work, presentations… at the beginning definitely takes getting used to over time, you get to travel pretty well every other weekend !
Lima was just too big for me personally. I don’t know what it will look like in a few years with a better transport system. A subway will definitely change a lot. At the moment you can only get around by bus or taxi and that can take a good 2 hours, depending on where you live and where you are going. I lived very close to the university, in San Borja, which saved me a long way to go to university, for going out and going to the beach, but unfortunately the location was very bad and you only meet at the weekend to drive away the other. In general, the district is great, especially if you are a little more cautious and are looking for a quiet corner in such a large city. It’s a residential area and I never felt unsafe even at night. Nevertheless, one should be careful, even if I have hardly heard of bad experiences in Lima. Most of the time, you can very well influence yourself whether you get into a dangerous situation or not. Since you won’t be spending most of your time at university, maybe next time I would actually move to Miraflores, right by the sea, with great restaurants and good nightlife options. Then you just take the two-hour bus ride into account, but as I said, you are soooo often, especially towards the end, when you still have enough free absent hours, not at the university anyway! You will hardly have any problems looking for an apartment, there are enough Facebook groups and new offers come in almost every day. It is also not a problem to move during the semester, as you rarely have to sign a contract.
Now we come to the nicest side of a semester abroad, at least in my opinion! Getting to know a new culture and a new country and Peru is really the best choice for it !
- Peru has the best cuisine in the world and officially: Peru’s cuisine has been voted the best in the world for several years in a row, and rightly so. In no country will you find such diversity.
- One of the reasons for this is that Peru has very different regions and landscapes. Traveling is just a lot of fun. You see landscapes that you have never seen before and it is really impressive that Peru combines everything in one country: sea, jungle, desert, insane high and beautiful mountains
- Who hasn’t heard of Machu Picchu? But Peru still offers much older cultures. Even if the cities are now dominated by colonial buildings, you can always find remains of the Inca era in the villages and in the Andes, it is really fascinating to deal with them a little more intensively!
- The lifestyle. From “no te preocupes” to “tranquila”, the Peruvians simply know the best way to live. With good food, little stress and a lot of music. All over. Really everywhere! Even though I’ve been in Germany for over a month, I like to listen to South American music, it just makes you happy.
I can really only recommend Peru as a country for a semester abroad. I would choose Peru again every time ! And don’t worry too much in advance. In the end it will always be good and you learn so many things during this very special time in your studies. So, enjoy every single step from planning to stay!