Service Learning in Cusco
This study abroad summer program has been organized through a collaboration of the Center for Civic Engagement, the College of Community and Public Affairs, and the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives. The program also ran in Summer 2016 with leadership from the Comparative Literature department and will be led again in Summer 2017 by this leadership. . It will combine a course at Binghamton University with 3 weeks of on- site language immersion and service-learning in Peru. Profession Giovanna Montenegro will instruct the course and act as faculty director. On site in Peru, Professor Montenegro will be joined by a co-leader.
Located amid the Peruvian Andes, Cusco is a city with a population of about 350,000. The history of this region that was founded as the capital city of the Incans and later conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century has led to a modern day urban center that showcases a mix of great Incan and Spanish culture, with Incan temples juxtaposing Baroque cathedrals in the city center. For this reason, Cusco is often referred to as the “archaeological capital of the Americas.” These historical sites within Cusco like the Plaza de Armas, the Cusco Cathedral, and the Temple of the Sun attract visitors from all over the world. Students will have the opportunity to visit these sites on an organized city tour within Cusco. A large percentage of the indigenous Incan population lives outside of the city in the mountainous areas surrounding Cusco, where farming and textile crafting are the main ways of making a living.
The 6 credit academic component of the program will be a summer class, for which you are registered in the summer term; however your coursework will begin towards the end of the spring semester to allow for sufficient preparation before the trip. The instructor is Professor Montenegro, and a co-leader will also join you in Peru for the on-site portion of the program. The class will meet in person three times on the tentative Saturday dates listed below for 2017. Class meeting dates for the summer 2018 program will be announced in spring 2018.
April 1, 2017 (9 am - 2 pm)
April 22, 2017 (9 am - 2 pm)
May 6, 2017 (9 am - 2 pm)
Students will be required to complete some readings and assignments prior to departing for Peru.
The 2017 program dates are May 27 - June 17th, 2017. (You will depart from NYC on May 27th, arrive in Cusco on May 28th; depart Cusco on June 17th, arrive back in the US on June 17th or June 18th). The 2018 program dates will likely be similar.
A round trip group flight will be arranged for the program participants. The Office of International Education and Global Initiatives will make the flight reservation for you, however each student will be responsible for paying the full balance of their airfare directly to our travel agency. No deviations from the group flight itinerary will be permitted for the flight to Cusco. No deviations will be permitted for the return flight unless there is communication regarding the request well in advance and the student assumes responsibility for any additional costs that there may be returning at a different time than the group.
On-Site in Peru
The time in Peru will include language instruction classes most mornings and community service-learning projects most afternoons during the weekdays. Examples of projects may include repairing a youth community center or assisting at a local food bank.
Students will be required to participate in online debriefing and reflection exercises and prepare a final paper linking the readings and course concepts to the experience in Peru
The 6 credit Binghamton University course linked to this experience abroad in Peru provides an opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds and interests to learn about the history, culture, and literature of the Andes Region in Latin America at the same time that it allows them to learn about the issues raised by these diverse readings concerned with environmental justice, indigenous rights, bi-lingual education, social equity, sustainability, and cultural identity. Moreover, students will be able to connect these issues in their readings with a service learning component that will allow them to reflect upon international service and global citizenship. Readings, discussions, and individual research will cover concepts and issues around history, literature, cultural identity, gender & performance, linguistic diversity, indigenous rights, sustainability from the Pre-Columbian era to the present day. This course is cross listed in Comparative Literature, CCPA, Political Science, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies for your convenience of choosing a course designation most appropriate for your study requirements. The courses are designated as PAFF 564 or CCPA 464; LACAS 496 or 597 ; PLSC 397; or COLI 397 with the title Sustainability in an Era of Globalization: History, Culture and Literature in the Andes.
It will be taught by Professor Giovanna Montenegro. This course will begin prior to the trip to Peru. Specifically, there will be three Saturdays during the end of April and beginning of May when participants will need to be in class from about 9 a.m.—2 p.m. as coursework begins. During Peru, students will be required to blog/reflect to continue fulfilling course requirements. Lastly, after returning, students will turn in a final reflection assignment to complete the coursework that fulfills the 6 credits.
Once in Peru, Spanish language classes that student participants will take in Peru are provided to make the students more comfortable and able to adapt to their environment and provide the skills needed for the service projects.
Language courses will take place at Máximo Nivel, an accredited language school in Cusco. Students will take a brief placement test and will be placed in a language course that is appropriate for them. All course levels are available, from beginner to advanced. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required.
For this study abroad program, graduate students may elect to receive 6 credits for PAFF 564 or 6 credits for LACAS 597.
**Undergraduate students enrolled in this program may choose to either
(1) Recieve 6 credits for CCPA 464, LACAS 496, COLI 397, PLSC 397
(2) Recieve 3 credits of CCPA 464, LACAS 496, COLI 397, PLSC 397 AND 3 credits of SPAN 100+ or SPAN 200+ for language course component (no credit can be awarded for Quechua). This has been approved by the department of Romance Languages at Binghamton University.
ALL students must complete all coursework in Professor Montenegro's course as well as the language coursework on site.**
**Students who participate in the Peru program are eligible to have this study abroad experience count for the study abroad requirement of the Global Studies Minor even though GSM generally requires a 4 week abroad experience** Learn more about how to incorporate a Global Studies Minor into your education here.
Students will stay with host families in Cusco. This living arrangement will facilitate a rich cultural immersion experience. The host family homes will be located in a convenient location, within 30 minutes from the Maximo Nivel language school. There will be 2-4 students placed at each host family. During the program, on a trip to the Sacred Valley region, students will stay one night in a hotel during the program. Each student will have one roommate at the hotel and can request a preferred roommate. Students will have the chance to take a tour in the Sacred Valley region. A trip to Macchu Piccu, one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world, will also be included (via train). There will be additional tourism options available at the students’ own cost.
See the Peru program handbook for more information: Peru Handbook.pdf
The Estimated Costs for the 2018 Peru program will be uploaded in August, 2017.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible in the spring semester. This program does accept both Binghamton and SUNY students, however there is a requirement to attend the 3 pre-program class sessions at Binghamton University. If you are not a Binghamton student, please plan ahead accordingly to be able to attend these.
All costs are subject to change.
While flight return deviations are allowable, pending airline restrictions, students are fully responsible for any cost incurred by a change or new booking of their return date that may be beyond the cost to fly with the group both ways.
Financial Aid: Since this summer program is 6 credits, students who are eligible for financial aid may apply it. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out this Estimate of Costs Sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselour there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.
Scholarships: students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for the Myers Family Scholarship if eligible. This provides an award of $1,500. For more information about this scholarship, click here. Students participating in this program are also encouraged to apply for the CCPA Latin American Scholarship Fund. Download that application here: CCPA Latin American Partnership Fund Application.docx .
For more information about scholarships and financial aid in general, click here.
In addition to a personal statement, a recommendation, and completing some information, applicants will be required to participate in an interview with the faculty directors and study abroad advisers who are seeking mature and prepared students for this program.
See the Peru program handbook for more information: Peru Handbook.pdf
See photos from past programs by viewing our Peru program photo album from the IEGI facebook page, and search on twitter the hashtag #binguperu2015
For questions about the academic course, please contact Professor Giovanna Montenegro, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about the program in general, please contact the adviser, Kerry Stamp by emailing email@example.com .