Tag Archives: Peru

If You Could Study Abroad Again

In my job I’m frequently asked if I could study abroad again, where would I go. Of course, I would never give up my experience in Italy; as an Italian major, it was really the only place for me to go. However, if I could go some place completely different, these would be my top 5:

1. Bangalore, India with USAC

India is definitely on my short list these days. In addition to it being the most affordable tuition price I know of ($3,780 a semester!!), USAC’s program at Christ University in Bangalore has really interesting courses like Bollywood Dance, Women’s Issues in Indian Society, and Buddhism and Hinduism in Contemporary Society.

2. Lima, Peru with ISA

With its lively Latin culture and affordable living, Lima is one of my favorite study abroad spots. ISA’s program at University of San Ignacio de Loyala has a huge variety of classes in English (since my Spanish is pathetic) and offers home-stay options and a variety of excursions, including one to Machu Picchu.

3. Amman, Jordan with SIT

As seen through my book and movie choices, I really like the Middle East.  The SIT program in Jordan focuses on modernization and social change in the region and includes a short and long-term home-stay experience. While a little pricey, the program requires a great deal of independent research – a huge plus for anyone interested in graduate school.

4. Cuenca, Ecuador with CEDEI

One of my student workers went on this program and LOVED it. Up in the mountains of Ecuador, this city has far less American students than Quito and allows for real immersion.  For $12,900 students get their home-stay with meals, tuition, and excursions to Peru and the Galapagos. The program also works on the American calendar which can be nice.

5. St. Petersburg, Russia with AIFS

After reading Soulshine Traveler, Russia has been looking better and better. Another one of my student workers did the AIFS program in St. Petersburg last fall and she continues to sing their praises. In addition to intensive Russian, the program offers great courses like Contemporary Russian Literature and Russian History: from Kiev Russia to the Revolution. Another nice thing about AIFS is that it is all-inclusive and for $11,995 students get tuition, housing, meals, local transportation, and excursions to London, Finland, Estonia, and Moscow.

If you could study abroad again or for the first time, where would you go?


Ceviche and Inca Kola

In 2009 I ventured to Peru with 16 college students, 1 faculty member, and 2 tour guides for a 14 day study abroad program with the University of South Carolina. As the program assistant, I handled the finances, student concerns, escorted the group on all excursions and classes, and I counted to 16 a lot.  Not a bad job, huh? It really was a fantastic group and an incredible program. The geography professor that taught the class had been a Peace Corps volunteer back in the 70s so he was up for all kinds of adventures.

Me and part of our group at Machu Picchu in May 2009

So last night when I was browsing Open Table for a restaurant and came upon the Cafe Secret Cocina Peruana, my hubby and I decided we should give it a try. Although the service was a tad slow, the food was authentic and savory. We agreed to go 100% Peruvian beginning with our beverages – a pisco sour and a diet Inca Kola. To start we had papitas and yuquitas, which were fried potatoes and yucas served with hard-boiled eggs and olives in a really yummy sauce.  For dinner Hubby got ceviche with shrimp and sea bass, while I had pascado sudado, a spicy dish (my mouth was on fire) with snapper, onions, and tomatoes served with quinoa. The meal brought back fond memories of a great trip and it was great to share it with Hubby.

These are traditional Peruvian ingredients that Cafe Secret uses in their dishes.

Me eating pescado sudado

Shrimp and Sea Bass Ceviche

Diet Inca Kola – it kind of tastes like bubble gum.

Cafe Secret on Urbanspoon