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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cusco, Peru; Lima, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Tineka Lebrun
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Engineering, Spanish
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Students planning to take SPAN 499 must have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish. 

Program Description 

All majors are welcome in this Penn State faculty-led, interdisciplinary program that is based in lively Lima, Peru. Students will become acquainted with STEM challenges and opportunities in Latin America. Learn how science and global engineering connect with other disciplines in a mixed cohort of Peruvian and Penn State students, while studying Spanish and experiencing Peru’s rich culture. For 6 weeks, you will take 2 classes taught by Penn State and local faculty. Participants will gain cross-cultural competencies by investigating issues in global society and their future implications.

This program is designed to be the perfect blend of cultural immersion and interdisciplinary learning. Experience life as local residents do while you enjoy Peruvian cuisine prepared by your host family and practice your Spanish.  


May 5 - June 15, 2019

Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Julio Urbina, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
  • Melba Amador, Instructor, Social Sciences and Education, Penn State New Kensington
  • Rachel Brennan, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Sam Richards, Teaching Professor, Sociology; Director of Development, World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy
  • Laurie Mulvey, Assistant Teaching Professor, Sociology; Executive Director, World In Conversation
Students can contact Sara Kuhlman in the Office of Global Engineering Engagement with program questions.


Course Description

All students will be enrolled in 6 credits, with an additional 0.5 credits being taken before the start of the program.

Pre-Departure Course (0.5 credits)
Upon committing to the program, all participants will be required to enroll in 0.5 credits of ENGR 197, Lima, Peru: Cross-cultural Engagement Pre-departure. This web-based pre-departure course will prepare participants for their experience in Peru. In addition, it is expected that students will attend several pre-departure meetings.

Students planning to take SPAN 499 must have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish. There is no pre-requisite requirement for SPAN 199.

ENGR 397: Global Engineering Culture and Society (3 credits)
This course is open to students from all Colleges. Students will learn to approach challenges and leadership from an interdisciplinary perspective, analyzing the role of scientific knowledge in international development. Students are engaged, in this team-taught course, through an immersive global engineering experience, utilizing local resources as an integral component of the academic experience. Students will explore global engineering culture and social issues through multidisciplinary, cross-cultural teams.  As a pivotal component of this course, students will investigate current issues in global society and their future implications, exploring how engineering intersects with other disciplines. This course will provide a baseline to understand STEM challenges and opportunities in Latin America. Case studies of site specific experiences for engaged scholarship and intellectual development will be emphasized. 

The petition for course substitution process is handled between the student and academic adviser. Per the College of Engineering:

All Engineering students can count ENGR 397 as a GS.
All Engineering students can count SPAN 199/499 as a GS or GH.
Agricultural/Biological Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as a Technical Elective.
Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as a BME-ENGR Elective.
Chemical Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as a Professional Elective (ENGR Elective by approval only).
Electrical Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as a Related Elective.
Industrial Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as an Engineering Elective.
Mechanical Engineering students can petition ENGR 397 to count as ME 340.

LANGUAGE (select one of the following courses):

SPAN 199: Spanish Through Peruvian Culture (3 credits)

In order to derive the maximum benefits from an immersive experience abroad, students should be able to communicate in the language of their international hosts. Students in Peru with little or no Spanish will learn about the history and culture of Peru, while at the same time acquiring the basic Spanish language skills they need to communicate effectively with their Peruvian hosts and counterparts. This understanding of another language and culture will not only be key to their success in this program, but will also better equip them for success in an increasingly competitive global market, in which sensitivity to foreign cultures and knowledge of foreign languages are among the critical skills of leaders in all fields. 
Students in this course will learn basic Spanish, including verb forms in the present and past tenses, appropriate use of pronouns, common prepositions, and fundamental aspects of Spanish syntax.  Grammar lessons will be built around vocabulary that students will need in their daily lives in Peru, and will introduce the specialized terms associated with their study of engineering.  

SPAN 499: Spanish through Peruvian Culture (3 credits)
Students with at least four semesters of college-level Spanish will enhance their knowledge of Spanish while gaining significant insights into the culture of their hosts. 
This course will be designed for students who have already achieved at least an intermediate control of Spanish and will be able to serve as the linguistic bridge for their American and Peruvian peers.  Students in this course will build on the foundation they have already built in Spanish. Grammar lessons will focus on the areas that are the most difficult for native speakers of English to master, including use of the subjunctive mood, distinction between past tenses, and pronouns, as well as the often complex sentence structure of the language. Grammar lessons will feature the vocabulary associated with Peruvian history and culture, as well as terms relevant to the engineering project they will be completing.
  • You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA.
  • You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis.

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses. To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program.
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
  • Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the courses you want from the (cross-listed) program options.
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options

Academic Policies

  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits.
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals



In Lima, students will stay in homestays with other Penn State students. Additionally, host families will provide a laundry service. 


Host families in Lima will provide 2 meals a day, which are included in the program fee. On field trips, students will be responsible for paying for their own meals. 

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/01/2019
02/13/2019 05/05/2019 06/15/2019

Indicates that deadline has passed