Spending a semester abroad just got a whole lot easier with Intern Abroad HQ. Our dedicated team offers affordable and flexible internship opportunities in the most sought-after travel destinations. Our goal is to bring immersive and career enhancing opportunities to all college students and recent graduates abroad!
Southern Utah University has teamed up with Intern Abroad HQ to provide their students with a semester abroad elective in Cusco, Peru. The customized SUU internship program combines Spanish language lessons, cultural immersion and an internship abroad. This comprehensive study abroad program provides students with an unforgettable opportunity for personal and professional development.
If you’re looking for an internship abroad where you can upskill, travel and hone your Spanish language ability, look no further than an internship in Cusco.
In this guest blog, SUU students Alex Curtis and Natalie Reese share their experiences and insight into what future students can expect. Spoiler alert - their advice is to take advantage of the opportunity and go for it!
What was your primary focus during the semester abroad internship program?
My primary focus during the semester abroad internship program was to improve my Spanish. I’m currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and began looking for study abroad programs through my university about a year ago. I found this program and thought it was perfect for me. The program allowed me to live abroad and gain a cultural experience as well as improve my Spanish speaking abilities. - Alex Curtis
What was your favorite highlight of the experience?
The highlight of the entire trip was our trip to Machu Picchu. The 3 other people from my university and I decided to do a 5 day trek on the Salkantay Trail to the famous Inca city. Everyday was an amazing experience! We got to meet so many new people and see some beautiful parts of Peru. If you have time, I would highly recommend doing the Inca trail or Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu. It made seeing the landmark so much more of an incredible feeling. - Alex Curtis
I absolutely loved making new friends and meeting people from all over the world. The friends I met while studying abroad are some of the best people I’ve ever known. - Natalie Reese
What was your most significant learning point?
It’s hard to pinpoint one significant learning point. It’s incredible how much you learn while being immersed in a language. Everyday I learned new vocabulary words and improved my proficiency. It was always satisfying to find yourself using a grammatical structure that you had just learned a few days prior. I went to Peru with a pretty high level of Spanish; therefore, it was sometimes hard to notice my progress. I felt stuck sometimes, but during my last presentation I really noticed I had improved. Being able to give an almost fluid presentation in Spanish was a very rewarding feeling. - Alex Curtis
While abroad, I learned just how important it is to communicate clearly with everyone around you: your host family, friends, professor(s), staff, etc. You can avoid unwanted circumstances if you don’t push things aside and assume it’s a trivial matter. - Natalie Reese
What should be on your packing list for Cusco?
If you are planning on studying in Cusco during the beginning of the year, make sure you bring your rain gear! During the rainy season, it’s almost a guarantee it will rain almost every day. If you are a person who likes to spend time outdoors, make sure to bring your outdoor gear! Cusco is home to some amazing places to explore which will require you to have some good hiking gear. - Alex Curtis
Sunscreen!! It’s so expensive in Cusco. A jacket/light coat, even during the summer months it is cold, especially if you hike Salkantay to Machu Picchu. - Natalie Reese
What’s the best way to spend a weekend in Cusco?
Cusco is a beautiful city! If I didn’t have a tour booked for the weekend, I loved exploring the city and checking out all the little shops, restaurants, and cafes. There’s so much to check out; however, time flies while you are there. Make a bucket list of everything you want to see and do and plan it out. Your last day will sneak up on you. - Alex Curtis
Hiking around the surrounding mountains! The balcony of the devil was my favorite (see if you can find the balcony itself, not just the beautiful area…it’s hidden!) And you can continue hiking through the valley past it to some Inca ruins. Bring shoes (like chacos or tevas) to hike through the river. There are some pretty cool places you can find if you’re willing to find a way to hike through the water. - Natalie Reese
What should people expect from the homestay accommodation?
It’s hard to say what people should expect from their homestay accommodation. Every family is different and offers a unique experience for that student. My homestay exceeded my expectations. They were arguably my favorite part of the entire experience. I never felt like I was another student that was going to come and go in a matter of time. From the time they picked me up at the airport from the time I left, I truly felt like a member of the family. It was so hard to leave them at the end of my 4 month stay. Every student that came through during my time always commented on how kind and compassionate they were. The homestay accommodation allows you to really immerse yourself in the culture. You get to practice your Spanish, learn about the culture, try different foods, and see places you wouldn’t see as a tourist. - Alex Curtis
Your host family should give you a variety of good food, with vegetables and fruits. If they’re not, they’re breaking rules and you should talk to a staff member. They are incredibly nice and friendly and want to help you in any way they can. The water should be running throughout the day every day. It should be on during the night too, although it might be a little cold depending on the family. Some families like to be more involved than others. Make sure there’s a balance between how involved and uninvolved they are, because sometimes it’s too much in one direction. - Natalie Reese
How did you balance your internship schedule with Spanish language lessons?
The local team work really well with scheduling you for Spanish language lessons and your internship. They will make sure that the time of your internship and Spanish classes don’t interfere with each other as well as your daily schedule. If there is ever any conflict, the team are great at working with you and your internship to coordinate the best schedule for you. - Alex Curtis
The staff does a great job of making sure that you are happy with where you’re at. You just need to communicate with them if there’s something bothering you. The medical internships require more hours so you can learn everything you need to and be able to help out. Other internships don’t always require that much. But if you find yourself getting tired, they can change your hours, days, or internship to help accommodate your needs. I had my language classes in the morning, a few hours break, and then my internship in the afternoon. I normally did my homework during the middle part of the day unless I was exploring town or hiking with friends. Then I did it after my internship before dinner (which is normally around 7/7:30p) - Natalie Reese
What advice would you give to others thinking about interning in Cusco?
The advice I would give to others thinking about interning in Cusco is to soak in as much as you can while you are there. Take advantage of the opportunities that you have while you are there. It was crazy how fast time went by while I was there. As I was riding in a taxi back to the airport, it felt like I had just arrived a few days before. The Cusco region has a little bit of something for everyone! - Alex Curtis
Stop thinking and go for it! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will never regret going. - Natalie Reese
Now that you’ve gained an insight into what an incredible experience SUU students gained in Cusco, Peru, it’s time to start your own life changing internship abroad! Talk to our expert team to get started.
Apply online first. The application process is non-obligatory and free.
After applying, you’ll receive more details on how to confirm your internship. All the internship fees can be reviewed online.
To confirm, you need to register first. Our registration fee of US$299 enables us to plan your specific internship and provide ongoing pre-departure support.
Once you’re registered, the countdown to your internship begins - we can help you book affordable flights for your internship and beyond!