Llama at Machu Picchu

Peru Info Session Recording

WCCCSA Peru Study Abroad Information Mtg. Nov 15, 2022

For more info, view a recorded Info Session about the Peru Program.
(recorded Tuesday, November 15, 2022)


Due to the current civil and political unrest in Peru, the WCCCSA Fall 2023 study abroad program has been relocated to Valparaíso & Viña del Mar, Chile.


  • Application Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2023
  • Deposit ($900) Due: Thursday, June 1, 2023
  • Balance of Program Fees Due: payment 1 ($2,547) – Friday, June 23, 2023 & payment 2 ($2,547) – Tuesday, August 8, 2023
  • Tuition Due: check your campus’s calendar
  • Program Dates: Friday, September 22 – Saturday, December 2, 2023

Contact your WCCCSA Campus Coordinator for more information about spending the fall in Cusco.



In addition to its amazing culture, Peru is a country of physical wonders: from its tropical rainforests, to its desert coastline, to its high altitude mountains and valleys, Peru is home to more diverse environments than almost anywhere else on Earth. In fact, there are more species of plants, mammals, and birds in Peru than in all of North America! In Cusco, we will use Peru’s stunning geography and geology as a gateway to learn about the physical world all around you, all while learning the Spanish language and visiting some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.


Program fee includes a homestay with a host family in Cusco during the program. Occupancy is typically two participants to a home or residence. Host families will provide two meals per day (breakfast and dinner), as well as laundry service weekly over the duration of the program and homes will have wifi. This unique accommodation lets you become immersed in the Spanish language and participate and experience aspects of the Peruvian lifestyle that are inaccessible to most visitors. Homes are located throughout the city within walking distance or via local bus, 10-45 minutes, from where classes will be held.


This is an academic program and students are expected to enroll in a full-time course load. Failure to participate in the academic coursework may result in dismissal from the program. Students are encouraged to make the most of their classroom learning as it will enhance understanding of all the local area has to offer.

Students will take three classes for a total of 15 credits including a Spanish language class taught by local faculty. This course is mandatory for all students; students will be placed into one of three language levels.

Spanish (5 credits) is required for all students.

In this class, you will be placed at the level of Spanish appropriate to your knowledge, from beginner to advanced. You will be taught by an experienced instructor who lives in Cusco and receive credit for the equivalent Spanish class at your home campus. No prerequisites.

Primary Faculty – Morgan Salisbury, Lower Columbia College

Dr. Morgan Salisbury is an Earth Scientist who specializes in the geology and geography of the Central Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Morgan first traveled to Cusco as a graduate student while working on his master’s at Central Washington University and completely fell in love with the landscapes and culture of the Andes mountains. He dedicated the next 10 years of his life researching the volcanoes of the Central Andes and in the process earned a Ph.D. from Oregon State University (2011) and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Durham University (2012 – 2014) in the United Kingdom, becoming one of the foremost experts on the volcanoes of the Central Andes. In addition to research, Morgan is an Earth Science instructor who has taught geology and geography courses at universities and community colleges throughout the Pacific Northwest where he has been a faculty member at Lower Columbia College in Longview since 2016. Morgan considers his time studying and living abroad as among the most important and informative of his life and strives to help students achieve a rewarding study abroad experience that will positively influence the rest of their lives. Morgan’s classes are accessible, hands-on, and encourage students to get into the field and experience the world around them as they learn about the natural world and the many influences of earth system processes on the people and animals that call this planet home.

Geology& 101: Intro to Physical Geology w/lab

In this class you will learn how the slow but relentless movement of Earth’s crust is ultimately responsible for nearly every aspect of Peru’s geography and culture including its mountains and volcanoes, its high plateaus, its various climatic zones, and even its food and water. Focus will be given to understanding the basic concepts of plate tectonics, geologic time, and the ongoing threat of natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides. This class will take advantage of Cusco’s stunning location to provide a framework for understanding both local and global geologic concepts. Interactive lab exercises will include rock and mineral identification and hazard analysis during walking tours in and around Cusco. No prerequisites.

Geography 105: Physical Geography w/lab

In this class you will not only learn the distribution of Peru’s unique geography, but why its diverse landscapes are found where they are, and how they came to occupy that position. Focus will be given to weather and climate, seasonal and long-term environmental change, the distribution of rain and ecosystems, the influence of mountains and wind, and the importance of the oceans. Laboratory exercises will include map making, analysis of coordinate systems and elevation contours, and interpreting a wide variety of geographical data in a spatial context. The course will take both a local and global approach, with the geography of Peru analyzed from a planetary perspective. Field trips to the countryside surrounding Cusco will allow exploration of Earth’s physical processes. No prerequisites.


Weekend trip to Machu Picchu
This excursion will include:

  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Awanacancha Farm – meet Alpaca, Llama, and vicuna and learn how wool from the animals is dyed and woven into fabrics
  • Guided tour of Pisac Ruins – visit the historic Incan ruins of Pisac, which are estimated to have been built around 1440. Here you will view the temple complex, which is built from pink granite, as well as the spectacular agricultural terraces which blend beautifully into the mountainous landscape.
  • Guided tour of Ollantaytambo Ruins – hike to the top of Ollantaytambo, an Incan military, religious, and agricultural center located at the top of a mountain. From the perspective of the archeological site, you will look down upon the town and see its incredibly narrow streets and canals that have not changed since the Incas constructed them.
  • One night hotel stay in Aguas Calientes (meals not included)

Other day trips will include:

  • Guided tour of Cusco
  • Guided tours of Incan Ruins
  • Chocolate making class
  • Salsa Lesson
  • Peruvian cooking class


Use free weekends to travel and explore other areas of Peru. World Strides local staff will assist you in choosing your destination and transportation.


Program fee: $5,995


  • Homestay with breakfast and lunch
  • Orientation program on arrival with World Strides
  • Overnight trip to Machu Picchu
  • Medical and program fee refund insurance policies


  • College tuition and fees at your home campus
  • Airfare
  • Textbooks
  • Meals other than those listed above
  • Passport and visa fees if applicable
  • Field trips or excursions other than those specified
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone, etc.
  • Anything not specified as included in the program


WCCCSA Cusco participants are all eligible to apply for one of two $1,000 WCCCSA Scholarships. Applications are due on or before Thursday, June 1, 2023.


Prospective participants should be aware that Cusco is 11,200ft above sea level and that about 75% of visitors experience symptoms mountain or altitude sickness within 4-8 hours of arrival. To put this into perspective, Denver, CO is 5,279 above sea level.

There is a pre-treatment for altitude sickness that can be obtained from a travel physician, so it is important that potential participants plan to consult with their doctor before travel.

Please carefully read the section on altitude sickness below from the CDC which provides detailed information about altitude sickness.



  • Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD

What to bring:

  • Signed copy of the Student Guidelines
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Flight itineraries
  • Notepad to take notes
  • And questions

You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you. Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included. The faculty will be available to discuss their courses and expectations.