Religion and other majors come together to study Incan culture and history through the University of Miami’s UCusco Study Abroad program.
Joe Kolodrubetz , a senior majoring in religious studies, took courses in Incan religion and history when he spent last spring in Peru.
“Being able to spend five months in Lima and Cusco was a really gratifying experience,” he said. “It helps to understand how a culture like the Incas formed and helps to better understand the many different cultures we see here in Miami, where we have people from so many countries.”
The UCusco program is offered only during the spring semester from Jan. 5 to May 10 . It is one of four UM Semester-on-Location programs offered by the Study Abroad program, and last spring was the first time it was held.
Erica Moussa, a Study Abroad adviser, helps interested students apply for the UCusco program.
“Classes are available in English and choose a language course in Spanish or Quechua [an indigenous Andean language] as part of the course of study,” she said. “Students pay their UM tuition, a $150 IEEP fee and a program fee that covers the costs of room and board, transportation and field trips.”
According to Moussa, students enrolled in the program will take a faculty-led course of two weeks length on Andean societies, along with the available courses offered through Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima, which UM has partnered with.
“A course with field trips to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman, Maras, and the Sacred Valley. A course in Spanish, Latin American literature, taught in Spanish or Quechua as required courses earning 9 credits. Students also choose two electives in either humanities, social sciences or natural sciences, earning three to six credits,” she said.
Belkys Torres, academic director for the Center for Latin American Studies, spoke at an information session for the UCusco program on Sept.19.
“By participating in the UCusco program, students can earn a minor in Latin American studies upon completion of the spring semester and gain international exposure that can be applied professionally,” she said.
Mackenzie Sheldon, a UM student who works with advisers in the Study Abroad office, traveled to Peru as part of the program and said she had a worthwhile experience.
“It was amazing because I was able to take courses like Incan art history that I probably wouldn’t be able to take normally on campus, and with instructors from Peru teaching with an insider’s view,” she said.
Up to 15 students can participate in UCusco. The deadline for applications for spring 2014 is Tuesday. For more information, visit miami.edu/studyabroad.