University of Exeter, UK
I had a massive culture shock when I arrived in Lima. Although I have lived in Spain and Switerland, Lima felt like another world at first (maybe because it was so far away from Europe, too.) .
What you must not forget, is that it is normal to feel nervous or scared about starting you exchange, so just give it some time, and before you know it, Lima will feel like home (I promise!)
The Peruvian culture at Pacifico was very welcoming, and people were very helpful. They also love food and that is a great thing! However the Peruvian culture also means that things take a lot longer to get done than I am used to in Europe!
I learnt that people can come from so many different places, but that it doesn’t matter where you are from. I made so many wonderful friends, and also can not wait to go back for the second semester. It was such a different and crazy experience!
Moving to Lima was one of the most scary but exciting things I have ever done, and I’m sure that most people our age have. Looking back now, I can safetly say that I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world, that I did not know existed before. Your exchange in Lima will be what you make it; you have to put yourself out there and do things that you haven’t done before to enjoy it. To anyone who wants to do something different and experience a country/ continent rich in culture, I can 100% recommend Universidad del Pacifico.
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If you are planning to come to Lima, I would recommend trying to sort out your accommodation before you arrive if you can. There is a list on the Pacifico website that lists some options, but you will also find many options when you arrive if you would rather wait.
My accommodation is one of the APU houses, and there are lots over the city. My house was located in San Isidro, so it was 15 minutes to walk to university which was very easy and convenient!
I think that the buddy programme is a fantastic idea, if you keep in contact with your buddy they are helpful.
It really helps you to see Lima from a local point of view, and make some more Peruvian friends. Try and find your buddy before you arrive or as soon as you do, and get them to show you around the city and take you to some nice places.
About social life: There are lots of events before the term and during the term. The local students (from CEUP) organize for the exchange students and local students
Obviously, lots of my friends were the exchange students, it is just inevitable, but it is important to try and socialize with the Peruvian students, too. And they are all lovely and welcoming!
Adices for new students about the courses:
Courses I took:
For me, the classes were very different to my university in England. In Exeter, we have lectures of people sometimes 200 people, but in Pacifico, it is more like being in school. The classes are no more than 30 people, and you have to discuss lots and involve in the class.