Live the experience in Peru

Experiences in Peru

Live the experience at up

Shivani Sondhi

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.

If you want contact me, just send me an e-mail:

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!

  • A few clubs also located in Miraflores/ Barranco, and lots and lots of bars!
  • Sports you can do at the university if you choose the classes, but there are also local sports clubs in every place that you live.
  • The Old Town is beautiful, and everyday there is a guards change which is worth seeing.

Peru is also a beautiful country – make sure you travel to lots of places when you can!  The teachers know that exchange students love to travel.

  • You can also learn surfing down at the beach if you would like
  • Lima is very different to my home country, the culture, the food and the people.

Adices for new students about the courses:

Courses I took:

  • Language & Workplace (English) is a good course to take if you want on in English! Definitely recommend. Cecilia Montes was a lovely teacher.
  • Social Inequality in Latin America (English) is a very interesting class, involves a lot of discussion during the class. 2 Presentations during the term, a paper, and oral exam.
  • Marketing Estratégico (Spanish) a good to help you learn Spanish if you aren’t so confident before you arrive (I recommend Jorge Trujillo as a teacher. He was always willing to help).
  • Pilates is a great way to get fit but also to learn Spanish as the classes are taught in Spanish. Had lots of fun during this class, so I would recommend a sports class if you can fit it into your timetable.

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.

General recommendations:

  • I would recommend good walking boots/ good trainers for your travels, but don’t worry if you don’t have/ forget. There are plenty of places here to buy all of this stuff, and they have all the brands too if needed.
  • Bring clothes for all climates – if you travel you will have sun and cold in all of these places!
  • VISAS – make sure you have spoken to your local authority about this as we had so much confusion about this when we all arrived.
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