Everyone who visits Peru inevitably comes to Cuzco, one of the most fascinating cities in the world. The city is founded around 1100 AD. According to the Inca creation myth, the sun sent his son, Manco Capac, and the Moon her daughter, Mama Occlo, to spread culture through the barbaric lands. They emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca and began their journey in search of the place where they would found their kingdom. When they reached the site of present-day Cuzco, Manco plunged his golden staff into the ground in order to test its suitability and it sank deep into the fertile soil. This was the sign they were looking for. They named this place Cuzco, meaning "the navel of the world'
Volunteer Opportunities in Cusco:
Students will need to select 2 or 3 choices for the volunteer
Volunteer Work Program: One of the more unique programs available is the Volunteer Work Program. The program offers students the opportunity to learn Spanish and to practice their language skills while participating in a Peruvian organization in a voluntary field of their choice. Participants may choose both the field and preferred location of their volunteer placement. Possible fields of interest include social work, education, tourism, cultural work and catering. While most of the program projects take place in Cuzco, there are also projects outside of Cuzco.
This course includes 4 weeks of the Standard Group Spanish Language Program plus, 4 or 12 weeks of volunteer work, for a total of 8 or 16 weeks. The lodging during the Standard Group Language Program is a homestay and during the volunteer work portion of the program is provided in a student residence setting. Single rooms are available on request and at an additional cost.
Our courses include the following:
Welcome dinner at Cafe la Tertulia & Cuzco city tour (transport and guide; entrance fees not included). Study of grammar (theory and practice) Exercises to extend vocabulary and pronunciation Development of listening, writing and reading comprehension, through the use of newspapers, songs and literature Techniques of oral communication, guided conversation, debates and role plays Study of Peruvian literature, culture and society Cultural activities, such as Peruvian Cooking Workshop. Free use of e-mail (not internet)
Every Friday from 13:10 - 17:00 students have the option to participate in conversation classes. Conversation classes will be held in small groups of students of the same level instead of the One-on-One classes during the week. This common conversation class gives the students the opportunity to socialize in a learning environment and to practice their Spanish skills with other students from all over the world.
Upon arrival to Cusco, students receive an information package with preliminary information regarding the volunteer work experience. The school organizes an introductory meeting with general information about Peruvian history and culture, working in Peru as a foreigner, cultural differences and social hierarchy of Peruvian society. During a student's course of study, he/she will have the opportunity to personally discuss the appropriate placement in terms of goals, desired experiences etc. with the Volunteer Coordinator. During the placements, the weekly volunteer meetings enable volunteers to talk in general about their experiences and raise any concerns.
The volunteer program includes:
Group - 20 Hours per Week in Group of 4-6 Students per class. Homestay - Single Room with 3 meals daily during the Spanish Program and Student Residence, share room, breakfast during the volunteer program. Arrival Transfer from Cuzco Airport One personal meeting with the volunteer coordinator. Organization of volunteer work Placement Testing 1-2 Organized Activities Weekly* Access to E-mail Access to Multimedia Learning Center Certificate of Completion Pre-Departure Information Planning Guide Medical, Accident and Sickness Coverage ** Medivac Coverage Other Travel Coverage (repatriation, baggage, personal effects, accidental death and dismemberment , etc.) 24 Hour Emergency Multilingual Hotline (call collect from anywhere in the world)
* Entrance fees, transportation, etc. may be at additional cost. ** See policy for definitions and exclusions.
Homestay The host family option has been developed particularly for those who wish to make a cultural journey with the aim of not only learning the language but also studying the art, architecture and landscape of Perϊ through the experiences, lives and customs of a Peruvian family. Guest families are carefully chosen and monitored through regular evaluations and student feedback. All families are middle class families, the majority of which live within walking distance from the school. The student will always have his/her own private room and will share the living room, kitchen and bathroom with the family. Guest families provide 3 meals a day: breakfast, main dinner meal and supper. Special diets may be catered for, eg. vegetarian, diabetes, if advised in advance. The homestay loding is provided during the language lessons time in Peru.
Student Residence The student residence is available for more independent students. This type of lodging includes a shared room, shared bath and meals. Single rooms are at additional cost. The student residence lodging is provided during the volunteering time in Peru.
The NRCSA Center
The Cuzco language center was founded in 1995 and offers the exceptional opportunity to study Spanish while immersed in Peruvian culture. Other activities such as Quechua language courses, workshops on Latin American Culture and daily student activities, make the school a distinctive educational destination in the former capital of the majestic Inca Empire. Whether a complete beginner or an advanced speaker, a recent student or returning to study, students can receive customized programs at the level and pace especially suited to their own personal goals.
All teachers are native speakers and professionals who participate in continuing education throughout their employment in order to advance their knowledge and skills of teaching Spanish and Quechua as a foreign language. The instructors are committed to giving students the richest possible exposure to Peruvian culture and customs and have proficiency in at least one foreign language, either English, German or French.
The school is housed in a colonial building only one block from the main square, the Plaza de Armas. The building also incorporates the Student House in a lovely setting with a sunny terrace. The other school residence, Hostel "Casa de Campo", has a majestic view over Cuzco. In addition to that, there are local guest families, who offer a welcoming environment. The cafι linked to the school is a famous meeting point for travelers from all over the world, and the school's travel agency offers excellent and fairly priced service.
Cultural and Social Activities include dynamic, interesting and fun leisure programs that are complementary to the process of learning the Spanish language. All activities are directed towards socializing in a learning environment and increasing the student's knowledge of Peruvian Culture.
Free activities included in all programs: City Tour (transport and guide; entrance fees not included). Welcome Dinner for all new students at Cafι La Tertulia Peruvian Cooking Class Game Night (in Spanish) Salsa Class Farewell Gathering Weekly orientation meeting for new students on the Volunteer Work Program.
The school offers the following Cultural Workshops with local teachers that can be booked at an additional cost in blocks of separate hours, either during the week or in the weekend. If several students are interested in the same course, there are good discount options. These are a great opportunity to learn about real Peruvian traditional culture and a good complement to the Spanish Course.
Peruvian Music In this workshop is include different options: guitar, charango (Peruvian guitar), zampoρa (panflute) and/or quena (flute). There is no need to have experience playing an instrument nor to be able to read music. Participants will quickly learn to play a few well-know songs. This is a "must" for people who are interested in Peruvian folklore!
Peruvian Cooking For people who want to learn more about traditional Peruvian cuisine! One free cooking class is included in the Student Activities, but there's so much more! Learn about the endless different kinds of "papas" (potatoes), about the traditional "quinoa" and the use of native herbs!
Peruvian Dance Traditional Peruvian dance is an important component of the native folklore. Try salsa and cumbia, but as well the typical "huayno", the valls, carnaval Cusqueρo, huayllas, la diabla, majeρo ....... Great fun!
Pottery Together with a local institution, the school organizes pottery workshops. For this course, students are required to sign up for a minimum of 10 hours. Learn about techniques and traditional Inca figures and styles.
Cultural Exchange Program The center organizes a cultural exchange program in collaboration with university students of Cuzco. A perfect way to practice your Spanish and to know more about what the local people do, feel and think!
Volunteer Program 16 weeks total. This course includes 4 weeks of the Group Program plus 12 weeks of volunteer work for a total of 16 weeks. The lodging during the Standard Group language program and volunteer work portion of the program is provided in the Student House. Single rooms are available on request and at additional cost.
HOW TO APPLY Send your registration with your resume and an introduction letter describing yourself, your background in the Spanish language, and the type of internship you are interested in/why you are qualified for that type of position.