is the cultural heart of the Peruvian Andes. Situated at 3.400 meters above sea level, Cuzco is surrounded by mountains and valleys. It has a population of 300,000 - most of them indigenous - and has much beauty to offer: the panorama of the Andes, famous Inca ruins, and the magical town of Machu Picchu.
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'.
You could volunteer in
Students will need to select 2 choices for the volunteer
The volunteer program is for people interested in learning about sustainable solutions to poverty. All volunteers will work in partnership with local people in a variety of community-based projects. This unique program offers exciting hands-on work opportunities, meaningful cultural immersion, and an enriching language program.
The program includes a Group Spanish Program: 20 or 30 hours per week of Spanish classes. Maximum number of students per class is 5 students, with the average being 2 students. Groups are organized in a way that will always consist of students possessing the same level of Spanish. At the conclusion of your studies, you will receive a certificate of completion. The method is based on the 4 language skills: listening, grammar, oral and written comprehension. No English will be used in class.
The school offers nine levels of study in accordance with ACTFL (American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages): lower beginner, medium beginner, high beginner, lower intermediate, medium intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, high advanced and superior. Students must pass tests at each level in order to progress to the next. Every student has the best insight to their own particular educational needs, therefore upon arrival a placement test is taken and an evaluation made by student and faculty. Results of the test are taken into consideration along with time available to create the most beneficial, customized program.
All books and materials are provided by the school. Textbooks and guidebooks published by the school are supplemented by others from universities around the world with emphasis on grammar and vocabulary. The library offers an extensive collection including many audio visual material, newspapers, and magazine articles.
Books provided are as follows: • Beginner/Elementary levels: CUMBRE (SGEL) / PLANETA (EDELSA) • Intermediate level: RAPIDO / AVANCE (SGEL) • Advanced level: ABANICO (DIFUSION) • Proficiency: CURSO DE PERFECCIONAMIENTO (SGEL)
Classes are 60 minutes in length. Students may enroll for as many weeks as desired. In order to make sufficient progress and gain the maximum benefit from the course, the school recommends the following study durations: Beginner (4-12 weeks), Intermediate (2-12 weeks) and advanced (2-12 weeks). For advanced and superior levels of Spanish, pre-approved subject material is possible for those students who need specialized vocabulary (lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc). If the student wants to study literature they should try to bring texts with them and give advanced notice.
On the first Monday, students are given a city tour and information about the city, school, family life and culture.
Classes are held 8:30-10:30, with a break from 10:30-11:00, and then resume from 11:00-13:00. In the high season classes may take place in the afternoon. Teachers are rotated every week to take advantage of students learning variable dialects.
The volunteer program includes:
• Group - 20 Hours per Week in Group of 2-5 Students per class. • Homestay - Single Room with 2 meals daily. • Arrival Transfer in Cuzco Airport • 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.
One of the most important parts of your learning and cultural experience is the homestay portion. Families belong to Peru´s middle class, although students should take note that living standards in Peru are generally lower than in Europe or North America. Family homes are located in neighborhoods usually no more than a 10 minute bus ride to school. Participants choosing to stay with a family should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be required to adjust to the Peruvian customs and way of life. There is no heat provided in homestays.
Students are provided with a private room, unless otherwise requested, and 3 meals daily. (Note: dinner is a light snack, such as crackers and coffee). Laundry service is provided by the host family once a week.
The number of students per home is one or two, depending on time of year. However, it will never exceed three. If the student requests to be alone in the homestay, every effort will be made to arrange that.
There are some private baths available on request. The norm is to have bathrooms shared by only one or two other people.
Extra homestay nights are available at an additional cost. Homestay included in cost starts the day before classes and ends the day after classes end.
The NRCSA Center
We invites you to study Spanish immersed in the unique culture of Peru. The school is conveniently located next to the main post-office, Internet cafes, banks, money exchanges, etc. It is about four blocks from the main square, the Plaza de Armas, the central meeting area of Cuzco (a great place to people watch!). There are many restaurants, cafes, cathedrals and museums nearby. Classes are held in rooms decorated with typical Peruvian "artesania."
The school occupies a large building on one of Cuzco's main avenues, directly in front of the most important site from pre-Colombian Cuzco, the Korikancha (Temple of the Sun). The building houses two full floors with about 15 classrooms, a video room, a full kitchen, an entertainment room and a sundeck.
Capacity of the school is 60 students at any given time and participants are mostly from U.S. and Canada, Holland, and other parts of Europe. 60% Europeans and 40% North Americans. The majority are university students, independent travelers and professionals, with some retirees also.
All teachers have a university degree in related areas and have attended a preparatory course given by the school. They have been carefully selected because of their qualifications and experience in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. They refresh their teaching aptitudes, participating in special courses every year from our International Academic Directors in Ecuador & Spain. The school chooses the teachers for their ability to listen, their enthusiasm and patience, but most of all for their love of teaching Spanish to foreign students. Each professor knows how to motivate, develop and support the students´ curiosity and interest for the Spanish Language, Peruvian culture, and social life. They also know that the learning process continues outside the classroom.
Our school is registered with and recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education. Certificates are awarded to students after completion of study.
Excursions,Cultural & Social Activities: Organized trips or activities are offered and included in the cost of the program 2-3 times per week. Activities include: city tour, cooking class, dance class, parties, videos, lectures, trips to museums. The student pays for own transportation, entrance fee, etc.
Sometimes the school organizes weekend trips. Usually two professors serve as guides.
The school can help students who want to travel independently or as a group with outside tourism agencies.
The Volunteer Program is for people interested in learning about sustainable solutions to poverty. All volunteers will work in partnership with local people in a variety of community-based projects. This unique program offers exciting hands-on work opportunities, meaningful cultural immersion, and enriching language program.
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.