In some ways, my days in Cuzco are quite similar to my days at Wofford: I wake up, eat breakfast, go to class, and do homework. But in many ways, my daily routine is pretty different than what I would be doing in Spartanburg.
I think what makes my experience here the most different than my past college semesters is that I am living with a host family. All the students in my study abroad group have their own host families, so I don’t have any roommates; it’s just me, my host parents, and my host brother. I imagine this is what it would be like to live at home and commute to college except my commute is only a 10-minute walk to school. I am also very thankful for the bridge that goes across the very busy road so I only have to actually cross one street on my way to the school building! (Crossing the streets in Cuzco has been my greatest fear so far this semester-I’m not used to big city life!)
Monday through Friday, I wake up at 6:30 and have breakfast with my host parents, Carmen and Carlos, at 7:30. Classes start at 8:30 every day, and I am usually finished between 12:30 and 1:30. After class, I go back home and eat lunch with my host mom. On a typical day, I go to a cafe to do homework and study with some friends in the afternoon. On some days, I also have dance classes in the evenings since I enrolled in a local dance school! I end a normal day by eating dinner at home around 7:00, then I FaceTime my grandparents, take a shower, and get in bed around 10:00.
On the weekends, I get to sleep in a little, but not quite as late as I would normally at home. I usually wake up and eat breakfast around 8:30 or 9:00 on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, I like to go to the Plaza de Armas to explore the city and hang out with friends. Sundays I usually go to a cafe to do some more work in the afternoon, and then I go to church at 4:30. I have enjoyed getting to know Cuzco over the past month. It is very easy to walk almost anywhere, and if I don’t feel like walking, the bus only costs 0.80 centimos (which is like 0.25 cents).
Viajes: The Most Exciting Part!
What makes my study abroad program unique and very different than my usual routine at Wofford are the viajes–trips we take to different locations throughout the semester. So far, I have been to Machu Picchu for 5 days and on a 10-day trip to Puno, Taquile Island, Colca, and Arequipa. With so much traveling it’s hard to say what my “normal” schedule is, but I have loved getting to experience more places in Peru besides Cuzco. In this way, studying abroad is very different than being at Wofford because I only have class for about a week or two then we travel for a week instead of class all day everyday for months at a time.
Another part of my daily schedule in Cuzco that is very different than being at Wofford is where I go to school. All of my classes are in one building with the same 11 students. The only time we are split up is for our different Spanish levels. We have all the other classes together in the same room. I like being with the same students all the time; it has allowed us to become very close friends!