Alyssa Collier is a student at The Ohio State University and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Cusco, Peru.
The phrase “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” has never been more true when it comes to the city where you study abroad. Cusco, Peru, is an incredible city and one that people take too much for granted. And it’s definitely a city that I am going to miss immensely.
There are so many things that stick out about this city. It’s not just a city of ruins, but a city rich with culture. Below are a few of the things you can only experience if you study abroad in Cusco.
- Eating the many different types of potatoes for every meal. There are over 100 different types of potatoes in Peru, and many are cultivated in the fields of Cusco. Host families prepare different types of potatoes for just about every meal in a delicious way.
- Your wardrobe slowly becomes clothing made of alpaca wool. Cusco winters get surprisingly cold. And the sweaters throughout the markets just look so warm. And for only 25-30 soles a sweater, how can one say no?
- And speaking of alpacas, seeing llamas and alpacas wandering the streets is no longer unusual. Instead of freaking out each time a llama or alpaca walks by, you are able to pass by without the need to take a selfie. Well, most of the time.
- Having a fresh produce market on almost every corner of the city. Fresh produce is grown all around the city and priced at a relatively decent price. You can pay 1 sole for just 5 oranges or 2 soles for about 7 large bananas. And there’s just something about locally grown products that make them taste better than buying at a grocery store.
- Hearing fireworks each day is just a part of the daily routine. Almost any day in Cusco there is some sort of celebration going on. Whether it’s an Inca festival, a celebration in the Catholic church, or a national holiday, Cusco is full of celebrations. And naturally fireworks are lit to show the people’s enthusiasm for the festivities.
- The nature and architecture around you will continuously leave you speechless and remind you why you chose the best city in Peru to study abroad.
I may be a little biased, but from all of my travels around the world (and in Peru) there is just no city like Cusco. From the rich historical culture, beautiful scenery, to the vast variety of foods, Cusco is the perfect place to study abroad.
The world awaits…discover it.