Explore the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu; take a hike in the Amazon jungle; and visit museums and historical sites in Lima, the capital city of Peru. These are all on the itinerary of the next study abroad trip offered by OSU Institute of Technology.
The 11-day trip to Peru is scheduled to take place over spring break in 2019, from March 18 through March 28.
Dr. Jennifer Smith, a humanities, history and ethics instructor in the School of Arts & Sciences, is the trip’s group leader and has experience with study abroad and international travel.
“In 1994 I went to Israel on an archeological dig. That was my first trip,” Smith said. “I just remember feeling like I was going from living in this little box to realizing there is an entire world out there that reacts in a totally different way than we do.”
Smith said she’s never gone on a study abroad trip as a faculty member so she’s eager to see how students respond to the cultural differences they’ll experience as they travel through Peru.
“I look forward to their reactions. I remember coming back from my first study abroad experience very changed,” she said. “It’s interesting to see how we live compared to other places. You will experience culture shock and that’s the best part of it. You suddenly get an appreciation for everything.”
In 2016, a group of OSUIT students spent 11 days visiting the British Isles as part of a study abroad experience. This upcoming trip they wanted to go somewhere very different.
“We wanted to take a look at something other than western society. Peru has a lot of native peoples that are still living close to that original experience,” Smith said. “It’s a new opportunity to experience things out of the norm.”
Students who register by Jan. 31 will receive a $250 discount on the trip and can set up a monthly payment plan of $350 a month. The cost of the trip covers all flights including those to and from Peru as well as several flights and train journeys during the trip. It also includes all accommodations, any entry or admission fees, and meals with the exception of about two lunches.
Smith said there are a number of study abroad scholarships, some geared specifically to first-generation students. There are also two OSUIT study abroad scholarship funds accepting donations, the OSUIT School of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship and the Robert D. Smith Endowed Memorial Scholarship in honor of Jennifer Smith’s late husband and former OSUIT instructor.
Students who go on the trip will earn one to three credit hours, Smith said, as well make themselves more attractive to potential employers.
“We are predominately a career-seeking institution. Through study abroad you could visit a country that you may work with in your future career. You get to talk about it in job interviews and you could get a job because you have that experience abroad,” she said.