The Virginia Military Institute, in partnership with The Academia Latinoamericana, is pleased to present a summer four-week  language and cultural immersion program in Cusco, Peru.

Dates:  May 23 - June 22, 2015

Cost: $3900 plus airfare(This fee is subject to Board of Visitor approval)

Fees include tuition, insurance, accommodation with host families, and most meals. International airfare costs are not included.

Program Director

Dr. Faundez-Reitsma earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies and languages in 2007 from Washington University in St. Louis. She enjoys teaching language, literature, and transatlantic culture classes, particularly those dealing with the Colonial period. The specific focus of her research is the mosaic of cultures, West African as well as North African and Arabic , which imparted the American colonies of Imperial Spain, and in particular the Caribbean, with their distinct character and rich history. In 2012, Dr. Faundez-Reitsma was a recipient of VMI’s Jackson-Hope Faculty Development Grant for the purposes of further studies and research on these themes in both Spain and Morocco.


Any current student in good standing with an accredited university is eligible to apply. VMI students need only submit an application. Applicants from other universities should include a faculty letter of recommendation, an official transcript, and a short essay outlining the applicant's personal and academic goals for the program, along with the application. Applications must be received no later than 28 February 2015.

Room and Board

Students will be housed with families who speak little or no English. The home stay experience greatly enhances language acquisition and cultural understanding and is often a highlight of the program. The host family will provide two meals a day, breakfast and lunch.

General Overview

This will be a language, culture, and art history program in which all participants will earn six hours of Spanish credit at the 200 or 300 level.  Students will visit the most significant Incan archaeological sites in the country and will be introduced to the history, traditions, culture, and social structures of highland Andean communities in South America.  In addition to language studies, upper level courses are combined with service-learning in the areas of education, ecology, social work, and medicine through community volunteer opportunities in these areas.  Students will be observing the cultural diversity of the Cusco region to see the wildlife of three distinct ecosystems: the volcanic, the highlands of the Andes Mountains, and the tropical forest around the citadel of Machu Picchu.