Peru

The Center for Amazon Studies
Programs
Housing
Research
Community

Study Abroad in Peru

Have you ever wanted to live in the Amazon, take a riverboat expedition to survey rare wildlife, or visit the ancient cities of the Andean highlands? Our program in Peru is based in the rich ecosystems of the Amazon, with excursions to the highlands of the Andes, visits with Indigenous communities, and meetings with diverse shareholders. The forests of the Peruvian Amazon are increasingly under threat from climate change, rapid development, and extractive activities like logging and mining. Our research here provides important insights into the fate of the Amazon and all the life that depends on it. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, environmental ethics and justice, and sustainable livelihoods.

Peru


Have you ever wanted to live in the Amazon, take a riverboat expedition to survey rare wildlife, or visit the ancient cities of the Andean highlands? Our program in Peru is based in the rich ecosystems of the Amazon, with excursions to the highlands of the Andes, visits with Indigenous communities, and meetings with diverse shareholders. The forests of the Peruvian Amazon are increasingly under threat from climate change, rapid development, and extractive activities like logging and mining. Our research here provides important insights into the fate of the Amazon and all the life that depends on it. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, environmental ethics and justice, and sustainable livelihoods.

Programs

Semester

The Living Amazon

14 Weeks
18 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 6 - Dec 17
Open
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9
Open

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$17,500
  • Room & Board$5,000
  • Total$22,500

Before this program, I had only left the country once before, and that was to go to Montreal in Canada. I was a little nervous joining the program due to that, but my fears were groundless. This program was stunning in scenery, meticulous in safety preparations, and fascinating in class information. I learned more during my semester with SFS than I had learned in the previous year in University, in addition to meeting and befriending many like-minded nature nuts and hiking pals.

- Sean, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Amazonia is a land of magic – something I’ve learned time and again while here. It takes many forms, but each has made me incredibly thankful to be here. My first glimpse of the Amazon river was christened with the leaps of dolphins, and I knew in that instant that I had made the right choice.

- Tess, Reed College

Where You'll be Living

The Peru Center is an oasis of calming nature, while a short walk from the bustling town of Tarapoto, gateway to Amazon adventures. The Center is connected by a web of pathways lined with flowers, medicinal herbs, and rows of stone terraces teeming with native plant species. Students have access to wooded hiking trails through protected areas, as well as quiet lofts and rocking-chair-patios offering panoramic views of the Escalera mountain range.

  • Two-floor bungalows with balconies and full bathrooms housing 4-students
  • Traditional maloca, an ancestral long house used by the Amazon’s indigenous people
  • Laboratory with stone worktables, 5 sinks, and shelves stocked with scientific equipment
  • Family-style 25-foot dining table for communal meals prepared by local cooking staff
  • Private student lounge spaces with sweeping forest views
  • Open air classroom building with library of western and indigenous texts
  • Gyms and running routes in surrounding neighborhood
  • Kitchenettes, laundry facilities, and the center’s traditional bread oven
Read Stories from Students, Staff and Faculty 

PRogram Costs

Study abroad is an investment in yourself – you’ll return home with new experiences, skills, knowledge, and friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your life. SFS program costs cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Pre-program advising and on-site orientation
  • Tuition and research fees
  • Housing at the field station and on excursions
  • Daily meals and snacks
  • Airport transfers (for arrival/departure)
  • Field excursions and cultural activities
  • Student success and wellness team on site
  • 24/7 mental health and well-being support
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Official transcript processing
View Peru Program Costs

Financial Aid

We know cost can be one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At SFS, we’re committed to making our programs accessible to students which is why we award a generous amount in need-based financial aid each year. Our Admissions Team has worked with thousands of students and are here to answer your questions about the SFS aid process, aid available through your home school, and funding from external sources.

SFS Financial Aid: Need-based aid packages typically consist of a combination of scholarships, grants, and zero- and low-interest loans. SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.

Home School Aid: Be sure to ask your home school study abroad office or financial aid office what financial aid resources might be available to support your study abroad experience.

External Funding Opportunities: Organizations such as the Fund for Education Abroad or the Gilman International Scholarship Program award scholarships to students going abroad. These can be a great opportunity to reduce the cost of your program even more.

Learn More about FInancial Aid

Research

Research at the SFS Center for Amazon Studies focuses on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem protection in the face of resource extraction, unrestricted infrastructure development, and the inequitable distribution of environmental benefits. Students and faculty engage with local community members, Indigenous groups, land managers, agriculturalists, conservation organizations, and fellow researchers. As the only rainforest of its size left on the planet, the Amazon harbors unmatched biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and the success of conservation efforts here has both regional and global implications.

Our research focuses primarily on the following themes:

  • Climate change
  • Forest and soil ecology
  • Perceptions and impacts of development in the Amazon
  • Rural livelihoods and land use
  • Natural resource management
  • Forest health and recovery
  • Sustainable use of non-timber forest products

Community

Tarapoto, Peru

SFS develops our research plans based on the environmental issues faced by the community and local ecosystems. Throughout the program, students interact with local residents through community mingas (work projects), our recycling program, local festivals, and sporting events. The Center is a short walk or taxi ride to downtown Tarapoto, the third largest city in the Amazon, and the province’s culinary and cultural capital. Students enjoy a variety of museums, parks, and a vibrant nightlife offering the Amazon’s most iconic and increasingly global cuisine, which blends indigenous culture, European technique, and Japanese ingredients. Tarapoto is also home to the Universidad Nacional de San Martín, a leading research university for rainforest biodiversity.

At the end of each semester program, we host a Community Research Night where select students will present their research findings to the community. SFS research data is shared with communities, local NGOs, and the Peruvian government.

Read Stories about OUr Community in Peru

Meet the Peru Team