Center for Amazon Studies


In the heart of the Amazon, dense green foliage blankets the horizon as far as the eye can see. For millennia, its rich natural resources have supported human communities and an incredible diversity of wildlife species found nowhere else on the planet. This great and complex rainforest is also one of the world’s most impactful ecosystems – Amazonian watersheds account for 20% of the world’s fresh river water.



Biodiversity and Development in the Amazon

Explore the extraordinarily biodiverse ecosystems of the northern Peruvian Amazon. Discuss threats to the region – from climate change to resource extraction – and get at the heart of Peru’s conservation and development issues. Experience flooded forests on a multi-day riverboat expedition and travel to the Andean highlands where you’ll visit cloud forests and the historic Incan capital of Cusco, the hub for visitors to Machu Picchu.
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15 Weeks
18 Credits

Spring 2023

Jan 27 - May 9

In The Field

Fall 2023

Sep 1 - Dec 12


What Students Are Saying:

“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

“SFS Peru is the place to make lifelong friends who become your family, be surrounded by amazing amounts of wildlife, and study and work in the Amazon rainforest. Expect to be amazed every day and live in a place you may have never considered a potential home. Travel and field excursions throughout the rainforest, as well as the highlands, make this program fantastic.”
– Ashley, Wellesley College


Where You'll Be Living

Between the remote city of Iquitos and the port city of Nauta, nestled in the Amazon, sits the Center. The sounds of the forest permeate our campus, from student cabins to the pool and open-air student lounge. The rainforest is accessible via an on-campus trail system traversing our 183-acre property. Small communities and local shops are within walking distance.

  • Dorm living with two to six person bunkrooms
  • Open-air student lounge and study space
  • Large dining area and outdoor patio, on-site cooking staff
  • Trail network extends from campus into rainforest
  • Traditional thatched-roof classroom
  • Swimming pool, soccer field, volleyball, and hammock huts
Click here to read stories from students, staff, and faculty on our blog


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 more than $650,000 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 at the SFS Center for Amazon Studies focuses on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem protection in the face of increasing human development and resource use. 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

Environmental Issues

Our Centers are strategically located in regions facing critical environmental issues. Students and faculty study these issues and collect data to help facilitate sustainable responses. In Peru, we’re currently investigating the following issues:

Climate Change
Biodiversity Conservation
Environmental Policy
Environmental Ethics & Justice
Natural Resource & Water Management
Sustainable Livelihoods
Learn More About the Issues


Iquitos Region, Peru

SFS is an active part of the broader Iquitos region community.

We have built long-term, collaborative relationships in the communities around the Center, and developed our research plans based on the environmental issues they and the surrounding ecosystems face. Throughout the program, students work with the young members of our SFS Eco Club and interact with local residents through community mingas (work projects), our recycling program, local festivals, and sporting events.

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