The city of Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is located in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 3,326 m (11, 200 ft). Cusco is the mecca of South America and is one of the most sought-out travel destinations in the world!
The Cusco area offers some of the richest collections of architecture, ceramics, and textiles are known to man. Program participants can experience the history and culture still alive in the city today. The highlight of any trip to Cusco is a visit to the lost city of Machu Picchu or a hike along the Inca Trail.
Due to Cusco’s elevation, temperatures range from a low of 1°C (34°F) at night to a high of 21°C (70°F) during the day.
‘Green season’ is from November to April, and ‘dry season’ is from May to October with June being the coldest month of the year.
It is just a 3-block walk from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. Located on the main commercial street of Avenida El Sol, the institute sits right in the historical centre and is just across the street from Q’oricancha—the holiest site in the entire Incan Empire.
The Institute is always teeming with local and international students with lots of opportunities to practice your Spanish. With large common areas, the institute is a wonderful gathering place for travellers from all over the world.
Accreditations & associations
The Institute is accredited by the Ministries of Education in Guatemala and Peru. They are a Global Associate member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators; they are recognized for Bildungsurlaub in Germany and are a member of the Association of Language Travel Organizations (ALTO); they are a certifying organization for the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The Institute offers university credit through their official School of Record California State University–Monterey Bay.
Native Spanish Program
Includes advanced & specialised Spanish courses
- Latin American Literature
- History of Latin American Civilization – Advanced Spanish Grammar
- Advanced Spanish Conversation
- Business Spanish
- Medical Spanish
- DELE Exam Preparation
- ANIMAL CARE
Animal Care projects work with abandoned dogs and cats to provide medical treatment and daily care. Volunteers can also get involved working at local zoos and with exotic animal care facilities.
Construction work is physically demanding, including excavation, painting, mixing and laying cement, and various other activities. All the construction projects are led and organized by our professional local foremen.
- ENVIRONMENT & CONSERVATION
Jungle Conservation. Eco-project sites are often based in rural settings away from the Institute.
- MEDICAL & HEALTHCARE
Volunteers work alongside medical professionals in hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities. The level of work depends on education, experience, and Spanish language skills, and may involve medical campaigns, triage, check-ups, keeping patient records, and more.
- WORKING WITH KIDS
Volunteers work in community centres, orphanages, daycare programs, and schools to help provide a loving and supportive environment to abandoned children and those suffering from the effects of poverty and neglect. Volunteers act as mentors, teach and tutor, structure playtime activities and sports, help with cleanup, hygiene, and organization.
- TEACHING ENGLISH
Volunteers work alongside local English teachers and/or may also run their own classes at schools and community centres. Projects are with young children and teens during the day or with adult learners in the evening. Volunteers can also get involved in general education programs beyond just English teaching.
- INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
Volunteers take part in a unique, cultural experience living and working in an indigenous community. Projects are based in rural, nearly off-the- grid villages just outside of Cusco, Peru. You work and live with a local family—caring for animals, helping with agricultural work, assisting with construction projects, and working with children at the local school. Note that work varies based on seasonal needs and weather conditions.
Study and Volunteer
Study & Volunteer participants take part in both the Native Spanish Program and the Volunteer Abroad program. All levels of Spanish are available. Expand your cultural horizons and make friends from all over the world by getting involved in the free Tandem Conversation Program, salsa dance classes, and cooking lessons. Volunteer work includes any volunteer program option from pages 7-8.
- 2+2 PROGRAM
The 2+2 Program includes 2 weeks small group Spanish classes 4-hours/day, followed by 2 weeks of volunteer service.
- 4+4 PROGRAM
The 4+4 Program includes 4 weeks small group Spanish classes 4-hours/day, followed by 4 weeks of volunteer service.
Interns work alongside a K-12 classroom teacher in a public or private school observing and assisting with instruction and classroom management. Interns are also assigned lessons to plan and teach. All placements are in English-speaking classrooms within bilingual schools.
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
Interns work with students who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or developmentally disabled. Interns act as teachers’ aides, observing and assisting with instruction and classroom management.
- MICRO BUSINESS
Internship placements are in small, local organizations. Interns work in either marketing, sales and client service, or accounting functions to help in-country entrepreneurs improve
their businesses and expand their capacity to market to and serve international clients. A high intermediate Spanish level is required.
- HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
Placements are with small tour operators, boutique hotels, and travellers’ hostels. Interns work to help improve international marketing, sales, and service. Work may include website improvements, social media, English language training, and more.
Interns shadow a doctor, nurse, therapist, or another medical professional. The level of work depends on education, experience, and Spanish language skills and may involve triage, check-ups, making rounds, elderly care, materials, and patient records. A high intermediate level of Spanish is required.
The internationally-accredited 4-week, 150-hour TEFL Certification is loaded with fun, intensity, and lots of opportunities for aspiring teachers to hone their skills! The TEFL program focuses on practical teaching, classroom management, lesson planning, and more.
Their TEFL certification is your ticket to travel and work as a professional English teacher anywhere in the world. TEFL graduates secure paid teaching positions in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East and Africa.
University Study Abroad
This program is all year round and includes Fall Semester, Winter Session, Spring Semester, and Summer Session. University students can study part-time or full- time. Some programs qualify to use financial aid.
The Institute with universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe to organize semester-long programs as well as short-term group experiences from 1-4 weeks. We work directly with faculty-led groups, as well as independent student groups, and Alternative Spring Break programs.
They organise everything your group needs from housing and projects to tours and transportation. A variety of program options are available—you can combine university courses and Spanish language classes, university courses and internships, or service learning and Spanish. Each group’s experience is customized to fit the group’s objectives and your specific university requirements.
Faculty-led groups can also reserve classroom and office space directly at the Institute.
Adventure & Culture
- MINI ADVENTURE
The Mini Adventure is a week-long program that takes participants to the must-see sites of each country. The Mini Adventure can easily be added to any other program. Transportation, tours, accommodation, and some meals are included.
- VOLUNTEER ADVENTURE
Participants join the Volunteer Abroad program and study Spanish for the first week. The second week is action-packed with tours to the must-see sites.
- YOGA INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION
Get certified in our professional RYT 200 Yoga Instructor Certification program, which follows all Yoga Alliance teacher training requirements. Join us in 3 of the most beautiful countries in the world and learn to relax, access your inner energy, and share it with others.
- SURF SCHOOL
Surf Schools are professionally-led by I.S.A. certified instructors. Start as a beginner or take your current surf skills to the next level. Programs always include plenty of time to hang out and enjoy the beach while you get serious about surfing.
- SCUBA CERTIFICATION
Participants earn their PADI Open Water Scuba Certification in 4-5 days. PADI credentials are the most respected in the diving community and are internationally recognized. The course includes:
- PADI certified dive instructor
- Course textbooks and materials
- All required diving equipment
GAP year abroad
The GAP year program get you involved and provide some of the best travel and learning experiences in the world! Our programs combine Spanish language studies, volunteer work, and skill-building courses. Spanish classes include all levels from Basic to Fluency. Volunteer program (service learning) options include:
- Animal Care
- Environment & Conservation – Indigenous Communities
- Teaching English
- Working with Kids
For parents and families
The teen programs are designed to teach and inspire young people. They work very hard to provide a safe, supportive, and friendly environment, and our teen programs are carefully supervised 24/7.
It is the parents’ responsibility to determine if your teenager has the maturity level and independence required to join our programs. Please talk to your son or daughter about the importance of safety and self-discipline. All families are required to sign a parental waiver and Code of Conduct when registering.
Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is strictly prohibited. Students who violate the rules regarding alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and curfew, and/or those whose behaviour interferes with the safety, learning, or fun of others on the program are subject to disciplinary action including removal from the program.
- SUPPORT FOR PARENTS
We know it can be challenging to let your child fly off to another country. Our team is dedicated to providing great 24/7 support to each parent before and during our programs. This includes:
- 24/7 emergency phone number
- Students call home upon arrival
- Weekly email updates about your teen
- Immediate updates on changes and emergencies
- We immediately relay parental messages to students and student messages to parents.
Cusco’s city centre is easy to navigate on foot and everything is within a 15-20 minute walk. Public buses and taxis are also available at very low prices to get to the outer parts of the city.
Taxis and ‘collectivos’ are commonly used when travelling outside of Cusco to the Sacred Valley. Private transportation and buses are available for travel to Arequipa and Lima, the Amazon, the Pacific Coast, or to Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. Rental cars are available on a limited basis.
Activities and tours
All year round, Cusco and its surrounding towns celebrate a mix of Inca and Catholic holidays, providing visitors with a variety of different cultural activities to experience.
The Cusco area offers a plethora of historical sites. Most commonly, people like to explore the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and of course Machu Picchu.
Family–stay accommodations offer the best immersion experience to practice your Spanish. Private, shared, and matrimonial rooms are available. Keys to the house are provided. Breakfast and dinner are included 7 days per week.
Student residences are managed houses where you live with other international students. Both private and shared rooms are available. Breakfast and dinner are included 7 days per week. Available for groups only.
Apartments offer the most privacy and independence. All apartments are fully furnished with small kitchens, WiFi, and cable TV. Meals are not included, but participants can enjoy shopping in local markets, which are close-by.
Hostels are budget-friendly, safe, and clean accommodations. Shared or private rooms are available. Note that bathrooms are typically shared. Meals are usually not included.
Hotel accommodations are always 3 stars or higher. Hotels options provide excellent privacy, independence, and safety. Shared, private, and matrimonial rooms are available with ensuite bathrooms. Breakfast is included.
Calculate your quotation*
Display or download our brochure to see a more detailed description of the courses offered, its characteristics, possible accommodation and updated prices.Do not forget to add the price of the accommodation if you require it, multiplied by the number of weeks chosen, and the enrollment. Please refer to ask to confirm it.
- Ensuring that Hola People works with the best schools and are inspected regularly by ourselves
- We handle all the paperwork for you
- Avoid risks and bank charges by processing your program directly with the schools
- You have our pre-departure support by email and our emergency phone on arrival for anything you need
- 1-week stays allowed