Taking in the wonders of Peru!
This great story and wonderful images are provided by Rohan, A Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability) at Deakin University, Australia. The Peruvian Biodiversity unit is running again in January 2015, does this sound like you?
I completed a one month intensive unit in Biodiversity of Peru, at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Cusco in January, 2014. As you probably expect, South America has more biodiversity than any other continent, which makes Peru a perfect country to study this subject. The study was highlighted by the many field trips and tours, notably to the Amazon Rainforest. This is a place I have always dreamed of visiting, and now having been there I have a deeper understanding of the role this icon plays in the lives of Peruvians and the Earth’s biodiversity. During your time in this magical and unique part of the world you will encounter typical Amazonian fauna such as monkeys, macaws, toucans, caiman and tarantulas – and if you’re lucky (depending on your fondness for exotic animals) – anacondas and piranhas. Meanwhile, back at our home base in Cusco which is situated at high altitude (3,400m a.s.l.) in the Andean mountains, we were surrounded by Incan and modern Peruvian cultures, food, music and language - including their delicacy dish – roasted Guinea Pig, and frequent sightings of Llamas and Alpacas, while pan flutes and charangos (Peruvian guitars) play in the streets.
Of course a trip to Peru is not complete without a Visit to one the new Seven Wonders of the World - Machu Picchu. Situated about 1,000 m lower in altitude than Cusco, Machu Picchu is surrounded by sub-tropical vegetation and landscapes, which drives home just how much diversity there is in the region of South America. The tour gave cultural context to the history of the Incan civilization, as well as reinforcing the knowledge of their ecological resources and surroundings.
This study tour introduced me to a whole new culture, experience and perspective, as well as enabling me to fulfill lifelong ambitions of visiting the most biodiverse region on the planet. Peru, and South America in general, is hugely diverse, and although we were exposed to a bit of everything it had to offer, there is so much more to see and do which has given me the urge to go back.
Thinking about studying abroad? My advice to you!
Definitely do it. Studying abroad has been the highlight of my degree so far and opens your eyes to all sorts of new and different experiences. Take advantage of the loan schemes while you can, travelling becomes very inexpensive when you have the Government provide loans for most of it. My advice for if you do study overseas is to immerse yourself in the culture and language of wherever you are going, and just try as many new things and push your comfort zone as much as possible.