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10 Reasons to make Lima your Student Exchange Destination

Delicious Food, Latin Music, Surfing... Lima has it all!

So many cities to choose from in the list of Exchange destinations… How to select the right one? I strongly believe you will have a good time in any city. However, I can promise you that you will have a blast when you choose to have your Student Exchange in Lima for sure. And this is why.

1. The food is AMAZING

One thing is certain: if you love food you will love Lima. Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, Antichucos, Causa, the list goes on and on with great Peruvian dishes to choose from and every dish is as delicious as the other. There is such a wide variety of restaurants. From the cheap menu restaurants where you have a starter, main and drink for 15 soles ($4,5) to fancy restaurants that belong to the top 10 of the world, like Central. There are great places for coffee and breakfast too (like El pan de la Chola), perfect in case you are a coffee addict.

TIP: Lima does great all-you-can-eat too, like unlimited sushi and juice for 12 dollars. All you can eat Mexican food for $13,50 is another great example.  

Panadería El Pan De La Chola Sandwich Avocado
The Perfect Sandwich for $3 at Panadería El Pan De La Chola, Lima

2. Peru is cheap

In general, Peru is one of the cheaper countries to travel in South America… Imagine living there. It means you get to enjoy great value for your money during your entire stay. Cheap and delicious food, cheap transport, cheap sleeping in the cities you travel to. You can find a bed from as little as $6 in Cusco and Arequipa!. If you want to have an exchange in which you do not have to worry about money (a lot), Peru is a great choice. 

3. Unlimited places to travel to

Who thinks Peru, thinks Machu Picchu. And during yoru student exchange in Lima, you are having the world wonder practically on your doorstep. But there are so many more places to visit. You can fly to the Jungle to cruise the Amazon or to see animals in the wild (and hold that precious sloth). You can travel up north to learn to Surf in Máncora or the other beach towns. If Mountains are more your thing, Huaraz, the 4-day Salkantay trek or a visit to the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley will definitely satisfy your needs for heights. And this is just the beginning of the list with places to see (Find more travel inspiration here). 

Visit Red Valley Cusco
Marvel at the Red Valley near Cusco

4. Semester starts Early

And therefore, ends early as well, which means you will most probably have some time left to travel before you have to return home. UP’s lectures start end August (21stin 2018) and you will write your last exams at the beginning of December (1stin 2018). With the European spring semester starting only in 2019, this gives you a good month to discover either more of Peru or other countries like Chile, Ecuador, the Galapagos, Bolivia or (the very popular) Colombia!

5. You can learn to Surf while on Student Exchange

Lima is a city located right at the coast of the Pacific Ocean. If that was not amazing enough yet, Lima has great swell for surfing too. If you have dreamt of learning how to surf, your student exchange in Lima is the moment to make those dreams come true. At Makaha beach, you will find multiple surf schools and you can take lessons for as little as 15$ for about 90 minutes of instruction. If you live in Miraflores, you can walk with your board to the sea within 10 minutes.

TIP 1: if you have your own board (or want to buy one in Lima), consider flying KLM. They let you change your checked suitcase for a surfboard bag for free!

TIP 2:  Willy’s surf school has the very best materials. His instructors Toto and Paul are great instructors too. 

Surfing Student Exchange in Lima Miraflores Malecon Makaja
Surfing everyday is only a 10 minute walk away

6. A real cultural exchange

When you are from Europe, the US or actually anywhere except Latin America, you are really up for a culture shock. Peru is so different from Europe in so many aspects, that being on exchange in Lima feels like being in a whole new world. The food is different, the people have different habits, the music is different. Possibly, at times it is a bit uncomfortable, but it is also very special to be able to experience this different life for so many months. 

7. Lima is a Latin music paradise

If you love Latin music, you can be a very, very happy person in Lima… Unless you listen to that one radio channel with international music, you will only hear Latin music while in Peru. Whether it is on the streets, in the shops, on the bus or in the clubs. In the general clubs, Reggeaton is the most played genre. However, there are clubs especially for Salsa too. When going out, everyone dances, which makes for really good nights out. 

Dancing Kennedy Park Lima
Clubs not your thing? In the weekend you can practice your Latin Dances in Kennedy Park too

8. Lima is Quite safe – living in a Bubble

Lima is much safer than many people think, especially compared to other Latin American capitals. The reason is the areas where you will probably be living and going to university all belong to the better areas of Lima… The safe areas are all clustered together. Accordingly, in these neighborhoods you do not have to be afraid to be robbed at gunpoint and often you can even go outside in the dark. As long as you are sensible and aware, you really are fine here. The only downside is that you live in a bit of a bubble (a beautiful one though).

TIP: all along the coastline, Lima has these high cliffs with a park on top of it, the Malecon. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset (see cover photo). 

9. Learn Spanish during your student exchange in Peru

Being a former Spanish Colony, Spanish is the main language spoken in Peru. And as the locals are not able to speak English very well, you will find yourself in the perfect place to learn some Spanish. The language is everywhere. There are various private language schools, you can ask for a language buddy via UP and UP offers language courses too. One of these courses is before the semester starts and takes 2 weeks, 6 hours per day. During the semester they also offer a course. 

10. UP has a great buddy team

The buddy team of UP is super involved with the exchange group and that really made a difference for how close our exchange group was. In 2018 II the buddies organized so many activities like a great welcome week, welcome party, Halloween party (this is where to get your outfit) a goodbye dinner. Moreover, they also took us to watch the football together or held Pisco sour nights. It was those activities that really bonded us as a group.

BBUP buddy Team Alianza Football Match Student Exchange in lima
Alianza Football Match, organized by our buddies

There you have it, 10 reasons why you will have an amazing time when you select Lima as the destination of your student exchange.   

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