Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola Review (2)
In preparation I dealt with the continent of South America, the culture and of course the country Peru in particular. It is also recommended, if you do not already have a basic knowledge of Spanish. Furthermore, I dealt with the courses offered by USIL and signed a learning agreement with my home university. With the house hunting although I have dealt me, but then decided against a preliminary ruling and took care of it in place first.
First of all: If you arrive in Lima in August, winter starts there and it is cold. 10-18 degrees may not seem so off-putting, but really shouldn’t be underestimated there. There is practically no heating and the Limanese also wear jackets, thick socks and shoes in the house. The cold is damp and mold in the home is often the result. (Pay attention when looking for an apartment)
Lima has two very beautiful, but also touristic districts. These are both on the coast and are very different from the rest of the city. With names: Miraflores and Barranco. I decided to go to a hostel in San Borja at the very beginning to avoid the hustle and bustle, which I wouldn’t do in retrospect. Lima looks pretty dirty and run down outside of the coastal district and especially at the beginning I would have found it more pleasant to have more cleanliness and at least a few people who can speak English around me. This is not necessarily the case in Lima. Little knowledge of Spanish is definitely recommended, if not necessary. At least enough to be able to order a meal or to ask for directions. The food is excellent, varied and cheap.
Nice apartments can be found on the two coastal districts, and most of the student residences are also located there. The prices for a room are around € 200-400. You don’t necessarily have to take care of it in advance, it is also entirely possible to go to a hostel first and then look for an apartment on site. Lima has a steep coast, which means there is no direct access to the sea. You have to find one of the few ways down first. Because of the cold water, it is mainly suitable for surfing there, which is cheap and the people there create a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. The big disadvantage of living on the coast is that the USIL is about 1.5 hours away by bus in the La Molina district. Since the lessons are often spread out over the day, e.g. the first in the morning at 8 o’clock, the next or last in the evening at 8 o’clock, this can lead to a lot of time on the bus. The alternative is a taxi, which is not expensive in Lima, especially if you share it. At rush hour, however, the traffic is so dense that it hardly has any advantage.
- Learn more information about Peru and South America on shoefrantics.
Due to its large number of English-language courses, the USIL is suitable for studying in South America even with little knowledge of Spanish. Unfortunately, the course catalog that I received in advance and on the basis of which I created my Learning Agreement did not correspond in the least to the courses offered on site. I had to change everything and haven’t met anyone who hasn’t felt the same way. As with other problems, the USIL employees were hard-working and friendly, but powerless. So if the course content, not the number of ETCS achieved, is important, you should think twice about a semester abroad at USIL.
Achieving good grades is also relatively difficult compared to what I have otherwise heard from semesters abroad and also compared to Germany. For the Peruvian students this is not so important, it is mainly about passing. It can happen that the best group work scores 14 out of 20 possible points. It is also very difficult to understand the grading, as the grades are made up of a large number of individual grades, which are taken from constant tests, group work, collaborative grades or even pure attendance. Furthermore, there is a compulsory attendance of 70 percent, or 75 percent for language courses. Exceptions to this are difficult to make. There are many rules at USIL (which is also simply related to the Peruvian culture) and everything is reminiscent of school lessons.
Lima as a city is clearly to be preferred in the summer semester and the USIL is suitable as a stepping stone for a trip to South America, but I cannot recommend it to specifically advance your studies.