Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola Review (4)
In the courses I took, getting good grades was quite easy and I was able to approach university in a fairly relaxed manner. I had Monday completely off and used the extended weeks as often as possible to go on trips outside of Lima. Which is also really good for the lungs, because Lima has a huge problem with air pollution. At this point a warning to all asthmatics: I only have mild asthma, but I really struggled in Lima. I got very bad bronchitis at first and a viral infection shortly afterwards. Coupled with the constant strain on the lungs from the heavy smog, I did not really get well for weeks and two lung specialists urgently advised me to leave Lima as soon as possible because the lungs could not recover properly even with cortisone spray. When I finished my semester for another month through Peru, Bolivia and ChileI traveled, my lungs were able to recover. So if you have lung problems, you should consider choosing another destination for your semester abroad.
Traveling in Peru is very easy. The cheapest and in my opinion the best way to travel is by taking the numerous buses. For long distances you can drive overnight and book a berth. But please always pay attention to your luggage (unfortunately my hand luggage was stolen and my cell phone in a microbus in Lima). I would recommend at least one trip to the Selva (jungle). I could recommend a great weekend trip to Selva central. You should of course also visit the Andes. The altitude can be really nauseous at the beginning, but that subsides the more you get used to it. Drink coca tea and pack headache pills. No great effort at the beginning. In my opinion, Machu Picchu is a must-see, even if the tourists there are really asked to pay. Lake Titicaca is also very beautiful, but more beautiful in Copacabana on the Bolivian side than in Puno in Peru. Entering Bolivia is very straightforward. We only managed to travel to the south of Peru. But Iquitos should also be very beautiful, what my friends have reported.Arequipa and the Colca Canyon with its condors are definitely worth a look. For a weekend trip, the Huacachina oasis is ideal for sandboarding and soaking up the sun. It can be reached in 4-5 hours by bus from Lima with Peru.
- Learn more information about Peru and South America on sportsqna.
The Peruvians are usually very warm and helpful. But there is also a lot of crime and especially as a foreigner you have to take good care of yourself and always negotiate prices. Taxi drivers in particular often quote horrendous prices. At night only take a taxi by satellite! The districts of Miraflores and Barranco are quite touristy and there it is relatively safe. You can spend nice evenings in the Atlantic City Casino in Miraflores. There is no entry fee, the stakes are low compared to Germany and there are free drinks and snacks as much as you want. There are some cozy cafes and bars in Barranconear the Puente de los suspiros. The Bodega Verde is very cozy. Food is very important to Peruvians as part of their culture. You can eat very cheaply with a few quality compromises if you order the menus del dia (about 8 soles = 2 € approx). But there are also a lot of great restaurants in Lima, where the dishes cost around 18-30 soles.
For living, I would recommend San Borja, as it is one of the better parts of the city with a lot of Serenazgo (a kind of police force) and is roughly in the middle between USIL and Miraflores. For the first two months I lived with a very nice host family in Cercado de Lima, but the district is not the best and it took at least 1.5 hours to get to the university, depending on the traffic. So after two months I moved to San Borja. From there it was only about 20 minutes. I can only recommend my accommodation there to a limited extent. So I’m not calling them here now. If you don’t mind the long journey, I can warmly recommend my host family. If you would like the contact details, please contact me via MicroEDU.
I could write soooo much. I still haven’t really processed all the impressions because there were so many. But as I said at the beginning, it was a unique, great, crazy experience and I would recommend everyone to do a semester abroad. Only the university there is really very different from the one in Germany and you should be aware of that so that you don’t have too high expectations for the matter. But even if you don’t learn so much about the theoretical material, you still learn a lot for yourself that you will never forget. It’s a challenge and you’re proud when you’ve mastered it all well. And you become more grateful for what you have and what Germany enables you.