Learning Spanish? If you really want to get to grips with the language fast, learning Spanish in a country where it is spoken will really speed things up for you! And with 20 countries around the world having Spanish as an official language, you have a lot of places to choose from! Why not start in Peru, in the beautiful city of Cusco? Here are some reasons why learning Spanish in this city is a good idea.
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Photo via Wikimedia
The start of your Spanish (and travel) adventures
Learning Spanish in a native speaking city means you are exposed to a range of accents and dialects, preparing you for conversations wherever you go. Cusco, a city to the south of Peru, is perfectly placed for you to consider onward travel from when you have finished your studies. On the west coast of South America, once you have Spanish in your back pocket and have explored the rest of Peru, you are ready to either travel further south to countries like Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, or north to Ecuador, Columbia, and Venezuela. One thing to be aware of before you start dreaming of those studies and your travel destinations; Cusco has a subtropical highland climate, with July the coolest month of the year. Factor that into your plans!
True Spanish immersion in one of Peru's most beautiful cities
Did you know that Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire until the Spanish Conquest during the sixteenth century? It is a major tourist destination as a result, attracting up to two million visitors annually. UNESCO has declared the city a World Heritage Site, and the Constitution of Peru names Cusco as the historic capital of the country. For history buffs, then, you couldn't ask for a more interesting location to learn Spanish. You could practice with fellow explorers while wandering around the city center which retains a lot of buildings, plazas, and streets still standing from colonial times. Almost like taking a step back in history, if you like! Imagine the sense of achievement you will feel if you take part in a tour after your studies, and you understand every word of your guide's speech in Spanish.
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Photo via Pixabay
Getting to grips with Spanish out and about in Cusco
With a population of just under 430,000, Cusco is a great city with plenty of people to practice with, though not so many as to make you feel overwhelmed as you might elsewhere. And if you want to explore the city, spend an evening in a bar or cafe, or sample some of the best in Cusco cuisine, your classmates are your perfect companions to encourage you to speak Spanish. With your new friends, you could soak up even more of the Cusco history and culture by spending a day in and out of all the incredible museums the city has to offer. Or you could take a day trip to Machu Picchu or Rainbow Mountain where you speak nothing but Spanish for the entire trip. You have so many options! What are you going to do first?
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Photo via Pixabay
The cost of living in Cusco
Before you embark on your study journeys, hold on! The first thing you really need to consider is what this is going to cost you. How can you dedicate all your efforts into really absorbing Spanish is you haven't budgeted for enough to eat, or took cheap accommodation that turned out to be too good to be true? To help you, here are some numbers to get you started. The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Nuevo Sol, or Sol as it is more locally known, is about 3.39. Expatistan tells us that the cost of living in Cusco is 66 percent cheaper than Los Angeles, 64 percent cheaper than Chicago, and 72 percent cheaper than New York. Looking at Numbeo, a small bottle of water will cost you 1.50 Sol, a local beer around 7.50 Sol, a monthly travel pass around 60.00, and a single-occupancy apartment around 2767.00 Sol. You could vastly cut your accommodation costs—and possibly get yourself even more Spanish practice—if you consider sharing with another student or even finding a host family.
Want to know more about studying Spanish in Cusco? We are here to help! Our experts at Language Abroad will find you the perfect place to study and give all the advice you need. Visit the Language Abroad website to see what we can do for you.