Internship: Environmental Studies & Indigenous Peoples

Earn college credit and gain professional skills and cross-cultural experience through a group internship with a community organization or NGO focused on environmental conservation and indigenous practices in Peru.

  • College Credit

  • Language

  • Outdoor Activity

  • Sustainability


Nearly half of all people in Peru identify as members of an indigenous community. Here, you will witness the impacts of globalization on indigenous peoples and be challenged to scrutinize the complexities of identity, transformation, and marginalization. With your homestay in urban Cuzco, you will experience different Peruvian lifestyles, perspectives, and identities. During a three-day excursion to the Peruvian Amazon, you’ll see how communities define conservation, development, environment and cultural preservation.  

The Experiment strives to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in program design and delivery and the internship program is a unique opportunity to work in partnership with local communities. Therefore, the internship tasks and responsibilities are determined by the needs identified by the local communities. This may involve a lot of manual and physical labor to support the indigenous communities, such as participating in reforestation projects, tree-planting, and landscape work.

You will earn college credit and build skills to apply in college and your career with a 95hour internship with an NGOWork on a group project with support from an internship coordinator and advisor. 

Explore the sample course syllabus to learn about teaching modules, learning outcomes, and program expectations.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will earn three college credits through The Experiment’s accredited partner institution, School for International Training. 


The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In Peru, you will learn: 


  • Spanish language 
  • Research 
  • Project management 
  • Email communication 
  • College prep  


  • Resourcefulness 
  • Intercultural communication and understanding 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Adaptability 
  • Relationship-building 
  • Critical thinking 


  • Be prepared to be intellectually challenged by the course content and your learning community. Participants will be expected to complete required readings, assignments, exercises, and actively participate in course discussions.
  • Rugged travel may include bus rides and/or other extended travel on bumpy roads or other rugged conditions during the excursion outside Cuzco. 
  • Due to Peru’s geography, be prepared for altitude sickness, which may take a few days to adjust upon arrival.
  • Outdoor activities include hiking and trekking. 
  • Be prepared for unpredictable and varied weather. In Cuzco, at an altitude of 11,000 feet, they say that one experiences all the seasons of the year each day.  
  • Activities with your homestay family may include playing soccer in the neighborhood park, learning cooking, and joining in celebrations and religious holidays. 
  • The local diet in Peru is based on meat, chicken, fish, rice, a large variety of potatoes, beans, corn, and limited vegetables and fruits. Cuzco is a cosmopolitan city with a large variety of food options and restaurants. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice of dietary preferences. 
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary.   
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read Our approach toDiversity, Equity, and Inclusionfor further information.  All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders.  


Program Availability

No Longer Enrolling

Program Date

Jul 1 - Jul 30


Spanish (at least one year)

Program Fee*


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost


*Program fees may increase by
$500 -$1000 to account for changes
to lodging accommodations.

  • College Credit
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.

View Itinerary Details

Days 1-3

Orientation in Cuzco 

  • Learn about the history and culture of indigenous groups from local experts. 
  • Witness conservation practices in Parque de la Papa. 
  • Bond with other members of your group and Peruvian peers.  
  • Appreciate the blend of ancient and post globalized indigenous culture of Peru. 

During orientation, you will stay in a centrally located hotel/guesthouse. 

Days 4-23

Stay in Homestay in Cuzco, Internship with an organization and Cultural Activities  

  • Become immersed in the daily life of your host community in Cuzco. 
  • Complete a group internship with an organization focused on environmental conservation and indigenous practices. 
  • Attend cooking classes and sample traditional Peruvian cuisine. 
  • Participate in a community service project. 
  • Visit local museums to understand indigenous culture and practices.  

Days 24-26


  • Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  
  • Meet members of an indigenous community working with traditional textiles. 
  • Experience the diverse Andean ecosystems. 

During this period, you will stay with your group in a dormitory/small hotel/guesthouse. 

Day 27

Wrap-up and Reflection in Cuzco 

  • Reflect with your group on your learning experiences during the program. 
  • Go for a city walk and shop. 

Day 28


Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.


Lauren Duda

Hometown: Pennsylvania
Education: Universidad de Salamanca
Experience in: Peru, Spain

View Full Bio

Lauren is a voracious traveler who has spent much of her adult life abroad. After majoring in Spanish, International Studies, and World Language Education at home in Pennsylvania, Lauren got her MA in Spanish language and culture from the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. While teaching foreign language and social studies in both the US and Europe for the last 11 years, Lauren has seized every opportunity to travel. She has journeyed around most of Europe, and parts of Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East. As an educator, Lauren is passionate about designing curriculum centered on social justice and experiential learning. As a traveler, Lauren loves to try new foods, practice new languages, and learn about the history and political climate of each place she visits. In her free time, she can be found watching historical dramas, drinking British tea, and eating all the Spanish jamón around her current home, Madrid. She has previously led groups of students to Spain and Peru.

Program experts

College credit-bearing programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty approved by the School for International Training (SIT). Faculty of record typically live in the country of study and are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations. They work in close consultation with SIT’s Dean of Faculty and The Experiment staff team and group leaders to craft an engaging, college-level curriculum and design field and internship experiences that match student needs and interests.

Alex Alvarez, PhD

Alex is the Academic Director for SIT’s study abroad programs in Peru. A native of Cuzco, Alex received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the National University of Cuzco, his master’s in social sciences with a focus in environmental management and development from the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLASCO), and his PhD in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He received doctoral fellowships at the National Centre of Competence in North-South Research in Geneva and the Russell E. Train Education for Nature program with the World Wildlife Fund. He also received the Exchange Legacy Lelong grant for social anthropology research from the National Center of Scientific Research in France.