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  • Locations: Lima, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer, Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Subjects Available: Cultural and Area Studies, Latin American Studies, Literature, Spanish Additional Program Requirements: 2.5 GPA
Exchange Program: No Internship Opportunity: Internships are available, Service Learning or other volunteer opportunities are available
Language of Instruction: Spanish Language Requirement: NO previous study required
SUNY code: 1064 Partner University: N/A
Program Advisor: Martinez, Andy
Program Description:

ECELA Spanish Language School (Lima)

UAlbany’s study abroad program with the ECELA Spanish Language School gives you the chance to experience rapid advancement in Spanish abilities while experiencing first-hand the Peruvian culture in and around Lima. As an intensive immersion course (Spanish classes within a "Spanish everywhere" environment), the program's goal is to give you several semesters worth of Spanish skill enhancement in only a few months. In addition to the 20 hour per week language course, you can also participate in cultural activities such as cooking classes, salsa dance lessons, Cinema Latino, and folklore shows.

Lima, Peru, formerly underappreciated as a tourist destination, has recently gained in popularity.  Many people consider Peruvian food to be the best of South America, particularly noted for its seafood and desserts. Outside of class you'll have plenty of activity choices: from surf lessons to salsa classes to volunteering. On the weekends day trips to archaeological ruins, natural reserves, and even the Amazon jungle are all popular.

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Program The ECELA Lima Language school offers you the opportunity to master the Spanish language with the help of native, college certified teachers using a proven curriculum in a small class environment. Classes at ECELA are capped at 8 students per instructor allowing you to have individual attention resulting in dramatic language skill improvement within a short window of time. You can participate as a total beginner or with many years of speaking the language.

The program offers daily scheduled activities in and around Lima. Participating in these activities is an excellent way to practice your new language skills in a fun and exciting environment.

Weekend trips are also offered where you can discover Peru's fantastic landscapes and outdoor sports. Historical landmarks and experiencing the arts and culture that make Peru so unique are integral parts of this program.


On the ECELA Lima summer program, you will take two courses. You will earn 3 credits for each course you successfully complete (you may earn up to 6 credits total for the summer program). You can choose option 1 or option 2:
  1. Two Spanish Language Courses or
  2. One Spanish language class and either a Peruvian Culture & History elective class, or a Latin American Literature course. Both of these elective courses are taught in Spanish. 
    1. Programa de Cultura y Historia de Peru: International Perspectives GenED + ASPN 317
    2. Curso Literatura: International Perspectives GenED + ASPN 316

On the ECELA Lima winter program, you will take one course. You will earn 3 credits for the course you successfully complete. You can choose to take one of the following courses:
  1. A Spanish language class or
  2. A Peruvian Culture and History class (offered in Spanish)

Info for Summer and Winter Sessions:

Other elective courses (i.e. - Medical Spanish, Business Spanish, Legal Spanish, and Spanish Composition) may also be available for an extra fee- please contact for more information.

Please see a complete list of their course catalogue here: ECELA Course Catalogue.

Language Course Equivalents for UAlbany Spanish Credit:
  1. Students who complete Beginning level 1 = ASPN 100
  2. Students who complete Beginning level 2 = ASPN 010 [does not count towards Spanish minor]
  3. Students who complete either intermediate level= ASPN 101 [counts towards Spanish minor, may come in as 010 if student already has 101]
  4. Students who complete either advanced level = ASPN 103
    [counts towards Spanish minor, may come in as 010 if student already has 103]
Credits from the host university will be converted to SUNY credits as follows:
1 SUNY credit per every 15 hours completed
48 hours = 3 credits
64 hours = 4 credits

Grades from the host university will be converted to SUNY grades as follows:
100%  - 93% = A 73 - 76% = C
90 - 92% = A- 70 - 72% = C-
87 - 89% = B+ 67 - 69% = D+
83 - 86% = B 63 - 66% = D
80 - 82% = B- 60 - 62% = D- 
77 - 79% = C+ 59 - 1% = E

General Education Information for UAlbany students: Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these General Education credits. You may file a request to have additional courses approved.
Accommodations Housing is provided with local Peruvian families. Living with a family is one of the most effective ways to improve language skills and learn about the local culture. All of the families are warm and welcoming and experienced at making you feel at home within their house. All host families are located within an easy commute to the school and are in a safe and lovely neighborhood.

In effort to provide you with the best, families are chosen with the utmost care and go through extensive screening and training before being accepted as host families. Their passion in educating you about their language and culture goes above and beyond many other language and culture programs found elsewhere. The families make every attempt to accept you as part of their "Peruvian family" during your stay in Lima and after.

Support Services

The University at Albany hosts a mandatory general orientation session on campus during the semester prior to participation on the program. 
Our program in Peru offers support at every step of the way. The program director and staff assist you with any concerns or questions you may have throughout your stay. Faculty and/or staff will accompany you on all activities and outings and provide superb assistance to you throughout your stay. The staff will also arrange excursions for you, some of which are included in the cost of the program. More info on these excursions will be given to you by the staff at ECELA. 

Living with a host family also provides an additional layer of support. A local host family assist you with learning the best ways to get around the city, what regional cuisine to try, what sites to visit in the city and beyond, and how to find the best deals in Lima.
Costs Summer Winter Click here for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid
Selection The program is open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors with a 2.5 GPA.
Excursions The program offers daily scheduled activities in and around Lima. Participating in these activities is an excellent way to practice your new language skills in a fun and exciting environment.

Top Activities and Excursions in Lima

Note: only some of these activities and excursions are included in the cost of the program with UAlbany.  More information on this will be included in your acceptance packet. 

Weekend trips are also offered where you can discover Peru's fantastic landscapes and outdoor sports. Historical landmarks and experiencing the arts and culture that make Peru so unique are integral parts of this program.

  • Cinema Latino – Practice your Spanish while we enjoy a Latin American film.
  • Festejo Classes – Learn traditional dance representative of Peru’s ethnic mix.
  • Parrilla de Bienvenida – Welcome you while sampling typical Peruvian food.
  • Lima City Tour – Visit the historic center and most important buildings and sites.
  • Conversation Club - Extra Spanish practice while learning about the Peruvian culture.
  • Ciudad de Caral - UNESCO world heritage site.  Sacred City of Caral: archaeological site dating back to 2600 BC.
  • Paracas, Islas Ballestas - Visit the Ballestas Islands and its famous fauna variety.  Best known ecotourism spot on the Peruvian coast.
  • Canta – A province northwest of Lima best known for its beautiful natural landscapes.
Location Lima is a city full of history, culture, endless beaches, beautiful mountains and an abundance of learning opportunities. Also known as the City of the Kings, Lima has managed to hold on to traditions that date all the way back to pre-Incan times. While strolling through the streets and squares of this historic region, you will be able to get a glimpse of ancient Peruvian culture and see why many of these traditions remain so important to the city today.

During the semester and summer length programs at ECELA, you have the option of dividing your time between ECELA’s many locations (in Lima (Peru), Cusco (Peru), Mendoza (Argentina), Viña del Mar (Chile), and Santiago (Chile).  This is a great way to experience various other countries and cultures, while still being able to take your desired courses at other ECELA locations. Click here to view all of the different location options with ECELA. 
Please note that you will be responsible for the travel costs between locations, and you must notify ECELA and UAlbany of your intention to transfer at least two weeks in advance of your intended transfer date.  The basic costs of the program paid to UAlbany (consult the cost estimate listed above) will remain the same though, regardless of the locations that you choose.  If you are interested in the multi-location option with ECELA, please contact with your request.
Overview The school is located in Mira Flores (an upscale seaside district) just a few blocks from Oceanside cliffs. It's a comfortable building in a quiet location, but you'll still be within a short walk to a central plaza and dozens of restaurants and cafes - great for people-watching while doing your Spanish homework.
ECELA is dedicated to helping you get closer to Spanish fluency even if you are not "naturals" at picking up foreign languages. The 50/50 ratio of grammar and conversation, taught in separate sessions, ensures you of balanced progress. The extra small classes (capped at only 8 students) are intimate enough that you will comfortably join the discussion, even if you normally resist raising your hand. Finally, the "demanding yet understanding" teachers and staff push you to do the necessary work so you will vastly improve your Spanish.
ECELA schools attract students from many walks of life. They come from 42+ countries and have an array of personal and professional interests. You’ll bond with them in your classes, in the refreshment breaks in between them, and in our many social and cultural activities after them. For many of our students, forming a new set of very diverse relationships is a real treasure and an unexpected highlight. While you may come to ECELA alone, you are quickly plugged into an instant social life.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/01/2018
03/15/2018 06/24/2018 08/04/2018
NOTE: Orientation starts on June 25, 2018. Class and Exams end on August 3, 2018.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.