Intensive Quechua Language (Beginning | J-Term)

Beginning Quechua is a unique course taught through in-country experiential learning with experienced Quechuan instructors in Cuzco, Peru.

At a Glance




2 semesters of Spanish

Language of Study


Language Levels



Dec 28 ‎– Jan 15

Program Countries


Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


Quechua is the linguistic identity of Runa Simi (language of people) and is spoken by 10 million people throughout the Andes. It is the most widely spoken language in the Andes after SpanishQuechua is not just a language, it is a linguistic family that varies from one region to another, from Argentina to Colombia. Scholars consider Quechua the only language in the world that is neither individualistic nor egocentric in its ideology and philosophy, but encompasses the other, the collective. In this course, you will join a growing number of students and scholars taking classes in Quechua, the ancient language of the Incas. 

 You will have the opportunity to study Quechua in Cuzco, the cradle of Quechua culture and language in Peru, and live with a local host family. This three-credit course will allow you to gain a deep understanding of the language and culture, as well as the Andean indigenous peoples’ way of seeing the world. 

In Peru, you will experience an excursion through the Sacred Valley of the Incas; explore archeological sites, such as Ollantayambo; meet members of an indigenous community working with traditional textiles; and visit Machu Picchu. 

You will also live with an indigenous Quechua homestay family during a short excursion to Taquile Island in Puno, Peru. During this time, you will take a language pledge, speaking Quechua throughout each day with your host family and community members. This will build your confidence, enhance fluency, and motivate deeper engagement in the cultural life of Quechuan communities.   

 SIT is also offering a supplementary online Quechua language course during the fall semester. 


  • Study introductory Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andes.
  • Learn about the Quechua culture through language learning.
  • Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and visit Machu Picchu. 
  • Fully immerse yourself with an indigenous Quechua homestay during an excursion to Taquile Island in Puno.


Two semesters of college level Spanish or equivalent. Course will be taught from Spanish to Quechua.

Program Sites

Cusco, Peru

During this three-week in-country course, you will complete three credits of Quechua (QUEC1003 or QUEC1503), developing your speaking, reading, and writing skills through 45 hours of classroom and field instruction. You will have the opportunity to practice terms and local expressions in the cultural and social environment of the Peruvian Andes. Various teaching strategies will include role plays, dramatizations, and songs. You will also have readings and assignments to complete outside the classroom. In addition, you will experience an excursion through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu and have the opportunity to live and learn with an indigenous Quechua family on Taquile Island.  

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Immersion in the language of the Incas.
  • Field visits to learn and practice language skills. 
  • Live with homestay families in Cusco and Taquile Island. 
  • Andean culture, philosophy, and cosmovision.
  • 3 hours daily face to face instruction and an additional 30 hours a week in group activities, homework, readings, and discussions.


Quechua (In Country) – syllabus
(QUEC1003 / 3 credits)

Quechua (In Country) – syllabus
(QUEC1503 / 3 credits)



Live with a host family in one of two neighborhoods along Cuzco’s Avenida Cultural. Activities with your homestay family may include playing soccer in the neighborhood park, taking weekend trips, or joining in celebrations and religious holidays. Through daily conversations with host families, predominantly in Spanish, you will discuss your impressions and experiences of Cuzco while exchanging cultural information and insights. 


You will spend several days living with a Quechua-speaking family on Taquile Island. In this community, you will become immersed in the daily routine of the Andean countryside, including assisting your families in sowing potatoes or grazing cows or sheep. 

Faculty & Staff

Peru: Intensive Quechua Language (Beginning | J-Term)

Alex Alvarez, PhD
Academic Director
Regina Tupacyupanqui Arredondo
Quechua Language Instructor
Jossie Coacalla Juares
Quechua Language Instructor
Ana Hermoza, MA
Program Administrator
Sonia Fullerton
Program and Student Affairs Coordinator
Julia Catalán Cervantes
Rural Homestay Coordinator and Office Assistant

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    The tuition for this program is $3,947. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.