Visual Arts and Art History in the Andes of Peru
Lima and Cusco, Peru
6 credits in ARTH, PAPR, SCPT, or ENGL
24 May – 15 June 2018
$3,900 (includes tuition) + airfare. Find full details on the Budget Sheet!
Javier Tapia, Associate Professor
16 March 2018
The Global Education Office, the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University are pleased to announce their summer program in Peru. Participants will travel to Lima for a short visit, and on to Cuzco, for an extended visual exploration of the countryside and culture of the highlands of Peru. The program will include visits to museums to explore ancient, colonial and contemporary art, as well as visits to ancient ruins and colonial sites. An optional three-day hiking and camping trip along the Inca Trail to the town of Lares, will expose you to a biological and culturally diverse region of the country culminating at Machu Picchu.
Connect with VCU in Peru on Facebook
Course and Credit Options
- ARTH 489 Art and Architecture of Peru: Pre-Columbian and Colonial to Contemporary, taught by Michael Panbehchi
- ENGL 391 C91 Blogging in Peru, taught by Scott Mills
- PAPR 324 Intermediate Drawing, taught by Javier Tapia
- PAPR 421 Advanced Drawing, taught by Javier Tapia
- PAPR 621 Graduate Drawing, taught by Javier Tapia
- SCPT 491 C90 Video + Photographic Art one, taught by Scott Mills
- SCPT 591 C90 Video + Photographic Art two, taught by Scott Mills
The Education Abroad office will enroll students in the course upon receipt of the registration. Courses are subject to meeting a minimum enrollment in order to run.
Students will receive transfer credit for all coursework completed in this program, eliminating the need to pay VCU’s per-credit tuition rate and the Arts tuition differential. This saves an in-state Arts student more than $3,000 for a six-credit summer program.
In order to receive credit, students must earn the equivalent of a C or better.
ARTH 489 Art and Architecture of Peru: Pre-Columbian and Colonial to Contemporary, taught by Michael Panbehchi
This course examines the art and architecture of Peru, c. 1500 – 1800 and explores how contemporary Peruvian art interacts with its rich history. The course focuses on the art of Cuzco and its surrounding area as well as colonial and contemporary Lima. This course will allow students to acquire knowledge not only of the art of the Inca Empire, but of some of the cultures that pre-date the Inca. Students will also develop an understanding of the art that arrived with the Spanish in 1534 and of how both indigenous Peruvians and Europeans grew to create a hybrid visual culture that exists today. Lastly, students will take part in studio visits of contemporary Peruvian artists in order to explore their art and to learn how these artists interact with their history.
ENGL 391 C91 Blogging in Peru, taught by Scott Mills
This course is designed for students to blog while on the study abroad program. Students will participate in field trips and visits to locations in Cusco and conduct interviews with individuals such as Sabino Huaroman, an old world traditional musical instrument maker, and others. Students will use free blogging sites and establish a blog prior to departure to Peru. Once in Peru students will update and blog during the entire program. Internet access is available in most locations students should bring a iPad or other light weight device to compose written text, photography and video and post with. This course is open to beginning and advanced levels.
PAPR 324 Intermediate Drawing; PAPR 421 Advanced Drawing; PAPR 621 Graduate Drawing, taught by Javier Tapia
A peripatetic investigation of direct observation, on-site drawing. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a suite of drawings in which on-site references become spinal elements in multimedia two-dimensional constructions. Documentation of your daily activities will be maintained in an illustrated diary or journal. In order for you to take this class, you will need at least an extra week once we get back to Richmond, to meet in class and/or review your portfolio.
Sculpture 491 Video and Photographic Art 1; and Sculpture 591 Video and Photographic Art 2, taught by Scott Mills
These courses offer students an in-depth experience in still and moving image media. From beginning to advanced, this class is open to all levels of experience. Students will work with Dr. Mills individually and in group field trips to locations of interest such as musical instrument maker Sabino and sites above Cusco such as Christo Blanco for studies in “Magic hour” lighting. Students are encouraged to experiment with light and subject. During the program students will develop a project that is inspired from the discipline in Videography and Photography. Students may choose to work in both mediums or focus on a project that is defined by Video or Photography. It is important that students who enroll in this course have a working camera with battery charger and power converter for Peru. It is also essential to have a protective case or camera bag that zips up to keep out dust, dirt and moisture that we encounter during the many variations of climate and changes in temperature during transition from warm days to cool nights in Cusco and the Lares hiking trek. A wide Angle lens and or Wide Angle lens adaptor for video cameras are highly recommended.
Accommodations and Meals
- Open to all students regardless of class standing or major, who have completed Basic Drawing. Non-VCU students are encouraged to apply.
- 2.0 GPA
Participants will be housed in a variety of accommodations including hotels, a historic monastery, hostels and camping facilities for those on the Inca Trail. Most meals are included as a part of the program.
Javier Tapia is the winner of the Teresa Pollak award in 2011. He has been a professor of painting and printmaking at VCU for over 28 years, and has been leading the trip to Peru for the past twenty years. A native of Peru, Tapia has extensive knowledge of the area and the culture.
A valid passport is required to leave the US. If a student does not already have a passport, they are advised to begin the application process as soon as they are accepted into the program. The processing time for new passport applicants can be as long as 8 weeks. For students who already have passports, they will need to verify that the passport’s validity dates extend 6 months past their return date. For more information about passports and the application/renewal process, please consult the State Department's website
Payment of fees
In order to complete the application, students are required to submit a $250 registration fee and deposit. This $250 registration fee and deposit is refundable in two cases: if the program is cancelled, or if a student is rejected by the faculty member based on their qualifications to participate in the program. Reasons for rejection could include, but are not limited to, GPA, lack of a pre-requisite, unacceptable or inappropriate statement of interest, etc. and are at the discretion of the faculty program director. However, if a student pays the fee and is not given final acceptance to the program based on failing to complete application requirements, as determined by the Education Abroad office or faculty director, the $250 is non-refundable.
Students will receive two separate charges to their student accounts for this program: one charge will reflect the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee) and the other charge is for VCU tuition costs (based on the number and type of credits being taken by the student). These bills will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May.
Please note: While these charges may post to the student’s account simultaneously or separately, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure the account balance is paid before the billing due date.
Withdrawal procedures and financial commitment policy
All withdrawals must be made formally in writing and submitted to the Director of Education Abroad. Otherwise, the program fee will not be refunded. After committing to the program, students deciding to withdraw will be held accountable for a portion of or the entire program fee based on the following schedule:
- Formal withdrawal submitted later than 30 days before the first day of the program abroad: 100% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 30-60 days before the first day of the program abroad: 75% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 60-90 days before the first day of the program abroad: 50% of the program fee will be charged
In the event an unexpected emergency occurs within 30 days before the first day of the program abroad, students must provide a physician’s certification that his/her condition prohibits participation. In this case, refunds will be limited to only those funds VCU is able to recover or that have not already been spent on behalf of the student.
See above for refund policy on $250 registration fee and deposit.
Students should schedule an appointment with their physician or at a travel clinic (such as VCU Student Health) at least 4 to 8 weeks before the program to inquire about recommended and/or required vaccines/immunizations. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all routine and travel immunizations are up-to-date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on recommended and required immunizations for travelers. To view the health risks and requirements for the country to which you will be traveling, please visit the CDC's website
Health Alert: Zika Virus
The CDC has issued a travel alert for countries where the Zika virus is prevalent. Check the CDC’s travel notices
regularly as new countries are being added to this list. Check VCU Student Health
to stay updated as well.
VCU Student Health offers in-depth pre-travel consultation with a health care provider as well as most of the vaccines recommended for safe travel. Prescriptions for recommended medicines are also available. Please visit their website
for full details.
Every effort is made to provide updated and accurate information at the time of publication. The sponsors reserve the right to make necessary changes to the programs and costs. The university reserves the right to revise or alter all fees, regulations pertaining to student fees, and fee collection procedures at any time.