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MSMC travelers pose for a photo in the Andean Highlands during a spring semester "Study Away" trip to Peru.

Peru trip highlights Mount's 'Study Away' program

This spring, 19 Mount St. Mary’s travelers experienced the wonders of Peru during a trip offered through the College’s “Study Away” program.

Led by Katherine Whitman, an associate professor of economics and international business, the adventure took students, faculty, staff and alums on a journey from the urban attractions of Lima on the country’s Pacific coastline and into the towns and ruins of the Andean highlands.

The crowning moment of the trip came with an exploration of the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. “After having seen Machu Picchu, none would question its designation as one of the ‘Seven Modern Wonders of the World,’” Whitman says. “But it is not only Machu Picchu that awed the group. Peru is filled with a stunning array of natural and man-made wonders.”

Those other destinations included a drive along the Urubamba River and the glacier-topped mountains that surround it; visits to ancient Incan villages where students watched women weave traditional textiles in centuries-old patterns; and a walking tour of Cuzco to witness its blend of pre-Colombian, colonial and contemporary mestizo cultures.

“A very special treat for us was being part of Carnival celebrations before the beginning of Lent,” Whitman says. “In Peru, it is customary during Carnival for people to throw water and flour at each other. Sometimes the flour and water are thrown from a balcony on whoever happens to be walking beneath.”

The trip ended in the capital city of Lima with a visit to the campus of the University of San Ignacio de Loyola, a higher-ed institution committed to global learning and student engagement in social responsible projects.

‘Study Away’
The trip to Peru was just one of many “Study Away” trips offered through the College this spring. Other travel opportunities included student-exchange options with partner universities in China; an Art Department-sponsored trip to Paris; and a passage through Spain coordinated through the Mount’s Department of Language and Culture.

Traditional study-abroad programs are also available each semester both domestically and internationally. All trips are led by faculty with extensive travel and subject-matter expertise. Professor Whitman, for instance, has been at the College for 20 years and has led trips in Latin America, Asia and Europe. She is even a visiting professor at Guangdong University of Law and Commerce in China.

Cultural opportunities are at the core of the Mount’s commitment to prepare students for contemporary life and work as world citizens – through globalization of the College’s curriculum and campuses. For more info on the Mount’s “Study Away” program, visit or e-mail

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