Abroad Program Offers Trip to Lima and Cusco, Peru

Photo by Nicole Williams

This summer, Ramapo students will have the chance to join Professor Gladys Torres Baumgarten to study abroad in Lima and Cusco, Peru. The program will run this year from May 16 to 29, and, as stated in the announcement, will be based around IBUS 337 – the International Business Experience class.

The trip will have two main focuses. The first is to familiarize the students with cultural icons and historical sites such as Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and the Inca ruins in Cusco. The second is to visit businesses and hear guest lecturers in Lima in order to learn about the Peruvian economy.

In the past 12 years, Peru has had the most consistent and notable growth of Latin American countries, offering many new developments for students to explore. In Lima, students will visit the newly expanded Port of Lima, the stock exchange and a non-profit head-hunters organization for women.

This trip is a part of Ramapo’s year of Latin America, but it is also an important year for Peru. Students will be visiting Peru just after the presidential election, where the current president is not expected to win reelection.

For business students, this two-week excursion has much to offer.

“Sometimes when we think of developing markets, we think that they are much more backwards than we realize,” Torres Baumgarten, seven-year professor of business at Ramapo, said, “So, I think that in seeing Lima and in seeing the interior part of the country, they’ll realize that developing countries are often times very well along as far as the internet and cell phones.”

Baumgarten traveled to Peru herself two years ago.

“I fell in love with the country and the people,” she said. “I think the people are very warm and very willing to talk to you about the Peruvian experience and what life is like there.” She finds the unique culture, music and history of Peru fascinating.

Baumgarten has also enjoyed her time as a professor at Ramapo, saying that the students and faculty all create a very supportive environment. She is most interested to see how the politics and election will play out during their time in Peru. She is also excited to take Ramapo students on this excursion. While it was created as part of Ramapo’s year of Latin America, she plans to make this a yearly trip.

Baumgarten noted how modern day Lima and traditional Cusco make it feel as if there are two different worlds within one country.

“I think the students will be fascinated at how different Peru feels, but they’ll also be comforted to find many creature comforts from home. I would say the biggest surprise might be when we travel to the interior and they’ll see the historic area but still be within a group of people that they’re familiar with,” she said.

“It’s the developed together with the developing world and it works, you know,” she said. “So, I did fall in love with the country, and hopefully some of the students will as well.”