Peru (IFMSA Peru) - Arequipa (CIEM)
January, February, March, Apri, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2 meals per day
Host family

Spanish (good) required
Vaccine for Hepatitis B, Tetanus, PPD, SARS-COV-2 Test
Only clinical students after basic rotation.
You must upload all of required documents mentioned in COD
We are contacting for one extra own document of our university
The Exchange begins the first Monday and ends on the last Friday of each.
It is recommended that the clothing be smart casual, or in a scrub, in the same way in the surgery center.
Language certificate (A2 minimum) , ,
Julisa Rios Bellido

Arequipa is the capital and largest city of the Arequipa Region and the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru. Peru's ashlar (white stone) city with snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, deep canyons, renowned gastronomy, small coves and beaches. It is Peru's second most populous city with 784 651 inhabitants, as well as its third most populous metropolitan area according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics.

Arequipa is the second most industrialized and commercialized city in Peru. Its industrial activity includes manufactured goods and camelid wool products for export. The city has close trade ties with Chile, Bolivia and Brazil.

The city was founded on August 15, 1540 by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal as "Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción". During the Colonial period, Arequipa became highly important for its economic prosperity and for its loyalty to the Spanish Crown. After Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Arequipa acquired greater political significance, and was declared the capital city of Peru from 1835 to 1883.

The historic center of Arequipa spans an area of 332 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic heritage, natural scenery and cultural sites make the city a major tourist destination. Its religious, colonial, and republican architectural styles blend European and native characteristics into a unique style called "Escuela Arequipeña”.

The city is located at 2,328 metres (7,638 ft) of elevation above sea level. The central part of the city is crossed by the Chili River from north to south; to the north and east of Arequipa are the Andes mountains, while to the south and west there are minor mountain ranges associated to the Andes. The valley of Arequipa, open toward the coast, plays a key role in allowing Arequipa to be a city that strategically links the coastal and highland regions of southern Peru.

A series of volcanic cones dominate the city skyline. These are: Misti, and the extinct volcanic groups Pichu Pichu and Chachani. The western slopes of the Andes in the region feature thick layers of volcanic lava that cover large areas.

The region has a semi-arid and temperate climate. The rainy season begins in December and ends in April.


The Catholic University of Santa Maria was created on December 6th, 1961, becoming the third private national university and the first outside the Capital City.

Its human medicine school accredits higher levels of competitiveness quality, ethics and excellence in fulfilling its mission and contributes to strengthening of health, under a humanistic conception.

We count with 2 hospitals (Yanahuara Hospital and Honorio Delgado Regional Hospital) which have all the specialities according to the incoming.


We are a scientific society that carries out research activities in various areas on an ongoing basis;we have university laboratories and hospital centers that facilitate the practice of knowledge to our students.


Your accommodation will be made with the family of a medical student. You will be provided at least two meals per day. They and your contact person will make your stay in the most appropriate way.


You will be staying in the students family home. You will have basic services: water, electricity, internet,etc. It is only asked to respect and comply with the rules of coexistence of the house in which you stay.You must contact the LEO and the host as soon as you receive your reception card, you can ask any questions.


The access and exit ways to and from the city are 2:

  • Land route: The Arequipa International Terrapuerto and the Terrestrial Terminal located in Jacinto Ibañez Street in the Jacobo Hunter district from which the city and region of Arequipa connects by land to all of Peru.
    • From Lima to Arequipa the journey lasts 16 hours
  • Via air:  Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón International Airport located in the Cerro Colorado district.
    • From Lima to Arequipa, the trip lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Public transport is handled by buses, micros, taxicabs.

The word micro is used as an abbreviation for microbus (minibus). Both (buses and micros) are also known as “combis”. These privately owned vehicles are not only known for being very cheap and convenient but also for being rather risky.

The various routes are specified by a kind of signs on the buses.


Social program is organized with activities that we assure will not disappoint them,among them we include walks,tour in the countryside,excursions to the Colca Canyon,nightlife,international dinner,you can also do some adventure, among others. The student can schedule trips out of the city on his own,for which we can guide him. Peru is a country
with a truly varied and beautiful culture! Students can travel to Ica,Cusco,Puno (they are our recommendations).


Most important places to see in the town and around the town.

City tour

It could be by walk or bus

Religious and civil-public monuments like: Arequipa Cathedral and Museum, The Society of Jesus Church and Complex, these as well as other colonial churches, bridges, etc.


Campiña tour

The countryside of Arequipa is one of the areas to know, surrounding by pre Incas terraces following largest river comes from the highlands. It’s a very attractive and easy touring, give many possibilities to explore walking, biking, riding a horse, etc.


Colca canyon

Is a canyon of the Colca River, located about 100 miles northwest of Arequipa. With a depth of 10,725 ft (3,270 m), it is one of the deepest in the world, second in Peru after the Cotahuasi Canyon and more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots, and towns founded in Spanish colonial times, still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures. The local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces.



The culinary traditions of Arequipa, the White City, can be best enjoyed in the so-called picanterías. A good meal starts with hot red peppers stuffed with minced meat, spices, cheese, eggs and milk (rocoto relleno); then the so-called “soltero” made of broad beans, corn, olives and chopped hot red peppers; and ocopa or sliced potatoes with peanut, onion and cracker cream and, finally, chicharrones or “deep-fried” pork. Favorite desserts are fritters made of flour, eggs and milk and bathed in molasses syrup; “queso helado” cinnamon, coconut and spices ice cream, plus chocolates and toffees.

Good local beers, regional sodas and corn beer called chicha de jora are popular. Digestives are “té piteado” (tea and anise liqueur) or Nájar anise liqueur.




Some documents are requesting for the LEO so it is necessary that LEO contact with students in advance.
All specialties necessarily require the intern to speak Spanish at least at a basic or intermediate level. Otherwise, the Local Association or the Hospital will not be responsible if the assigned Doctor does not understand the language.