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  • Locations: Iquitos, Peru; Lima, Peru; Nauta, Peru; San Juan, Peru
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Landscape Architecture Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English Estimated Program Fee: 3100
UW Program Director: Austin Bidman, Jorge Alarcon, Leann Andrews UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Ruby Machado Shields
UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Iquitos, Peru
Academic Term Early Fall
08/17/2019 - 09/14/2019
Estimated Program Fee $3,550
Credits 5
Prerequisites None
Program Directors Jorge A. Alarcon |
Austin Bidman |
Program Manager Ruby Machado Shields|
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2019
Extended Application Deadline March 3, 2019
Information Sessions TBD - Please contact program directors for more information

Program Description

Iquitos, a city in the Amazon Rainforest, is the fifth largest city in Peru with 0.5 million people. The organically formed urban development has exacerbated poverty levels and social inequity with profound implications to quality of life, health and well-being and ecological resilience. This interdisciplinary exploration seminar is offered by the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Global Health. The program will immerse students in contemporary interdisciplinary dialogue surrounding the intersection of urban design, global health and ecology in the vulnerable yet globally valuable Amazon ecosystem. Students will study the last pristine ecosystems in the Amazon Rainforest and compare to new urban nodes outside the reserves as well as mature urban development that are coming face-to-face with social, ecological and health crises at a local level, and climate change impacts at the global scale. Students will also visit projects and initiatives that lead efforts aimed to mitigate these problems and will apply tools to research, document and assess the built and natural environment that will extend ongoing design and research projects of the Informal Urban Communities Initiative. Students in the program will also work with local Peruvian students potentially from the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía and Universidad Científica del Peru to explore the social and environmental drivers and impacts of rapid urbanization in the Peruvian Amazon and their impacts on human and environmental health. This program will include three general areas of study – 1) Social, Cultural and Ecological Context 2) Community Based Participatory Action and Community Intervention 3) Health and Built Environment Impact Research and Intervention Assessment - and will place particular emphasis on the assessment of a built environment intervention and evaluating the impacts on human and environmental health in an underserved informal urban community in the Peruvian Amazon. The program will include lectures and discussions, organizational site visits, field trips, community workshops, and field assessments. Students will examine questions such as: What are the social, political and environmental drivers and implications of rural-urban migration? What are the socio-cultural, spatial and material characteristics of Iquitos' public spaces and their impacts on health? What are the everyday conditions of life for people and animals in the Peruvian Amazon like? How might community based participatory action and community interventions in the built environment serve as agents of positive change in underserved communities?




Iquitos, Peru


Iquitos: We will spend much of the program in Iquitos. Students will stay in rental housing located in the district of Iquitos. This area is a safe setting for students, convenient for all activities and easily accessible for guest lecturers and Peruvian students. Students will have a shared kitchen in their rental units to prepare food and will be responsible for their own meals. The housing should be paid in cash in advance of the program.The following additional services will be provided to students; Dedicated vehicles/bikes for transportation Airport pickup/drop-off for students Conference room for discussions, lectures, and program activities Field Trips: We will take a 7 day field trip to the Pacaya Samiria Preserve. During the Pacaya Samiria field trip we will stay at a lodge located at the border of the preserve and will camp for 1-2 days inside the preserve.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

None Students will participate in field activities that may require significant physical exertion. During field trips we will be hiking to reach community projects/initiatives and other sites.


5 UW Quarter Credits


L ARC 495/ GH571: Urban Development and Human and Ecological Health in the Amazon Rainforest. (5 credits) VLPA, I&S, NW, Diversity

The program begins with excursions to the last pristine ecosystems in the Amazon rainforest and then visits to the new urban nodes to understand the social, ecological and health crises in these areas. The student will visit projects that lead efforts to mitigate these problems and will learn tools to assess different aspects of the city. The program will include three general areas of study – 1) Social, Cultural and Ecological Context 2) Community Based Participatory Interventions 3) Health and Built Environment Impact Research Students will examine questions such as: What are the social, political and environmental drivers and implications of rural-urban migration? What are the socio-cultural, spatial and material characteristics of Iquitos' public spaces and their impacts on health? What are the everyday conditions of life for people and animals in the Peruvian Amazon like? How might community based participatory action and community interventions in the built environment serve as agents of positive change in underserved communities?

Learning goals include:
To help students cultivate interdisciplinary critical, multi-scalar systems thinking, creativity research and practical skills to analyze and respond to development issues in Peru and other developing countries. To introduce students to the processes of rural urban migration and the challenges of ecosystem resilience and poverty through a combination of theoretical exploration, technical experimentation, first-hand engagement and reflection. To promote the value of interdisciplinary activism and design thinking as a creative, synthetic approach to problem solving in complex developing contexts. To strengthen student knowledge of and competency in health assessment in the built environment. To promote learning and research through the application of knowledge and engagement with communities To strengthen students' ability to work both independently and collaboratively across cultures, to learn from success and failure and to adapt to unfamiliar and evolving circumstances..




Jorge A. Alarcon
Lecturer, Landscape Architecture

Mr. Alarcon holds an appointment in the Global Health Department and has been a Lecturer in the Landscape Architecture Department. He is a Peruvian architect, and holds a Master in Landscape Architecture and Certificate in Global Health from UW. His skills in both these areas are demonstrated in being dually honored as a Fogarty Global Health Scholar with the National Institutes of Health (2009) and an Olmsted Scholar with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (2016). He is bilingual in both Spanish and English, and speaks basic Portuguese. He has more than ten years of professional experience in design and construction with impoverished communities in Peru, and has been conducting research and teaching US undergraduates and graduate students for nine years, three of which took place in Iquitos. He has lead Exploration Seminars in Peru since 2011 and has lead design and research projects involving students in Iquitos since 2015.

Austin Bidman
Affiliate instructor with FCN, School of Nursing

Austin is a licensed nurse with a background in Geography and Spanish. She was awarded the first Global Nursing Scholarship from the University of Washington's School of Nursing to do research in Iquitos, She was a Fogarty-Kuskaya Global Health Fellow to continue researching health systems in Peru. Her research experience focus on community health, global health, clinical health, first AID and environmental health. She has experience leading interdisciplinary projects and teams abroad and has been co-director of this program in 2019.

Leann Andrews
Affiliate assistant professor

Leann Andrews is a lecturer in the Landscape Architecture Department, a PhD Candidate in the Built Environment Program, and holds a Master in Landscape Architecture and Certificate in Global Health from UW. She has been working with impoverished communities in Peru alongside Mr. Alarcon since 2011, and has experience leading students across many different disciplines in academic programs both Lima and Iquitos. Leann has been working in Iquitos since 2015; she spent the 2016-2017 Academic Year as an NIH Fogarty Global Health Scholar stationed in Iquitos- throughout the year she led 6 students and 6 faculty from a variety of departments at UW on academic and research endeavors. Aside from teaching and research, her professional background is in ecological restoration, community activism and sustainable urban design



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $3,550

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - 900.00-1200.00 USD)
  • Food (about 8.00 - 15.00 USD)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 11, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW Study Abroad administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Below are some ways to find additional support.

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once you have submitted a contract. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal application is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Additional Info

Local airplane tickets (Lima-Iquitos-Lima) will be included. All meals during field activities are included. During the time in the city, breakfast and lunches will be included.