Peru is a former Spanish colony that has turned into a cultural melting pot, and while its traditions and architecture are very much alive, it is also a place where students can be exposed to many cultural influences.

Having the legacy of the Incas and many other cultures that have made Peru their home in the past centuries, the country is a popular study destination for history buffs and international students looking for a completely unique academic experience. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in  Peru for international students.

Is Peru good for international students to study in?

Many universities in Peru have been ranking among the top higher learning institutions in prestigious world rankings and are also affordable for international students. Just in 2021, there are 20 Peruvian universities featured in the QS University Rankings in Latin America. There are several high-quality courses you can earn in Peru, but most students pursue degrees in Engineering, Accounting, Business Administration, Education, and Law.

Peru has some of the most affordable cities for international students as well. In fact, the capital city of Lima placed 22nd in the QS Best Student Cities for Affordability. From competitive tuition fees to student-friendly living costs, it is easier for international students to adjust to Peru while on a budget.

Those interested in learning foreign languages can find a haven in Peru. While the official language is Spanish, there are over 50 other languages spoken in the country. Simply living in its cities will give you enough exposure and knowledge.

Can international students work in Peru while studying?

At the moment, foreign nationals and holders of a Peruvian student visa are not allowed to engage in paid professional work. Students interested in paid internships and part-time jobs may have to apply first for a special authorization with the Peruvian Migration Office or through their virtual application.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can international students stay in Peru after graduation?

International students can stay in Peru after graduation to start their professional careers. However, the graduate must first receive an offer of employment from a Peruvian company that will sponsor a work visa with the Peruvian Labor Ministry. Foreign nationals can apply for a temporary work permit for a maximum of one year of employment, and a regular work visa for longer periods.

Best Universities in Peru

1. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH)

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, also known as the Cayetano Heredia University, is the best university in Peru for international students. It carries the name of Cayetano Heredia, one of the greatest Peruvian physicians in the 19th century, a fitting name indeed for one of the top medical schools in the country. In addition to medicine, the university educates students in psychology, stomatology, nursing, public health, veterinary medicine, philosophy, and education.

While a small school with around 2000 students, the UPCH has established a good reputation in Latin America and the world. It was the first university in Peru to receive international accreditation, and since has numerous agreements with leading universities abroad, such as Johns Hopkins University, University of California Berkeley, and much more.

2. Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP)

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, or Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, is the oldest private university in the country. It began in 1917 with only two schools – laws and letters – but has expanded through the decades to offer engineering, economics, political sciences, education, communication, architecture, social sciences, and the arts. This top university in Peru for international students also manages 17 research institutes and research centers and have been notable worldwide for their Structures Laboratory and their Center of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies.

PUCP harbors a tapestry of different nationalities in their student body every year. The university’s location in Lima will introduce students to a tapestry of different cultural influences, including Amerindians, Japanese. Chinese, Afro-Peruvians, and much more.

3. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM)

The National University of San Marcos, or Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Spanish, began its operation in 1551 by a royal decree by Emperor Charles V. The time-honored institution is sometimes called the Dean University of the Americas since it is the oldest university in continuous operation in the Americas. Today, it has over 20 faculties organized into five academic fields, namely economic and management sciences, health sciences, basic sciences, humanities and social sciences, and engineering. There are also over 30 centers that facilitate research in almost all of the said areas of knowledge.

As one of the top universities in Peru, the UNMSM has greatly contributed to the cultural scientific development of Peru. So far, it is the only public university to have ranked first in national university rankings, and gain top places internationally as well.

4. Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina (UNALM)

The Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina, also called the National Agrarian University, is a public Peruvian university specializing in the fields of agricultural, biological, and forestry sciences. It is also the only university in the country offering degrees in meteorology. Organized into eight faculties and twelve departments, this top university in Columbia offers undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7000 students, as well as short courses, refresher programs, and technical knowledge programs in gardening, hydroponics, raising small animals, dairy and meats, and many more.

While students receive high-quality degree programs, they can also enjoy the university’s riding school, language center, and even agro-products that the school offers to the community. All of these activities are done in UNALM’s suburban-like campus in the metropolitan city of Lima.

5. Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC)

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, also referred to as the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, is one of the young universities in Peru established in 1994. During its foundation, It first offered degree programs in architecture, engineering, and communications. Shortly afterward, it came to educate students in business management, law, humanities, health, hotel administration, arts and music, education, and psychology.

Within a short period of time, UPC has developed its own unique brand in the academic scene and became one of the best universities in Peru for international students. Its innovative reputation has since engaged many international students from over 20 countries around the world.


I hope that this article on the best universities in Peru for international students was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!