Peru - BIO210Y5 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology

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The Course

The design of the human body. Topics include locomotory and other major organ systems, integrating structure and function. A comparative approach is taken, placing the design of the human body in an evolutionary context.

Exclusion: BIO210H5

Prerequisites: BIO152H5, BIO153H5

The Trip

Operation Groundswell’s “Healthcare in Development” program explores Peru’s long history of traditional medicine and more recent transition to “modern” healthcare. From the cobblestone streets of the Incan capital of Cusco to remote farming villages in the surrounding Sacred Valley, we’ll explore traditional Andean ways of life and learn about Peruvian healthcare as it is practiced today. We’ll visit local clinics, dig into sustainable agricultural, taste highland cuisine, interact with traditional medicine, and examine holistic approaches to health and wellness. Work with classmates, Professor Sanja Hinic-Frlog, a UTM staff member on innovative community initiatives and learn alongside local practitioners.

The immersive classroom will challenge students physically while pushing them to think critically about healthcare and service delivery in a unique cultural landscape. 

Travel alongside other students, a UTM staff member and our partners from Operations Groundswell

Want a student perspective? Read these student blogs from the students who went on the experience in the past!

Peru-dise blog

The art of observation blog

Good Attitude, Meds and Suncreen blog

Activities Include

  • Visit modern health clinics in Cusco and see how traditional medicinal practices continue to serve marginalized populations in the Sacred Valley;
  • Trek through the Andes to see pre-Incan wall paintings and hidden lakes high up in the mountains;
  • Visit the Pisac ruins, one of the finest remaining Inca archeological sites in Peru with vast agricultural terraces and the largest known Incan cemetery.


Estimated cost of International Component*: CAD$3500-3800 

What is Included: Flights, transportation, accommodation, meals and in-country activities associated with the course. Funding Available!

What is NOT Included: Course fees, fees associated with travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance, additional optional tours/activities while abroad, visa applications, medical exams, vaccinations, and any other additional costs.

Funding: This experience is offered with the generous support of the Office of the Dean, which means;

  • All undergraduate UTM students enrolled in the course will receive $500 towards the international component of the course, should their application be successful.
  • Plus, additional bursaries will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need (not linked to OSAP) as shown in your funding request in your UTM Abroad application.
  • Read more about funding here!

Important Dates

Payment Timeline

Safety Abroad Workshops

Trip-Specific Deadlines & Sessions

Date Description
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 In-course Deadline

Sunday, October 30, 2018

Applications Close for Selected Students
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Orientation
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 OG Pre-Departure Session
TBD February Pre-Departure Session
Friday, February 15, 2019 - Sunday, February 24, 2019 Winter Study Break Travel Dates
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Post-Trip Session

Need to Know

  • The cost and itinerary are subject to change.
  • Students must be enrolled in BIO210Y5 and will be required to abide by the corresponding UTM Abroad application requirements and deadlines to participate in the international experience.
  • Payments can be made over five installments. Fees must be paid in full by the required deadlines.
  • To prepare for the trip, students attending will participate in a mandatory pre-departure and safety abroad session during the month of September.


Sample itinerary 

Day 1-3

Location: Cusco

Description: We’ll begin our journey in Cusco, the capital of a once mighty empire. There our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, smiles and altitude of the region. We’ll hit the city’s cobblestone streets and learn about the country’s colonial history before hiking to the Temple of the Sun and Moon for a glimpse of the valley’s Incan past.

Our mornings will be spent in a cozy guesthouse complete with a cup of coca tea. Then we’ll kickstart our conversation around the world of healthcare with a visit to Peru’s National University of Saint Anthony, tours of local clinics, and talks with innovative local practitioners. Then its time to taste traditional Andean food and hands-on learning about the health benefits of native grains and home-made energy bars. Still got room for dessert? We’ll take a chocolate- making workshop and hear about the healing powers of cacao.

By seeing the frontlines of service delivery, meeting with local businesses that promote healthy living, and engaging with NGO’s that leverage the tourist economy to improve health and wellness, Cusco will help us begin to unpack the idea of “healthcare in development” while students interact with some of the complexities and challenges in Peru posed by geography and inequality. 

Days 3-6

Location: Kausay Punku, Maska

Description: Next, our journey will take us to a family farm in the remote village of Maska, about an hour and a half outside of Cusco. The project, known as Kausay Punku, serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. There, we’ll learn about herbal and homeopathic medicine, natural construction, and traditional farming. Our days will be spent getting our hands dirty harvesting eucalyptus, building with adobe and distilling medicinal plants into pure essential oils. Evenings will be full of traditional cuisine from the sierra and real stories of the Inca. 

Day 6-7

Location: Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu

Description: In morning, we’ll set off to Aguas Calientes, the roadless outpost nestled just under the South America’s most famous archeological site. From there we’ll ascend the giant stairs that lead to the sun gates and down into the ancient city of Machu Picchu. On its iconic terraces, local guides will share with us the history of this wonder of the world and its continued importance to Peru. While exploring the ruins, we’ll also talk about the conservation efforts underway to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Before we descend back to Aguas Calientes, we can cap off our visit with an optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view of the ancient city from above the clouds. 

Day 7-9

Location: Cusco

Description: A staple of every OG program, disorientation is an opportunity to debrief as a group. So, back in Cusco we’ll get a chance to kickback, relax and reflect on our incredible journey. We’lll fill our bellies with ceviche and tell stories, we’ll sip Pisco sours and share lessons learned, we’ll sit under the stars and think about our impact and how we can do to bring it back home. 

*The itinerary is subject to change based on availability and requirements of the program.


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