This winter, the first cohort of students from the UArizona microcampus in Lima, Peru, are graduating from the University of Arizona. Seventeen of those students are from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, majoring in either communication or philosophy, politics, economics, and law (PPEL).
“SBS is proud of our first cohort of UPC graduates and commend them on their hard work and dedication,” said Amy Kimme Hea, associate dean of academic affairs and student success in the College of SBS. “We are particularly pleased that some of these students have been able to come to Tucson for the semester and the convocation ceremony.”
The students are enrolled through our microcampus partner Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) in Lima, Peru. With microcampuses, students can earn both a University of Arizona degree and a degree from the partner university. UArizona and local professors offer the courses collaboratively in a co-teaching environment.
“Our partnership with UPC has been pivotal for the People College as research and teaching in global contexts is part of our mission, part of how faculty define their work,” said Kimme Hea.
The microcampus at UPC offers six academic paths, including accelerated master’s options, allowing students to earn up to three degrees in as little as five years. In addition to communication and PPEL, students can study architecture, business, and industrial engineering. Students can complete the degrees entirely in Lima and have an option to study at the main campus in Tucson for a semester.
Five of the SBS graduating students took classes on the UArizona Tucson campus this fall through the Study Arizona experience.
Arizona Global asked communication major Javier Emilio Gonzales about his experience. “The part I love the most is that you get to meet people that you would not have otherwise met! You are exposed to a lot of different perspectives, cultures, and languages!” he said. “At a big university, like UArizona, there is a strong international community and that makes students like me, who are far away from home, feel safe here!”
Another five students are traveling to Tucson from Peru for the graduation ceremony.
Fernando Peraldo Alegre, a PPEL major, was hoping to study on the UArizona campus this fall and attend the convocation ceremony in person, but was unable due to COVID and other obstacles.
“However, the program has left me with enormous academic and personal development experience,” Fernando said. “I have been able to meet wonderful colleagues, and the university professors have been truly incredible, both from Arizona and from UPC.”
Fernando is excited to graduate and to complete this “great goal” he set for himself.
“I am left with beautiful moments and a feeling of discovery for the continuation of my academic life,” Fernando said. “The language and the academic load have been incredible challenges to overcome, but the one that really affected the development of the program was the COVID. Even so, my family managed to support me to continue the program, for which I am very pleased to say that I ACHIEVED IT.”
Fernando plans to continue with the master’s program next year and wants to visit campus “so I can feel like a complete Wildcat.”