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Quechua Language Program

Quechua: Why study Quechua?

What is Quechua? Where is it spoken? How many people speak it? Why study it? And what has any of this got to do with Star Wars? Learn the answer to these and other questions you may have about Quechua and the Quechua language program at U-M from a current student. And don't forget you still have time to apply for a FLAS scholarship to study this and other qualifying languages!

Quechua is an indigenous language of South America. Once spoken in the Inka Empire, it now has an estimated 8-10 million speakers in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and other Andean countries.

Learn the language and culture of the Quechua people in LACS 471-476: Elementary Quechua 1&2, Intermediate 1&2, and Advanced 1&2. This FLAS-eligible course is an essential resource for students interested in working with indigenous communities of the Andes.

Quechua Instructor Adela Carlos Rios, Lecturer II in Latin American & Caribbean studies, is a native of Cusco, Peru, and speaks Quechua as her first language. Adela has been teaching Quechua at the University of Michigan since fall 2014. She has a research interest in Quechua ethnobotany, or how the Quechua people utilize medicinal plants to improve their health and maintain their cultural identity.

Beginning winter 2019, LACS will make the Quechua courses (starting with Quechua Intermediate II) available to Big Ten institution students through Big Ten CourseShare, a distance-learning curriculum sharing system established by a consortium of Midwestern universities. For inquiries, please contact:

Quechua at U-M: A comprehensive Quechua language program featuring beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Quechua in Cusco: To complement our academic year Quechua offerings in Ann Arbor we also conduct, each summer, an intensive, immersing, summer program in Cusco, Peru.

The Summer language program in Quechua is in partnership with Centro Tinku.

  • Centro Tinku offers the same three levels of Quechua language offered in Ann Arbor –beginning, intermediate, advanced—compressed into seven weeks
  • Classes meet daily for four hours per day, for a total of 140 language instruction contact hours per course—the equivalent of a full academic year on campus
  • To complement the language training, participants also experience a series of lectures on Quechua culture and history and are guided on an extensive program of excursions and cultural events. Enrollment will be limited to 10 at each level

We recommend a basic-to-intermediate knowledge of Spanish, as this will be the bridge language used in class.

Dance troupe in Cusco at the start of Qoyllur Rit'i, an annual pilgrimage to Ausangate Mountain (May 27, 2018)

Applying to the Quechua Language Program in Cusco

The beginning and ending dates of this year's program are June 21 - August 6, 2021. Tuition and fees will be $3250*. As this year’s program will be virtual, there is no additional cost for room and board.

Please note: While students may opt to receive U-M credit by enrolling in the corresponding course, this enrollment is not required. Students enrolling for credit at Michigan will be required to pay Michigan tuition in addition to other program fees. U-M undergraduate students receive U-M credits by paying Centro Tinku's tuition and fees as well as a CGIS administrative fee of $450. Bear in mind that, regardless of whether they enroll through Michigan or directly through Centro Tinku, the same academic criteria will apply to all students. 

Related Link: CGIS Application »

Non-UM students may email to enroll directly with Centro Tinku.

* Centro Tinku may be able to offer financial aid for Latin American participants with no other source of funding. Contact for more information.