TMCC Students to Study in Peru

TMCC students and instructors
Rebecca A. Eckland

When somebody asks you, “What are you doing this summer?” chances are your answer will not include flying for 18 hours in order to climb to Machu Picchu, or sandboarding on the dunes outside of Lima, Peru. But on July 6, TMCC students Jack Sato, Marco Guillen, Seven Wendling, and Mary Savoy along with Welding Instructor Wyatt Ziebell will travel to Lima, Peru to attend the SENATI Institute for a 3-week journey that will include much more than time in the classroom. 

The purpose of the trip is to continue an on-going discussion—and exchange of ideas—on how to best educate students in the technical sciences, particularly in automotive and manufacturing technologies. “We’re going to be doing a lot of hands-on training,” said TMCC Automotive Technology Instructor Wyatt Ziebell. 

The SENATI Institute is an institution of higher education in Peru that provides technical training in the manufacturing industry. SENATI has several campuses across Peru and is attended by over 97,000 students. Several students from SENATI visited TMCC last summer and in addition to touring our Automotive, Diesel, Advanced Manufacturing and Welding programs, they explored our corner of the world by partaking in hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor activities offered in the Reno-Tahoe area.

The TMCC-SENATI International Student Exchange Program is funded by the Innovation Fund grant, a partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Embassy of Peru, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Innovation Fund grants created 13 new higher education partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and institutions in Peru. TMCC is the only two-year institution selected for the grant program and is the only college from the State of Nevada. Grants were funded by the U.S. Department of State, SEMPRA Energy and CAF: the Development Bank of Latin America.

Ziebell and the five TMCC students are traveling to Peru as a part of this exchange program that is a mutual benefit for SENATI students and TMCC students who, while they are in Peru, will train with SENATI instructors in manufacturing and automotive disciplines. “I really hope we get to see some light-duty diesel engine systems that we don’t get here in the States, specifically from Toyota,” said Jason Sato, who graduated from TMCC with an AAS in Automotive Technology in 2017 and who is continuing his education in Cyber-Physical Manufacturing. 

Mary Savoy, an automotive student, is also looking forward to learning from her experience at SENATI. “I’m looking forward to learning about best practices,” she said. “Not only those pertaining to TMCC’s automotive program, but also those pertaining to building and working with teams.”

The two-week trip will also include plenty of exploration and fun—forecasted activities include sandboarding, hiking, rafting, touring the city of Lima, dance lessons, horseback riding and a trip to Machu Picchu.  Sato, who is looking forward to sharing ideas about engine diagnosis just as much as adventure, admits that: “I’m really looking forward to really experiencing Peru—to breathe the air, to eat the food, to interact with the people, to immerse myself in their culture. I’m also looking forward to documenting the trip. I took a photography class in fall (Art 141) and I’m excited to put my skills to the test.”

“I get new information every day,” said Ziebell. “It’s just going to be an incredible experience.”

For more information about the programs offered in Applied Technologies at TMCC, contact the department at 775-856-5300.