A beautiful, memorable experience- I highly recommend Arcos August 30, 2023

By (Spanish Language, Literature, Mount Mary University) - abroad from 07/01/2023 to 07/29/2023 with

Arcos Learning Abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico (University of Oaxaca)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more appreciative of the little things we sometimes take for granted, like hot showers and an abundance of access to fresh water. I learned to not be wasteful with water

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I could not have imagined a better home stay arrangement. My host mother was so loving, kind, a great conversationalist, always was excited to chat about how our day was and share stories of her own.

* Food:

The food was amazing. Arcos took us to a cooking class where we learned to make mole negro and also learned about mezcal. Arcos also took us around the city often & introduced us to markets with amazing food, treated us to paletas, tlayudas and a home prepared typical Oaxacan meal. I was able to try a little bit of everything with Arcos and it was amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people in Oaxaca were very friendly and welcoming. Through our excursions and cultural activities there were so many opportunities to engaged with the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Like anywhere else in the world, be aware of your surroundings, & don't walk alone at night. Put your phone away and pay attention. This is especially important as a tourist. Oaxaca was very safe and I never had any safety issues while there.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Since 3 meals are provided by your home stay daily, it's not necessary to spend a ton of money on food. Transportation costs were minimal as Oaxaca was very walkable. On the occasion that we took a cab, we traveled in a group and split the fare. Oaxaca is a wise choice when looking for a destination to study abroad and not overspend.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I ate at my homestay often because the food was amazing & I enjoyed spending the time with my host mother. On average I spent about $20 a week to buy a matcha in the mornings and an occasional snack during my class break. At times I spent more if I went out with friends but the cost of food was minimal.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would recommend to eat meals with your host family to save money and experience traditional meals. When shopping I recommend to ask your host family or local friends where to go shopping if you plan to bring gifts back home. They are familiar with the area, well connected and can point you in the right direction.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Spanish courses
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Avoid the temptation to speak in English because it's easier. Push your self to speak Spanish as much as you can. People are friendly, patient and helpful when you are learning their language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The excursions
  • The food
  • Staff at Arcos, professors and my host mom
* What could be improved?
  • I only wish i could have stayed longer.
  • Oaxaca is a beautiful place with so much to offer.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Everything went smoothly for me, and the Arcos staff was very helpful if ever I had questions. I had a wonderful experience

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!