The greatest summer ever where I learned what its like to be a Mexican Past Review

By (Brigham Young University) - abroad from 06/25/2012 to 08/13/2012 with

Brigham Young University: Merida - Mexico Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about how there are other systems than the US and that there are good things from everyone that we can learn from. I learned what it was like to be in the culture as a normal person instead of as a missionary. That was real fun. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: La Universidad Modelo
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was really good, the classes weren't as tough and we had little warning on what grades we were getting but they were great courses.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was amazing. They did a wonderful job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our family was the best. They really did become like family and we loved being with them, talking, going to do activities, ect.

* Food:

The food was amazing. I love la comida mexicana. The only big adjustment was they don't use ice, or refrigeration as much as I am accustomed to in America. One bad experience with mayonesa being left out for a while but other than that great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like we really were integrated. Like we all became one of them. We made lots of friends with the locals especially through our church we were able to do activities with other youth our age and that was really fun.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't really have any problems, so to my knowledge it was great.

* Safety:

I felt super safe and we never had any incidents. Merida is a very calm city. We could walk the streets at night and not have any problems.

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)

We paid over $4000 up front for the program. Once we got out there the main expense was transportation which costed about 200 pesos a week or $18 and then anything else we spent on souveniers.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn the bus routes, don't ride the taxis. They cost a lot. Eat with your family to save money on food. Fill up your water bottle at home instead of buying one from the store everyday.


* 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

We strove to completely immerse ourselves in the language. It was amazing to learn and improve our Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 321
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? No tengas pena. Just do your very best to speak it all the time. Its hard at first but if you really push yourself it will come a lot faster.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The People
  • Viewing the sites
  • Being a part of a family
* What could be improved?
  • Better grading system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? What would have happened with my grades at the end. Other than that I felt my professor prepared me pretty well, we did the homework before we went to get to know what there would be.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish 395

Course Department: Humanities
Instructor: Gustavo
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: It wasn't too challenging but I learned a whole lot about the culture maya that before I had known nothing. We were graded by papers and projects. A lot more lecutres and less class participation but I feel that is how the teaching style is in Mexico.
Credit Transfer Issues: My credits transferred great but I feel there may have been a mistake in the grades I received. I'm currently working to resolve it.