Great experience August 07, 2018

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 06/01/2018 to 07/01/2018 with

CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
If you are looking for an amazing culture filled experience, look no further!! I have recently returned from Mexico and had a great time. I was able to meet a lot of great friends from Mexico as well as from many other countries around the world. When I arrived in Guanajuato my Spanish was very basic, I knew some words and phrases but that was about it. After a month in the program, I was speaking fluently on a conversational level and able to interact and engage in many facets of Mexican society and culture. Guanajuato is a really special place, it is big enough to always have something to do and explore, but small enough to maintain some of its old world charm. Think cobblestone streets, old beautiful cathedrals, and narrow alleyways filled with museums and cafes. I was able to travel to a few other cities in Mexico before I returned to the US, and Guanajuato remains my favorite. You will understand why when you get there! The reason this is such a great program is because it blends your education at the university with cultural events and trips with the Mexican people. You will attend classes at the University of Guanajuato, it is one of the best schools in Mexico and is centrally located in the heart of the city. There are over 20,000 students who attend the University which creates a really cool atmosphere in the city. It makes it really easy to meet other students and find out about parties/events etc. as you have a common bond with the other students. I made friends from all around the world who attended the school, and my Mexican friends helped me immensely with the language. In addition to your classes, you can take part in various events and trips set up by Fabiola the program director. We took a trip to Mexico City (which was awesome), went hiking, and attended many other cultural festivities. The program director Fabiola is the best, she takes care of everything and is always available for anything you need. More importantly, she arranges and goes to all the events with you, making your transition in a foreign country very smooth. I knew some friends in Guanajuato who were with other programs and they had a very different experience because their programs didn’t organize as well or introduce them to the local community. They were constantly coming to our CLA trips and events! Overall, I had an awesome summer and plan to return to Guanajuato soon. Sign up for this program, you won’t regret it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

You will take classes at the University of Guanajuato in various subjects. grammer, history, conversation etc. The instructors are fantastic!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program is very organized. Fabiola the program director is awesome and available for anything you might need.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great experience living with a local family. They were very accommodating and made me feel like "part of the family".

* Food:

Amazing. 3 traditional Mexican meals a day. What more could you ask for?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You will have many opportunities to make friends and become part of the culture

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Guanajuato is a very safe place. Don't listen when people try and tell you otherwise that "Mexico isn't safe". Yes its true there are places in Mexico which probably should be avoided, but GTO is not one of them. You will run into Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and international students on a daily basis just living their lives. Don't worry about it you will be fine, have faith!

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

Finances

* 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)

The dollar to peso is very favorable for Americans/Canadians/Europeans etc. You can live very well on just a little

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $ 50-75

Language

* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Fabiola-The program director
  • City
  • events/trips
* What could be improved?
  • Can't think of anything
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't worry too much about trying to cram in a bunch of Spanish study before you go. Once you get down there your Spanish will really take off on its own

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'