!IncreĆ­ble! My amazing summer with CLA Guanajuato March 08, 2020

By (Ohio State University - Columbus) - abroad from 06/29/2019 to 07/28/2019 with

CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I improved my Spanish skills, learned fun new slang, and also learned so much about Mexican history and culture. It was definitely worthwhile and I can't wait to go back!

Review Photos

CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture Photo CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture Photo CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture Photo CLA: Guanajuato - Summer Spanish & Culture Photo

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.

The courses were academically rigorous and my teachers were wonderful. I would have liked more opportunities for conversation partners or tutoring outside of classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was always able to get in touch with someone from the program if I needed anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was wonderful! They helped my Spanish skills improve and the food was delicious. I had my own bedroom and bathroom, and was able to do my own thing or hang out with them.

* Food:

The food was amazing! My host mom was an amazing cook and all of the food that I bought from restaurants or street venders was delicious. I would definitely recommend the fruit with chamoy - very fresh.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people of Guanajuato were very friendly and helped me feel like part of their family and not like an outsider. Fabiola and Samantha showed me awesome local places that were both tourist hot-spots and off the beaten path.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not run into any health problems during my stay, but there were many easily-accessible pharmacies where I picked up small things like Advil. Fabiola had information about the local healthcare system and was ready to help if I ever needed anything.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Guanajuato. It is a university town that also has lots of families, and the people are usually out late at night so I never felt unsafe walking home after grabbing dinner and drinks. Uber also works down there and I had good experiences with that as well.

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)

Living on a student's budget is very realistic in Guanajuato. However, I did quite a lot of souvenir shopping, which got to be a little pricy. But food and drinks are very affordable, as is the public transportation.

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

I came into this program with moderate-level Spanish skills, and I was spoken to only in Spanish by the program directors and my host family (unless there was something important that needed clarifying). I loved this because it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and learn so much so fast.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the 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

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The program leaders - Fabiola and Samantha
  • The food
  • The cultural exposure and excursions
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to get involved in the community during the summer (volunteering, conversation exchange, etc.)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known more about the fees associated with getting pesos from an ATM with an American credit card.