I loved Mexico! September 13, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/15/2019 to 07/20/2019 with

IFSA: Merida - Medical Spanish and Public Health in the Yucatan

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about the Public health issues in Mexico.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I wish we were following the syllabus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people in charge of the program such as Diana and Sandra were amazing and very useful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family was amazing and nice. They gave me my space when I needed it and allowed me to navigate Merida on my own, giving me recommendations as well. My room was big enough and sufficient closet space and dressers.

* Food:

My homestay parents tried their best to acommodate to my taste, but it was hard sometimes. They were very healthy people who watched what they ate so their food was very limited.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As a Mexican American, it was easy to integrate myself with the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor and my host mom took me. I had insurance so I was easily reimbursed.

* Safety:

Merida was a safe city. I would walk along at night and feel safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I want to explore more countries! I had a good time and I loved my experience, but there is more to the world than Merida, Mexico.

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)

Merida is a very inexpensive place to live compared to the United States, but it is not the cheapest place in Mexico. Bus tickets were 45 cents USD one way. Movie tickets were about $5 etc.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Even though it is cheap, I suggest you budget your money! Just because it is cheap doesn't mean you should buy it.

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

Because a majority of the people didn't know spanish, it was in english which bothered me.

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? Native Speaker
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

  • 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 food
  • Internship
  • Host Families
* What could be improved?
  • Academics
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To pack better clothes because it is hot, humid, and sweaty.