Eye-opening experience in Guanajuato Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/01/2012 to 07/29/2012 with

Mexico Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to appreciate another way of living. I learned how to listen to and understand others. I learned about a different culture which allowed me to feel more empathy for the people. Yes, it was very worthwhile. In the process of being submerged in a different culture, I naturally learned a lot about myself, how I am around other people, etc.

Review Photos

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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 felt like the prep class was too much work. I feel I could have learned just as much without being required to do so much work. Some of the homework I received felt like busy work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was no on-site administration of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a house apart from my host family. I feel I could have gotten to know my host family much better had I actually stayed in a room at their house where they lived. Instead, I only really went over to my host family's just for meals, so it was kind of awkward.

* Food:

The food was excellent but I did get sick from it a few times due to it not being sufficiently cooked.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy so much strawberries n' cream in the city.


* 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? 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? 322
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? Keep a notepad on you at all times and write down any words you hear in casual conversation that you don't know. Then, either look them up yourself or ask a native to explain the meaning of each word to you.

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

  • Other
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?
  • I liked that I was able to take classes in the field.
  • I liked that I lived with a host family
  • I liked how we got to make the experience our own and integrate ourselves into the culture.
* What could be improved?
  • Field studies mentors should not pressure the students to live in the rural village so much especially if their project would be better executed in the city
  • Even though the research project is supposed to be very self-initiated, I still think we could have received more guidance concerning our projects and how to go about doing field work.
  • The prep class could be more organized with not so much homework given out.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I can't think of anything at the moment.

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.'