SOL is the program I could have chosen! Past Review

By (Spanish, University of Kentucky) - abroad from 01/30/2016 to 04/30/2016 with

Mexico Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
What I gained, besides near fluency in Spanish, was confidence and determination. This program was definitely worth while!

Review Photos

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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.

Sol provides top quality education given by instructors who design the courses for education abroad students in order to maximize learning potential.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the directors, teachers, and other administration employees work their hardest in order to ensure students' growth and satisfaction.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host houses are always clean and provide a lovely living space for students. My host home actually composed of a bedroom, office, and personal bathroom - an upgrade for me! The host families are always open to suggestions and ensure that students are safe, happy, and healthy.

* Food:

The host families make sure to accept and apply feedback from the students to make sure that we are provided with food we like to eat, even catering to special diets such as for vegetarians or those with diabetes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This program provides each of the students with an "intercambio" who is a local student studying English. It's recommended that 3 times a week for 1 hour each time the students join to practice English and Spanish language. There are also excursions and cultural activities which are ways to bring the students outside of the classroom and into the cultural to experience and practice first hand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was not required to receive any vaccines before entering the country, though options are always available for those who want to be extra careful. Everything in regards to healthcare within the country was easily accessible and ran smoothly. The program directors accompany the students to each appointment and provide information for any doubts regarding expenses. Sol has an international insurance program for those whose university or personal insurance plans do not cover internationally. Should Sol's plan not be accepted at any institution, the students are able to ask for a bill which can then be turned into the insurance company in order to receive compensation. The appointments and prescriptions are always affordable. I personally had to go to the doctor multiple times as well as a hospital once and to a lab to get some tests taken. I was able to afford all of it out of pocket but still will be able to send the bills to the insurance company to receive compensation for what I did spend.

* Safety:

The program directors and families always make sure the students are aware of any factors regarding safety. In particular, the Sol Oaxaca program is located in an extremely safe city. Students are able to be out late into the night without facing any issues.

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)

After paying tuition costs (which for me was barely over the academic tuition for my school), everything is pretty much paid for - meals, classes, materials, transportation, excursion, room, etc. It's extremely affordable. Students then can further decide their personal budget for outside travels, eating out, and souvenirs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bringing your own school supplies, snacks, and reusable water bottle can really help with costs. Some students had to buy notebooks, pens/pencils, snacks, and water bottles upon arriving - extra, unnecessary costs at times.


* 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

100% language practice is always recommended during the program duration although English is provided when necessary (such as for doctors appointments, meetings, etc.)

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Adv. 2
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I definitely advise actually practicing. Believe it or not, many students this semester took to only speaking in class and when necessary outside of class and weren't able to take advantage of the tools and opportunities provided. Those who did practice as much as possible have grown immensely in their abilities! Immersion and speaking is the best way to learn!

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
  • 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?
  • Variety of classes with great teachers
  • Cultural activities and excursions
  • Intercambios and opportunities to meet and practice with locals!
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This may sound funny, but I wish I had known to bring clothes I planned on leaving! Mexico has such a diversity of culture, traditions, and art that buying gifts and souvenirs may result in an overweight bag!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.