What you make it! Past Review

By (University of Houston) - abroad from 05/14/2016 to 06/11/2016 with

Mexico Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned (again) that people are basically the same. The most important aspects of human life- family and friends- is basically the same. This was not my first time abroad. When I came to Oaxaca, I felt like I really melded with my family and the kids. The kids fought and played rough (like any other 3 and 5 year old). The parents were loving and our Host Mom (the Grandma) was very maternal. It was fabulous.

Review Photos

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Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was enough work to make the class meaningful and relevant, but not enough to interfere with my experience abroad. I was able to finish my minor which was great.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program directors were open and available at all times. They were always excited to share more about Oaxaca and help us make the most of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

She was nearly perfect. She would turn off the water at night which was problematic. Also, the water was brown that really threw me off in the beginning.

* Food:

Delicious! I never got sick eating the food by my host family. In fact, I did not get sick at all.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It depends. When I was off on my own, I was integrated. It was great because I had an opportunity to talk to the locals. When I was with the group I definitely felt insulated. I did not like being with the group. They were too insulated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I assume health care was adequate. I did not get sick so I would not know.

* Safety:

This city is only dangerous if you are stupid and act like a gullible tourist. This place is completely safe.

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

The program is an excellent value! Considering what I paid and the experience I received, the program is worth every penny.


* 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 US dollar is ridiculously strong in Mexico. I could travel very comfortably on $100 a week. It was amazing.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $100-$120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not go binge drinking every night and your money will last longer. Also, ask around for affordable places to go shopping. The more expensive places to shop are still relatively cheap by US standards, but if you want your money to go longer, ask around and find cheaper places.


* 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

It is a Spanish Immersion program. We paid to learn Spanish. They highly encouraged us to practice.

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? College level, 3000-4000. I was pretty fluent before I went.
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? Get away from your group and talk to strangers! Seriously, strike up a conversation with your teachers and locals and your host family. Try! People will meet you halfway.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • FOOD
  • Host Family
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • Immersion Aspect
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I escaped my group earlier. I wish I was not as afraid to go out to the city and get lost. I really wished I talked to more people and went out on my own more often.

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.'