Oaxaca is cool. Past Review

By (University of Houston) - abroad from 01/29/2017 to 04/29/2017 with

Mexico Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel like the Oaxacan culture made me more patient as a person. The way of life there is much slower compared to Texas. People aren't I met people very different from myself and got to understand some of the challenges they face every day.

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.

Intense, but one on one for my classes personally. From what I understood the Spring has less students per semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Eva was great. Knew all the nice spots, seemed to care about if we were having a good time while there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The family I stayed with was amazing. Just wonderful people who made me feel very welcome in their home.

* Food:

Nothing I can say that countless others have.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Integrated? Not too integrated. I'm a white guy (with Mexican heritage), so it isn't a shock to say I didn't feel like I was one with the culture. I did try to integrate as best I could. I made friends at the school but it was difficult to make relationships because of our language differences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I occasionally have intestinal issues when I eat nuts. A pain you cannot imagine. I have to contort myself into all sorts of shapes when it happens to feel any sort of relief (which there is little of) and its absolute agony. I have had to completely cut out almonds, peanuts, etc from my diet because of it. It happened on my birthday (April 9th) while I was in the program. The night before I ate something that made it flare up. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Different country, on my birthday, unable to sleep at 3 AM (symptoms starting showing about 1-2ish). It was terrible. I was able to communicate my issues to my host mother who had her English speaking daughter take me to a clinic in town. They prescribed me something to take and I was able to finally get to sleep. What happened sucked, but they knew exactly what to do and where to take me. I never felt like I was on my own. My host mother the entire time I was in agony was trying to figure out what to do and was able to find a solution.

* Safety:

Overall very safe. Just some areas I wouldn't go. If I had a map I would draw my "safe areas".

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

I had a wonderful time overall. There were challenges but there would be challenges in any other program.


* 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)

pretty easy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75-150 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of the host family cooking. It will save you tons of money.


* 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

5, Very encouraged. I went specifically for my foreign language credit so it made it helpful. We also had required 2 hours of talking with local students.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Honestly just practice practice practice. Talk with people. It's hard. But you are going to get better so fast if you just get after it.

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?
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Got my credits done in three week as opposed to 2 years.
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I would miss it when I left. :[

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish 1-4

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Karina Velasco
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: A very challenging course. The teacher was incredibly knowledgeable and well prepared, and went above and beyond at some times. I was assessed by homework and tests.
Credit Transfer Issues: UABJO seemed to do their job. Just waiting for UH to do theirs.