Spanish Immersion and Lifelong Friends Past Review

By (University of Louisville) - abroad from 05/13/2017 to 07/01/2017 with

Mexico Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I believe this is exactly where I was meant to be. I gained the language skills I was looking for, learned a lot about myself, and am ending this program feeling confident not only in Spanish but in my personal life. Traveling abroad is always a good idea, and combining it with my education was a wonderful experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

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.

Of the four classes I took, I thoroughly enjoyed three of them and was a little disappointed in one. I think it has mostly to do with the teaching style of the particular professor, which happens everywhere. I just didn't learn well from here and it caused some frustration when it came time for exams. However, most of my classes were absolutely wonderful and I loved the professors!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors of SOL were always available, patient, and kind. I feel as if I have gained friends in these two inspiring women!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At first, there were a few hurdles to cross (what I believe to be now was simply an adjustment period), but I ended up becoming very close with my host mom. We developed a wonderful trusting relationship that I will always cherish.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I took the initiative to get out and experience as much as I possibly could. After making some local friends, I feel completely integrated and happy here. I even decided to stay after the program just to enjoy the culture more!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any serious problems, just issues with digestion and a little bout of food poisoning...but it passed on its own. I think caution with food is the most important factor to avoid illness.

* Safety:

Oaxaca is just like any other place. You need to exercise caution, especially when carrying valuables or walking alone at night. However, at no point did I ever feel threatened or unsafe here. Just be smart.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much as possible before you go, especially if you are used to having an income. Everything was really affordable here, but the hard part for me was going without a paycheck for 7 weeks.


* 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? Intermediate
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? Beginner Spanish 3
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? Don't be afraid to use it as much as possible and to make mistakes! It's inevitable, but the more you try, the faster you will learn.

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
  • 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?
  • Language Immersion
  • Host Family
* What could be improved?
  • I honestly can't think of anything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring more close-toed shoes and a wider variety of clothes to be prepared for the weather.

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.'