The Exciting Life of Oaxaca! Past Review

By (Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies., Pacific Lutheran University) for

Pacific Lutheran University: Oaxaca - PLU Gateway Program in Mexico

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad has increased my patience and compassion, improved my flexibility, opened my eyes to the importance of sustainability, and shown me that being culturally and globally aware is very important.

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.

The education I received in Mexico was just as good or better than what I would have gotten at PLU. My professors were all professional and had an impressive level of expertise in their area of study while helping us improve our Spanish skills. My only complaint was my literature class was poorly planned at times and we constantly had to adapt to syllabus and other changes but I believe this was an example of cultural differences.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My institute seemed a little disorganized but this I think was due to their relaxed culture. For example, when I needed something done by an ICO staff member it would take me a few days whereas in the United States I would receive what I needed either immediately or within a day. They also were inflexible with anything related to money. If we had to pick up copies of assignments for a class they wanted nearly exact change which was hard to come across, or they would let you take the copies but frequently ask you for the money multiple times a day even though it would not be possible to not or forget to pay because our university leader is always on campus and is informed of everything we need for classes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family treated me as if I was their own daughter and would include me in everyday tasks like grocery shopping and also make special trips to introduce me to more of Oaxaca.

* Food:

Food quality was amazing! You would hardly ever leave the table hungry!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Be very harsh with the men in Oaxaca. If a man approaches you and is saying odd/uncomfortable things completely ignore them. If you respond or even look at them the men take it as an invitation to continue and it might take awhile to shake them off. If you have any problem, ask your university leader because they have probably had to deal with the problem before with other students.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Host Family, Local Oaxacans, Professors, Staff at my institution

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be flexible! You cannot control a lot of what happens around you and to you. You have to just deal with what comes to you and learn from the experience.