Great experience in Oaxaca! November 12, 2019

By (University of Tennessee - Chattanooga) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 12/11/2018 with

SIT Study Abroad Mexico: Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much more about the U.S. and my own hometown than I expected. To explore my own system of beliefs and values from an outside perspective was eye-opening and perhaps the most important part of the experience.

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 quality of the classes was very high. I learned a lot of Spanish and a lot about migration theory and history without the unnecessary stress of frequent examinations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Support for my program was strong, and the administrators were always kind and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay--a house that was also a small family restaurant--was amazing. My host family was endlessly supportive and really made the experience feel like a second home.

* Food:

I lived in a restaurant in Oaxaca, so it was about as good as it gets.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A big part of the program is learning to recognize our roles as Americans and outsiders in Mexico, but I felt as integrated as I could under the circumstances.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe throughout the trip. We spent a lot of time in the beginning going over safety and emergency procedures just in case.

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

Finances

* 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? I spent maybe $500 of personal money on food and gifts while in the program.

Language

* 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? I had completed my third semester of college-level Spanish.
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? Spend time talking with your host family! There are also plenty of Spanish-language shows on Netflix, watch them with Spanish subtitles on!

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
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?
  • Administrative Support
  • Cultural Excursions
  • Homestay Experience
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The time goes by so fast. Almost four months in Mexico passed in a flash.

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!