Mexican Culture in Guanajuato Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Rice University) for

Universidad de Guanajuato: Guanajuato - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really enjoyed my time abroad. Some of my best experiences came from after the program ended however - I stayed for an extra couple weeks to try to live on my own. I would highly recommend doing so, as it gives you the opportunity to use what you learned from the program and apply it to getting by without much assistance.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Summer 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was only one other student in both my classes, so we could move at a pace that suited us. The teachers were great, and whenever they noticed something we didn't quite understand, would go over it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They did a good job of organizing the excursions. They were very nice and helpful, and spoke mostly in Spanish.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The house was about a 20-25 minute walk from the school. I was with one other American student. Living there were the parents and two of their kids, aged 17 and 22, plus an older son and his son who came to visit often. <br /><br />

* Food:

I thought I might get tired of Mexican food before I arrived even though it was my favorite, but it never got old. My host parents were good cooks and served us plenty of food. Also, street vendors and small restaurants were plentiful, cheap, and delicious. I mainly ate tortas when not in the house, and there was a surprising number of pizzas places.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The workload was light, so we had plenty of opportunity to get out and interact in the town.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My host mom told me not to walk home after midnight, but I did quite a few times and never had any problems or felt threatened. None of the other students had any problems either from what I heard.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 taxied a few times, which cost about $3 each ride. Food was cheap: A slice of pizza and soda cost less than $1. A torta sandwich usually cost about $1.50, or $2 for a big one. Buses around town cost a quarter or two. Beer at the bars cost $1-2 usually, and shots from $3 up.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you go to Teotihuacan, or other tourist heavy areas, be prepared to deal with the most insistent and pestering salespeople you've ever met. Make sure you know how to haggle, and at what places it's appropriate to do so.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
Language acquisition improvement?

With only 2 semesters of Spanish taken before, I was nervous about speaking the language full time. The first few days, I was lost with most of what my family and teachers said, but by the end I was able to converse with them relatively easy. Also, I skipped a semester of Spanish coming back to my home university.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Try to not get too involved with the other Americans, or at least make a pact to speak only or mostly Spanish. My roommate was a complete beginner in Spanish so I got used to speaking a lot of English early on and it was hard to break the habit.