UDLAP is a very big international school Past Review

By (Elementary Education, Valparaiso University) for

Universidad de las Americas - Puebla / UDLAP : Puebla - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile because I not only learned Spanish but learned a lot about Mexico and myself.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I took all Spanish language courses so it would have been nice to mix and match and get a feel for some other classes that I would have really liked to take. Although I was there to learn Spanish I felt I got enough of that from everyone around me that my classes seemed unnecessary and somewhat boring.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The liason for Valpo, Pat, was amazing! She really helped us plan trips and helped us with the many problems we had. She also really encouraged us by explaining to us the many culture differences and helped us understand our host country more.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the dorm, Ray Lindley, on ULDAPs campus. Normally you can have up to 7 other roommates with four 2 bedroom rooms and share a living space but the first room I had only had four other girls. I then switched rooms because I didn't feel comfortable and ended up in my own bedroom with five other girls in the suite. There was a bathroom, washer and dryer, kitchen and refrigerator in the suite which was really nice. The suites are cleaned daily by housekeeping staff except on the weekends so it is always well kept. <br /><br /> The girls I lived with at first were very cliquey and not very inclusive and when I switched rooms it was better but the girls were still very exclusive in their friendship. The dorm I stayed in was right on campus so I was about a 5 minute walk to the other buildings for classes which was nice. Campus is locked down with gates and security eveywhere so it is very safe.

* Food:

Some food I had never heard of before even though I have had experience with Mexican cuisine so I had many foods I didn't enjoy. There isn't much accomodation for dietary restrictions let alone explanation for each entree so you really aren't sure what you are eating because no one can explain it sometimes. Some restaurants right by the school I enjoyed were Tiki, Karma Bagel, and one of the restaurants in the boxcar place. There is also American cuisine available in walking distance of campus such as Papa Johns, McDonalds, Starbucks and Burger King.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone enjoys drinking and going to the bars and clubs, that is basically the only social events that happen. I wasn't in to drinking. I enjoyed visiting other parts of Mexico though and seeing museums and archeological sites.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There's a free clinic on campus for students that get sick (every study abroad student got sick at some point) that provided prescriptions and other services. I always felt safe because campus was locked down. I was safe walking around at night as well but it's important to always have one other person with you. Men whistle all the time at females so you may feel like you are on display but the whistling is harmless and as long as you ignore it, by the time you walk past it, it's over. There are tons of stray dogs on the street which won't come up to you so you'll be fine.

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? I can't really average how much I spent per week but meals were significantly cheap. An average meal I would say is about 30 pesos which is about 3 american dollars which is not bad at all! Bus fare is 5 pesos per way which is about .38 cents. If you go to the mall it's incredibly expensive so I never bought anything there, so bring enough clothes and stuff. I went grocery shopping a lot and for two weeks of food it cost me about 400 pesos which is about 25-30 dollars. I went to the movie theatre a lot and it's about 30 pesos for a ticket which is about 2 dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Money for printing papers and such for class (about a peso a page), money for books (I spent about 500 pesos which is about 40 dollars).


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

I don't think there is a clear assessment of one's ability to speak pre and post study abroad experience and I definitely feel there are things I could have done differently to make me learn more but I certainly learned Spanish through speaking it and listening to it and living it daily.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students that want to come away with a great understanding of Spanish and many colloquial phrases will definitely benefit from studying abroad in Mexico.