Incredible Past Review

By (International Business, Valparaiso University) - abroad from 01/09/2012 to 05/15/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained extreme knowledge of the culture and better understanding of the people and their traditions, norms, and though processes. Also I succeeded in bettering my language skills. It was definitely worthwhile and an amazing experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The rigor is very different in comparison to my Valparaiso experience. The intensity of course work is much more relaxed in accordance with the lifestyle I experienced throughout my time abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The business program is very organized and efficient. Also, the foreign language department is extremely helpful and welcoming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Dorms are small but homey and it is nice to have the opportunity to practice Spanish while living with Mexican students.

* Food:

On-campus food is extremely lacking in quality and variety. I suggest cooking for yourself or eating off-campus as much as possible. Also, some contamination occurs and fellow students became sick.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people are extremely welcoming and you get a taste of what Mexico is truly like as opposed to typical vacations spent in this country.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The clinic is very helpful, free, and thorough. However, it is often difficult to find a medical practitioner that is able to fully understand your symptoms and assist you in English. A translator may be needed to ensure that things go correctly.

* Safety:

The campus security, dorm staff, and students attending UDLAP ensure fellow student safety. I never feared safety issues.

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly 50+
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to cook for yourself, eating out gets expensive quickly.


* 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? FLS 220
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 a lot of time with your roommates and local Mexican students. Do not get caught up with only the foreigners because this will limit your Spanish speaking, as most foreign students like to practice their English with you and even some Mexican friends as well.

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 live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The ease of transition into Mexico.
  • The transferability of my courses.
  • The safety of UDLAP.
* What could be improved?
  • Communications between Valpo and students abroad.
  • Ease of communication. Emails are sometimes difficult to communicate through.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew the importance of spending time with my roommates and other local students.