So successful I ended up staying another two years. Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, SUNY - College at Geneseo) - abroad from 01/03/2012 to 05/11/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, absolutely.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were all in Spanish, which made them more challenging than normal, but the level of academic rigor and intensity was not as high as at Geneseo. They did have more resources and opportunities for internships than at Geneseo, however.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Extremely attentive and answered all of my questions, facilitated the whole process and were very well organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not stay in the dorms on campus, it was relatively easy to find an apartment in the surrounding area but I didn't get any help from the school, it was completely my own initiative and I had to get there a few weeks before the semester started. Lots of international students also shared apartments and it worked out quite well, very cheap compared to prices of the dormitories but not as secure I guess, some people experienced break ins but not very many.

* Food:

On campus food was not that great but there was a lot of variety and some healthy options, around campus there are lots of restaurants that are cheap and delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most students, even the Mexicans, do not really integrate with the local culture, the university and the town of Cholula don't really have much to do with each other. However the UDLAP always organizes lots of trips for students to give them the opportunity to experience the local culture of Puebla and surrounding states, these trips are diverse and depending on what you like to do, if it's art or exploring the outdoors, there's something for everybody.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The doctors just want to give you a prescription and get you out of their office, are good for small illnesses but anything more serious they don't really give very attentive care, in my experience. You need to be very assertive in order for them to do any extra necessary tests beyond basic evaluation.

* Safety:

Very secure. The most secure place in all of Mexico.

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? No
* 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? $25-$100 depending on whether or not I was traveling


* 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 202
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make friends with Mexican students, not just the other Americans and Australians you meet during orientation week.

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • freedom to choose my classes in anything I wanted
  • support from study abroad office at both ends, in NY and MX
  • great professors, not too much academic stress but learned a lot
* What could be improved?
  • Giving students access to social media pages of the school ahead of time- Facebook page, etc
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's easy to be isolated if you don't want to leave your comfort zone.