Mexico: Come and See What it's REALLY Like Past Review

By (Nursing., 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?
YES! I learned a lot more about myself and the kind of person I want to be. It has definitely impacted my future plans because I want to return there (or possibly another country in Latin America) to live and work for a year or two after graduation.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Three of my four classes were Spanish classes and because I was foreign, it was Spanish as a second language, so I was with all international students. I did have my fourth class with Mexican students and although I enjoyed getting to know the other international students, I do wish that I would have had more of an opportunity to get to know Mexicans. I was able to meet some outside of the classroom though and that was good.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Things were kind of confusing because our advisor ended up not being around as much as we originally expected due to changes in job positions. She was very knowledgeable and accessible when we did need her but it was hard for us to organize any meetings the first month or so of being there which is kind of when we needed her most.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I just had to fill out a housing form through the university. I rented sheets and towels from the dorm when I got there. The dorm was really close to classes and the main street bordering campus is the place to go for night life on the weekends (and weekdays).

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on lots of trips throughout the semester

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

It was very easy to access healthcare through the campus health center, the doctors there were patient and many spoke English. I never felt unsafe on campus, it is completely gated in with security guards at every entrance who check IDs. I walked back to my dorm room alone many nights without any problems.

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? about $2,000 total, $150 per week, sometimes less
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Food was probably my most unanticipated expense, it's not expensive at all, actually relatively cheap compared to things in the US, but I wasn't used to spending my personal money on it (instead of using the meal plan that I usually have at my home university). Travel was definitely where I spent the most money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? FLS 220
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I used the language every single day and probably not as much as I could have. Many of the Mexicans at my university knew at least a little English and several of my Mexican friends spoke English very well. I was still exposed to lots and lots of Spanish and my speaking (and all other) abilities vastly improved. A lot of it is how badly you personally want to practice and improve your Spanish, and if you want to there is plenty of opportunity to do so.

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?

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  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Flexible students who can handle Mexicans who don't live on a schedule of any sort and want to explore.