I had no idea that learning could be so much fun- Puebla, Mexico Past Review

By (Spanish Education, University of Wisconsin - Madison) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of knowledge about traveling and functioning in another language. Afterwards, I realized that I should have managed my money a little better- I spent a lot! Having an internship teaching English in an Elementary school in Mexico showed me that I would love to do Bilingual education, and I have since changed my major. I am going back to visit my friends in Cholula this Thanksgiving :)

Review Photos

Exchange: Puebla - Universidad de las Americas Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes very interesting, not very challenging academically, workload was very manageable, based mostly on participation so there was a great sense of community in each class. Very relevant and informative.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The International office was very helpful, almost overly helpful in guiding us to choose our classes. It was a big hassle with paperwork to add/drop a class and needed permission for everything, but it was a good thing for those who needed guidance. Orientation the first week was very fun and informative, and we were given a tour of the city, and had a night out with all the foreign students. Administration was very accessible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the Colegios (José Gaos is the best by far for location and community) was a good choice, as it was very safe (TONS of security), and reliable. The only negative thing was the strictness of the rules regarding coming home late and having visitors, but it was probably for the better. Location was extremely convenient, being right across the street from campus and on the street with all the bars and nightlife. There were blankets and sheets available for rent for the semester, and my dorm suitemates let me share their kitchen items.

* Food:

I got fat because I love tacos too much! Across the street from campus, there are tons of great restaurants- Tacos Israel, Los burros, Flautlan, Monchis- really delicious stuff!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The nightlife in Cholula is unreal- there's a bar/club to go to every night of the week. The Zócalo in Puebla is just a short bus ride/walk away and Puebla/Angelopolis mall is about a 20 min bus ride. Angelopolis has an AWESOME movie theater that is very cheap compared to American theaters. The Viajes UDLA are good if you want to travel with foreigners, but I would recommend making Mexican friends and traveling with them for a cheaper, richer experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare was very easy- the Clinic on campus addresses needs very quickly, and you can call in prescriptions from the Colegios for delivery. The only odd thing is that the Clinic gives people shot/injections a lot (for a fever, for example), so it's important to know what it's for if that happens. The UDLA makes you pay for their health insurance, and it's not a big deal/expense. As far as safety, campus is extremely well guarded and nobody can enter without a student ID, so it's very safe. Camino Real outside of campus is a little less safe, and one should just know not to walk alone and not to trust the police. We had to pay off the police several times to leave us alone (I was with Mexicans- I would not have done that alone), so just make sure to go to Campus security for any 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I learned most of my Spanish by spending time with Mexican friends. I lived in the Colegios/dorms with Mexican and other Spanish speaking students, and that made a huge difference. I very rarely used English, and definitely did not use English for everyay interactions. Most people knew some English, but not enough to converse.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The social aspect
* What could be improved?
  • Advising before leaving the US
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who is looking to forget about their English and use all Spanish in a social setting would be best for this program. The Mexican students did not take to the students who spoke English at all. All it takes is a little effort to use Spanish and you can have an awesome experience and tons of friends. Do not go if you do not want to speak Spanish.