A life-changing experience Past Review

By (University of Wollongong) - abroad from 01/05/2015 to 02/20/2015 with

Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of knowledge about Mexico and Latin American. I also learned new things about myself and strengthened my interpersonal skills as I was meeting new people nearly every day! It was definitely worthwhile and I could not recommend this program enough to anyone who is interested in living in Mexico City.

Review Photos

Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies Photo Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies Photo Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies Photo Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies Photo Social Realities in Mexico - an integrated approach to Latin American Culture & Development Studies Photo

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.

For five weeks I attended classes at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico. We had classes Monday to Friday, 9am - 11 am in Spanish and 11:15am - 1pm in our history class. Our exchange group was small, however, we were put into different Spanish classes with the other exchange students at the University depending on our level. Our group would then come together for 2 hours to learn about the history and social issues in Latin America. Excellent teachers, excellent resources and overall an amazing experience being able to study abroad in such a culturally rich city! Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a short-term study abroad option!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff at Universidad Iberoamericana made me feel welcomed from the moment I applied for my study abroad program. Everything was well-organised and I love getting to know the team of staff at Ibero. The whole study abroad office had such a great energy and most of them have studied abroad in some way or another, so they understand the challenges you may have when living abroad!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a local homestay in a Mexican family's house with another Australian girl. Our family went out of their way to make us feel like their house was our house or as they would say in - mi casa es su casa! On our (rare) days off, they took us to different locations around Mexico City and taught us about all of the wonderful things in this diverse country. Very lovely family and I felt like I knew gained a lot of new knowledge about Mexico after living in a homestay for 6 weeks.

* Food:

The food in Mexico is next level, especially if you love the heat! I was constantly surprised by how diverse the food can be in Mexico, especially from region to region. Mexico City is full of yummy delights as well and I can guarantee that you will never go hungry in this city!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I travelled around quite a bit during my study abroad and was able to see different places in Mexico City and surrounding towns. It was so satisfying to be studying Spanish and strengthening my language skills at the University and then was able to go out and talk to locals in the street at fruit shops, in the supermarket etc. I also loved meeting other people at the university, both domestic or international students and talking to them about various things whilst making new friends!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any major health problems in Mexico. I did have altitude sickness on my first couple of days in Mexico City (as it is 2,200m above sea level) and my host family accommodated me with the appropriate care during this period of time.

* Safety:

The University delivers a presentation on the first day of school and they include a really valuable guide on safety in Mexico City. I didn't have any problems in terms of safety on my trip. Although I read different travel guides before I went on my study abroad trip on the do's and don'ts. It's just like travelling anywhere, do your research, talk to people who have been there and you should be fine. Some of my safety tips would be - don't go out alone at night time, wear minimal expensive jewellery, read up on areas before travelling outside of Mexico City without the university, and lastly, use your common sense and enjoy your time abroad!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Every day I was exposed to a completely new culture and was continuously learning and growing. It was an eye-opening experience living in a city with a population the size of Australia (20 million +) and I have many fond memories of my time abroad, from the friendships I made, the food I ate and the places I travelled to, all incredible and extremely memorable.


* 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)

Fairly easily. I lived with a host family so all of my breakfast and dinner expenses were included in my homestay cost! However, I did like to buy stuff from local artisans, markets etc. so make sure you add in extra hidden costs to your buget!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 AUD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? - Buy your tickets for transport in advance - Don't exchange money at airports as the rate is generally higher


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Minor in Spanish (Two years) at the University of Wollongong
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? - Depending on your level, buy some e-books in Spanish (whether they are children's books or fiction novels, it all helps!) - Podcasts are also great to listen to on the go, on a plane etc. - Use Duolingo app to refresh your brain and practice your skills

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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 people
  • Practicing language skills
  • Learning about Latin American
* What could be improved?
  • Another hour of Spanish each day
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had of planned to stay longer in Mexico as it is such a diverse country and you definitely need longer than six weeks to explore of the surrounding towns and states.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'