Past Student Experiences

Oaxaca, Spring 2010

Naomi Mills
The Oaxaca study abroad program came at a perfect time in my life and gave me the moral and educational boost that I needed to take the next step in my future. Before coming here I had fulfilled some of the minimal Spanish minor requirements at the University of Montana and was completing my English Teaching major. I hadn’t had a class in Spanish for a year when I arrived in Oaxaca and had to engage in full-on Spanish conversation with my host mother. I expected to have an enjoyable and challenging three months in Mexico and return with a completed Spanish minor and some good memories. But right now I find myself sitting in an internet café in Oaxaca, Mexico almost three weeks after my program ended planning a new course of study to complete a Spanish major as well. I changed my return flight in order to spend more time in this enchanting city with the amazing friends that I made both in my study abroad group and here in Oaxaca. What I experienced here did more than improve my Spanish. The classes were wonderful, small and tailored exactly to each of our individual needs. I made amazing connections with all of my teachers who were incredibly interesting and knowledgeable. Outside the classroom Oaxaca offered me a safe place to experience a different culture and way of life in a first-hand, intimate way. These nearly five months in Oaxaca will always stand out in my mind as unforgettable and the inspiration for my future endeavors.

Dora LaCasse
My experience in the Oaxaca study abroad program was amazing. Our classes were small and our teachers were very knowledgeable, so I learned a lot. The institute tailored the program to us, and I feel like the classes I was placed in were perfect for my level of Spanish. The town itself is ideal for a program like this. Oaxaca is beautiful, and we could easily walk from our houses to the institute or to the center of town. It’s fairly large, but the center of town is easy to navigate and has anything you would ever need. It’s very easy to meet people in Oaxaca, because there is a large student population and everyone is very welcoming and open. I came with a fantastic group, I met amazing people, and I’m extremely happy with my semester in Oaxaca.