Frequently Asked Questions

view of ocean from a balcony

How can I get a general idea about the program?

The program description will give you the basics. After you have read through the program description, it is usually best to have a conversation with Professor Haber. He likes meeting people interested in the program and is happy to tell you more about the program and answer all your questions. He can be reached by email at

I am new to Political Science, and I see on the program description that two of the classes that everyone takes in Mexico are upper division poly sci classes. Is this a problem?

Not at all. The program can and has accommodated students of all backgrounds, from freshman to graduate students, from fine arts majors to economics majors. All that is required is a willingness to take these classes and give it your best shot. Because the poly sci class is a small seminar, Professor Haber is able to individualize the expectations in ways that are not usually possible in Missoula. He is going to expect more out of a poly sci senior than a sophomore majoring in Spanish.

Will I learn a lot of Spanish during this program?

Yes, everyone always has as long as the program has been running (the first group went in 2000). Part of this depends on you, how much time you spend with your host family or other Spanish language speakers as opposed to hanging out with other English language speakers. But, even if you just speak Spanish in Spanish class (the poly sci classes are taught in English) and spend some time with your host family, you are going to learn more than you have ever learned before (unless of course you have already lived in a Spanish speaking country).

Where do students live while in the program?

Professor Haber has put together a good group of Mexican families that enjoy having students stay with them. They are selected because they are friendly and are good at making foreign students feel at home. Professor Haber links you up with a family that fits your personality and needs (some students like big noisy families, some students like their privacy, some students want to live with middle class families, some students would prefer to live with a working class family, some students are vegetarian, etc.).

I have not studied much Spanish before, is that a problem?

No, the program can and has accommodated students at all levels, from beginning to advanced. Students get credit for whatever level Spanish they take, from Spanish 101 to the 500 level. The only catch here is that I need at least two students for every level offered. We always offer both 201 and 308. So, if you are not at one of these two levels the only requirement is that there is somebody else who is studying at your level. Just ask us.