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Migration, Globalization, and the Environment

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Mexico study abroad

Great overall experience. I enjoyed everything about the program and everyone was wonderful. The school was clean and there were food available at all times. The staff were helpful and easy to approach all the time as well. It is by far one of my best college experiences and my best semester.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent immersion opportunity

I completed this program in the Spring of 2014. Though I stayed there for only 4 months, my time in Cuerna deepened my understanding of Mexican society and brought my Spanish skill to another level. Below I'll write in details about several aspects of this program:

Academic quality: The fact that you not only learn in the classroom, but spend and equal amount of time on field trips and interacting with knowledgeable speakers is refreshing. CGEE Mexico frequently invites people with substantial experience of working in a variety of areas in Mexico. That is how you gain greater knowledge of Mexican politics, culture, and history. I think that like most study abroad programs, the curriculum here is not that tough, at least as compared with that of my college in Indiana. So you should ace every class easily if you don't miss class and assignments. Besides, the small size of the program is another strength. There are typically between 10 and 15 students, so you will get to know your fellow students and professors very well.

Social life: To be frank, Cuernavaca isn't exactly as exciting as Oaxaca, Puebla, or Guanajuato. But that could be a blessing in disguise as not many people there know English well, which should force you to practice Spanish. There are certainly bars, clubs, and other points of interest in the downtown area. But after a while, it could get repetitive and tedious, for me at least. Other than that, the people in the neighborhood where you live are great to interact with. Try to frequent their store and speak to them in their language. You'll have a great time. Oh, and you'll have plenty of chances to party ;)

Staff: The staff are excellent, professional, and the best at what they do. It's a mixture of Spanish-speaking Americans and local Mexicans, who are all very friendly and supportive.

Spanish acquisition & homestay: I think that this is one area in which you have the choice to make it as immersive as possible, or not. You will take at least 1 Spanish course with Escuela Universal, which is a separate entity from CGEE but is equally high-quality in their service. I actually took 2 because my college paid for it and I really wanted my language skill to improve fast. With regards to homestay, you will stay with a family for at least 4 weeks. This is a tremendous opportunity to observe Mexican life and hone your language skill. However, there may be personality clashes, as anywhere else. So this could be a chance for you to learn to make compromises and resolve conflicts. I was lucky enough to stay with a family that was supportive and caring. I called my host mom "mama" and occasionally hung out with her sons :) After a month, you'll get the option of extending your homestay by another month or going back to CGEE accommodations. I recommend that you stay there longer because it'll benefit you and the host family, unless the two of you have serious irreconcilable differences. Overall, I do not guarantee that you'll speak Spanish like a native in four months, but there will be plenty of opportunities to strive for that goal. Whether or not you take advantage of those favorable circumstances is up to you. There were several students at the beginning of my program that didn't know Spanish much, but by the end of it, they were linguistically transformed; I was amazed. However, there were also students that continued to be pretty much monolingual after their time there.

Caveat: I wish the program had been able to incorporate more Mexican students into our program. There were a few occasions when we interacted with our Mexican peers but they were minimal and short-term. I know that CIEE in Guanajuato basically sends its students to a local university, so the level of cultural and language exchange is greater.

In a nutshell, CGEE Mexico is an outstanding study abroad program. I strongly recommend it to you if you are serious about learning about social justice and Mexican society. I would totally do it again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

CGE Mexico: Migration, Globalization, and the Environment

Augsburg College and CGE really do an amazing job with these study abroad programs. Last semester I went through them to Central America, and just like that program, this program was really well done. I'm personally so happy I chose to come here to Mexico rather than take the easier route and simply go to Europe. CGE really gives you the opportunity to really go beyond the standard tourist path, giving you the chance to really integrate yourself into the local communities, understand the historic and current situations of the country you are currently residing in, and gain new perspectives and critical thinking skills in relation to social injustices. I highly recommend this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    6

My 4 Months Changed Me For The Better

It's totally cliche, but this program has honestly changed my life. Before coming, I did not know anything about Global Politics, or even about how the U.S. Relates to other countries. Now I feel that I have a vocabulary, history, and context for global politics and U.S. relations.
I also got to learn Spanish in a beautiful city. I felt very at home here, and the people in our neighborhood are the nicest you'll meet. I want to come back someday. It's like a second home now.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Cliche it may be, but my life was changed

I'm not lying when I say my life was changed by this program. In a safe, supportive, engaging setting I was able to develope a context, vocabulary, and working knowledge of Mexican history, politics, and Indigenous Cosmovision. I also polished up my Spanish in an incredible neighborhood in a beautiful city.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Best experience of my life!

A memorable experience? Impossible to pick just one. Traveling to Guatemala and El Salvador with the group maybe?

I chose the program because I wanted a social justice focused program in a Spanish speaking country.

For two months we stayed in the CEMAL houses which are across the street from each other. You have a shared room with one, two, or three roommates and shared, but private bathrooms. Nice common areas and lots of room to hang out, computer room, basketball courts, community kitchen. You get really close with the other students. In the middle of the semester you spend a month with a carefully chosen and trained host family in a nearby neighborhood. You have a private bedroom and shared bath with the host family. My host family was so loving and welcoming and invited me on all of their activities.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

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Best experience of my life!

What an incredible time in my life-- I would go back in a heartbeat! I am still in touch with several of the lifelong friends I made during my semester in Mexico. The two houses are beautiful and it's an awesome neighborhood. I had the absolute best family for the home stay-- although all of my cohort would have said that about their families! I felt intellectually challenged and was exposed to so many new ideas and ways of thinking. With one exception, the staff were absolutely incredible and I always felt safe and looked out for. (This was such a sharp contrast from the other semester I spent abroad with a large cookie cutter study abroad program where the American advisers were hardly ever around and didn't follow up in emergency situations.) I did have one issue with a staff member there who just didn't have very good social skills and said a few things that offended me, but I'm not sure if she's still there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Abroad excellence

CGE Mexico was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The opportunities and experiences in which they made possible went beyond learning into life changing. I am truly grateful for the time I spent in Mexico, the people I was able to meet, and the experiences I was fortunate enough to have.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Enriching

Mexico has changed my life. Everything I have learned here, about a different culture, about social issues, and also about myself has completely flipped my world. Between the classes, the guest speakers, the excursions and the two different home stays I feel that I have gotten as much out of this experience that I possibly could in four months. This is a great program and I hope that it continues to be available for years to come.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Come Back in a Heart Beat

If I had the opportunity to study abroad with Center for Global Education I would come back in a heart beat. I loved the home stays, the classes, and the weekend excursions/opportunities. At times it could improve on organization, but overall this has been a wonderful experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

My experiences in CGEE Cuernavaca (spring semester)

Overall, I had an amazing study abroad experience, largely due to the local residents and faculty/staff members who welcomed me. This program gave me an eye-opening, immersive experience about the diversity in Mexico and challenged me to think critically about international issues.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

Mexico Abroad

The program did a great job at helping me get to know Mexico more in depth. The program staff really cared and went out of their way to help ensure my time here was excellent. I had the opportunity to live with a host family which was personally the best part of my experience. I learn alot about my self and educationally.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

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CGE is an amazing program

CGE really offers one of the most high-quality study abroad programs here in Mexico. We got to meet a lot of guest speakers and I got to learn a lot more about immigration, social issues, and politics in Mexico. What I want to highlight and want you to take advantage of is the internship course, where a student can do an internship but at the same time get credits in various majors: business, biology, history, political science, etc. If you want to dramatically improve your Spanish, this class is a must. You will get to interact with local Mexicans, and learn to adapt to a new working culture.
In addition, the staff are super friendly and accessible. CGE seriously strives to provide employment to local Mexicans and treats them very well.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

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Pretty nice.

CGE has been a fantastic experience. The school and its faculty are very well established in the communities they work with, and provide outstanding opportunities for cultural experiences, internships, and excursions that do an excellent job of putting classes in context. I traveled Mexico in 2009, and can really appreciate the uniqueness of many of the opportunities provided by CGE.

The professors I have had have been phenomenal. I can't find a single bad thing to say. Beware, the course of study is in fact rigorous. You won't be drinking tequila and dancing every night, however, I have really learned a lot. There were some complaints from other students about their professors, but that's the same in any school - abroad or at home. I think the vast majority have been satisfied with the quality of instruction.

My only complaint, which didn't affect my rating much as it is somewhat specific to myself, is that I wish the school would have made a stronger effort to involve us with more local people that are within our age group. It's somewhat hard to make local friends here without blowing off school work or going out alone. At times, the program and campus felt a little closed off to the rest of the community. However, I have spent a significant amount of time traveling and feel totally comfortable stepping outside of "the bubble". I think the nature of the campus and program was quite helpful for other students who were out of the country for their first time.

All in all, it's like anything else where the experience is what you make of it. I would highly recommend CGE to someone who hopes to go abroad. If I were to take another semester abroad, I would strongly consider a program which would send me directly to a local university.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Review of CGE Mexico experience

I had an excellent time in the Mexico CGE program. I did at times feel that there could have been more interaction with local students and/or more opportunities to meet local people. I did love my time with my host family and was able to make lasting connections there, but more often than not I found myself speaking English with the people I befriended.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    5

My overall experience

My overall experience in Mexico was fine. It was not fantastic, it was not horrible. I felt isolated from the students through much of the time, was sick constantly because of a lack of communication between me and my host family, and had to cover most medical costs on my own because the insurance had not had anything set up yet in Cuernavaca.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

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Cool

This program has been a brilliant experience. I would have liked to see more communication, and for the program to be more punctual on time. I understand that there is a cultural time frame difference, but schedules should be precise. The schedules sometimes came late in the week and it would be better if the students received them earlier so we can plan our own endeavors around the schedule. The faculty and staff is really accommodating and it gives the students have a sense of safety, which is great! A recommendation I have is to maybe have some of the guest speakers only speak for an hour rather than two. Sometimes the talks seem to be very long and the message could be portrayed in a much shorter time. I think that the wide variety of cultural experience and exposure is fantasia tic! I've learned so much about the culture and myself in the process.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

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Enganging with community, speakers, academics, and common daily life allowed for a overall learning and experiential atmosphere.

I enjoyed the fact that we were not learning in the classroom, but also aside of it. The speakers, field trips, videos, etc., complimented with our learning material and made it much easier to learn, identify, and become aware of cultural, social, economic, political, etc. differences. I enjoyed having our final projects through which I learned a lot with my peers. Though, one of my suggestions for them would be to test students before placing them in the Spanish classes because sometimes higher level students are placed with those of lower level, which makes it kind of frustrated, boring, and sometimes slow to learn. As well, having more of an emphasis of ways to cope when coming back home would be helpful even though it is talked about. The staff is very nice and respectful, and they make you want to smile when they greet you :). On-call and processes in case of an emergency should be improved a little.