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Sol Education Abroad: Study Abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

7 weeks in Oaxaca

I wouldn't have wanted to spend my summer any other way. Studying abroad in Oaxaca is probably one of the best decisions I have made. The city is beautiful and Sol gives you so many opportunities to see different places in Oaxaca. Hiking and zip-lining through the Sierra Norte mountains, swimming in the pools of Hierve el Agua, a weekend trip to Mazunte beach, or seeing the ancient ruins of Monte Alban are only a few of the many excursions we went on. You are immersed in the culture of Oaxaca everyday, no doubt. Oaxaca is very unique in terms of how people of different indigenous backgrounds live in harmony together in the same state. The directors of the program were all so kind and looked after all the students in the program with lots of care. They made sure we were all having a good time and always asked if there were any problems so they could make sure to take care of it. While studying with SOL I met so many new people from all over who were also doing the program. Everyone becomes close and we would go on adventures of our own sometimes when we had a free day or afternoon. School life was actually pretty enjoyable because you felt very comfortable with the instructors and your classmates (especially considering the fact that there were only about 2-3 other people in my classes). You learn a lot more practical Spanish in conversation class that is helpful when talking to locals or your host family, while applying what you've been learning in grammar class. My host mom, a charismatic widow named Alma, is so loving and has been hosting people since 2001. She doesn't speak any English, and although sometimes it might have been a struggle to communicate, it helped me improve my Spanish a lot. She cooked amazing food that I miss till this day! If you do ever end up going to Oaxaca, savor each bite of Oaxacan food you can get! Thank you so much SOL :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Everything I imagined and more!

I am still thinking about my trip. I had such an amazing experience that I want to go back. All of my friends and family back in the States were blown away by my pictures and videos. I felt safe and well taken care of the entire trip. It was the perfect balance of school, excursions and free time to check things out for myself. Eva and Yeyo were awesome directors. The staff at the office in Austin were so great! They took care of everything and made the process so easy, and affordable!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

SOL is the best program I could have chosen!

There's no way possible to write a review that can accurately capture the marvelous experience that is SOL. I actually studied abroad in Costa Rica the semester before going to Mexico, and they were both fantastic! They're completely different, but both worth every minute. The program is extremely affordable yet still manages to offer everything a student studying abroad could imagine: cultural activities, excursions, immersion, awesome classes, and fantastic teachers. The support system is incredible as well! Sol also lets you basically design your own program. You choose your classes, housing situation (if you want apartment, dorm, or host family), and activities. Sol really sets you up to experience the cultural in a way that works for you yet also brings you to a higher level of confidence and independence. I highly recommend Sol Education Abroad for any level of Spanish speaker and world explorer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

Oaxaca study abroad - One of the best experiences ever

My study abroad trip was a great learning experience. Being immersed in the language and culture was the best way to learn about the language and the culture. I will always remember this trip and look forward to the day I can return to Oaxaca. Sol made it very affordable. Most expenses were covered ahead of time and I hardly paid for anything while I was there. Sol had everything arranged from start to finish and made this trip very enjoyable and stress free. I recommend this trip to anyone that can do it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Oaxaca, Mexico experience

This was my first trip to Mexico and I enjoyed my time. The directors and everyone in the Sol Education program were very nice and helpful throughout the entire process. They were very quick to respond back to me if I had any questions which I thought was unbelievable and saw that they were committed in making this trip the best.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

History of Oaxaca

This trip was a very rewarding experience and it has so far been my favorite adventure. We had many opportunities through tours and field trips to explore Oaxaca in different ways, and there was always new food to try! I would recommend this trip to anyone!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Rockin' in Oaxaca

My time in Oaxaca City, Mexico was among the best experiences in my life. The culture change, the sounds, the smells, and even the people was intoxicating in the best way. Through living in a foreign country, you not only come to appreciate their way of life, but ponder yours as well. Oaxaca was a beautifully eye opening experience that I would recommend to anyone with horizons in need of expansion!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Immerse Yourself in Oaxaca

Working with Sol was the best choice! While in Oaxaca the director was always present. Academics- rigor depends on courses you take. As a Spanish speaker, I was challenged with the courses in which I partook. Volunteer opportunities are available, and I wish I had found an opportunity. Living with a host family is the best choice, with them you are able to excel in the Spanish language, but also create memories and bonds that stay with you. I recommend working with Sol, and going to Oaxaca because they are able to immerse you into the culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Wonderful Summer in Oaxaca

This summer I had the privilege of studying abroad through Sol Education Abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico- This program exceeded my expectations in every way and I would certainly recommend it to other students!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was simply amazing.

As the title says, it was simply amazing. The food, how accepting the locals are, everything is just perfect. I recommend this organization 100% to any student who wants to go abroad and learn Spanish or just learn the culture or whatever.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Muy Bien

I had so much fun exploring the land of Oaxaca, Mexico. Sol did a great job of keeping us busying while at the same time allowing us to explore on our own. This has been a life changing trip for me not only because I have never been to Mexico but because what was created while I was there. The new friends that I made, the culture, etc. Based off of my trip I have decided that I will make Spanish my minor while studying at the University of Louisville & if possible I will be studying with Sol again next summer. Keep Smiling.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

This Is A Beautiful Program

This is a beautiful program, that truly allowed me to become part of another culture for 3 months in ways that I wouldn't have imagined possible. The experience was so different from a usual tourist experience, and so enriching and rewarding. I adored every moment in this town. Oaxaca is a beautiful place, with so much blue sky and enormous clouds, and with endless cultural activities, such as music or dancing in the Zocalo, art galleries and openings, free movies in many different places, gorgeous churches, delicious delicious food, and warm, welcoming people. There are so many different faces to Mexico, and many of them are within reach of Oaxaca: Mexico City, Guanajuato, the mountains, the beach, ruins, daily markets, are all a bus-ride away. My experience with my family has left me feeling like I have a family and home in Mexico. I feel like I have been let in to so many of Mexico's secrets, just through my stay here with Sol Abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

My Love For Oaxaca And Sol Education Abroad

Going to Oaxaca through Sol Abroad was absolutely the best decision I could have ever made for myself. I more than adored my host family and cried my eyes out the morning I had to leave. I still keep in touch with friends I met through the program. I had studied abroad 3 times before and NEVER had the experience like I did through Sol Abroad. I could not possibly say enough to explain how much I loved my host family. They truly made me feel like I was a part of their family. I miss them so very much. The food we had was A-mazing! The teachers at the university were wonderful and the options of classes to choose from were pretty cool. The excurions we went on were the best and off the beaten path. Each week we had some type of cultural activity and it could be anything from jewelry making, cooking class, dance class, etc. I enjoyed how EVERYTHING really was included in the price. My past experiences we very different from the one through Sol. It was definitely everything they promised it would be AND MORE. I have looked over so many programs each time I have studied abroad, so I know how you feel like the reviews are not a true description. I wish words could explain how much this trip meant to me and how awesome it was. It has almost been two years since I have been home from Oaxaca and I still think about it on a daily basis. :( I desperately want to go back!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

LOVED It!!!

I went for four weeks, one summer session. For me this was the perfect amount of time to spend away from home and still get the credits I needed, but I could have extended it--and I really wanted to, it was so hard to leave the greatest traveling experience I have ever had. The summer sessions are packed with activities every single day, and all of them are really interesting and culturally engaging. Never, at any point, was I bored or worried that I was speaking too much English day-to-day. I was shocked that the program was able to fit so many great experiences into one short session. I would definitely go to Oaxaca again, and I would definitely recommend this program to anybody on a Spanish track who wants some language/culture exposure. Oh yeah--and the family made me feel very at home, and the food was awesome.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Thanks!!

This past winter break (Jan. 2011) myself and 13 other students from Morgan State University were blessed with a wonderful opportunity to study abroad with Sol Education Abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. The three weeks stay was an amazing experience. We learned how to adapt to a different culture and studied Spanish at Benito Juarez University. I think the entire trip helped me learned the importance of life and how to treat people. Going outside the U.S. and living in Mexico made me appreciate the little things that I have and I no longer wanted to complain about the small problems I have in U.S. Going to school in Mexico opened my eyes to a different style of teaching and school. There are so many different cultures in the world and I think it is good to experience them and learn how to adapt to diversity. Living with a Mexican family for 3 weeks taught and showed me how families from all over are somewhat the same, but the culture is different. I made very sure to be respectful of these differences while living in Mexico. I realized that I was representing the U.S. and I was happy to share my culture and teach the people I've met in Mexico things about me as well as learn from them. This experience taught me the history behind the Mexican and Spanish speaking cultures. It also changed the way I view Mexico because I once thought it was nothing but dry/dessert land with very few things to look at. I discovered it was completely the opposite. Mexico is beautiful with a rich history. It has some of the oldest churches built handmade. This experience can impact my future, career wise and going to graduate school. The trip can open doors for more studying abroad trips and or employment. I now want to travel or work overseas more. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone because it is something that everyone should experience. It is a great way to expand your horizon outside of the U.S. because there is much in the world to learn! Traveling and studying abroad made me appreciate life so much more. I want to thank Sol Education as well as my school (MSU) for this great opportunity! Sol Education really did a good job at handling the preparing the trip for us. I recommend Sol Education for anyone who is thinking about studying abroad!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

IMPRESSED!!

My daughter studied abroad the summer of 2010 through 'Sol Education'.

We were impressed by Sol Education's concern for the education, welfare and security of the students.

The Program Director sent us e-mail updates concerning safety issues, and my daughter and I both felt secure in the knowledge that SOL was vigilant and truly looking out for the students' safety.

My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her classes at the University of Oaxaca. In addition to the academics she was immersed in Mexican culture and the spanish language. (Her host family was great)
During free time from classes, Sol had excursions for the students to learn more about the country.

Truly a well rounded learning experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Highly Recommended!

I studied abroad through the SOL Education program in Oaxaca, Mexico last summer (2010) for 8 weeks, and it was an amazing experience! The directors at SOL were very easy to work with, and they went above and beyond to work directly with the International Studies Office at my university to ensure that every thing met the university's requirements. The directors were also to clearly answer any questions I had and made every accommodation that I needed without any problems. They provided all the information I needed to be fully prepared, and they kept my family updated regularly regarding my well-being.

The host family was absolutely wonderful. The family had years of experience with study abroad students. They made me feel as if I was part of the family, and I had never been better fed and taken care of. The family made sure I was always in good hands and was persistent with keeping me safe.

As far as the education in Spanish, it was perfect! The professors were extremely knowledgeable and effective. It was the best education in Spanish I could have ever asked for. I looked forward to going to class everyday and my knowledge of, and ability to speak, the Spanish language more than doubled in a super short amount of time!

The weekly activities were super fun and are just what every student needs to fully experience Mexican culture. Everyone was super friendly and they made everything a very meaningful experience. The food was clean and I never once got sick.

Also, the area in Mexico where I studied was very safe. We were over a thousand miles away from the border where most of the problems occur, which give Mexico the bad reputation for being dangerous. Oaxaca was not dangerous at all. The people in Oaxaca are kind and friendly, the city and countryside are beautiful, and there are so many things to see that you will never forget.

The SOL experience was worth every penny, if I could do it again I would choose SOL!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Best Program Possible!

Sol Education Abroad went above and beyond my expectations!

Everything was included in the program (tuition, housing, exursions, community service, cell phones, insurance) and it was HALF THE PRICE as my school's program!

Plus, I now have a family in Mexico with my host family.

Thank you SOL!
Juan

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Exactly What A Study Abroad Experience Is All About!

The Sol Education Oaxaca program has so much to offer its students. The city and the surrounding historical sights are beautiful. The people here are more than willing to help anyone that is interested in learning Spanish and the food is to die for! What else could you ask for in a study abroad trip? Oh yeah, and its half the price of any other study abroad program you'll find. The schedule is malleable, meaning that if you have an interest in a particular activity, you can be sure that it will happen for you. Not to mention that there are constantly new workshops and excursions in and around the city. The host families are all great and respectful! Could not have asked for a better experience. After this trip, I believe I will be coming back to visit.

Brujula has good coffee. Lobo Azul has good everything! La Pasion has good cake.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

An Experience I Will Never Forget.

Oaxaca is a great and safe place. The food is authentic and real mexican food. There are many supermarkets that have authentic Mexican clothes and many different objects that were handmade. I learned a lot about Oaxaca and I hope to return someday.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Immersion At Its Finest

My experience while traveling with Sol study abroad was one that I will never regret or forget. Everything from the host family, to the education and cultural adventures was perfect. To say that I was impressed would not do it justice. I recommend them with flying colors, and I wouldn't study abroad with anyone else.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Mi Aventura Mexicana!!!

Sol Education Abroad made my experience in Mexico one that I could never forget. As an aspiring Spanish professor it had been my dream for as long as I could remember to go to Mexico and truly test my abilities to speak Spanish and surround myself in the culture. This program did exactly that. Hearing the generalizations about Mexico gave me a lot to think about as i'm sure many students abroad can relate, but there was never a moment that I felt unsafe. My director made it clear to us how to get to and from places. For those who weren't fluent in Spanish, there was always a peer or teacher willing to keep them in the loop and their host families were very accommodating. On the cultural excursions I was able to see things like the Zapotec ruins which I had hoped to see my whole life. This trip was everything I had hoped for and more, its changed my perspective on everyday life. I highly recommend Sol Education Abroad, as they made this trip possible, kept me safe, and left me with a memory of a lifetime. Mi corazon es en Mexico.

I felt very out of the loop for weeks before departing. Many of my questions went unanswered until about a week before departure which made for a nerve wracking experience in planning the trip. All questions eventually were answered in detail, but I felt like it was very last minute.

My living situation was great. My host family was as welcoming as I could have hope and not to mention supplied me with delicious meals. In my particular home (bedroom) there was no dresser or bureau so I had to live out of my bags for the time I was there which was the only minor downside. Overall, an ideal living situation.

All of my teachers were wonderful, completely qualified and professional. My rating would be an A+ if the general school situation had been a bit more organized; they seemed to be always unprepared as to where students should be placed and in which classes for how long.

A great restaurant popular among the natives was La Biznaga, great food.. Also La Candela, a high class salsa club made for a nice outing. Those who knew how to dance could show off their skills, and those who didn't enjoyed watching others on the dance floor.

As far as my safety, I felt safe 100% of the time while still using caution, although during my stay there were a few muggings from students close-by from other study abroad programs.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Amazing Experience In Mexico

My experience through Sol Abroad was excellent. The program was extremely affordable (almost half the price of others I was looking at), my home stay was better than i could have dreamed of, my professors were great, and i met so many amazing people. We traveled to many awesome locations (ancient pyramids, a 3 day beach trip, cultural activities etc...) and they were all included in the program price. I was a little worried that i had never heard of Sol Abroad before i signed up, but I could not have chosen a better program. As long as you're self motivated to study, you will learn a lot of Spanish in Oaxaca.

I chose it based on the affordability, the location, and the amount of cultural activities.

My home stay was incredible- beautiful gated courtyard, my own private living room, my host mom Ruth was an amazing cook (i already miss the food) and she spent time with me at all 3 meals speaking with me to improve my Spanish.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Go to Mexico. Get a Soul.

During my time in Oaxaca, Mexico, I made some great friends from across the United States and Mexico. Friends I recollect fondly, and friends I intend on keeping for a very long time--We have already made plans to meet in New York in the near future). However, making friends is simple in situations like this--you're forced together in a place you hardly understand. The beautiful thing about Oaxaca that sets it apart from anywhere else I've been in the world lies in the genuine friendliness and curiosity of Oaxaquens. What Mexico lacks in plumbing, it makes up for in smiles and conversation. You will be afforded ample opportunity to kick back and relax with a cold beer, and act your hardest to seem un-touristy in a bar with a bartender who is fascinated with the opportunity to speak with a foreigner. Or even better, are the random conversations on the street: one of the greatest talks I ever had in Mexico was walking home from class one day, going over material I had learned, when an elderly man, Fabio--I still remember his name, I'm not sure how, I'm terrible with that kind of thing--asked me where I was from. From there, we had a pleasant, albeit random, conversation--in my terribly broken Spanish (I joked that I must have sounded like a child, he smiled and nodded and said simply, "poco a poco"). It was the first time I had a real conversation in Spanish. I had been studying a month in Oaxaca, and I knew no Spanish when I arrived. I smiled like a fool all the way home, and excitedly told my host mother about the miracle that just took place in the street--in Spanish!
The excursions were extremely fun and culturally interesting. I learned a vast amount of information on Mexico that I could never have gotten alone. Intercambio Mexican (friendly locals) students constantly talked about how we--SOL's students--had seen more of Oaxaca, and more of Mexico than they had. In fact, the excursions were hands down the most culturally enriching and fulfilling things I've ever done. I'm very proud to say I was apart of something special in Mexico. It was an experience that changed my life in a profound way. One of my teacher's said something very beautiful concerning her students who came to Mexico and learned Spanish. I'll translate from Spanish, and to be honest, I don't remember verbatim anyways, but it went something like this: "I see students come here knowing no Spanish, they are good people, but they are incapable of seeing Mexico as it really is. They see it as a strange and foreign place; but then they learn, and when they learn, they change, they begin seeing Mexicans as individuals, and Mexican culture as beautiful and profound. When I witness my students learn, I watch my students grow souls." So, take it as you like, but I believe her words hold true. When you sit down with a person and can understand them, and realize that they think the same thoughts as you, simply in another language, it's a pretty powerful emotional experience. It is what I imagine being blind and being given sight is like. It is beautiful. An entire world of thoughts and emotions, not to mention; art, literature, and music that had never occurred to you before becomes very real in front of you. And don't worry about being afraid, the people at SOL will shove you in the deep end. You'll be fine, they are there for you, but you will swim. I've heard that's the best way to learn, and after getting some water in my nose, I can personally vouch for the message. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and every experience I was given by SOL's program. You can reinvent yourself entirely, or you can find yourself completely, after arriving in Mexico, the decision is entirely up to you. Just remember, when you get to the airport, don't freak out. You may feel homesick or scared or worried, but after 3 or 4 weeks their, no matter how hard you try, you'll start falling in love with Oaxaca, she's a beautiful city with a rich soul, and her people are willing and happy to share it with you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Where I Want To Be

I don't believe I could have dreamed big enough to encompass all that has happened here. Through Sol my life has changed in just a few weeks learning the language, enjoying a different way of life and soaking in every new experience. My time here escapes me as I reach out to grasp for more. My best advice is to take advantage of everything there is to offer--the people, the language, the food & culture--do everything and leave regretting nothing!