Students study in Mexico

The Department of Modern Foreign Languages is offering its annual study
abroad program for summer 2010 in a new location.

“UMHB has been sending students to Mexico to study for 13 years now, but
we’re making some changes and instead of going to Queretaro, we’re going to Guadalajara,” said Dr. Susan Pardue, department chair and associate professor for the department.

She said the summer trip includes new opportunities such as weekend excursions to Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and to the beach in Manzanillo.

Former participants shop for bread at a mercado (market) in Queretaro, Mexico.

Former participants shop for bread at a mercado (market) in Queretaro, Mexico. Photo by Crystal Donahue

“Guanajuato and San Miguel are two of the most beautiful colonial cities in
Mexico,” Pardue said. “Guadalajara is the second largest city in the country.
There will be many things to do including walking tours, museums and other
cultural events.”

Students will receive six credit hours, and some classes will be taught by local instructors. Depending on prerequisites, intermediate and advanced courses are offered.

“There will be other American students studying there and Mexican students studying English, so there will be lots of chances to (exchange languages,)” Pardue said. “The school is fully equipped with Internet and a computer lab,” which was not available in past years.

One of the unique aspects of the program is the opportunity for students to
stay with Mexican families rather than in dormitories on campus.

“We want students to experience every aspect of Mexican life and culture,” Pardue said. “The families don’t speak English, so you learn pretty quick how to use your Spanish,” she joked. “If you want to be able to eat, you better learn how to say ‘Quiero comer.’”

Senior Vicky Rodriguez, who has participated in the program before, said there are many reasons for Crusaders to take part.

“I think it’s good for students to study abroad so they can learn the language and about the culture better through immersion and first hand interaction,” Rodriguez said. “The experiences are valuable, and the memories made last a lifetime.”

The program will run July 3-31. The cost of the trip is $4,200, which includes tuition and fees, airfare, insurance, room and board, meals and basic transportation within the country.

Pardue said, “It’s really not a bad price for all that the experience includes.”

Former participant senior Erica Winekauf said what she came home with was more than money could buy.

“The experience helped pull me out of my own little world here, and it helped
me realize that not all other countries are like America, and they tend to have it rougher,” Winekauf said.

“I was glad I went because I made friendships there that I never would have
made otherwise. Some of them may not be lifelong, but at least a few will be, and I’m grateful for that because those friends have brought a lot of light and goodness into my life.”

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Pardue at or call ext. 4556 in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages.

Author: Crystal Donahue

A senior from Lago Vista, Texas, Crystal enjoys hanging out at the lake with friends, eating ice-pops, having conversations over hot chocolate with marshmallows, going on random road-trips and watching Gilmore Girls with her mom. She is double majoring in mass communication/journalism and Spanish. Post graduation, Crystal plans on getting her master's and working abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Having served in various positions on The Bells, Crystal is now the editor-in-chief. She enjoys feature and sports writing.

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