About Study Abroad in Mexico
Known as the "City of Eternal Spring," Cuernavaca's temperate climate, natural beauty, and rich history make it the perfect location to discover the language, culture, and warmth of Mexico. Originally a retreat for Aztec royalty, and later the site where Cortés built his palace, the Cuernavaca of today is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a population of approximately 500,000 people. Cuernavaca is located roughly 55 miles south of Mexico City and is the capital of the state of Morelos.
Students take courses at Cemanahuac Educational Community, an international language institute housed in a villa in the elegant Las Palmas section of the city. Cemanahuac offers a personalized learning environment and instruction by native Spanish speakers. Living with a Mexican host family gives students a unique window into modern Mexican life and additional opportunities to improve language skills. A field trip to the pyramids of Teotihuacan is included in the program fee.
For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).
The US Department of State has issued a travel warning that affects this program. The Learning Abroad Center has obtained approval from the University of Minnesota's International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) for the Study Abroad in Mexico program. Review the approval details.
Housing & Meals
Cemanahuac arranges for students to live with Mexican host families for the duration of the program. After acceptance into the program, you will have the opportunity to express basic preferences that are taken into consideration when being matched with a family. Many families have years of experience hosting students and sincerely enjoy getting to know you.
The majority of families live within walking distance or a short bus ride of Cemanahuac, making it easy for you to get to and from classes. Most students will share a room with another program participant unless they have requested a single room, which is available at an additional cost.
Host families provide 3 meals per day. Laundry service is not provided by the host family, so students must make other arrangements.
Living with a host family means more than just having accommodations and meals. It provides you with a unique opportunity to experience Mexican culture and daily life firsthand. It also gives you additional opportunities to practice your Spanish and learn about current events, politics, and the city of Cuernavaca. Living with a host family can be challenging at times, but students often cite their host family experience as the highlight of their time abroad.
Two excursions are included in the cost of the program. The first is a one-day excursions to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. The second excursion is optional, and may change depending on the term. Previous excusion destinations have included:
- The art galleries of Mexico City
- Downtown Mexico City
- The ancient city of Tepozltan
- Xochicalco archeological site
- Improve Spanish speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills
- Develop strong sense of independence from being outside of comfort zone
- Learn to appreciate relativity, accept complexity, and embrace ambiguity
- Challenge previous assumptions about Mexico and Mexican culture
- Learn to function effectively as a team member in a diverse workplace
Faculty & Staff
Charlie Goff is one of the cofounders of Cemanahuac Educational Community and enjoys playing the role of historian and tour guide—taking students around Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and to the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan.
About the Learning Abroad Center
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
- Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
- Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
- Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.