During my freshman year, I was a part of the Global Living Learning Center when I lived in Mosher Hall. Since it emphasized cultural inclusion they encouraged us to study abroad in San Miguel de Allende for the upcoming spring break. Before the trip I was a little hesitant to go since I did not know the people I was going with, nor had I been to Mexico, but I decided to follow my gut. Little did I know that this trip would be a memory I’d cherish for a lifetime.
The main focus of this study abroad was to learn about the cultural and technical practices of engineering companies and schools. With this in mind, we were fully immersed in the Mexican culture of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato. On the first night, we toured the city. It was filled with exquisite and immaculate churches and architecture, the people were more than kind, and the food was delicious. For lodging we stayed at the Hacienda Santa Clara which was filled with original paintings by famous Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, to name a couple. The architecture and design of the Hacienda were truly breathtaking.
The next day we visited Volkswagen de Mexico and the Federal Commission of Economic Competition to learn how the United States and Mexico worked together when producing engineering products. We were able to tour the facilities and talk to some of the managers and engineers of the company to fully understand how the facilities operated.
On the following day we were able to visit two different types of farms, subsistence and commercial farming. For the commercial farming, we toured a farm that spread for hundreds of acres. We learned about common farming practices, such as irrigation, and talked to some of the locals about their experience working on the farm. After that, we drove to visit a family that did subsistence farming spread over about a couple of acres. At this farm, they grew crops as well as raised livestock for labor and food.
The next day we toured two universities and were able to converse with other college students. I loved this experience because we were able to see the similarities and differences we had between engineering schools. When we toured their campus, it was truly outstanding. They were given opportunities to work on projects that I wished I was able to do, such as creating and coding a drone.
I honestly could go on for days about how fortunate I am to have been a part of this opportunity. It’s one thing to read about the culture, but it’s another thing to experience it.
The College of Engineering offers a wide variety of opportunities to study abroad. Search programs by department, location and type to find the perfect fit for you.