A study abroad during the week of spring break?? What? Is that even possible?
The answer is yes! This past spring break, I had the opportunity to go on a study abroad to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, through Texas A&M’s global engineering program.
The class, global engineering awareness, did not directly count towards my degree plan, but that is ok! It was a truly memorable, enriching, unique experience.
Company visits and meeting other students
Our group met with Mexican students from a local university. We had so much in common with the students, from current pop songs to trends, and more. They were also all studying engineering. We practiced conversing in Spanish, and they practiced English. They were all so much better at English than we were at Spanish! One of my favorite memories from the trip was singing and dancing to “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira on the bus with the students from Mexico. At one point, everyone on the bus got silent and one of the students from Mexico started singing opera! It was amazing. The music brought us together. Throughout the week, we visited multiple companies and universities. One of the universities we went to existed near Mexico’s high tech and industrial corridor. The university was driven to develop and output engineers to meet the demand in the surrounding industries.
Learning about Mexico
We had a very special guest come to speak to us one of the nights. Her name was Rosa, and she was an astronomer and anthropologist. She studied the people and history of the pre-Hispanic society. Rosa showed us ancient tribal artwork and explained the meaning of the symbols. It was amazing to learn how the pre-Hispanic societies used the moon and stars to understand time and create a calendar system. Their calendar system at that time was more accurate than that of the western world. It was saddening to find out that most of the artifacts and documents were burned or lost when Spain invaded the region. Rosa took us to the pyramids, where the pre-Hispanic societies hosted sacred ceremonies and welcomed guests. The pyramids were spectacular. They were built to line up at specific points with the rising sun and moon during certain days of the year.
This study abroad was one that I will remember forever. Through learning more about the Mexican culture, history and the language, I felt a connection to Mexico through my understanding. I also became more aware of my culture and who I am. I did not explain everything we did in this blog – in case anyone plans to go, I didn’t want to reveal everything! Towards the end of the week, none of us wanted to leave! Since that trip, our study abroad group has continued to stay in contact. I am not sure how I got so lucky to go on a study abroad with such an amazing, accepting, and open-minded group of people. The friendships I made will last for a long time!
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.