StudentJan 23, 2018Campus News
By:Lauren Coggins

Study Abroad in Mexico

Student Lauren Coggins write about her experience studying abroad in Mexico in the Department of Latin America and Women's Studies newsletter.
Study Abroad in Mexico

This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of the Latin American and Women's Studies newsletter.

My journey to Mexico was actually seven years in the making, meaning that I had dreamed of going there ever since eighth grade. For me, this meant seven years of my parents trying to convince me to study abroad in Spain. Although many here at the The University of Scranton have had amazing experiences doing so, I decided to keep my promise to my younger self to study in Mexico.

Stepping off the plane after years of waiting, I found myself alone, navigating my way through a new country 3,000 miles away from all that I had ever known and loved. Safe and sound, I made it to my host mother’s home, where she welcomed me as if I were one of her own children. Despite this promising beginning, I was nervous about exploring the city of Puebla, as I had always previously lived in the countryside.

My host mother made it a point to introduce me to students within our neighborhood, who would later become my hardest goodbyes upon my departure. Together, we would get to know almost half of Mexico, visiting thirteen out of thirty-one states in five months, ranging from Jalisco to Quintana Roo. During my travels, I discovered new foods, such as tacos al pastor and tlayudas, and stepped out of my comfort zone, jumping from 10-meter waterfalls. Within my university, Universidad Iberoamericana, I had the pleasure of taking courses in the medium of Spanish with professors who opened my mind to new perspectives and ideas. In particular, taking Philosophy of Education abroad allowed me to use the warmth of the Mexican culture to develop my own philosophy on teaching. At the end of the semester, I discovered the importance of caring for the whole student as a teacher, as this plays a crucial role in helping to form future upstanding members of society.

Studying abroad in Puebla taught me more than I had ever imagined. Aside from the rich education that I received at Universidad Iberoamericana, I am thankful for the moments that I shared with friends during my brief stay. Without even realizing it, they opened my eyes to a new way of life, changing me into a more mature, culturally-aware version of myself. Although I had to say goodbye back in May, I do not plan to let this recent experience in Mexico be my last.

Read more from the Latin American and Women's Studies newsletter here.

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