Suzanna Shugert, Peer Advisor
The city of Guanajuato provides an ideal backdrop for a study abroad experience. I remember fondly the quaint cobblestone streets of downtown, lined with locally-owned shops, beautiful architecture from the opulent Porfiriato of the late 19th century, taco stands, and cute parks tucked away in little nooks throughout the center. And the hills, oh how I remember the hills! A 15-minute walk down the hill to class could turn into a 25-minute work-out to get back home. The University itself is on hill, just under 100 steps to the main door, and offers an exquisite panoramic view of the city- a perfect, quintessential setting.
Studying in Guanajuato was a remarkable experience that highlighted cultural differences between Mexico and the United States. It was an adjustment, waiting for professors to show up 15, 30, sometimes 45 minutes late to classes!
One striking difference between Mexico and US university systems is that students must choose one single area of study before starting their academic career and, for the first two years, take EVERY class with the SAME 30 students in the SAME classroom. It’s like elementary school all over again. Only harder. As I walked into my class that first day, clearly an outsider, I was walking into a group of close friends. Nevertheless, these students embraced me, welcomed my in and were eager to share their culture with me. The closest friends I made during my time in Guanajuato are from that class. I couldn’t be more thankful for such an experience!