Puebla, Mexico: Spanish Language and Mexican Culture
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Katrina Herrera

Liberal Arts Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks living with a host family in Puebla, Mexico. During this time, I was enrolled in 3 classes at the local university (IBERO), Intro to Theatre, Mexican literature, and Mexican history. Our cohort took multiple excursions to prominent Mexican cities, including Oaxaca, Cuetzalan, and D.F., and visited local museums, markets, archaeological sites, restaurants, and much more. This program was immersion-focused, and I loved being able to explore the city, meet new people, and surround myself with Mexican culture.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Not only did this experience allow me to finish my Spanish minor, something I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, but it gave me the chance to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to real life. The experience is starkly different between reading Hispanic literature/practicing the language in the classroom and learning that content while actually living in a Spanish-speaking country. The experiences allotted by this program heavily enriched my study of the Spanish language.

"This experience has greatly helped me not only attain a higher professional proficiency in Spanish, but also to better understand the experience of living in Mexico and all of the cultural nuances, something we can’t fully understand in the U.S."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

After graduation, I will be pursuing a career in Marketing/ Public Relations. As a first-generation Mexican American, it’s always been important to me to work in a diverse community and be able to utilize bilingualism in the workplace. I hope to be able to provide services to a larger breadth of clients and help diverse companies thrive. This experience has greatly helped me not only attain a higher professional proficiency in Spanish, but also to better understand the experience of living in Mexico and all of the cultural nuances, something we can’t fully understand in the U.S.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad and would need to do a Summer program, but wasn’t sure about which program. The education abroad fair was very helpful, to actually talk to and look at all the program offerings at the Liberal Arts table. The Spanish advising faculty also helped me to make sure the credits would fulfill my Spanish minor. In addition, the enrichment funds I received from the College of the Liberal Arts were a huge help in lifting the financial burden of this experience.

For more information on education abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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