[excerpt from an interview by Ann Lutterman Aguilar, Director of CGE Semester Abroad, Cuernavaca, Mexico]
Walter, Julie, and Tiffany have spent the past two months studying in Mexico in a program offered by Augsburg’s Center for Global Education (CGE), which offers free airfare to Mexico as an incentive to study in the Ausburg programs there. The Augsburg Mexico campus is in Cuernavaca, a city known as the “City of Eternal Spring” due to its year-round spring-like temperatures (70-80 degrees). Although its population is now close to a million, it is a beautiful city with a fascinating colonial and revolutionary history, and is located just 1 hour south of Mexico City and 3 1/2 hours north of Acapulco.
What made you choose to study abroad in Mexico rather than Spain or elsewhere?
Julie: The Social Work courses offered in Mexico are the same as the ones I would have taken on campus this semester, so this was the perfect opportunity for me. I had also heard very positive feedback from other students who studied in Mexico last year.
Sometimes students think they can’t afford to study abroad. Did it cost more to study abroad than on campus?
Tiffany: No,I was pleasantly surprised that Augsburg pays the airfare, which is a big incentive to participate in an Augsburg program rather than a non-Augsburg one.
What is it like to study in Cuernavaca?
Tiffany: The city itself is beautiful and there is history everywhere. Everywhere you look you find pleasant surprises. The best thing about living in Cuernavaca is that I’m from a big city and being able to compare and contrast urban life in Mexico and the United States.
What have you liked best?
Walter: Spending a week in Amatlán is something
I’ll never stop processing. Even though I’m an atheist, it was amazing to live in such a spiritually powerful place. I felt great spiritual energy there. Also, I got to stay with two elderly gay men who’ve been partners for 40 or 50 years, which is something I’d never experienced in the U.S. They are now my adopted grandparents.
What would you say to other Augsburg students who are considering studying abroad?
Tiffany: Do it.
Julie: Do it. Study abroad. I think I would regret it if I hadn’t done this because it adds a whole different dynamic to your college experience.
Walter: Get down here. The basic pros: no winter, paying the same price, and the same classes. Trust my word, it’s worth it.
To keep up with the students in Mexico, read their blog.