Study Abroad
Western Michigan

1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, Michigan
49008-5245 USA
Phone (269) 387-5890
Fax (269) 387-0630


2425 Ellsworth Hall
WMU Mail Stop 5245

Amber Neumann--Mexico

Amber Neumann--Mexico

Amber Neumann
La Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro

My name is Amber Neumann and I participated in a month-long study abroad program in Querétaro, Mexico. It was an unbelievable learning experience both in and out of the class room. I lived with a Mexican family for the duration of my program. I found this to be very helpful for many reasons. My family was very eager to help with any questions regarding the city, the culture and my studies at La Universidad Autonoma de Querétaro. I lived with two parents, Vicky and Gustav, and my Mexican sister, Daniela, who was very close to my age and very easy to relate with. By staying with a family I was able to enjoy the daily meal “la comida” with the entire family. The meal was an ideal setting for perfecting my conversational Spanish. It was also a treat to sample the countries unique cuisine everyday. I was able to try many new dishes.




The University was beautiful and friendly. My group of students took two classes at UAQ. The first was a Mexican Literature class and the second a linguistics course focusing on the form of Spanish spoken in Querétaro. We attended class Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (including a short break between the two courses). We read interesting material and learned a lot in a short period of time. Our literature professor had amazing insight to the culture of Mexico and was very interested in our lives in the United States.



It was wonderful to have Fridays without class because this gave us the opportunity to do a little traveling during the weekends. Over the course of our stay we were able to visit San Miguel, Veracruz and Boca del Rio, Bernal and Tequisquiapan. The city Boca del Rio was my favorite. It is located on the coast about eight miles south of Querétaro. We traveled by bus and stayed in a beautiful hotel.  While traveling we were able to experience the different dialects of the Spanish language that exist in Mexico.

The city of Querétaro is a clean and lively place. The city is beautiful because it has a colonial style with cathedrals and many monuments and fountains. We were able to visit the many plazas located around the city, eat at the local restaurants, visit museums and shop at stores and artisan markets. There are also trolley tours available to get a look at some of the areas not so easily reached by foot. I recommend the trolley tour for a little extra history lesson plus a breathtaking view of the city and historic aqueducts.



Overall, my study and stay in Mexico was a very rewarding experience. It can be a little overwhelming when you are first totally submerged in the culture, but once you start to understand your surroundings and the new culture you find your way of fitting in. I was very lucky to have such a wonderful family in Mexico. We have kept in contact since my program is ended and I would highly recommend staying with a family. Not to mention I was lucky to be close walking distance to both the University and downtown areas.

I would definitely recommend the Graduate Study Program or any Study Abroad program in Mexico. There are things you can learn living in Mexico that just can’t be taught in the classroom. I would be happy to share any information regarding my experience with future candidates for the program. It was a very exciting trip and I hope that every student who studies a foreign language considers studying abroad.