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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Coetzalan, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Oaxaca, Mexico; Puebla, Mexico; Veracruz, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Completion of Spanish 003 or equivalent

Program Description 

Embark on a transformative journey of cultural immersion in the heart of Mexico with our summer program based in Puebla. Our mission is to dispel cultural stereotypes through authentic experiences, allowing students to delve into the vibrant tapestry of Mexican life. The program is structured around an exploration of the arts, culture, and history of central Mexico, providing students with a rich academic context for their studies. 
One of the unique features of this program is the opportunity to earn 9 credits in just 6 weeks. Through intensive language courses and engaging cultural study, students rapidly develop their language proficiency while gaining a deep understanding of Mexican culture. Our carefully curated curriculum ensures a dynamic and interactive learning environment. 
Living with carefully selected Mexican families, students are fully immersed in the language and daily life, accelerating their language acquisition, and fostering genuine connections with the local community.
Puebla, a city that beautifully blends a large urban center with a small-town atmosphere, serves as our home base. Established by the Spaniards in 1532, the city bears the marks of Spanish colonial architecture while also proudly showcasing its pre-Columbian heritage. Puebla is renowned for its safety, diversity, and cultural richness. It's a vibrant hub of contemporary artists and cultural activities, making it an ideal backdrop for our program.  
Classes are taught by both Penn State faculty and local instructors, scheduled four days a week. This schedule provides ample time for long weekends, enabling students to independently explore the rich tapestry of Mexico beyond the structured program. Join us for a transformative summer filled with academic growth, cultural immersion, and unforgettable experiences. You can visit the Puebla website for more information.


Summer: May 10 - June 19, 2024

Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Daniel Sanguino, Lecturer of Spanish, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, College of Liberal Arts 


Course Descriptions

Students are encouraged to consult with faculty leaders and academic advisors regarding their course selections. A minimum of 9 credits, or three courses, must be selected from the following options:

SPAN 253 W: Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3 credits)

The objective of this course is to provide students with a survey of Hispanic literature (Spain and Latin America). Students are introduced to generic distinctions, critical methods, and theoretical approaches to Hispanic literature. At the same time, literary movements and sociopolitical forces that affected the development of Hispanic literature are examined. The course is divided into four parts focusing on poetry, short story, novel, and film. Students will learn of contemporary literary trends and theories and will be asked to use critical thinking techniques to comment on and write about what they read and watch. In order to prepare for each class, students should read or watch the assigned works carefully with the goal of arriving ready to participate actively in class discussions. 

SPAN 299: Spanish Grammar and Conversation  (3 credits)

This course is based on an integrated skills approach to intermediate Spanish that develops both your receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing) skills simultaneously. In this way, you use multiple skills at once, as in real life, to develop your communicative skills in Spanish. Given that this is a grammar and composition course, however, we will place greater emphasis on developing your reading and writing skills.

SPAN 399: Latin American Theater and Performance (3 credits) 

This is an advanced course that includes oral communication through acting and script analysis. In this course we will use acting, directing, and technical techniques and script analysis in order to improve our fluency in oral expression as well as develop the ability to critically analyze theatrical texts and performances. This course will facilitate your ability to express yourself both professionally and personally. The class is conducted in Spanish.

SPAN 497: Special Topics: Contemporary Mexican Culture and Film (3 credits)

This introduction to contemporary Mexican culture and film builds upon the rich experience of living in an immersion environment with local families. Through readings, films, and class discussions you will develop knowledge regarding the distinctive traits of Mexican fiction, significant authors, and important trends and developments in the contemporary period. You will become familiar with the different aesthetic and ideological movements that characterize contemporary Mexican films as you learn about the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of this period. Furthermore, students’ understanding of Mexico will be complemented by exposure to diverse cultural manifestations in museums, regional markets and restaurants, workshops on traditional crafts, and varied demonstrations by artisans. Class activities will be conducted primarily in Spanish; this said, linguistic improvement is also an important component of the course. 

SPAN 499: Special Topics: Exploring Feminism through Mexican Literature (3 credits)

This advanced course offers a captivating journey into the realm of Mexican literature, focusing on feminist themes through the lens of prominent female authors. Students will unravel the intricate narratives and social commentaries woven into novels and short stories, exploring the evolving roles and representations of women in Mexican society. This course invites students to engage in critical analysis, cultivate Spanish language proficiency, and navigate the vibrant literary landscape of Mexico through the lens of feminism. 

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses. To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
  • Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the courses you want from the program options.
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 9 credits.
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals



Students will stay with Mexican families in homestays. 


Most meals will be provided.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Penn State Global. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Penn State Global Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Penn State Global website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Penn State Global website for more details.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Penn State Global website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Penn State Global website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Penn State Global website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2024 01/24/2024
02/07/2024 05/10/2024 06/19/2024
NOTE: NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.

Indicates that deadline has passed