Oaxaca, Mexico 2018

Oaxaca, Mexico

This is a unique opportunity to spend four weeks studying language, history, culture, and society in Oaxaca, Mexico. Students enroll in six credits of IU South Bend courses. The Spanish courses are taught on the campus of the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca. The institute is located in a lovely 19th century estate surrounded by private gardens in the colonial center of the city. 

 Oaxaca is a beautiful and historic city ringed by mountains in southern Mexico. The city is famous for lovely colonial architecture that includes the cathedral, the ornate church of Santo Domingo, a former convent turned museum, a shaded central square with sidewalk cafes, and a pedestrian walkway past shops and restaurants, many with secluded courtyards and gardens. Oaxaca City is the capital of the state of Oaxaca, one of the most diverse in Mexico with villages that retain strong Zapotec and Mixtec indigenous influences. On a flattened mountain right outside the city is the great archeological site of Monte Albán, with others a short drive away. The current indigenous vitality is celebrated every July with the Guelaguetza, a dance festival highlighting the music and dress of the region. Oaxaca, with its wonderful year-round pleasant climate, its mix of Spanish and indigenous influences, and a mix of old wealth with rural populations and new middle classes, is the perfect location in which to study Spanish along with Mexican culture, literature and cinema. 

The program provides accommodations, including meals, in the homes of local Mexican families. This experience is an invaluable way to learn about Mexican culture on a personal level, as well as an important step towards mastering Spanish.

What you will study

Students admitted to the program will need to register for one course in Spanish for Summer Session II. Depending on level of proficiency, students will take one of the following Spanish courses:

  • SPAN-S 102 Elementary Spanish 2
  • SPAN-S 203 Second Year Spanish 1
  • SPAN-S 204 Second Year Spanish 2
  • SPAN-S 317 Spanish Conversation and Diction
  • SPAN-S 496 Foreign Study in Spanish

Special course work at the advanced level may be available. Students must have completed SPAN-S 101 Elementary Spanish I or its equivalent to participate in the program.

Students will also enroll in ENG-T 190 or ENG-T 390 Literary and Intellectual Traditions, a humanities general education core course focused on the history, culture and society of Mexico.


  • Travel dates | July 5-August 4, 2018
  • Estimated cost | $3500 (plus six credit hours tuition)

Applications are due March 8, 2018 and a non-refundable deposit of $300 is due March 22, 2018. Balance must be paid in full or by commitment from Financial Aid by June 1, 2018.

Trip Leaders

Elaine Roth

John B. Davis