This January, throw yourself into an intensive Spanish language learning experience that allows you to immerse yourself in vibrant and colorful Guanajuato.
With a Community-Based Spanish course that emphasizes language learning through a critical and constant engagement with local community members, you’ll take your proficiency to the next level while engaging in critical dialogues across language and cultures.
Study abroad in Mexico and you will:
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and colorful community of Guanajuato while living with a local family
- Explore the local community through visits to museums and nearby sites of historical and cultural interest
- Visit the urban and cultural capital of Mexico during an overnight study trip to Mexico City
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships & Grants
We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $3 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.
Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
To be considered, simply check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your program application.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
With intermediate and advanced level courses, you’ll find a program that emphasizes your ability to converse spontaneously in real-life situations and sustain more complicated conversations regarding abstract themes as you interact with your host families and others in Guanajuato.
Given the brevity of the January study abroad program, homestays are essential to the learning process and integration into life in Guanajuato. The opportunity to live with a Mexican family not only allows you to deconstruct stereotypes and observe authentic family life, but it creates opportunities to talk about issues discussed in your courses, and practice your Spanish language skills.
The program includes one overnight excursion, typically to Mexico City, where you’ll visit Aztec pyramids, world-famous art museums, and key cultural sites.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
The program fee includes:
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Winter 2015 (4 wks)
Program Date Notes
In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, access to the university's unique self-access language learning center, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
Educational Costs **
This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.
Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** includes all meals
Estimated Additional Costs
International Airfare *
The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.
* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure
- Overall GPA 2.75
- Overall GPA 2.75
- 2 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent.
Total recommended credit for the winter session is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.
Contact hours include 45 hours of in-class instruction
All study abroad students take Community-Based Spanish at their level and participate in the study trip and other activities.
About the City
About The City
The CIEE Study Center at the Universidad de Guanajuato is located in the colonial city of Guanajuato, about four hours north of Mexico City. Nestled in a wrinkled valley, Guanajuato boasts a spectacularly colorful and gravity-defying architecture. With a population of 150,000, Guanajuato remains a conservative and provincial city; however, it is intellectually richer and more diverse than one might expect, thanks in large part to the vibrant presence of the Universidad de Guanajuato.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Fabiola Estrada is a native Guanajuatense. Fabiola is the daughter of one of CIEE's best, long-active host families so she has a firsthand understanding of CIEE students and the overall program. She has over 6 years of experience of day-to-day contact with CIEE students. Fabiola is tri-lingual in English, French, and Spanish and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Guanajuato in International Business. Fabiola has also participated in exchange and study programs in India, the U.S. and Italy, and has worked as a translator and coordinator for visiting artists with the International Cervantino Festival. Fabiola has a wealth of local contacts and knows absolutely everything about Guanajuato.
Beth West completed her undergraduate education at Fordham University at the Rose Hill Campus in Bronx, New York, majoring in political science. She received her M.A. in international education from the SIT Graduate Institute (formerly School for International Training) in Brattleboro, VT.
Beth brings significant and impressive experience with her, which includes work with the Fulbright program in Colombia, as director of the Centro de Consejeria Educativa (EducationUSA Advising Center) in Colombia, and more recently as director of exchange programs at the Prepa Ibero at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She also brings with her diverse experience in nonprofit humanitarian aid program management, and international education.
Originally from Connecticut, Beth has spent the past five years living in Mexico City and Bogotá, Colombia. She is a devoted practitioner of Vinyasa yoga, an avid reader and traveler, a big Yankees fan, and a self-proclaimed foodie.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
Founded in 1732, the Universidad de Guanajuato ranks among the top institutions of higher education in Mexico. Currently there are 21,000 students; 8,000 of whom are pursuing undergraduate degrees in 46 disciplines. With the University’s facilities scattered around Guanajuato, its intellectual and cultural energy is felt throughout the community.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
All study abroad students live in a homestay, which CIEE believes is essential to the learning process and integration into life in Guanajuato. The opportunity to live with a Mexican family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, but it creates opportunities for students to talk about issues presented in their courses, as well as to practice their Spanish language skills. Students are placed with middle class families and each homestay houses one CIEE student per term. The program fee includes a homestay with a private room, three meals per day, and weekly laundry service.
A brief, but intense mandatory orientation will help you integrate into Mexican culture and make the most of your short time abroad. You'll prepare for the move into your homestay, review pertinent academic, logistical, health, and safety information, as well as construct some basic cultural knowledge with which to begin the program. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the study abroad program.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. When Universidad de Guanajuato classes are in session, the Departamento de Lenguas, where CIEE-designed courses are held, offers free wireless Internet access in the common patio area, providing a comfortable place to work. Otherwise, work and printing can be done at local Internet cafés. All students must type and print work for all courses and should expect to rely on the cafés for some or all of this access.
Students take one intensive, three-credit course for the duration of the study abroad program. Community-Based Spanish, offered at an intermediate or advanced level, emphasizes language learning through a critical and constant engagement with local community members. Class meets daily for three hours, including grammar and conversation classes and daily explorations into the community.
The course is designed for U.S. students, and for the most part, teaching and learning methods are familiar to them. While in-class methods are fairly traditional, the secondary components of the course utilize reflection, critical thinking, and experiential learning. Each class has no more than 12 students.
Nature of Classes
Classes are held with CIEE study abroad students only. They are small in size and highly dynamic, with a high student-to-staff ratio, Students are frequently asked to engage the local community as part of their coursework. There are not more than 12 students per class.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
As students gain proficiency in Spanish, resident staff encourage them to use their language skills in everyday settings. This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Mexican society.
The program is intellectually rigorous, and students should expect to be active participants in all program elements. Assessment is based upon both written and oral work and enthusiastic participation in the learning process.
As students gain proficiency in Spanish, Resident Staff encourage them to use their language skills in everyday settings. This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Mexican society.
Language of Instruction
Students are taught by local faculty and CIEE staff.
Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Community-Based Spanish Courses
A language placement exam is administered on site to place students in the correct level; however, all courses follow the same design. All students enroll in a formal Spanish language class that meets daily for three hours. Each language course includes the following two required components:
Spanish Instruction at Appropriate Level (in Spanish): 45 hours. This course uses local community resources to contextualize language learning within the local socio-cultural setting. Texts, assignments, and oral work consider such themes as local tradition and current social and political issues. Students work on all of the skill areas.
Community-Based Learning Workshop (in English): six hours. Facilitated by the resident director, this section invites students to view their learning not only as an individual process, but also as one firmly situated in the community. The relationships between language, culture, and identity are explored. The workshop counts towards the overall grade for the Community-Based Spanish course.
SPAN 2201 GUWI
Community-Based Intermediate Spanish
This course offers intermediate students the opportunity to refine their existing language skills so that they can communicate at increasingly sophisticated levels, both orally and in writing. Their abilities to converse spontaneously in real-life situations in the community are emphasized, helping them develop fluency.
SPAN 3201 GUWI
Community-Based Advanced Spanish
Designed for advanced students, this course allows students to polish their skills for both professional and academic purposes. The class hones in on the finer points of grammar, as well as effective oral and written communications. Students practice sustaining more complicated conversations regarding abstract themes as they interact with their host families and others.