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Study Abroad Program in Querétaro, Mexico

This program at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro is currently suspended.


Academic program

The WMU program at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (UAQ) offers qualified students of Western Michigan University the opportunity to study entirely in Spanish a variety of courses in the humanities, social sciences and business. In addition to a one-week orientation in Querétaro, all students will take two courses in Spanish language and Mexican culture. Each student will also enroll in two other courses selected in consultation with the WMU faculty director. These courses will be regular offerings taken with the students of the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. Specific courses available may vary and are subject to change. Among representative courses expected to be offered are the following: Humanities - Lengua II, Gramática, Gramática histórica, Psicolingüística, Sociolingüística, Literatura clásica y española, Literatura mexicana, Cultura y civilización clásica y medieval, Cultura y civilización mexicana, Historia del arte; Social Sciences - América latina en el contexto mundial, Formación social mexicana II, Desarrollo regional de Querétaro, Ciencias de la comunicación, Sociología de la religión, Sociología de la población, Sociología del trabajo, Sociología de la educación; Business - Mercadotecnia I, Finanzas I, Recursos humanos I, Estadística I, Contabilidad de costos I, Derecho obrero I, Derecho fiscal I, Sociología administrativa, and additional advanced courses in business and accounting.

Normally, students will take a total of 12 semester hours. Credits will be granted by WMU based on grade reports from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. Prior to their study abroad, students will obtain approval from the appropriate WMU department of the courses to be taken in Querétaro.

Administrative organization and student responsibilities

Students will be advised by the WMU faculty program director, who will be a member of the regular WMU Spanish faculty. The faculty director will offer an onsite orientation for WMU students during the week prior to classes at the UAQ, assist students in the selection of courses, and remain in Querétaro for consultation during the first week of classes there. The director will return to Querétaro for a one-week period during the semester in order to monitor the status of the program. Also, a Spanish graduate student will serve as an assistant resident director for the duration of the program. As foreign students at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, WMU students will have the same privileges and responsibilities as the Mexican students, as well as access to university facilities and services. In addition to doing satisfactory academic work, WMU students are to comply with all rules and regulations of both WMU and the UAQ. Any student who does not meet academic and behavioral standards may be dropped at any time.

Eligibility

Since all classes will be conducted in Spanish by instructors of the UAQ, this program will be open only to students who meet the following requirements:

The application procedure includes recommendations from faculty and an interview.

Querétaro and the UAQ

Querétaro, capital of the state of the same name, is a medium-sized city located 135 miles north of Mexico City. Its altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level is the main factor for moderate daytime temperatures of 65-85°F. and cool nights. Founded in 1531, the city possesses magnificent baroque churches, beautiful public buildings, harmonious and spacious plazas and parks, and excellent museums and theaters. Querétaro is the site of numerous colleges and universities, the largest of which is the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro.

Cultural activities

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the abundant historical and architectural treasures located in Querétaro and neighboring cities and states. Found within three hours of Querétaro are the colonial churches of Guanajuato and Morelia, the museums and galleries of Mexico City, and the spectacular ruins of several ancient civilizations. Querétaro and the UAQ itself offer many cultural and social activities including theater, concerts and festivals.

Housing

Students will live with families in Querétaro in a private room, one American student per family. Homes and families are selected by the office of the Facultad de Lenguas y Letras of the UAQ. Housing includes three meals per day and laundry facilities. Every attempt will be made to place students with families who have a genuine interest in helping provide a pleasant atmosphere. Students need to be sensitive to cultural differences and the particular family situation. They need to comply with family rules and respect customs and norms. It is expected that a flexible and caring attitude on the part of all concerned will contribute to a comfortable, relaxed living environment.

Insurance

Western Michigan University purchases basic medical insurance to cover program participants while they are abroad. Information regarding this coverage will be distributed to each student by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education upon acceptance into the program. Students will be required to attend a health insurance information session outlining the extent of coverage and the procedures to follow in case of accident or illness abroad. Additional health insurance coverage is not required for the program, but students may wish to purchase supplementary coverage. Questions concerning health insurance should be directed to the Study Abroad Office, (269) 387-5890.

Price and payments

The price of Querétaro 2011 is $4,575 (approx). The program cost includes tuition, administrative fees, onsite orientation, and room and board. The cost does not include round trip transportation (estimated $800-1,000), computer or email usage fee (about $40), books or personal expenses (about the same or less than in the U.S.).

Financial aid

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for one of the WMU President's Grants for Study Abroad available through the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. This award is given on the basis of demonstrated financial need and/or merit. Over the years many students accepted in the Querétaro program have received support from this source. Applying for the grant is quite simple because the faculty recommendations and essay required for the Querétaro program application need not be duplicated for the grant application, i.e., one set is sufficient for both applications. To apply go to the application form. For questions contact the Haenicke Institute, B-200 Ellsworth Hall, (269) 387-5890.

In addition to the President's Grant, a variety of other study abroad assistance is available through the Haenicke Institute. Awards include the Understudied Cultures Grant and the Minority Scholarship for Study Abroad, as well as other external grants. Information and applications are available in the Office of Study Abroad.

Scholarships are also available through the Department of Spanish, including the Department Travel Study Abroad Awards, the Ruth Y. Kirby Awards in Spanish, and the President's Grant and Scholarships for Study Abroad. Business students should also consult the Business College about any other possible awards. All students are urged to inform themselves of these and other opportunities at the earliest possible date in order to meet the application deadlines.

Students who already receive other financial aid (university, state, federal) can expect to have it apply to the Querétaro program. Questions should be directed to the Haenicke Institute, B-200 Ellsworth Hall, (269) 387-5890.

Transportation

Students make their own travel arrangements both to and from Querétaro. They are advised to consult with the faculty director before finalizing their plans. If they travel independently to Querétaro, they will be responsible for coordinating their arrival with the WMU faculty program director. Students who wish to do so may travel to Querétaro with the faculty director. All students should make their own arrangements for return travel from Querétaro.

Application

In addition to the online application, three letters of recommendation from faculty are to be submitted directly to the Department of Spanish. Students can pick up faculty recommendation forms in the Department of Spanish, 420 Sprau Tower. The application and letters of recommendation are due by the deadline. Early application is encouraged and appreciated.

Additional information about the Querétaro program is available from:

Western Michigan University reserves the right to cancel or revise the program if necessary.