Study Abroad

The U of A summer program in Puebla, Mexico offers students a total immersion program at the ultra-modern campus of the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP).


For exact dates and continual updates about the Puebla, Mexico Study Abroad Trip, information can be found on the Hogs Abroad web portal..



Students must:

  • Undergraduates should have completed at least 24 credit hours* with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better at the time of application.
  • *Students who have completed less than 24 credit hours may be admissible upon recommendation of faculty leader with support of the dean of the sponsoring college.
  • For language/culture option, successfully complete SPAN 1013 before departure
  • For service-learning option, successfully complete SPAN 2013 before departure

Program Overview and Courses:

The immersion experience integrates field internships in the student’s choice of health professions, business, education, or liberal arts, with intensive coursework in Spanish for Special Purposes with one of these four emphases. Students will spend approximately 60 hours in the field internship in their field of choice; 20 hours of lecture and discussion on experiences in the field; and approximately 50 hours of profession-specific language instruction.

Students completing the program will receive 6-credit hours in Spanish at the 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level (according to the student’s current level), which can be applied toward a minor or major in Spanish, toward a minor or major in Latin American and Latino Studies, or toward a world languages requirement or general elective credit.

Location: Puebla, Mexico

Puebla is one of the safest cities in Mexico as well as one of the most beautiful. It is centrally located in the heart of Mexico, between Mexico City and the Caribbean coast, in the shadows of the snow-capped Popocatepetl and Iztacchiuatl volcanoes just to the west. Puebla’s historic downtown is full of renowned examples of baroque architecture, and has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Mexico’s fourth largest city, Puebla has a vibrant street life and is home to a population of 2 million. But Puebla also still feels like a sleepy and friendly college town, and U of A students have consistently felt quite comfortable and at home there. Professor Steven Bell will accompany the group and stay for the first two to three weeks of the 5-week program to make sure participants are comfortably settled with everything running smoothly.

An essential part of the student experience is the home-stay. Participants are provided with a single-occupancy room with a Mexican family in Puebla. Most host families want to be highly involved in the lives of their foreign students, and they will want to help you learn and make you feel like part of their family.



Check out funding opportunities on the website.

Financial aid and scholarships are available to U of A students. In many cases, you can also use your current scholarships and financial aid to help finance your program. If you receive scholarships, grants, or loans as a U of A student, please contact your Financial Aid Advisor in Silas Hunt Hall (479-575-3806) to see how much of your current aid package you’ll be able to utilize towards this summer study abroad program or to apply for loans. Participants on this program may also be eligible to apply for these institutional and national scholarships (check eligibility criteria):

  1. Office of Study Abroad Scholarship 
  2. Johnetta Cross Brazzell Study Abroad Scholarship (same application as above) 
  3. Foreign Languages Scholarship (same application as above) 
  4. Honors College Study Abroad Grants 
  5. Walton College of Business funding

Criteria for scholarships vary, and students should read eligibility requirements carefully. This list is NOT comprehensive.


LALS Study Abroad Scholarship in Puebla, Mexico

The Latin American and Latino Studies program (LALS) at the University of Arkansas funds 2-3 scholarships in the amount of $1000 each to cover study abroad expenses for the U of A Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program in Puebla, Mexico The application process is open to all full-time undergraduate students that are LALS majors or minors, although non-majors/minors may apply. The award aims also to enhance diversity in study abroad and preference will be given to students from underrepresented communities (i.e., first generation students, members of ethnic minority groups, students with a documented disability, and students with demonstrated financial need).

2-3 scholarships of $1000 each will be awarded.

The call for scholarship applications is made available each year in February. 



Program Fee:

Present estimate is $3,450.

Includes :

  1. UPAEP tuition and instructional fees
  2. Orientation
  3. Books and materials
  4. Room and board, which includes:
    • 3 Meals/day in Puebla
    • 2 Meals/per day on program overnight trips
  5. Access to:
    • Cafeteria
    • Library
    • Computer labs
    • Academic Support
    • Nursing Staff
    • Wireless Internet on the University Campus
    • Museums and Historical sites with the UPAEP student ID
  6. Administrative fees
  7. International health insurance
  8. Land transportation to and from the airport for group arrival and departure

Program Fee DOES NOT Include:

  1. Round trip airfare* (est. $800)
  2. Local transportation
  3. Personal spending
  4. The occasional meal on group trips



  • I had the time of my life during this program. Not only did I improve my language skills in the classroom, I was able to actually apply them by having the opportunity to live in Mexico. I also learned things about the country's culture that I could only have attained through the experience of being there. Every weekend we had the opportunity to explore a different area of Mexico and each trip was a valuable experience. I loved my experience living with my host family and I was able to make so many friends within the program and even some outside the program from the university in Mexico. By the end of the program I was so sad to leave!
  • Awesome and well-structured program with lots of academic and personal opportunities for growth.
  • It was a great experience. I honestly feel like every person (not just students) should experience Mexico outside of the destination vacations such as Cancun. In specifics to the program, it really did help my Spanish speaking skills, built confidence, and furthered my desires to obtain this language and further understand the culture of Mexico.
  • This experience was an eye-opener that despite what the United States says about Mexico, Mexico is just a normal place with families and students who live their lives. Not only is it a great academic and cultural experience it's also a great way to humble yourself and appreciate other places outside your home state.
  • This program makes you better at Spanish without even realizing. It is valuable for all levels of Spanish, and you even get the benefit of professional placement so that you have some job experience and know better how Spanish language and Mexican culture play a part in that.
  • It’s a great program with a wonderful balance of instruction time, internship experience, and travel adventures. The host family living situation will also rapidly help improve your Spanish.
  • I have become a lot more confident in myself and in my abilities. My attitude about the host country changed because they were so welcoming and the people there were happier and kinder than I would have expected. It made me wish people in the US were more like that.
  • I feel more confident about myself, more prideful about my host country, and the same about the US.
  • I feel much more confident in my communication skills.
  • The cultural immersion allowed me to learn the differences in the social and healthcare systems of the US and Mexico. It was an experience that would be difficult to match.
  • I have more understanding then what I ever had before of the city and the people. I’ve always been passionate and sympathetic to the people and culture. This experience enhanced those feelings even more, and have instilled in me a new love for the entire country and people.
  • I did not know much about Mexico before my experience. After visiting, I see it as a country rich in culture and history and much safer than people may be led to believe. I feel a lot more confident in myself after this trip.
  • I have grown a lot as an open-minded and responsible young adult. I was challenged and pushed to become a better student and contributor.
  • I have a greater respect for culture and lifestyles of individuals outside of the United States.
  • My housing experience was beyond amazing. My family was compassionate and welcoming. They taught me plenty about the language and culture and history or Mexico. They made me feel like I really was a part of their family.
  • I loved learning new things about the history of Mexico. Each place we visited was full of new experiences, and new knowledge. I think the most valuable was our very first field trip to Cholula. There we learned about the history of Puebla, explored ruins, old tunnels, and churches. It was eye opening and really gave me a new fondness of Mexico. It also gave me a lot of insight about the place we called home for 5 weeks. I also believe the trip to Cuetzalan was extremely beneficial. The trip was long.. but I actually enjoyed driving through the mountains, of all the places we visited the mountains felt like home. I had only seen dry places and only a few patches of grass the first couple of weeks in Mexico, I continuously kept trying to imagine where all their produce was coming from. This trip really opened that up for me, and show I completely different side of living in Mexico. My favorite excursion however was to Oaxaca. In this city we had the most time to do what we liked. It was small, but not too small. We were close to the square for shopping and night life was just a block away. I hated leaving there, and really wished we had  another day or two to stay.  One last “excursion type” that deserves mentioning; our profesora at UPAEP arranged small field trips in town each week for us to explore Puebla. We found great shopping places, visited genuine Mexican markets, got to interact with the people in non-touristic ways. I loved it!
  • Every weekend excursion taken was a fantastic opportunity for cultural immersion.



1. Regarding Application (Process, Costs, Travel Arrangements, etc.):

Katie Sabo
Sr. Study Abroad Coordinator,
Office of Study Abroad & International Exchange, 479-575-5012

2. Regarding Puebla Program Courses:

Steven Bell
Associate Professor, Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
KIMP 425,, 479-575-2951

For additional information for travelers as well as government services:

American Embassy in Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.
From Mexico:
Tel: ( 01-55 ) 5080-2000
Fax: ( 01-55 ) 5525-5040
From the U.S.:
Tel: 011-52-55-5080-2000
Fax: 011-52-55-5525-5040